dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #179

Ven ven at vvcrane.junglelink.co.uk
Wed Jul 5 22:03:23 EDT 2000


Date sent:      	Sat, 1 Jul 2000 20:55:41 -0400
From:           	owner-dwj-digest at suberic.net (dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones))
To:             	dwj-digest at suberic.net
Subject:        	dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #179
Send reply to:  	dwj at suberic.net

On Jul 2nd Mary Ann wrote
> I can't (okay, won't :D ) refrain any longer from doing a summary of
> the intro macroeconomics "What is money?" lecture.

great lecture, Mary Ann. I at m still going through those old notes 
but here's a couple of points of clarificaion for everyone. The 
oroiginal mail was about "primitive valuables versus real money". 
I've found some useful definitions;

Primitive valuables are non standard objects  whose ownership 
conveys prestige (ie crafted goods such as jewellery or weapons 
(especially useless weapons made of valuable but soft metal)  and 
found objects such as shells or amber). The exchange of these 
occurs in a social context outside of economic trade, but has a lot 
to do with that trade. Thus chiefs would give each other gifts, to 
impress and flatter before they got down to the nitty gritty of 
bartering for necessities or organising alliances. The rules for this 
gift giving often became formalised over the years. Another context 
they are found in is marking the stages of a person's life, they 
receive specific gifts to mark birth, naming, adulthood, marriage, 
special achievements etc which would go to the grave with them. 
Cf wedding rings, christening gifts, degree certificates, 
medals................

Money on the other hand is anonymous and general, and portable.

But....... however different the two things seem it proved impossible 
to demonstrate that money had some quality of realness that 
primitive valueables lacked -- and hence that it was "real" at all.

I was now going to burble on about different kinds of exchange but 
I'm forgetting words so I'll leave that for now.
 For us Brits there's an interesting series I've seen trailed. Its a 
history of money starting in Lydia. Its on Sundays at 8pm (on 2 or 
4?).

Thoroughly enjoying this discussion, but finding it hard to keep up, 


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Ven
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