[Homestead] More on Gold
Clansgian at wmconnect.com
Clansgian at wmconnect.com
Wed Dec 24 12:26:58 EST 2008
> >What this really boils down to is perception.
> >Nothing has value, except that imposed upon it by those around it.
Ray, in a world of exchanges and marketing and merchandising, I suppose this
is true. But if all the palaver about prices and currency "values" are set
aside, I will make the case that it ISN'T just a matter of perception.
Take my perennial example of potatoes. If you grew potatoes last summer and
have some of those stored away, and if you want your Christmas Eve lunch to be
one of those big spuds baked up, no matter who is or is not around you
imposing whatever "value", the potato will still have the value of being your lunch
exactly as it would under any circumstances.
Same with the firewood that cooked it, the axe that split that firewood, the
stove on which you cooked it, etc. etc. Those things have a direct use value
that is utterly oblivious to perceptions and surroundings.
When I cooked breakfast this morning, I put in some split up pieces of a
standing dead poplar in the firebox. The wood had some X btu's and thus making
use of some of those, it raised the temperature in the tea kettle to boiling and
heated the griddle that made the corn cakes and fried the eggs. It didn't
matter whether I percieved it, appreciated it, acknowledged it, valued it, or
translated it into so many dollars or weight of gold, it STILL raised the water
to boiling. It also didn't depend on anyone else greeing or acknowledging
that the water would boil, it did anyway.
Now contrast this to a piece of gold. What does it do for you? As you
pointed out accurately, it makes an inferior bullet. Unless there is someone else
(a LOT of someone else's) all agreeing and acting on that agreement, the gold
One of the swashbuckle adventure series that the children (and I) read
describes a world where all coins are made of steel. In our vast store of family
kennings is what we call the discount grocery store called "Save a Lot" when we
cryptically refer to it as "Save some Steel". The fact that it is gold we
have this agreement about is purely arbitrary. It could be anything so long as
there is a limited supply of it, whether that limitation is real or contrived.
So take your lump of gold and get everyone to agree instead that it will be a
tiger's eye agate instead, both are somewhat limited in supply. Does that
make a difference?
Now suppose that instead of that piece of wood I put on the fire, we suddenly
change our perception and we value a piece of limestone instead. Will the
water in my tea kettle boil?
One is real. The other is not real and only based on perception.
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