Paypal - inertialess cash at last!

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Mar 09 2000 - 15:30:52 MST

With the arrival of Paypal, which charges no annual fees and no
transaction percentages for credit-card-based money transfers to any
email address in the US, inertialess money is finally here. (Paypal
intends to make money off the interest accrued on cash floating in their system.)

This heralds the beginning of a seismic shift in the economic structure.
 It will herald the dawn of micropayments, take a huge bite out of the
dominance of cash, eventually kick over the credit-card system now used,
and perhaps create a great Webbed structure of cash applause. For some
years now, I've visualized a system where, each time one visits a
sufficiently great Website, one clicks a button that sends a few cents
to the owner. Websites, mailing posts, bon mots, good causes, great
ideas - all upheld and rewarded by a system of cash applause that, with
the rise of ultraproductivity, may become a dominant part of the social
system. Those who distribute the largest tips would see more pages and
posts and jokes written to please them, providing a means whereby
greater wealth translates into greater status and cultural dominance,
while simultaneously creating a fog of money which helps to ensure that
the have-nots don't starve.

By way of bringing this future to pass, I've already sent $10 apiece to
Vernor Vinge and Ed Regis for completely changing my life at the ages of
fifteen and eleven respectively, and I've kicked back $1 to Eric Watt
Forste for running a website that was one of the major stepping stones
on my path to transhumanism. I'd send some dough to Mitchell Porter
(for "Hyper-Weirdness by WWW") and Anders Sandberg (for the "Anders
Transhuman Page"), but I believe they live outside the US, so I'll wait
until Paypal extends its reach.

If you have somebody you'd like to cheer on with the green folding
applause, or at least blue electronic applause, then this is your chance
to sign up with Paypal. If you sign up to the extent of entering a
credit card, you get a free $10 in your account, which can be withdrawn
(!) or sent on as applause for your favorite transhumanist Websites. If
you sign up using the link
to register (*), you and I both get a free $10 in our account (although
I believe it drops to $5 after March 15th).

Let's hear it for the future, for the rise of the inertialess economy,
and for free money from the venture capitalists!

Yours in Singularity,
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky.

(*)  I offered both ExI and Foresight the chance to be in this link over
two weeks ago, but I got a response from neither; time is running out on
the offer; I would be posting about Paypal and the social consequences
even if they weren't offering me $10 to do it; therefore, I'm going
ahead with my own account reference.
--      Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

                 Member, Extropy Institute
           Senior Associate, Foresight Institute

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