[ I just answered this question on Quora (my first one) here , seemed generic enough for a post ]
Quoting from a document called Modern Money Mechanics released a few years ago by the Federal Reserve Bank:
Money, like anything else, derives its value from its scarcity in relation to its usefulness.
Aside from the traditional ‘barter’ viewpoint about money as simply a medium of exchange, today it also serves as a method for tracking the scarcity or availability of resources, goods and services, as indicated by their market prices.
Thus, if money has to correctly represent the value of resources that it represents, it follows that it is necessary to maintain the value of money itself. As ModernMoneyMechanics suggests, the present approach to this is by using scarcity, which by design, is built in the present day monetary system. To briefly describe what is called Fractional Reserve Banking: when new money gets created today, it comes into existence as a token of debt that in most cases, has to be repaid with interest. Hence the constant illusion of the scarcity of money.. one can never seem to have enough of it!
There are severe limitations to this system, in my opinion; the biggest one being short-sightedness. Abundance might be just round the corner for so many life-essential resources and services; in fact, we might already have surpassed that mark in the past, somewhere around 1970 as determined by futurist R. Buckminster Fuller a long time ago. But as long as we keep using a yardstick of scarcity, we are going to find it tough to locate abundance.. #elephantInTheRoom
Posted by root on December 27, 2012
Robots, steal our jobs!
We are heading into an era of rapidly increasing aid of technology in doing all our work. Is it so far-fetched then, to suggest that the machines are going to displace us as the primary work force in many sectors?
Why the robots? Because we are capable of higher functions. What is ‘higher’, exactly? A partial answer to this is given by Bucky Fuller in one of his lectures: Prospects for Humanity . To paraphrase: this is about the efficiency of two fundamental operations: differentiation and integration.. more on that in a separate post; for now let’s just say that the human brain, having accumulated numerous interferences over the course of evolution, is much better at asking original questions than present-day computers, which in their own right, are more efficient than us in classification [ as opposed to comprehension ].
But that may still leave the question: what about all those jobs? Aren’t they necessary for people to earn their living?
Well, the socio-economic model that we decide to agree upon and accept, is the outcome at the layer of social systems. What does that depend upon? Looking at the heirarchy of layers, one would realize that the energy/inputs form the very basis of all further ‘metaphysical’ constructs such as mathematics, science and.. you guessed it, economics.
You cannot violate causality. For instance, if you have a serious objection to a particular crime, you cannot simultaneously not care about the preconditions that are leading to that crime. And so, it follows that if the robots are going to change the very nature of resource availability for us, then the rest would also appropriately adjust over time: value education, economics… and social structures as well.
Posted by root on December 22, 2012
Posted by root on December 20, 2012