The easy way out
Posted Nov 6, 2012 13:21 UTC (Tue) by man_ls
In reply to: The easy way out
Parent article: Let’s Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can’t Eliminate Them (Wired)
I don't usually read your messages, but this time I am going to answer once, out of concern for any confused minds that may be misled by your post. And I will do it using your favorite phrase: sorry but no.
The Gold Standard is not the answer to anything. Neither is it a way to give money a tangible reality: the fact that one dollar or one euro can be exchanged for a (variable) amount of gold, should someone ever go to a Central Bank and request it, doesn't change the abstract nature of currencies. The value of things in tender can be matched to a certain amount of gold, but given that this amount fluctuates it is not any more tangible than a non-standard currency.
Money is an abstract concept, such as beauty or kindness. The most important difference is that it can be quantified, and so is similar to other abstract notions such as height or temperature. It is also the base for a pyramid of concepts with an increasing degree of abstraction: accounts, bonds, insurance, stocks, derivatives and so on. That is how human societies build ideas; sometimes one of these concepts is seen as prejudicial and is regulated, such as the derivatives market, but they cannot be banned by decree. Not in a modern society.
Trying to abolish intangible property (which was grandparent's original point) leads inevitably to abolishing currency and anything more abstract than exchanging physical goods one for one, even if one of these goods is actually a small amount of gold. Such slippery slope would be as fruitful to our software patent issue as trying to abolish temperature measurements to stop global heating.
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