Monday, October 31, 2016

Interruption: the Deplorable Toad

I interrupt this re-blogging of "Does Money Exist" to post this timely limerick:

While riding a bus on the rd.
A florid deplorable td.
Boldly bragged to a pal
He could grope any gal
But we heard, so he reaped what he sd.

Does Money Exist? 9 of 13

         Part 8. Revelation of True Price.

            Please note that my aplutism is motivated by self interest, like any other economic theory. I doubt the existence of money, mine or anyone’s, in the hope of keeping around what little there might be.

            I invented aplutism as a satire, a conscious absurdity; and it works as a satire, for it reveals that its opposite – plutism – is an unconscious absurdity! For I put it to you that there is no such thing, intrinsically, as money, because there is no such thing as a free lunch, and intrinsically valuable money would be a free lunch.

            That’s the plutic fallacy. If money existed in itself, then money would breed money; a free lunch.

            Why did ten hundred thousand million dollars softly and suddenly vanish away? Because a gang of well-paid men thought that financial manipulation created value. They were plutists, in both senses; they had money, and they thought that their money was valuable in itself.

            The brokers trusted the Magic of the Marketplace to create wealth from money alone; and as a sign of this mystery they moved their money in a circle. Lo and behold, the Magic of the Marketplace did indeed manifest; and it manifested in a price; and the price was given by a mystic symbol; and the mystic symbol was the circle they moved their money in; and what number does the mystic circle symbolize?


Friday, October 28, 2016

Does Money Exist? 8 of 13

         Part 7. Metamathematical Aplutism

            Does money exist? Either philosophically, or on a personal level? Money exists philosophically if and only if its alleged movements make sense; that is, if the money system, which is a self-referential arithmetical accounting system, is consistent. Can it prove itself to be consistent? According to Goedel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem, consistency is jinxed; any self-referential arithmetical system that can prove its own consistency is not in fact consistent.

            Since the existence of money is equivalent to a jinxed property - namely, the consistency of one’s arithmetic - it follows that money’s existence inherits the jinx. That is, if a money system can prove that its money exists, then its money does not in fact exist.

            Money exists on the personal level only if its alleged presence can be documented; any doubts in the matter must be taken seriously; and despite such systemic skepticism, money always comes short anyhow. Therefore it is folly to assume, let alone deduce, that you have any money. Account for it, directly, yourself, and then you can be sure, but not until. If you foolishly assume that your money exists, then you and it will soon be parted.

            The same doubts apply on the public level. If you wisely doubt that the money game makes sense, then the books might balance anyhow; but if you foolishly believe that money has value in itself, then ten hundred thousand million dollars can softly and suddenly vanish away.

            Therefore it is wise to doubt that money exists, either in the public or the personal sense. That’s soft aplutism, a.k.a. agnostic aplutism, or ‘agnoplutism’. (Suggestions for superior neologisms are welcome!) By Goedel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem, consistency is jinxed; therefore so is the existence of money; so if the money system is valid, then its validity must remain in doubt. Money ‘scarcely’ exists; its existence is uncertain - as befits a measure of scarcity.

            But given all this self-doubt, in what can we have faith? Self-faith, of course, as Loeb’s Theorem implies. Provability is charmed; so if your accounting system can prove that your accounting system is valid, then it is indeed valid, at least within its own terms. If the books balance, then even if the money it’s counting is fictional, then it’s still a balanced fiction. It might sum to nothing, but that would be an honest nothing. Thus we return to credo, or faith, as the foundation of credit!

            By Goedel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem, existence in general is jinxed, so in particular money’s existence is jinxed; it might not exist, and if the money system can prove that its money exists, then that money does not in fact exist. By Loeb’s Theorem, validation in general is charmed, so in particular validating one’s own accounts is charmed. Though money may not exist, still a balanced book is a balanced book, and it can prove it.

            Money scarcely exists, as befits a measure of scarcity. Money might not exist, both yours and the banker’s; don’t take anyone’s word for it; yet honest book-keeping justifies itself. This is metamathematical economics, yet it is also plain common sense.