In-class Exercise THU JAN 19, 2012
First, launch the handout “Try to Say Something,” from this link or from the sidebar category Required Reading. Study the handout carefully before beginning the exercise.
Then, examine the sentences below for wastefulness, vagueness, or confusion. Improve each numbered comment by rewriting for clarity and specificity. In most cases, you’ll need to clarify or add details from the source materials about Yap and its money, or about Brazil and its innovative cure for inflation.
To do the exercise, make a Reply to this post. You don’t need to copy or paste the original comments. Simply number your improvements so I can match them up with the originals. In most cases, I’ve provided two sentences per comment in order to offer more context for the ideas presented. Your improved versions can be as many sentences as you consider necessary.
Complete as many of the following as you can during the class period.
- Even if what money stands for is never seen, the fact that society accepts it, makes the representing factor important.
- The idea of the fei seems irrational to most people who are told the story of the Island of Stone Money and Yap’s form of currency because it is. But to compare this to currency of more developed countries and say that it is the same concept is not right.
- Some people might say that the idea of carrying big rock around and exchanging it as a form of money is irrational saying it’s just a rock what sort of backing or worth does a rock have. Well if you look at our money its the same concept it’s just a colorful piece of paper.
- It had been my understanding that in today’s societies, money is really just a system of numbers that has arbitrary values depending on the society. Like why would five gold coins have more worth in one country than another? There is no method of precisely measuring the value of money.
- To me, the most interesting thing about Yap isn’t that they use giant stone discs as money, but that their ownership works on a trust system. It is superficially similar to how we store our money in banks, but banks are also highly secured and regulated by the government.
- But, when I began to think about it more i thought about the way we represent wealth. In so many ways the fei for the people of Yap is the same as our currency.
- It was understood by the people of Yap that the fei, since they were often large and heavy, did not need to be in the possession of its owner; the Western world acknowledges this idea by imposing banking systems.
- When someone uses their credit or debit card, there is a similar process of realizing the fact the wealth is no longer theirs and belongs to someone else. We never actually physically hand over the money.
- Money does not represent amount of work done, an amount of gold in America’s bank, food or social status. Wealth is to have a lot of money, but if money is meaningless, that would say the same for wealth.
- Money itself does not seen to have any value if it is not used on peoples’ need, it is just a form to present value. The characters from the stories view money according to their standard value that have been set and agree by their society.