Invention of Money—Nicole Clark

Currency is such an important aspect of our world today. Without it, there would be nothing. It has evolved so much over the years in many different countries. People have worked hard for their money but the real value goes straight into our bank accounts. Nowadays, money is usually not seen in our hands unless it is in the form of a debit card. We use these cards to pay for things when we do not have the exact amount of money in our hands. Many may believe that currency is puzzling and hard to completely understand. But in our world today, we would be nothing without it.

In a way, the whole concept of money is pretty strange. We are able to use money in the form of a dollar, but we can also use money in the form of plastic. This plastic card shows the cashier that we are completely able to afford what we want to buy. We as people are being told that we have all of this money when it is not physically in our hands. The Yap used their money as giant stones and whoever owned the biggest stone was the wealthiest. The concept of money may be strange but it requires trust. The French trusted America to label their gold with their name on it. The Yap also expected everyone to be honest about the fei that the actually owned. There is so much trust that our money is being protected and that it is actually there but we never really see it.

After reading this, I have noticed that our system and the Yap’s banking system are closely related. They are built upon trust and we would be nothing without currency today. We may not have it in a physical sense but that little plastic card is so important in our society today just like the stones were to the Yap.


About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels.
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3 Responses to Invention of Money—Nicole Clark

  1. davidbdale says:

    Nicole, just for clarity’s sake, I’ve posted your material here in a post under your name and in your category. Then I deleted your comment from the assignment post so your comment wouldn’t attract copycats. I apparently did not make clear the process for posting new material. Sorry about that.

    If you’d like feedback on this draft before class tomorrow, reply to this comment here. I’ll do what I can.

    • clarkn92 says:

      Thank you for removing it and posting it here. I thought I knew how to post the response but I got a little confused. If you could give me some feedback for class that would be great. Thanks so much!

  2. davidbdale says:

    I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to get back here for your feedback, Nicole. I hope that the classwork we’ve done in the meantime has helped guide you in working on a rewrite. Now I’ll react to each paragraph as I read it.

    P1. You try out three main ideas in your first four sentences, Nicole. 1) Currency is so important there would actually be no world without it. 2) Currency somehow evolves and differs according to location. 3) Money (perhaps the same as currency) is a reward for work that is deposited into bank accounts. They sound related at first since they’re all about money, but otherwise, what do they have in common? You could add that currencies are issued by governments, and that their value changes relative to one another. These would also be true, and related to money, but they wouldn’t develop a singular idea we could call your thesis.

    The two ideas that recur in this paragraph are that we would be nothing without money and that we don’t need to handle the actual currency. That’s an interesting combination. I’m not suggesting you adopt a religious theme, but God is another good example of something essential to many lives that we never see. The French placed faith in the gold in America’s basement they’d never seen. Etc. It might intrigue readers to open with the observation the thing we all believe is so essential is becoming increasingly invisible. You might even suggest that it will soon disappear completely. Certainly we won’t mint pennies much longer. How long before dollar bills disappear?

    In other words, I’m suggesting that you need a clear thesis to focus your writing: a deliberate and specific theme you can develop step by step.

    P2. I agree money is strange, but the plastic card is no stranger than a check, is it? Granted, checks were more prevalent before you were born, but for decades we sent them in the mail instead of currency to order things from a distance or pay our phone bills. As you say about plastic, those slips of paper showed “that we are completely able to afford what we want to buy” without physical currency.

    Once you develop that idea a bit, you shift unexpectedly to the fei of the Yap, call it strange, and mention trust. It’s unlikely anyone not in our class would ever understand what you mean by the French gold comment, or its relationship to the Yap, so please keep in mind your readers are not familiar with your own background study. There’s plenty to say about trust, but what kind do you mean?

    When cashiers receive 20s, 50s, 100s, they hold them to the light, don’t they? So even actual currency can be mistrusted. They don’t accept checks from strangers without ID, in case they’re handed worthless paper. The swiping of a card may be the most trustworthy method of payment for the store, although the most abstract, because a bank somewhere verifies the availability of funds in the cardholder’s account. The doubt in that transaction is whether the shopper owns the card.

    P3. Remember from class that in your rewrite you’ll concentrate more on the concepts of money and value themselves, and not at all on a discussion of your own perceptions or how they changed as you studied money. The relationships you offer between our currency and the fei is that they’re both “built on trust” although you haven’t told readers much about the fei. I don’t think they’ll know what you mean by “we would be nothing without currency” either, Nicole. I don’t. Would we be worthless? Or would we be unable to buy stuff? To say we can’t buy anything without money means almost nothing. To say the card is “important” might mean money is important or that having a way to track our buying power is important. Or that credit is important. You haven’t mentioned credit at all, but it’s a concept inherent in the big stone fei, isn’t it?

    Overall, I encourage you to clarify your thinking first, Nicole. Make a few very specific observations that readers will recognize as odd once you point them out, and develop particular claims: the same advice I give to most writers about everything they write.

    Keep checking back to the A03 assignment post where I’d continue to add more advice.

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