Today I start my side of the dialogue/polylogue(?) with my dear friend Judy. One of the things I love most about Judy is the fact that when we talk it’s mostly big talk – small talk has it’s place, but it’s great to be able to talk about big, serious ideas: death, evolution, liberty, justice, the fate of the world… and we can do that all in an afternoon.
My expectations for this blog are that I’ll be writing here frequently with things that I’m contemplating, so that Judy can respond to those. And that I’ll be reading and responding to Judy’s postings.
So why do this in writing, and in public? I think it’s partly to make it a component of my writing practice (I’m also working on a science fiction novel and a nonfiction book, when I’m not busy teaching), partly to have more opportunities to converse with Judy about the things we’re inclined to discuss, and partly because knowledge (and, on Judy’s side certainly, wisdom) exponentially grows in value when shared.
In case anyone reads this and likewise wants to get into a deeper conversation, one of the things I’ve been pondering lately is economics and money systems: the timing and circumstances of their origins in different civilizations, the cultural variety of their structure and social impacts. I’ve read The Real Wealth of Nations, The Soul of Money, and parts of Common Wealth and In the Company of Strangers (the last two are still on my bookshelf, waiting for me to pick them back up when I have a chance). Like the authors of this post, I am concerned “that at some point, at some level of complexity, at some scale, or at some scope… human institutions like democracy and markets will reach the limits of their effectiveness, and we will be stuck with systemic problems that require a whole new order of solution to resolve.” And yes, I’ve watched Zeitgeist I and II and Money as Debt. If anyone can recommend a book or article with more about the archaeological/prehistorical record of money, especially outside of the Middle East and Europe, I’d be most appreciative.