Dec 242008

In ancient Athens’s Agora, in medieval Venice’s Rialto neighborhood, and in small village market squares everywhere, the marketplace for ideas — that is where attention was exchanged —commingled with the market for goods. Socrates wandered around the Agora talking with his disciples and enemies, according to Plato. But he and they spent little time trying out or examining the wares, or in bargaining over goods. Others, say in Cairo’s souks up until today, spend much [...]

Oct 232008

In the previous post, I pointed out that money is of great importance  only when the world is dominated by standardized goods and services. One essential of standardization is  that goods or services of a certain type are interchangeable. This ton of wheat equals that one, this 100 watt lightbulb equals that one, this kwh of electricity equals that one, and so on. In some cases (actually even in these cases) one has to specify [...]