Money: The Miraculous Meme


Money today is not backed by any tangible substance. It’s real worth lies in the fact that it is a representation of our values! It re-presents in the form of a universal measure what we value. This makes it a remarkable instrument. Even if it was backed by a precious metal for example and we transacted via the commodity instead of the paper representation, the principle that the commodity represents our values would remain.

   Whilst the exchange of money today is largely an unconscious transaction, it is really a miraculous process of engagement. What is really being exchanged are human values. I value something that you can offer and the money that I give to you in the process, gives you access to something that you value. It is hardly surprising then, that we have evolved the mechanism of money. It facilitates human development, engagement and self expression. Money is a tool of human evolution.

    The relationship has gone awry however. Humanity has hijacked evolutions game. Money has become an end in itself rather than a tool of transcendence. Humanity has made its values subservient to its creations. In the process the master has become the slave. We have forgotten the purpose of our creation and have built entire institutions around the delusion. Currency markets are an example one such institution. They are built on the idea of attributing value to something that has no intrinsic value, other than our valuing of it. It is hard to see this self-deception from within a system that is a self-deception in itself.

    These notions are not suggesting that money is an evil conception. On the contrary it is a remarkable conception. It has been at the centre of human progress for centuries. But is its time coming? Is this tool reaching its limits in serving evolutions purpose? New forms of universally re-presenting human values are emerging. They are not fully formed but in the process of coming into being, for example Bitcoin and PED. Bitcoin is a digital currency “designed around the idea of a new form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and transactions, rather than relying on central authorities.[1]” A PED is a currency used in a virtual world called MindArk[2]. In 2009 the Swedish authorities granted a real world banking licence to the MindArk virtual bank. There may be other forms of “currency” emerging. These new forms are not necessarily better than what we have in the same way that the first electric filament light bulbs were not better than a gas lamp. There may be a way to go but is the writing on the wall? It is speculation to determine when mainstream mechanisms of transacting will undergo fundamental change. The timing matters not. What matters is that the next frontier of change has appeared on the horizon as it always has. Humanity is being invited to a next stage of evolution. We can embrace it or we can go kicking and screaming as some of our predecessors might have, at the dawn of the industrial age. How will we respond in the age of memes[3]?


[3] a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation); “memes are the cultural counterpart of genes”