what is a whuffie ?

Bookmarklets | MOVABLE TYPE currently reading Cory Doctorow's novel "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom", I fell down on the concept of 'whuffie'. It's a reputations currency coined by Cory Doctorow.

Defintion from Phil Wolff : You earn whuffie as people credit you out of respect, gratitude, pity, lust, love, or any other motive for popularity. Problems: First, whuffie is undifferentiated. Respect ain't cash. Depending on the context, my having accrued whuffie for accomplishment at badminton shouldn't translate into whuffie for neurosurgical accomplishment. Second, respect is barely transitive. I respect A, and A respects B, so I may respect B by association. But only so far. Add a few degrees, and the referral is useless. Third, mutual respect is respect squared. I care if people I know and respect and love reciprocate. Whuffie from strangers matters less to me. Fourth, I take pride that some people hate me. Know me by enemies. I'd rather have modest respect from those I respect in turn, than modest respect from a much larger crowd.

David HM Spector adds : there are really three (3) kinds of whuffie: 1. Direct Whuffie: this is accrued from people you directly know (0 degrees of separation) or possibly at most 1 degree (people who directly know people you know). 2. Indirect Whuffie: this is accrued from people at the 1st and 2nd degree level. 3. Unsolicited Whuffie: this is from people at the 3rd degree of separation and/or people you don't know and have never met.