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View Diary: The Myth of the "Consensual" Marketplace (124 comments)

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  •  My physics analogy for money would be (3+ / 0-)
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    Chi, Kevskos, Visceral

    force-carrying particles, like photons.  They have no mass, so they have no value as a particle despite partly behaving like one.  Rather, their importance stems from what they transmit - energy.  Money is itself, in fact almost literally, a means of transmitting energy, since energy is the utmost foundation of an economy.  Of course, what you do with it once you have it determines whether the economy that results is a highly-evolved one (like Norway) or a shallow one (like the UAE).

    I demand that you prove you're alive.

    by Troubadour on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 12:46:11 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I guess I see money as more like energy itself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      In a society that uses it, money is the the thing that allows economic activity to take place at all, since in the absence of money, it doesn't really matter what could take place: it won't.  A system with lots of money flowing around will be dynamic, while a system with little money flowing (whether there's little money period, or because it's locked up in physical assets, or because it's monopolized and its movements artificially restricted) will be much less dynamic.  The UAE's economy might be shallow, but there's a lot of money there; alternatively, you can have a deep economy without a lot of money - i.e. a complex but poor subsistence society.  E=mc2 is like saying that physical assets are worth something in and of themselves, and can be converted into money, but that's only useful if you have physical assets in the first place, and you still need to input energy from outside in order to make the conversion.

      Poverty is like a state of high entropy; there's little free energy (i.e. cash) available to drive economic activity, and in the worst cases, the assets themselves (including people) have little value, if only because it takes greater inputs of energy in order to make them valuable.

      Perhaps we're stumbling over the difference between money in the abstract versus its many physical forms.  I think that no matter what form your money takes - cash, gold, stocks and bonds, antiques, etc. by analogy to chemical, kinetic, electromagnetic, etc. energy - if you don't have very much of it, you're pretty much stuck.

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