Qualitative Aspect of Money Systems
A Paradigm means a set of overarching and interconnected assumptions about the nature of reality. The paradigm itself cannot be tested; however, it provides the basis on which we build our verifiable knowledge. A paradigm provides the largest framework within which research takes place. The paradigm is not simply the current theory, but the entire worldview in which it exists, and all of the implications that come with it.
A Paradigm Shift is the term to describe the process and result of a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. A scientific revolution occurs (according to Kuhn) when scientists encounter anomalies that cannot be explained by the universally accepted paradigm within which scientific progress has thereto been made. When enough significant anomalies have accrued against a current paradigm, the scientific discipline is thrown into a state of crisis. During this crisis, new ideas, perhaps ones previously discarded, are tried. Eventually a new paradigm is formed, which gains its own new followers, and an intellectual battle takes place between the followers of the new paradigm and the hold-outs of the old paradigm. After a given discipline has changed from one paradigm to another, this is called a scientific revolution or a Paradigm Shift.
We are now living through one such rare paradigm shift, manifesting as a convergence across multiple domains: from the Positivist Approach of quantitative research methods; from Objective-Real-Reality to Evolutionary Qualitative research and Coordinated-Subjective-Reality, which is based on a fundamentally different set of assumptions and postulates, and has far-reaching implications for all human endeavors. Most strikingly, the notion of Absolute Space and Time in physics has fallen apart, requiring us to do away with the most intuitive and seemingly fundamental concepts of all — space and time themselves. The Contents of Spacetime emerge from something completely different and more fundamental, whereby Spacetime functions as our user interface to acquire this more fundamental world.
All measurement values of a claim — meters, seconds, kilograms, kilojoules, and even truth itself — are imperfect approximations. Descriptors rather than inherent properties of the object under examination.
Money on the face of it appears to be a simple utility, to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions. However, under the new evolutionary paradigm, we learn that Money is a language. And, like any language, it is not merely reporting on an external reality that is “always there”. In light of these new assumptions, the miraculousness of Language and Money shines even brighter, since it is so full of compromises based narrowly on subjective abstractions. The fact that it even works at all is, frankly, astounding. A feat of infinitely greater subtle complexity than was ever realized by neoclassical economics. These spontaneous inventions of the collective human psyche are utterly unsuited to achieving the accuracy of something like Newtonian Astrophysics; they are subjective value gauges that must be reexamined ongoingly.
Instead, we use Money as a utility to find consensus between all of our individual understandings of an ever-mutating reality, and as a byproduct we also create a map of valuable traits. Who has how much guides us, often subconsciously, which virtues or traits are desirable in our collective minds.
If all this goes over your head, think about it like this: whom you give your money to, impacts the reality we share
Money beyond facilitating trade, plays as main source of signal, for what we ought to deem as desirable human trait/virtues we should copy for our own challenges.
Beyond the inherent ‘inaccuracy’ and inherent ‘ephemerality’, two more somewhat contradictory new demands, from any money system, arises in new paradigm:
(1) The importance of signaling to strive for evermore accuracy becomes ever more clear, as we learn just how impactful the contents of this map are on the ‘Subjective Reality we share’
(2) The unrealized extent to which money systems signaling part, which we naively turned a blind eye to, is in-fact extremely fragile and vulnerable to manipulation. And therefor the ongoing necessity to protect signaling from agent’s often even subconscious (self deception) manipulation.
The quality of money systems therefore, can not be gauged strictly by security and functionality, etc.
Instead, it is gauged by the degree to which it Freely and Accurately maps and signals the most collectively selected-for traits and virtues — and how this can be used to achieve “fitness” within an ever-changing subatomic landscape.
A quick story to better illustrate my point:
My grandmother Miriam was a very disciplined person. If something cost $100 in a nearby delicatessen and $90 at the market, she would NOT go all the way to the market for such a difference. However, if something cost $20 in the delicatessen and $10 in market, she would trek all the way to the market instead, scolding the delicatessen employees for how unreasonable they were to charge double the market price. The same $10 price gap, but with such a drastic difference in outcome!
So, was my grandmother Miriam irrational? Or did she know something lost on those of us who embrace the idea of “homo economicus”?
No, my grandma was not irrational. What she knew intuitively–and what we now need to relearn — is that our actions impact the reality we share. No Money system is just a utility. It is also always also a map of social phenomena, and of the traits society has deemed valuable by unconscious consensus. We are likewise all subconsciously picking up on these signals, and adopting them as our values.
On a visceral level, my grandmother knew that we must all do our part to send proper and responsible signals to the value map, and that doing so will have a qualitative impact on the reality we all share.
Such maps, like the one created by the use of Money, are built to address qualitative challenges, separating signal from noise. At which point a given traitFrom a collective standpoint, they therefore function at peak capacity when the following two properties are optimized:
- When signals emerging from the map are clear and accessible.
- When trust in the fidelity of the signals is high.
So, in order to achieve a high-fidelity map, we need as many sensors as possible reporting subjective observations, and a solid mechanism of rigorous synthesis and integration.
For the latter to occur, a Money system requires a clear basis in material logic. Language is an imperfect social compromise, by definition, but introducing material logic can help us to reduce this ambiguity. Which is quite important when it comes to the way that we transact with each other!
Crypto reintroduces the material logic of commodity-based monetary systems, in the digital realm. We sample a finite commodity — gold in the past, energy today, Space over Time tomorrow — to serve as a unit of economic measurement in the same fashion as a sampled metal rod can serve as a standard of length. The main feature of this logic is the inability to change “the story” — that is, the ledger — retroactively, since it introduces an unavoidable ever growing cost associated with any aim for changing shared coordinated reality (our ledger) after the fact. In the realm of money, it’s the difference between an honest and dependable system and the one we’re stuck with today.
It allows for us to agree on some basic, foundational truth, and move onwards together from there. It shifts the entire game from “my word against your word” to “if you think you know better, prove it”.
Quality Over Quantity
We live in a world of many competing money systems, the vast majority of which are based on ephemeral perceptions and flimsy promises. In our current paradigm, money is essentially about nation states jockeying for power and influence, attempting to deny the material reality of economic downturns, and creating a game called “FOREX” that can be played for fun, thrills, and profit.
Clearly, having more currencies is not having better currencies. Not when their foundations are so arbitrary and fragile.
Crypto provides us with an alternative, allowing us to write a trustworthy map of our shared reality.
And Spacemesh could allow for the higher-fidelity map, because it has the capacity for far more sensors in more places.
If you want to learn more about how we plan to achieve this, please continue reading: Why Are We Building Spacemesh?