Money is the root of all evil!

Discussion in 'Research' started by J.T. Woody, Mar 12, 2019.

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  1. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    so, something like "a horse for a horse" but never "a horse for a goat" type of thing?
    What if a person with like 5 goat wants 1 horse.... they cant trade a goat for a horse. what if they go by weight. anything weighing equal to this here horse is what you give me... so guy's 5 goats weight equal to the horse. he trades his 5 goats for 1 horse.
    i kind of like this idea, and it is also a way for them to boast how moral they are.
    a human might stuff their horse full of food the day of the sell just to get more out of the poor goat guy or stuff his horse so that the goat guy cant afford it.
    Where as the aliens are (BELIEVE they are) more honest than that.
    But then, the tricky side of this would be, how would you do this with food or services?
     
  2. Fallow

    Fallow Member

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    I would strongly recommend against trying to reinvent the concept of in kind value. The concept of equitable barter always leads to some version of money. If you want to go outside of that, don't base the economy on equitable exchange.
     
  3. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    i dont know how :cry:

    everything, it seems, is based on an assigned value. everything leads back to "money"...though i like what @EFMingo said about money being a mask for pride and greed.

    Can a society have a value system without pride or greed? :superthink:
    it brings to mind Jean Jacques Rousseau's "Discourse on Inequality." Basically, once you value something, it leave others open to wanting what YOU value because THEY don't have it.

    If my aliens were human, Rousseau would have thrown out my whole "no currency/money" society...
    I just want to create something that makes sense:cry:
     
  4. Fallow

    Fallow Member

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    Pride and greed aren't about money, but when you have units of comparison (dollars or goats), it will make it easier to develop greed.

    But you could have people just give things to each other when asked without a direct and quantifiable expectation of quid pro quo. If I give Bill a goat and he rebuilds Sherry's engine, and Sherry gives pickles to Tom, chances are Tom will help reshingle my roof.

    Or, everyone could have so much ability to fend for themselves that they don't need other people's stuff (post scarcity economy).

    Or, the local chief could take a regular inventory and redistribute goods and services as needed based on citizen requests.

    Or, everything could be stored and accessed communally, so the only goods you might "own" is what you have on your person at any given time.


    I'm sure there are a lot more ways to not have exchange systems I didn't think of in two minutes.
     
  5. XRD_author

    XRD_author Member Supporter

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    Then you need to invent aliens who are truly inhuman (or maybe unhuman would be a way to put it), and that ain't easy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 1:37 AM
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  6. Fallow

    Fallow Member

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    People have lived with lots of different systems. Look up "potlatch".
     
  7. XRD_author

    XRD_author Member Supporter

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    I'm not going to bother repeating what was posted earlier in the thread; it answers your comment. And that's all I'll say to you on the matter.
     
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  8. Fallow

    Fallow Member

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    Then I'm a bit surprised you bothered with this informationless post.
     
  9. -oz

    -oz Active Member

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    Something that hasn't been brought up yet here is a volunteered currency. (Not sure if this concept has an official name or anything.) An example of this (on a really small scale) is a large rummage sale that I helped run several years ago. There were price tags on nothing. When the shoppers went to leave, we simply asked that they pay what they thought the stuff they got was worth. Free was not an option. Sure, there were one or two cheepskates who only payed a dollar (and we would barter with them and they'd usually give in to honesty), but the vast majority of people wound up paying more than what we otherwise would have charged if we had priced things. In other words, they paid what THEY thought the goods were worth.

    At any rate, if your alien society valued honesty, this could work pretty well. They might pay a currency, maybe services. I'd probably not go down the bartering route, because that introduces greed, but (as has been mentioned) a traditional barter system could also work.

    :shrug: Just another idea that might help...
     
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  10. Fallow

    Fallow Member

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    Barter economies work pretty much like this. For many things you could buy in the Middle East (for instance), it would be almost an insult to not dicker on the price - meaning none of the marked prices are meaningful except relatively.
     
  11. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    potlatch was about retaining history in a culture that didn't record history.
     
  12. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Member Supporter Contributor

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    It was also about gaining, maintaining, and recovering social status within the community, as well as a few other things.
     
