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Re: <nettime> Follow the money...Dirty money
R. A. Hettinga on Tue, 14 May 2002 09:21:33 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Follow the money...Dirty money

--- begin forwarded text

Status:  U
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 16:11:08 -0700
To: dbs {AT} philodox.com
From: Todd Boyle <tboyle {AT} cortland.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Follow the money...Dirty money
Sender: <dbs {AT} philodox.com>

>Professor James Petras, of Binghampton University wrote:
> > One of the ways that so much unaccountability happens in society is that
> > money has no history... we never know what we are inadvertently supporting
> > by passing along particular currency.
> http://globalresearch.ca/articles/PET108A.html

The trouble with rants like Petras is they leave the reader powerless.
Think about direct action, instead.

Money freed from space and time, 5000 years before the internet.
And it also freed us from the tyranny of barter, i.e.

  - the limitation to a particular trading partner,
  - the limitation to trades of equivalent value, and
  - the necessity of deep analysis of comparative value, in every trade.

But its curse is that it blocks information, first of all you cannot
associate your own judgments of the value of this and that, as well as
the market can.  As a result, young people have the continual experience
of losers.  You're fifty years old before you understand the value of
money itself.  Evil issuers increase and decrease the value
intentionally, within a game calculated to maximize their takings from
money users.

The curse of money is that it's *incapable* of conveying a history even
between consenting parties who *want* the history available for
analysis.   Better money would allow the user to collect the details of
all transactions, rather than coercing the discarding of the information
content of the money.

Settlement itself, is a relinquishing of claims by the payor, making the
history of the money irrelevant for most purposes. But we have computers
now :-)  Doesn't that invite a re-examination of the idea of settlement?
Settlement itself is an intentional blocking of information.  (Product
codes such as EAN UCC or other barcodes, similarly, destroy all of the
supply chain contributions, stripping all producers of their reputations
except the "Brand" seller at the top of the pyramid.)

In a utopia, perhaps, nothing would ever settle.  Obligations might be
left to run in an open-ended way. Communities would observe balances of
their members, and members would have the power to provide views of
historical transactions to other members.  The persistent nature of this
information and the fact it was controlled by members rather than banks,
would reduce the role of the state in financial matters.

Again-- there has never been a computable infrastructure that could
provide a history to money - -but it could be done fairly quickly,
within an intentional community, using e-business standards like
ebXML which focus on collaboration and trade.

You can't cure the Money problem, by trying to fix the Money system.

AR/AP everywhere http://www.gldialtone.com

--- end forwarded text

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah {AT} ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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