State evolution and cricket

Paul Andinach pandinac at
Wed Jun 28 23:25:59 EDT 2000

On Fri, 23 Jun 2000, Ven wrote:

> I've never formally studied economics outside of anthropology and
> archaeology but I did read some fascinating articles. one that I
> tremember savaged the idea that there was such a thing as "real
> money" (what we use) as opposed to "primitive valuables" (used by
> primitives?). The author pointed out that our money is in fact no
> more real than the so called primitive valuables. That was a real
> eye opener.

Thinking about it, I'm tempted to say that the thing that
distinguishes "real money" from "primitive valuables" is that "real
money" isn't really valuable. (Is that ironic? I'm never sure about

Primitive valuables may be primitive, but they are valuable. Bartering
three sacks of potatoes for half a cow may be less convenient than
handing over some little bits of metal, but at least you won't starve
if the economy collapses.

off to read "Noggin and the Money" again

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