  13. Laughing Rabbit

    Laughing Rabbit Member

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    I meant more like Alien A has some goods they don't need and wants to give it to someone in return for what they do need: they have an abundance of veggies from their garden, they need a new clothing. Alien A goes to the government "assessment" office to have his good evaluated. The office "assesses" the veggies as worth a "5", he can then exchange his veggies for anything that equals the "5" value. If Alien B has a shirt and pants that equal to "4", they can exchange the amount and Alien A still has a few veggies left over. It could also be a community hangout for people with excess possessions willing to exchange them for anything else they may need, whether the items have been "assessed" or not.

    You know, the more I think about it, the more complicated it gets (so are human taxes, my head is spinning!). If your aliens are inherently good and honesty/goodness/kindness comes naturally to them, then a communal society would work much better. Of course there would still be outliers, as in any society, and that's where your drama comes from. Your alien bad guy/s understand their society's natural tendency towards goodness and honesty and have learned to take advantage of it and can control their society by controlling goods, services, and their source of news concerning the humans or anything else (if you're unaware of governmental control of your entire life due to your natural tendency towards honesty, you become sheep).
     
  14. Reece

    Reece Member

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    I would consider looking into something loosely based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

    [​IMG]

    Physiological needs/Safety needs
    There are communal farms. If you cannot provide skilled labour, you work the farm picking vegetables, tending to the animals, etc. All the food is shared. You also may work security, providing safety for the community, or really do any task that you are able to do that helps the whole.

    Certain skills are taught, and in return you must provide necessary services. People who provide necessary services do so through a government agency who doles out the work evenly. If you roof needs fixing, it will be fixed, etc. You go to the government and say that you need it. They assess the need and then assign the work fairly. People have the choice whether or not they would like to pursue education. Pursuing such will help with esteem needs as well as belonging and love needs. If a person would not be fulfilled by expanding their skill set, they do not have to do so, unless there is a need.

    Self-fulfillment needs
    In times of plenty, when the weather is good and there is no disease. The farms are being tended and producing enough food. Everyone has all their base level needs met, then the population have more time to pursue creative endeavors. Because everyone's needs are different in this regard, I think this should just be a swap thing. If you love to paint, and it makes you happy. Then paint. Bonus if you also like pottery but aren't very good at it. You have a bunch of paintings lying around for which someone with an excess of decorative vases will swap you. The exchange is based on mutual desire. But the encouragement should be on the doing of things that make you happy, not the accumulation of things. For instance, if you love to perform, you would do so because you enjoy it. You wouldn't charge people to view it because it is the experience you treasure. That said, if people decided they wanted to gift you things because they were so pleased, that would be fine. Everyone is given clothing to wear that is utilitarian. If you like to sew, you can sew fancier things. The government will give out items to the people to help meet the needs at the top of the pyramid when all the other needs have been met with the contingency being that you do this because it will make you happy, not because you want to accumulate things. Everyone is doing stuff for everyone else because everyone wants their peers to be happy. Of course in a perfect world where there are no assholes and I'm sure tonnes of other crap I've overlooked. If you like the idea of people boasting about morality, there could be people who provide loads of services but refuse to receive them, choosing only to live with their base needs met.
     
  15. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

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    Money is just a standardized means of transferring value. It's like barter, except the barter is performed using tokens that have an agreed upon value. Any means of exchange will have the same forces at play: greed, scarcity, wealth, the haves and the have nots.

    Humans take other people's stuff, but so do animals. So greed is not a purely human trait, it's a product of evolution as seen on earth. We have only seen biological evolution play out once, so we have no way of knowing what traits aliens would evolve. If they evolved under conditions where resources are scarce and incentives reward stealing, then they would also evolve a sense of greed. If they evolved in an environment where stealing was not rewarded, perhaps an insanely harsh environment where cooperation is the most important trait to succeed, then they would not evolve greed.

    Post-scarcity economies are also a factor at play here. A futuristic economy may leave scarcity behind, a la star trek. Or it may not, a la star wars. A post-scarcity future economy may see a scarcity economy as consisting of a bunch of greedy individuals, particular if the technology allows for the elimination of scarcity, even if that is not actually done in practice. Perhaps the greedy human leaders choose to keep all the stuff themselves, when there is beyond enough to go around for everyone. Perhaps the aliens don't, because their civilization tends towards altruism. That's quite feasible.
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Someone may have pointed this out, but it is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil, not the money itself.
     
