Invention of Money – Kenyah King Ho-Sang

I have never taken into consideration how silly our money system works. As I was reading the article and listening to the broadcasts, I was thinking about how silly that seemed, but it really isn’t much different than how our own money works. Just as the Yaps, and the French did concerning their pieces of wealth, we too have a trust in something that we don’t ever physically see or touch. We just have faith that it exists, and we put people we don’t even know, and computers we have no control behind, in control of the numbers that determine our wealth. As silly as it seems in both forms, it is a working system. Imagine if we did have complete physical control over all we possessed. That system would be too messy, complicated, and time consuming. But then it raised the question in my mind: If that wouldn’t even work, then does all that money really exist? Then it’s scary to think that with a backspace of a number on a computer, does that decrease one’s true wealth, and what does that even mean? Perhaps we never physically hold our wealth because it does not really exist. It’s as valuable as Monopoly money, except we actually have a real trust in it. This completely changed my entire view on money, because I’ve never thought about it in these ways. I’ve never thought about how virtual the bulk of our money is. I think what is most bizarre is how money truly is the root of all evil. People kill, steal, cheat, lie and deceive over something that we believe so strongly exists, although all this faith is put into something that people have never seen or touch. So much power and authority breathes through it. Why?

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4 Responses to Invention of Money – Kenyah King Ho-Sang

  1. davidbdale says:

    Thank you, Kenyah. This is a very good start. I’m grateful to you—and proud of you—for jumping in early and being the first to post.

    What your post does well is to identify several important themes: the apparent oddity of all currency systems; the role of faith in making the systems work; the similarity among systems that seem disparate; the broader social implications of money.

    In successive drafts, I’ll try to help you be more specific and organize your remarks into developed paragraphs with transitions (the hard part). But for now, let’s just concentrate on gathering all the ideas we can on this counterintuitive topic. You’ve given us a wonderful start. Thanks again.

  2. davidbdale says:

    Kenyah, all writing has an intended audience. We leave notes for our roommates and spouses that only they could understand. We write letters to the editors of newspapers that can be read by all readers but only understood by those who have also read the previous day’s paper.

    Your intended audience here appears to be me and your classmates, who are all familiar with the background material on The Invention of Money. You reference “the article” and “the broadcasts” without specifying their names or contents because you don’t have to. But for a moment, please imagine that your readers don’t know what you mean. To be understood at all, you’d first have to identify your sources, and then summarize their contents and meanings to “get us up to speed.” We’d need to be told who the Yap are and what “the French did.”

    Because we already know something, and you are right to assume we share some background information with you, it’s very easy to wrongly conclude that we’ll understand everything you say, no matter how vaguely you refer to the information we share.

    Here are several vague claims that we don’t actually understand and which require you to be more specific and clear:

    • how silly our money system works
    • how silly that seemed
    • it really isn’t much different than how our own money works
    • Just as the Yap and the French did concerning their pieces of wealth
    • trust in something
    • faith that it exists
    • As silly as it seems in both forms
    • it is a working system

    Once you’ve made your introductory paragraph clear, consider starting another at “Imagine we had complete . . . .” Describe the difficulties it would cause, if briefly, in this same paragraph. They’re not as obvious as you think. (But the Yap certainly faced many, and learned to work around them.)

    A third paragraph is required to address your next question: Does all that money really exist? To be honest, you haven’t said much about money yet, so we’re not entirely sure what you mean by “that money”? We’re not sure what you mean by “If that wouldn’t work” either. But you certainly want to devote a paragraph to your concerns that little technical glitches in our complex digitized method for tracking wealth could impoverish us instantly . . . . It would help to clarify your terms. You seem to be using “money” and “wealth” interchangeably.

    Your conclusion begins with “This completely changed my view,” but by now, you’ve put ten concepts on the table, so we’re not sure what “this” is.

    Your second conclusion (?) is that despite its apparent non-existence, either money or wealth or power is the root of all evil. It may not seem fair of me to not understand, but your sentence says that “something we believe” is “something we’ve never seen” and that power breathes through “it.” Is that money?

    I promised I would shred your post, Kenyah. This is how it starts. I hope the feedback helps you and that you’ll find it reasonable, if excessive. Thank you again for going first.

  3. kenyahkayy says:

    I appreciate the feedback. It helped me a lot. It helped me organize my ideas and thoughts. I realized that I was being extremely vague in my writing also. I appreciate you tearing it apart. I needed it.

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