Re: [rp-ml] free STL Files and other (free) things we wish for in the new year

From: R. Eric King <>
Date: Thu Jan 07 2010 - 19:22:58 EET

Salt was far more valuable than gold, until technology came along...

R. Eric King
OEM Sales Manager



1150 East Main Street
Santa Paula, CA 93060
(805) 933-0015
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  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Yasser Hosni
  To: Adrian Bowyer ; ; G. Sachs
  Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2010 2:08 PM
  Subject: Re: [rp-ml] free STL Files and other (free) things we wish forin the new year

  I do not think we should use the word "biological" or "power" to described money. One may have to go back when money used to be covered by gold (rare material - Material is a stored entropy or energy). I


>>> "G. Sachs" <> 1/6/2010 4:12 PM >>>


  This is starting to get really off the topic of RP (free or otherwise) ... but since you brought it up, again, I think you are trying to make a very 'stretchy/sketchy argument', since in many systems of barter, you don't immediately get anything in exchange for what you give and so have to trust those whom you're bartering with that they will return the favor. So, you might as well exchange a piece of paper (or DNA sequence) which describes what you are going to get in return, or which allows you to trade something you gave to one biological entity, for something you want from another. Paper money is just one such 'promissory note', and gold, today, is still primarily considered money, even though it is much more tangible and directly useful than paper money. No, I think 'money' or what you describe as "a worthless token" is almost as good as anything tangible (except when there is a widespread loss of faith in it!). You are right, though, that when dealing with money and delayed gratification, trust becomes very important. All the more interesting, then, that plants and animals seem to have also evolved this principle of trust and delayed reward and that it seems to work pretty well, for the most part. No, I don't think 'money' is just an accidental or silly human invention - it goes back a LONG way.

  By the way, I think the RepRap project is pretty cool, but it will be at least 30 years before machines can really 'replicate' themselves the way plants and animals do. I'm still trying to decide, though, whether Reprap is a really useful new tool or just another very clever, creative, toy (but even if that, it's still well worth doing, because it is very instructive as far as showing how machines get designed and built and what they do after you are done.).

  G. Sachs

  P.S. What do you mean by 'very difficult to forge' and how does that enter into your argument? Frankly, I think I forgot what point you were originally trying to make.

  From: Adrian Bowyer <>
  To: G. Sachs <>
  Sent: Wed, January 6, 2010 3:26:51 PM
  Subject: Re: [rp-ml] free STL Files and other (free) things we wish for in the new year

  G. Sachs wrote:

> certainly DNA exchange, might count as one of the most fundamental and low-level forms of currency exchange, the currency in this case being 'BENEFICIAL biological information'.

  Then it's bartering or giving*, not money. The key aspects of money are that it is a _worthless_ token of trust and exchange that it is very difficult to forge. Swapping real valuable goods (like nectar in return for pollination) is the opposite of what I mean.


  *Of course kin selection means that it makes sense for organisms to give real non-token resources (like milk) to relatives.

  Best wishes


  Dr Adrian Bowyer
Received on Thu Jan 07 19:11:03 2010

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