  17. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    That depends on the system of slavery in question. Debt peonage is built on paying slaves, but not paying them enough to cover their needs, which keeps them locked in a perpetual cycle of debt so their labor can continue to be coerced and exploited.

    Inmates in modern American prisons are paid for their forced labor, though far below minimum wage. Various societies treated their slaves similarly, paying them small amounts that were sometimes saved up to buy their freedom.

    You can also find barter and raiding societies that allowed their slaves to engage in the acquisition of wealth. Even instances of slaves owning slaves of their own.
     
  18. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Another reading is the even narrower "love of money is the root of all kinds of evil". It all rests on whether the "all kinds" in the original Koine Greek was meant literally or as a figure of speech.
     
  19. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Aliens would behave very differently than us. We are competitive, it comes from being a predator. It’s unlikely, but not impossible that an intelligent civilization creating species could evolve from a creature that had always been prey. They’d have to find some way to fuel big brains since plants don’t have protein, but there is no reason to think there aren’t planets with plants that are much denser in calories than ours. Capitalism and war really drives technology forwards quickly, but space is old. A socialist alien species seems perfectly reasonable, yet unlikely for the reasons I mentioned.
     
  20. Reece

    Reece Member

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    The brain thrives on carbs. It does not care about protein.
     
  21. Fallow

    Fallow Member

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    That's not remotely true. Cults often deny protein to new recruits because it makes them more susceptible to suggestion. Your brain is constantly eating through protein to build new dendrites and neurotransmitters.
     
  22. Reece

    Reece Member

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    My understanding is that the brain will resort to protein if there are no carbs, hence ketosis. I may be wrong.
     
  23. XRD_author

    XRD_author Member Supporter

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    Wrong on at least three counts:
    • Earth plants do have protein. (e.g. USDA peanut butter (peanuts+vegetable oil) 7g of protein per 32g serving)
    • Alien plants may have tons of protein - use your imagination
    • Aliens may not need "proteins" at all, because they may have a completely different biochemstry, or may be able to synthesize it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 8:28 AM
  24. XRD_author

    XRD_author Member Supporter

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    The National Institute of Health says you're wrong:

    Brain. Glucose is virtually the sole fuel for the human brain, except during prolonged starvation. The brain lacks fuel stores and hence requires a continuous supply of glucose. It consumes about 120 g daily, which corresponds to an energy input of about 420 kcal (1760 kJ), accounting for some 60% of the utilization of glucose by the whole body in the resting state. Much of the energy, estimates suggest from 60% to 70%, is used to power transport mechanisms that maintain the Na+-K+ membrane potential required for the transmission of the nerve impulses. The brain must also synthesize neurotransmitters and their receptors to propagate nerve impulses. Overall, glucose metabolism remains unchanged during mental activity, although local increases are detected when a subject performs certain tasks.

    Glucose is transported into brain cells by the glucose transporter GLUT3. This transporter has a low value of KM for glucose (1.6 mM), which means that it is saturated under most conditions. Thus, the brain is usually provided with a constant supply of glucose. Noninvasive 13C nuclear magnetic resonance measurements have shown that the concentration of glucose in the brain is about 1 mM when the plasma level is 4.7 mM (84.7 mg/dl), a normal value. Glycolysis slows down when the glucose level approaches the KM value of hexokinase (~50 μM), the enzyme that traps glucose in the cell (Section 16.1.1). This danger point is reached when the plasma-glucose level drops below about 2.2 mM (39.6 mg/dl) and thus approaches the KM value of GLUT3.

    Fatty acids do not serve as fuel for the brain, because they are bound to albumin in plasma and so do not traverse the blood-brain barrier. In starvation, ketone bodies generated by the liver partly replace glucose as fuel for the brain.

    [Edit: emphasis is in the original]
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 6:34 AM
  25. XRD_author

    XRD_author Member Supporter

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    No, the NIH says that does happen, per my last post.

    Why people need to post as fact things that are plain wrong (not talking about you, Reece) when a fast google duck-duck-go search gives the answer in under a minute is beyond me.

    And we know nothing about aliens, so people who say this or that about them are fools.
    Even our Earth has things in nature so strange that no one would believe you if you made them up for a book.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 6:37 AM
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