Re: The Economy Of Plenty

Dan Fabulich (
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 08:44:21 -0400

At 01:18 AM 9/12/97 -0500, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

>Currency is a mistake. It results in information loss. On the
>capitalism-communism spectrum, currency is a communist affector relative to
>barter, which is the primeval state of mutually beneficial exchange that
>defines capitalism.

This is interesting; it may even be right. However, I don't think that we
have any choice but to let the market decide here.

Look at it this way: complex barter IS a competing currency. I am prepared
to offer one "trade #52590938423" in exchange for widgets. We find a
series of buyers, all of whom agree that their service/product is worth one
"trade #52590938423." Then we trade, and the currency vanishes.

So how is that any better than if we're bargaining with DanDollars, a unit
of e-currency with a good reputation? Either way you've eliminated the
barriers to entry on creating new economies... So what would make complex
barter so much more compelling or efficient than e-cash?