What is the Currency of the 21st Century ?

 
TheGetRealGuy
 
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TheGetRealGuy
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15 July 2017 15:04
 

As the United States prints the world’s money supply out of thin air it is clear that the hard currency of the 21st century is human misery.
that is why health care, welfare and drugs are essential to ration to only the wealthy.

Money has become firmly a question of faith in money
Warren Buffet or Bill Gates can not cash their billions into pennies, it is logistically impossible. The only real yardstick of their wealth is the abject misery
of fellow human beings. and a belief that it is just and right.

Please address this issue Sam.

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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15 July 2017 19:34
 

Cash is just one (minor) form of money.
Always has been.

Credit is what really matters.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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15 July 2017 20:50
 

The true currency is political power.  It can get you anything the world has to offer, including entire countries.

 
ImaginaryNumber
 
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ImaginaryNumber
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16 July 2017 12:35
 
TheGetRealGuy - 15 July 2017 03:04 PM

As the United States prints the world’s money supply out of thin air it is clear that the hard currency of the 21st century is human misery.
that is why health care, welfare and drugs are essential to ration to only the wealthy.

Money has become firmly a question of faith in money
Warren Buffet or Bill Gates can not cash their billions into pennies, it is logistically impossible. The only real yardstick of their wealth is the abject misery
of fellow human beings. and a belief that it is just and right.


Money - be it pennies, paper dollars, or gold, has always had little to no inherent value (you can’t eat or drink gold, it won’t keep you warm or cure an illness,) and thus has always been based on intersubjective ‘faith’ or agreement. With some caveats - i.e., past a certain tipping point, money becomes valuable to some degree via supply and demand. Whether you personally believe in its worth becomes beside the point when massive numbers of your neighbors are willing to give you real goods and services in exchange for it. That requires a strong base of intersubjective ‘faith’ to begin with, however.


As to your question - misery has arguably been the only currency since time immemorial. First, we generally want to survive. Anything that causes us not to survive - lack of food, water, shelter - makes us miserable. It is via this fact that necessities such as food and housing come to have some sort of worth. Beyond this, we tend to find other things to want (unless you are a cynic of the “Move a little to the right, you are blocking my sun” persuasion, like Diogenes). Some of them have an obvious evolutionary value towards our “original” want (survival,) such as the desire for power, fame, and mates. Some seem to be elaborate systems created solely for the purpose of giving ourselves something to want, for its own sake. Sports, collections, learning new skills, and so on. What inherent worth does it have for a man in a football uniform to place an oblong ball between some chalky lines on grass? If you offered to pay for a new house by telling a banker you would provide the service of placing on oblong ball between some chalky lines on the grass, he would think you were insane. If you are a professional football player and do this very same thing well, and repeatedly, you can certainly finance a house this way, probably one of the nicest ones in the country.


Value is a very strange, elusive thing - but if you reduce back far enough, it always comes back to avoiding misery.

 

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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23 July 2017 12:09
 
EN - 15 July 2017 08:50 PM

The true currency is political power.  It can get you anything the world has to offer, including entire countries.

Yesterday, in a speech aboard the new $12.5 billion aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, Trump said, “We will win, win, win, never lose. We will win,” Trump said. “We don’t want a fair fight—we want just the opposite. We demand victory, and we will have total victory.” 

Does the U.S. sell weapons to Saudi Arabia . . . weapons that could sink the USS Gerald R. Ford?  http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/24/politics/us-arms-sales-worldwide/index.html

What is the Currency of the 21st Century?  Cooperation with other countries to prevent climate disaster?  Funding clean energy and green technology?  Let China do it?  If pollution makes us richer and destroys the environment (as it has for the past 200 years), we’re going dismantle the EPA, cut funding for clean energy and continue to pollute? 

Money and power will win, win, win, never lose?”

 
 
TheGetRealGuy
 
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TheGetRealGuy
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27 July 2017 17:25
 
ImaginaryNumber - 16 July 2017 12:35 PM
TheGetRealGuy - 15 July 2017 03:04 PM

As the United States prints the world’s money supply out of thin air it is clear that the hard currency of the 21st century is human misery.
that is why health care, welfare and drugs are essential to ration to only the wealthy.

Money has become firmly a question of faith in money
Warren Buffet or Bill Gates can not cash their billions into pennies, it is logistically impossible. The only real yardstick of their wealth is the abject misery
of fellow human beings. and a belief that it is just and right.


Money - be it pennies, paper dollars, or gold, has always had little to no inherent value (you can’t eat or drink gold, it won’t keep you warm or cure an illness,) and thus has always been based on intersubjective ‘faith’ or agreement. With some caveats - i.e., past a certain tipping point, money becomes valuable to some degree via supply and demand. Whether you personally believe in its worth becomes beside the point when massive numbers of your neighbors are willing to give you real goods and services in exchange for it. That requires a strong base of intersubjective ‘faith’ to begin with, however.


