A Definition of Economics

The study of economics is the study of the dynamics of value. We are going to talk a lot about value and I have some very opinionated ideas about exactly what value is. Regardless of your definition of value, Economics is the study of how that value affects the value of other things in society. Traditionally this is money vs. goods/services. I'm going to go deeper than this and look at value on many different levels and explore how we can use the patterns of the dynamics of value at lower levels of bootstrap to point us in the direction of reaching immortality at higher levels.

On Money

Money is a tool. We get to design tools. The money of today is not the money of yesterday and won't be the money of tomorrow. We will discuss this more, but now I'll simply ask you to set aside your availability bias of greenbacks and banks and the FED and realize that we could implement many different systems of money.

On Value

Robert Pirsig would call it Quality. Christopher Alexander would call it wholeness. Eliezer Yudkowsky would call it...humanism? Whatever 'it' is, it is value. And we pay for value. Other forces pay for value as well. The actual currency involved in value exchange can vary greatly, but what the end goal of the exchange is does not vary. It is more value. We will see that this universe is ultimately involved in one goal, the development and expansion of value.

Another key factor of value is that it is all future value. This will hold true until we find a way to overcome time itself. That may happen, but until then, all the value that we will experience is in the future. Past value has gone and cannot be reconstituted. You can't 'store' it. Well, you can, but only on certain levels and for certain purposes. It is complicated. The thing to remember is that if anyone ever tells you that they have a way for you to 'preserve value for the future' they are probably selling you something. Don't trust them.

One can 'pump water uphill' or store energy in chemical form in a way that can be rapidly extracted, but even pure energy can fluctuate in value drastically under the right circumstances. This is not to say that one shouldn't make 'good bets' on value. It is often the only thing we can do.

On Greed

I'm greedy. I want to live forever. I want to experience it all. Death may be in store for my mind, but I will not go quietly into the night. See Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - Chapter 39. http://hpmor.com/chapter/39

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