Reply To: emmettvm
For the same reason that people are ready and willing to hand a credit card to a waiter, or read a string of digits to a person over the phone, but will die before they type those same digits into a text field in a HTML form. There is an irrational fear of new and different things…of things people don’t understand.
Such a shame that this sentiment should be so strong here, among those who purport to be champions of an entirely new and different social paradigm.
Heh, I’ve been away a couple days spending all my free time doing research (don’t you just love when it consumes you and won’t let go?) and I come to check the forums only to find out I’m full of irrational fear of new and different things To make a little correction, I don’t hand my cc over to waiters or over the phone. Or anywhere for that matter, had one for a while but eventually closed it out because quite frankly I don’t have the need. I live in a pretty modest, really cheap apartment and don’t spend a whole lot of cash, don’t need it to make up for shortages come grocery time or emergency spending or what have you, so it’s more or less just a temptation to buy expensive things I don’t need and that I’ll have to pay more for later. Its inconvenient when you want to buy something online, but then its pretty easy to get a money order or pre-paid card if you’re in a hurry to get whatever it is, and I’ve had a paypal account for a long time though I never really use it (faster to get a pre-paid card which approves overnight than to wait a couple days for paypal to update my balance, which is what it was the last time I used them).
Not really afraid of credit, just don’t have the need for it, and I respect the risks involved in it – they can be avoided with proper security measures and precautions almost one hundred percent of course, but I’m a bit forgetful for that, so risk x effort > reward, hence no cc.
And yet again, I don’t have any problem with having a credit system, even an official one if whatever government you set up has the funds and organization to back it. What I am saying is that people should be given the choice. I suppose that’s where we’re disagreeing? My reasoning is pretty simple, electronic accounts are vulnerable and people should’t be forced to rely on them if they think their chance of getting tricked by a hacker is greater than that of getting mugged, or their house robbed, losing physical money wherever they’ve got it. You don’t even really gain much from having an official currency, at least not that I can tell. Oh, sure, the government can play games with the numbers to make it look like they’re doing a better job than they are, but in the end nothing’s free and a country generates as much wealth as it generates. Artificial gains in the short term must always be paid back in full in the long, and when you don’t do that, when instead of paying back those debts in good times when the money doesn’t mean as much to you, you end up finding yourself running full force towards financial collapse no matter how wealthy your nation is, you find your payments exceed your GDP eventually and that the bankers have hired some mercs to reposess your country
I think its better to leave that to the individuals, let them play the money game themselves. They’re much more qualified for it – after all, they’re the ones out doing all the trading. If your savings or your liquid capital in your business is a salad of dollars and yuen and euros sprinkled with gold and silver and other precious metals, then you’re set. Really, unless the markets simply freeze up in one configuration that happens to put your currency portfolio at a disadvantage long enough for you to run out of your strong monies, or a significant number of the countries whose bills your people use have a complete financial collapse , you can’t help but make a buck on pretty much any transaction. You keep good track of the money you take in and send out, calculating each against some standard base value. The most logical reference frame would seem to be hours of your labor (or weeks, months, quarters etc, avg per unit time, whatever works best with your work/pay schedule or business’ income). So whenever you sell (do work or sell a product, take in money basically) you keep track of how many units of time you expended to get that value, keeping a running total of the average amt you have worked for the wealth you currently posess, and you judge the cost of any purchase based on how its price compares to your average income per unit time according to the current value of each currency, getting a number that tells you how many hours work or whatever unit you choose that that purchase is costing you. Then when you are making purchases you can do so based on where and with which currency you can get any given item for the least time spent; especially if you get paid in multiple currencies or operate a business which accepts a broad range of currencies, and you have running totals of how much time each different currency cost you. You have, in other words, an amazing opportunity to profit from any transactions with the land. Even if you’re the average joe and you only ever go to the closest land nation once in a while to buy some odds and ends you can’t find in the steadings you can still calculate which currency to spend there (exchanging foreign currencies if necessary) to get the most product for the least time value. So already your people are seeing an easy boost in the value of their time, assuming they factor all transactions (or at least all major transactions) into their averages so that they stay accurate, their savings being a salad of dollars and yen and euros and pesos sprinkled with precious metal coins made of their pay, the change they get in the market in the steading, whatever. And that doesn’t even consider the traders and industries, who of course are going to have even more diverse portfolios, enough of any given currency to get the best deal day to day assuming the markets don’t stay exactly in the same spot for months. You’d sell your wares where the currency was cheap, buy them with currency that was flush, and harvest the difference like electricy from a geothermal plant.