As to your question - misery has arguably been the only currency since time immemorial. First, we generally want to survive. Anything that causes us not to survive - lack of food, water, shelter - makes us miserable. It is via this fact that necessities such as food and housing come to have some sort of worth. Beyond this, we tend to find other things to want (unless you are a cynic of the “Move a little to the right, you are blocking my sun” persuasion, like Diogenes). Some of them have an obvious evolutionary value towards our “original” want (survival,) such as the desire for power, fame, and mates. Some seem to be elaborate systems created solely for the purpose of giving ourselves something to want, for its own sake. Sports, collections, learning new skills, and so on. What inherent worth does it have for a man in a football uniform to place an oblong ball between some chalky lines on grass? If you offered to pay for a new house by telling a banker you would provide the service of placing on oblong ball between some chalky lines on the grass, he would think you were insane. If you are a professional football player and do this very same thing well, and repeatedly, you can certainly finance a house this way, probably one of the nicest ones in the country.


Value is a very strange, elusive thing - but if you reduce back far enough, it always comes back to avoiding misery.

TGRG: The problem of the Human Mind is that as amazing as it is it has evolutionary blind spots. It can’t truly see the big picture.. If it did it would probably have smoke coming out of it in most cases.

 
TheGetRealGuy
 
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27 July 2017 17:34
 
Twissel - 15 July 2017 07:34 PM

Cash is just one (minor) form of money.
Always has been.

Credit is what really matters.

TGRG: The Question is what is Credit ACTUALLY based on ? Monty Python had Apartment Blocks built by Hypnosis… That is metaphorically where we are today.  If you refuse to believe they will fall down.

 
Adm1976
 
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03 August 2017 12:35
 

I’m surprised no one has mentioned what is probably the most obvious currency in the age of information: data. With the advent of social media and general internet culture, metadata rapidly grew and was immediately monetized. It’s still in its infancy…for now

 
NL.
 
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NL.
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04 August 2017 14:53
 
Adm1976 - 03 August 2017 12:35 PM

I’m surprised no one has mentioned what is probably the most obvious currency in the age of information: data. With the advent of social media and general internet culture, metadata rapidly grew and was immediately monetized. It’s still in its infancy…for now


Interestingly, I think data might be more like the raw materials of this age, not the currency. For example, when I started in my field, pictures were very expensive. The Must Have Resource for beginning therapists - a box of Language Builder Cards - cost about $150 (and this was over a decade ago, so factor in inflation.) That was for one box of cards, and not a particularly big one. If you wanted pictures for various other things, or picture scenes, you could either go about the extraordinarily time consuming process of going out and staging them all yourself; or continue to pay large sums of money to the speciality companies who produced them.


Now, with things like digital cameras, uploading, Google Images, Creative Commons, collage and worksheet maker apps, and teacher file sharing sites - not to mention an extreme reduction in the price of color printers or the ability to store them easily on a tablet, all in one place - the number of pictures one can produce are endless, in a very literal sense of the word. I have an entire library full of materials I never dreamed I could put together 15 years ago, and it’s all in one notebook sized iPad to boot, accessible with a few finger swipes, not the pulling out and searching and reorganizing of overstuffed boxes and file folders. If I need something completely individualized for a specific student, that’s very easy to do. This is for my particular area but it seems to me that the same is true of everything from music to food blogs to ‘life hacks’ to housekeeping tips and tricks to organizational paperwork for companies, and so on. Additionally, people can telecommute and conference call and find information from all over the world in a few clicks. None of this is ‘money’ in and of itself, or even a product that one is directly selling, however.


What I think is an interesting possible parallel is the relationship to pre-capitalist thinking in these realms. I was recently reading Yuval Harari’s thoughts on capitalism, and while I admittedly don’t know how generally accepted his ideas are (my guess is that they might offend the more socialist leaning, but I don’t know about the nuances of economics and the various relationships between schools of thought there), his view is that capitalism radically revolutionized the way that people think - that for a long time the slices of the ‘pie’ were thought to be zero sum, in a self-reinforcing cycle of pillaging and plundering (who wants to risk giving a loan in that kind of environment, after all). What assets a person had, they must have stolen from someone else (he even goes so far as to say this is why Jesus said it’s easier for a rich man to go to heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle - because wealth sort of inherently implied theft, given that wealth was a finite resource and so if you had it, you likely took it from somewhere) - only after the advent of loaning, building, growing and raising capital became foundational in people’s thinking about the world did we take more of a ‘we should always be working on building a bigger pie’ / ‘what’s good for the goose is good for the gander’ mentality, as the success of others became our collective success, in creating a bigger pie for everyone, opening up new markets and so on. (I wonder if this perhaps led to the rise of idealism, given idealism’s future-oriented nature, but that is a long tangent.)


