- Jul 2022
using the currency that counts, your time.
Time is a useful and relatively equal "currency" that can be used across time for comparison.
One might wish to add corrections for increasing health and lifespans however as this means more lived time for the average person.
- Dec 2021
Most contemporaryarchaeologists are well aware of this literature, but tend to getcaught up in debates over the difference between ‘trade’ and‘gift exchange’, while assuming that the ultimate point of both isto enhance somebody’s status, either by profit, or by prestige,or both. Most will also acknowledge that there is somethinginherently valuable, even cosmologically significant, in thephenomenon of travel, the experience of remote places or theacquisition of exotic materials; but in the last resort, much ofthis too seems to come down to questions of status or prestige,as if no other possible motivation might exist for peopleinteracting over long distances; for some further discussion ofthe issues see Wengrow 2010b.
David Wengrow 2010b. ‘The voyages of Europa: ritual and trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, c.2300–1850 .’ In William A. Parkinson and Michael L. Galaty (eds), Archaic State Interaction: The Eastern Mediterranean in the Bronze Age. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, pp. 141–60.
Read this for potential evidence for the mnemonic devices for information trade theory.
The founding text of twentieth-century ethnography, BronisławMalinowski’s 1922 Argonauts of the Western Pacific, describes howin the ‘kula chain’ of the Massim Islands off Papua New Guinea, menwould undertake daring expeditions across dangerous seas inoutrigger canoes, just in order to exchange precious heirloom arm-shells and necklaces for each other (each of the most importantones has its own name, and history of former owners) – only to holdit briefly, then pass it on again to a different expedition from anotherisland. Heirloom treasures circle the island chain eternally, crossing
hundreds of miles of ocean, arm-shells and necklaces in opposite directions. To an outsider, it seems senseless. To the men of the Massim it was the ultimate adventure, and nothing could be more important than to spread one’s name, in this fashion, to places one had never seen.
Not to negate the underlying mechanism discussed here, but there's also a high likelihood that this "trade" was in information attached to these objects being used as mnemonic devices.
Read further into the anthropology of these items, their names and histories.
- want to read
- kula chain
- Massim Islands
- mnemonic devices for information trade
- Bronisław Malinowski
- mnemonic devices
- Oct 2021
Bitcoin, currencies, and fragility by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The most stable currencies are those that are most heavily traded between each other and for actual goods and services.
Some of Bitcoins' problem may be that it is so narrowly traded that it is far too volatile to encourage others to use it.