From truth to peer review to copy; anarcho-capitalism; bitcoin; Defi; blockchain; marketing; Austrian economics
The history, condition, and direction of communication, media, civilization, and the whole of humankind is not complete without discussing the essence and history of money.
The history of human civilization can be explained by the constant struggle between two tendencies--centralization vs. decentralization—exemplified by what has unfolded in the development and evolution of communication media technologies. The same is true for money, or what we should more accurately refer to as currency. You might ask, what does money have to do with communication, marketing, and media? Everything. Money is what makes the world go ‘round. Contrary to the popular song, money CAN buy you love, and unfortunately, as we will soon see, money hasn’t exactly made the world go-‘round lately.
Human beings have invented and developed all sorts of ways to connect with other human beings—from mere symbols erected with stones, paintings in caves, and more wired marvels of engineering with the rollout of the telegraph and the unwired airwaves of the broadcast industry to the wired and unwired convergence systems of the internet and various
mobile digital technologies—human beings have been finding various ways to send, receive, interact, and connect. Man is, after all, naturally social, and free-market economics tells us those communities that are able to properly trade with others versus closed communities become wealthier and more successful. But for much of human history, a problem persisted, in this natural effort to interact, exchange, and transact with others—which grew in necessity as people traveled across larger areas beyond mountains, terrains, seas, and oceans. The same problems that occupied man in his problem with sending signs, signals, and messages (thus, evolving and developing technologies and systems—the printing
press, the phone, broadcasting, the internet—occupied his effort to figure out how to move economic value across time and space. Direct exchange worked in small societies with few families in the same small geographic location. But as societies grew and people spread out to journey ‘yonder, more indirect exchanges were explored and developed. Indirect
exchange replaced barter. The movement and exchange of value was intermediated, and a standard for a medium of exchange was developed—from shells to salt to cow dung, and the more long-lasting commodity money known as gold, and silver—economy moved across locations, and civilizations exchanged and flourished. So this was a good purchased not to be consumed (a consumption good) nor to be employed in the
production of other goods (an investment or capital good), but primarily for the sake of being exchanged for other goods.
St. Thomas Aquinas said money was invented by the art of man for the convenience of exchange by serving as a common measure of things saleable. Key here is: a measure of things saleable—and so money ought to be stable. It must keep the same value. With this context, we define money. Money is a medium of exchange to facilitate the communication of value. It is NOT wealth or value. Wealth is the result or yield of the production of goods and services as a result of human action. What is chosen as money is an abstraction of this wealth for the practical and more efficient purpose of being able to exchange with more people from far away, and because it communicates something (value), it is also a language. Like other languages, where certain ideas can be lost in translation, objects or items chosen to mediate the exchange of value can also be “lost in translation.” This is why St. Thomas Aquinas suggests, money ought to be stable and must keep its value. One can also think of it this way—money is the organic and natural translation of human action (premised on human nature and natural law) into something specific and tangible in order to properly move and maintain man and society to civilization. It is an abstraction of true human value as it is precisely the translation of human action, premised on human nature and natural law. To understand further, let’s turn our attention again to the Second Law of Thermodynamics--entropy.
Money, like an engine, facilitates and lubricates the spreading of energy--the spreading of human action to civilization. It is the medium and communicator of the organic standard value of human action. Famed
theoretician and social scientist Marshall McLuhan says, “Language
is a metaphor in the sense that it not only stores but translates experience from one mode into another. Money is a metaphor in the sense that it stores skill and labor and also translates one skill into another.” Hence, we can say money is the universal and standard language for translating and communicating human action as the following have been attached to it--an objective, numerical, and mathematical value. There is an exactness, precision, and standard to what it communicates as well as its message. Thus, a good medium of exchange would have to meet exactly this requirement proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas—that it should be stable and keep its value. Like the transfer of heat (the proper spreading of energy in the engine, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics states), proper human action proceeds, running and maintaining civilization. Money is in synch and goes with entropy.
Let’s formalize this definition--money is the universal standard and language, which lubricates, mediates, communicates, and facilitates the exchange of value from human action that propels and maintains continued human relations toward civilization. Here's where Bitcoin comes in--because as the very genesis of bitcoin suggests in that first block with a message embedded by Satoshi Nakamoto himself, money hasn’t been running and maintaining civilization; and the 2008 global financial crisis began to show the bubble and cracks. We’ve been on a path to decivilization, powered, funded, and run by unsound money—defying the Second Law of Thermodynamics and hence, communication, exchange, and all things real and natural. This is why bitcoin is controversial as the internet was controversial—because decentralizing forces (a natural consequence of human nature) are fighting for what has been unnaturally colonized and hijacked by those breaking the natural law and order of logic, math, balance, and sense in the movement of life and human action. Money wants to make the world go ‘round again. But to better understand what this all means, one should take on the project of reading and understanding the history of money, which is beyond the scope of this article.
Money is language; thus, money is communication—the most precise and universal of all languages as it communicates value. From signs, symbols, wires, cables, airwaves, and digitally embedded complex code
and technology, human beings labored to connect and interact with other men and, in so doing, spread information via the transactional process of uncertainty reduction in line with entropy. But communication, information, and media just got and will get a lot more complicated as we’ve neglected their foundation in money, and this money, for the most part of the development of media technologies, has been unsound. But true to natural law, human action, and entropy itself, there’s been
a new kid on the block, and it’s been shaking these centralizing forces that
have been defying natural law, economics, and human nature and accelerating not yet necessary entropy. This new kid has been Bitcoin, and it has generated blocks and chains of fans, squires, apprentices, copycats, and wannabes into what has been unfolding as the missing ingredient in the proper functioning of life in the digital world. This is just the beginning of the internet of money.
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