Following up on our recent running economic theme of supply and demand, where I posited that all financial instruments are just energy and agreement, I’d like to add something else into the discussion:
Back in my New Age reading days (late 1980′s) there was this book written by a wannabe guru type who wrote that everything can be boiled down to energy and perception. Think that might have been the title of one of his mildly well selling books. His name was Stewart Wilde, if you want to look it up.
Now, I kinda liked this guy. Later on, he went kind of over the etheric edge, but still, he wrote some things that still resonate in my thoughts.
I’m not going to do the high school “Websters defines” trope, but I did decide to investigate the origin of the word. The Latin is still the concept of perception as we know it. What comes through our senses and what we think of that. In lawyer talk, it also means things that are taken as the result of a judgement, where we find a slightly different etymology: “to grab.”
So how does perception apply to gold, silver, federal reserve notes, cowry shells, tulips, bitcoin, and all the rest? We see a gold coin, hefty in the hand, Lady Liberty engraved on one side, an eagle on the other, seigniorage obvious, and we perceive it has value. Same thing with the embossed paper in my wallet. It doesn’t really. Neither one. I can’t eat it. Well, I could, but there’s no nutritional value. I could burn the paper, in a pinch, and the C note will produce the same BTU’s as a two dollar bill.
As I see it, Stewie was on to something. It’s not just that money is energy, it is that our perceptions give it value, give weight to the agreement.
Also, it is grabbed.
I’ve been thinking about this for a week, was just trying to work in the author Tom Robbins comment in his book “Skinny Legs and All” (1990), that money is an illusion, when up pops in my internet wanderings:
It’s a good read.
*Old English: to understand, recognize, to seize …