Brian, Kirby Ferguson produced a thoughtful and eloquent 4-part indie movie series that I think is related to what you mentioned above about the book, The Topology of Chance. This book is now on my list of things to read, but I wonder if Kirby knew of it when he made his series. Also related, three years ago I proposed a project for the Knight News Challenge that was inspired in part by Kirby's series but mostly by Harvard Law Professor William Fisher's CopyrightX course. I think there's a whole lot of room for social experiments to study what you wrote: "...how we pay for things and get paid for them." Flattr is one interesting alternative.