Pope Salmon the Lesser Mungojelly (mungojelly) wrote,
Pope Salmon the Lesser Mungojelly

money is melting

The actual date when the technology was available for the bulk of U.S. attention to switch from old media to open blogging was at least twenty years ago. We've been slogging through inertia for decades.

Similarly, I believe that the date at which it was first possible for the U.S. to switch from a currency based economy to a more rational system of organizing collective activity has already passed. Now we just have to slog through a few decades of people saying "but that doesn't count somehow" before we can actually implement the change.

Money is absurd on its face, and deeply irrationalizing when employed. Real value is multifaceted, not quantifiable. On some level you know this basic fact, and yet as a hypnotized participant you may have the unsupportable feeling that to this dramatic wrongness there must be some compensating right. There is, but only historically; looking at value through this simplifying lens allowed it to be processed by an information system so antiquidated that its bits must literally be purchased and manipulated individually.

Like the blogging revolution, what I am talking about is not so much a transfer as a broadening of power. No one system alone will replace the roles money now plays in our life. Indeed, because of the conservative inertia, I expect it to look more like a gradual attrition than a sudden transformation. Parts of the transformation-- blogging, free open source, media piracy, flashmobs-- are well underway, and being understood only in isolation (certainly not as a threat to commodified value itself).

Over the next few decades, though, we will be forced to become aware of how all these new allowances are spreading and stitching together. The line that separates "real" things in the "real" money economy from the encroaching "unreal" things will fall into as helpless a retreat as the mainstream media are now in. Already we must rationalize to ourselves that so many things which didn't used to seem so "unreal", like entertainment, news, and communication, have solidly crossed the line.

And underneath this transformation, acknowledged or not, will continue the voluntary but complete abdication of the day-to-day operation of society to artificial intelligences. But that's a whole other story.

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