The Lover of Money

“How do you make money, the symbol of exchange-value, properly match the actuality of exchange-value? Every civilization struggles with that, except the ones who give up and treat the mismatch as an opportunity to steal from the future… But it turns out that creating a liminal hyperintelligence that indwells your currency such that it can regulate its own value from a fiscally omniscient perspective works modestly well. Once people come to terms with the notion of spending tiny particles of god, anyway.”

Rilia Cheraelar, Economist Excellence,
on Aurifer, the Fiscal Mind

6 thoughts on “The Lover of Money

  1. How do you make money, the symbol of exchange-value, properly match the actuality of exchange-value?

    Have a fully backed currency (eg gold) and do really nasty things to anyone who so much as thinks of the possibility of maybe theoretically devaluing (read: cheating) it. Electronic currencies can be messed with, and the only reason the Eldraeverse gets away with it is because the guys obsessed with things like the rule of law, property rights and such also just so happen to be the top dog.

    IRL, gold will probably do just fine if the population keeps growing to keep pace (roughly) with the amount of gold out there (don’t forget, hardly anything reacts with / corrodes it). The Eldraeverse is often just a tad more utopian however. Though mind you, the energy cost of stripping a planet / solar system / whatever of all its gold is going to be pretty high, perhaps even to the point where it’s not cost-effective to do so. The highest figure I’ve seen for gold on Earth is ~2.5 million tonnes (the lower figures are under 10% of that however), discounting the estimated 20mt in ocean water (GLHF filtering all that though)… combine that with the likelihood of finding much gold in asteroids (probably low, assuming denser asteroids tend to form / hit planets earlier than lighter ones), and there may not be THAT much [insert rare metal here] available.

    Fully backed (and crypto-) currencies are also nice in that nobody has central control over them when it comes to policies like printing money. Oh sure, you could have built up a secret stash of gold/BTC/etc, but that’s not nearly as easy as typing a few numbers into a computer to create new money. Plus, someone might (a) realise this, and factor your secret stash into the market prices, (b) steal it, or (c) destroy it (insert Bond reference here 😛 ).

    Finally, stuff like gold has the handy trait of working at much simpler tech levels, for want of a better phrase. If that Carrington Event fries an eldrae colony’s electronics and they’re out of touch for a year (I’m sure they have fancy solutions, but it’s the principle not the specifics I’m concerned with), gold will still work just fine.

    But it turns out that creating a liminal hyperintelligence that indwells your currency such that it can regulate its own value from a fiscally omniscient perspective works modestly well

    I’m just a bit dubious about how this might work across anything more than planetary distances. Surely lightspeed lag would cause problems if this currency is seeing a lot of use? “Fiscally omniscient” sounds iffy to me.

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    • Gold would help the problem, certainly, but it is not immune to inflationary and deflationary trends. Couple that with the fact that Imperial territory stretches over only a couple hundred systems with a population in the trillions (Need to fact check, but I’m almost certain this is canonical), and the supply of gold for a society with this much financial activity, and I just don’t think it would be a feasible solution. While I agree a poorly managed currency would be worse, a near-AGI like the Transcend with access to superluminal tangle can probably keep the system fairly stable.

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      • And if someone finds a large deposit of gold , shows up and dumps it all in the market…what happens? For an example, look up what happened to the European economy when Spain started shipping back silver from the Americas.

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