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Money - Journal of Omnifarious

Apr. 3rd, 2005

01:18 am - Money

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This is something I've been thinking about for awhile...

I've come to the conclusion that for money to really be money, it must be able to be stolen.

Money is like a notation for expressing changes in the control of resources. If you make a notation that's incapable of expressing certain kinds of changes, it will be considered incomplete. Such a system will be considered 'toy money', not real money. This is a hard thought to express in a way that makes sense.

As a random side thought, I think this is related to Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem.

Lastly, I think the days of paper money may be numbered because the technology for duplicating it is getting better on a daily basis. It's also possible that there will be no acceptable digital equivalent given what's possible with quantum computation.

I'm beginning to think that it would best to have money based in iridium or platinum or something. Those are exceedingly difficult to manufacture. They can only be found. And finding new sources of these elements should closely mirror the increase in total resources available as we explore new planets.

The only way we know how to forge them is in very tiny amounts in nuclear particle accelerators, or in the hearts of supernova. They are significantly above iron on the periodic table, so we're likely not able to manufacture them even if we master fusion.

Current Mood: [mood icon] contemplative


[User Picture]
Date:April 3rd, 2005 05:10 am (UTC)
I will take 5 bars of gold pressed latinum please.
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[User Picture]
Date:April 3rd, 2005 06:48 am (UTC)
But all money can be stolen whether its a mugging, bank robbery or moving data from one hard drive to another.

When I started working in the finance industry I was kinda freaked out by the fact that I used to walk past a mainframe that at any one time had almost a billion dollars in it.

Its even more freaky (to me) that most money doesnt exist physically. In the UK at least only about 20% of money is in coins or bills. The rest is electronic.
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[User Picture]
Date:April 3rd, 2005 10:55 am (UTC)

Well, in some ways that proves my point.

It's tempting to try to create a medium of exchange that couldn't be stolen. But, as I said, I don't think it would work. And the fact that no such medium of exchange currently exists is a hint to me that I might be right.

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