I want share an insight I had a number of years ago. It’s not a particularly profound insight, it was just a curiosity I noticed. Basically, I realized that money is a form of technology. Very, very old technology. Perhaps I would be able to convince you more easily if I had a clear definition of technology. But I don’t. These days, I usually conjure up images of electrical gadgets and doohickeys when I think of technology. Money, of course, is nothing like that. It’s little more than a substitute for other things of value be it food, labor, or pieces of the other aforementioned technologies.
Long ago, man kept what he killed and that was about the end of it. Then he (and she) advanced a step and began bartering back and forth so as to allow for greater distribution of goods. But the barter system was inefficient. So some genius somewhere invented money. Basically, we took something of value and allowed it to represent something else and we traded it in exchange for goods. Originally, we used gold and silver and similar such stuff. Somewhere along the way we traded the gold in for something almost without value: paper. Now we are transitioning to something truly devoid of value: electrons flowing in circuits. Electronic money is the wave of the future much to my personal chagrin.
Anyway, what is clear is that money is tied to us in a very deep, intricate way. It is like the technology on which all other technologies rely. It is the technology upon which all other technologies are built.
Wow. I was expecting to write maybe one paragraph on this topic and I squeezed out three. Chalk one up on my innate ability to ramble.