Whether correct or incorrect, what I also found interesting about this argument was that clearly this couldn’t have been true in other realms of human life, where people lived far more collectively until not so long ago, meaning building up a ‘pie’ for those around you was one of the most central projects of life. For example - a hundred or so years ago, you could have asked your neighbors to come to a barn raising on your behalf - if you asked them to come over and build your new house for free now, the response would not be one of delight at the though of post barn raising merriment and dancing, that’s for sure! People fished, built, cooked, ate and survived together as communities for much of history, so clearly they were always trying to expand their small group’s ‘pie’ in terms of those resources - more housing, clothing, medicine, people surviving via community support, and so on - they just didn’t do it in the form of capital (which Harari, if I understand him correctly, thinks created a marked shift in focus in human minds, with a focus on the future and a the possibility of future prosperity, dreams and earnings - the idea that the needs and framework tomorrow would likely be larger than that of today, not static.)


Fast forward to now. If I, in a fit of nostalgia, suddenly decided that I wanted to utilize the common ‘raw materials’ of the past, how difficult would it be to find and use the resources that were once commonplace. If you wanted to chop down a bunch of trees and build a hut or shack on a piece of land somewhere, what would the logistics of that look like? Can anyone on this board think, off the top of their head, of a place where it would be ok to just randomly chop down a tree? Probably not, although our ancestors would have had no problem finding one. If you want to hunt for meat or farm you have to buy land or have permission to be on it and obtain the necessary licenses, permissions, and do it under supervision, following agricultural regulations. Etc. The raw materials of the past are not particularly raw anymore, in the sense that they are papered over by legalities. Data, on the other hand, is abundant. There are some regulations and squabbles over ownership, of course, but that was also true of natural resources back in the day. But as a rule, when one looks at the availability of natural resources that exist in nature, and our capacity to utilize them - in terms of access to the resources themselves and the opportunity to give them to someone who would want or need them (you would get some odd looks if you kept bringing in things like homemade huts, shoes, and medicines to your office lunchroom to put alongside the homemade brownies) - it seems very limited; whereas the capacities with ‘data’ seem, in many places, much analogous to older paradigms.


Maybe that’s just far flung dot-connecting, I dunno. But it does seem to me that today’s data might be equivalent to yesterday’s raw materials. And maybe that’s a good thing, maybe we shouldn’t be in a rush to monetize it. Capitalism took thousands of years to coalesce after people settled on to farms, after all, and probably for good reason - it was a logical endpoint of a timeline that included settlements, culture, civilization, barter, currency, accumulation of currency, and so on, I think, not a ‘top down’ imposed plan. It seems likely that informational resources will develop similarly, in their own organic way.

 
 
Adm1976
 
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04 August 2017 15:34
 

Thanks for your well thought out reply, NL. Perhaps my line of thought was that Data will most likely become an intrinsic commodity rather than being actual currency, and that it could be a defining factor concerning value in the later stages of the Information Age

 
Amun_Ra
 
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23 August 2017 11:31
 

Agree about data, but more literally, cryptocurrency (likely Bitcoin) will be the actual currency of the 21st century. And because Bitcoin is decentralized, it in theory should weaken the political power of people and governments and may even disrupt the very idea of “Country” in the next 50 years if successful.

I wouldn’t be able convincingly explain this idea myself, but here is a video of a presentation that I thought did the theory justice kind of long but good story IMO. https://steemit.com/bitcoin/@knircky/video-of-my-talk-at-the-philly-bitcoin-meet-up-the-value-of-bitcoin-and-blockchains

 
Warthawk
 
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19 September 2017 14:31
 

Traffic is money that’s all i know for now.

 
unsmoked
 
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20 September 2017 11:00
 

What is the currency of the 21st century?

Remember when the world powers wanted gold?  The Conquistadors melted Aztec jewelry etc. and sent treasure ships back to Spain loaded with gold bullion.  Will rare earths become the currency of the 21st century?  These are strategic minerals that the tech industry and the new high tech military can’t progress without.  Does anyone here think the U.S. doesn’t want a big slice of North Korea’s rare minerals?  http://www.mining.com/web/the-10-trillion-mineral-resources-north-korea-cant-tap/

These minnerals are so valuable that there’s even talk of mining asteroids -  http://fortune.com/2015/07/20/asteroid-precious-metals/

(see also EN’s post #2 above)

[ Edited: 21 September 2017 11:58 by unsmoked]