And, yeah, your whole group is doing this, it is the natural state (instead of investing to build a currency portfolio it is the norm for one’s savings to be diverse), anyone in your nation or city state who cares enough to make the effort is coming out on top of every deal that seems to the other party like it’s fair. Its sort of like… really pretty much exactly like a geothermal plant, except its one that never breaks down until the day the world’s economy becomes stable (so most likely never). An economy designed to harvest wealth from the everchanging gradients of the currency markets. More bang for your buck basically, which I like.
In the end, basically, any sort of official artificial currency – be it dollars or credits – is a liability these days, at least inside any technological society. Money, the idea of an artifical currency, has tradeoffs just like anything else. The good side of money, the reason we adopted the concept over the barter system, is because its impossible to track the relative value of all goods so that you have enough recent examples of the trade rate of item a for item b, of their relative performance in c, d, and e to average together and come up with a fair trade ratio based on the item’s value and its projected decline in value over the time you’ll hold onto it if its perishable. Except, yeah, it’s not impossible anymore. Computers can do that. Easy. Quick. Cheap. Already with any bulk commodity you can look online and find out what you can buy where for what price, and the same tech could give you enough examples of recent interrelated trades between items to quickly estimate the conversion ratio between two ends of a bargain. It already allows massive tracking and prediction of assorted currencies, and that’s the problem. There have always been plenty of ways a currency could bite you on the ass – an influx of gold from some new land making your own stockpiles worth a fraction of their previous value, counterfeiting diminishing trust in the paper, that sort of stuff, but for quite a while now since the development of economics really, since the nations figured out they could commit war with money rather than swords about the same time that world culture advanced enough that committing acts of wanton depravity upon your enemies and their people would cause your neighbors to censure and maybe even gang up and reprise your ass rather than clinking glasses in a toast with you as they joined in on the pillage and rape, since then it’s been on a whole other level. If you’re small and your enemies are big they don’t even have to work hard to take you down, don’t have to draw one drop of blood or even spend an inconvenient ammount, because they know where the least action will have the most effect, because they know how much of your currency is on the market, how much is needed to inflate it, what’s being bought with it – which products might be beest to oversaturate or dry the market of, etc. They can make you go under even when, in reality, you’re doing good – you’re proucing still, there are no troops marching over the burning ruins of your nation, but still on the paper the value of your currency is plumetting because you stood still for a big slow fist.
BUt hey, that’s what’s great about seasteading. ONce theplatforms are there and widely recognized, everyone can more or less do their own thing. If you don’t find the system you like in one place you can gather up some friends and move a couple kloms away into the great empty Noone’s forced to stay anywhere as long as the gov’ts aren’t allowed to just immediately expand their territorial waters till they meet in the middle, and whichever system is effective should draw enough people to succeed. But yeah, I’m not afraid of new tech, I love tech. I just prefer not to adopt that which is not worth its cost – overpriced useless features, same old thing in a different box, something on sale because the new model’s coming out and making it irrelevant in a couple months. Aside from the whole issue of electronic security, necessary to some degree either way but absolutely critical for the credit system (you can only get fake charges fixed now because the avg customer is worth more in fees and investment of their money to the bank than the avg amt of money that will be claimed stolen from their account in its lifetime, and that could change very quickly if security fell far enough behind) its still not worth the risks inherent in the concept of an official artificial currency, and the lack thereof seems to be a pretty easy way of securing a reliable trade advantage against those who stick with it.
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