Comment History

on 304 Roots

304 Comments

Forum: Economy/Resources
SAPPHIROS
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
I was going to expand some more on why money is a thing, and what it actually is (rather than what it represents), but in trying to trim down my last post because character limit I got bored/fed up/uninterested so that's that.

I've only ever hit the character limit with the L-B RP that Eventua started then stopped. That was ages ago. I don't even know why I wrote anything. Did I go off topic. I don't know. ;—;
Forum: Economy/Resources
SAPPHIROS
2

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Money isn't 'nothing'. The money we currently use has no realistic, intrinsic value, but that is far from meaning that it is nothing at all, let alone being worth nothing.

Look at it this way. You are an apple farmer. You grow apples in your apple orchard. You planted the grove, watered the trees, kept it safe from pests, nurtured the growth of your orchard, harvested the apples...

You have lots of apples now. Far more than you'll ever need, especially since they'll start to rot eventually. What you don't have is a house, though. Every night you sleep in your grove, under the branches. It's somewhat sweet (or dull) to spend your life around your 'children', but they offer little protection from rain, hail, snow, or wild animals.

So, you find me. I'm a lumberjack. Whilst you spend your time making trees, I spend my time destroying them. Every day I go into the pine forest round the back of our little settlement, select the best trees, meticulously hack at its base until it falls, chop the wood into planks and logs and whatever else, and then build things with it. I'm not much of a carpenter, but I can build structures pretty well. Unfortunately, although my living areas are very nicely furnished (in comparison to you), and I live in comfort and safety, I don't have much time to look for food.

I need food – you've got food. You need wood – I've got wood. After talking about it for a while, we agree on an exchange. It's mutually beneficial: I get some food, which I need to survive; you get some housing, and only lose that which you didn't need to begin with. Seems like a good plan, no?

You've now got a house, and I've got some apples.

One day, my hand-crafted axe breaks. It's a very sad day. I can no longer cut down trees, so I cannot buy apples from you, or any other type of food from other producers. People still need my abilities, and I've got a large stockpile of timber and firewood, since it doesn't really rot like apples, but that's gonna run out soon. I need to get a new axe.

Luckily, in our little settlement there's a guy called Harold who scouts for ore veins, smashes the rocks holding the ore out until his arms fall off, collects the ore, takes it to his homemade furnace, starts a fire (probably using my timber), melts the ore, extracts the ore, and carefully forges a metal tool from it. This takes a long time, and it's very tiring. There's a big demand for Harold's stuff, since he makes everyone else's life easier.

I go to Harold and ask him for a new axe. I offer him some timber as an exchange. However, Harold lives in a fine home made of stone, and already has a large amount of wood bought from me already, since he needs it regularly and constantly going to find me is too much effort. He does, however, remark that his food stores are running a bit low – perhaps he'd be willing to trade some apples for an axe?

I don't have any apples any more. I ate them, since that's what I exchanged them for. Grudgingly, I walk to you so that I can get some apples in order to get an axe.

It's not the harvest time right now. In fact, it's early spring, so although you have some vegetables in case I was hungry, you don't have any apples left. At least, none that you're willing to trade. However, because we're a friendly bunch who frequently rely on each other to survive and prosper, you tell me that, when the harvest does come around, you'll set aside some apples for me. I haven't actually told you that I need it for an axe rather imminently, but I guess that it's the best I can get right now. With a piece of flint, you bash a little glyph onto a larger pebble and give it to me as a sign of this agreement: I give you some wood now, and when you have apples, I'll get my fair share.

You've done this lots of times, since it's not always possible to supply food when people want it. I go to Harold and offer him my IOU in exchange for an axe. Harold knows that he can't get any apples now, so he'll go exchange some stonework for food from you soon. But he likes the idea of having something that will get him apples now, without him having to make sure he has a spare tool around to give to you by Autumn. He agrees.

I get a new axe. Success! All three of us talk for some time, and it dawns upon you that you could do this sort of thing more often. You propose that you'll make, say, five glyphs. Each one of those represents one fifth of your apple harvest. You'll give one to me in exchange for some wood, since we do business together a lot. Harold needs food too, but doesn't really have much to offer you, since his trade isn't that necessary for apple farming. However, you've got a brilliant plan! Instead of constantly moving around different people to try to find something to trade that you do want, Harold can simply exchange something once for a glyph.

Currently only I have a glyph. You own the other four, and you don't really want to give any more away just yet. Harold can make me another, improved axe, though, or a saw, or whatever else I might need. I can use this to make even more wood, so perhaps I'll have enough to start trading with the village on the other side of the river, which isn't too close to a forest. Now Harold has a glyph.

Eventually the rest of the settlement finds out about this. You decide that you'll make some more glyphs, and each one will represent five apples. You also get your son to start helping you with the grove, since he's of age now. Sigmund, your son, is very industrious and does almost all the work there is, which is good, since you did it previously all by yourself. Now you just have more apple trees.

One of the villagers tells a friend in the other settlement nearby about your really neat system. They like it, since their farmer grows pears instead of apples. They'd like some apples without having to always walk there, especially when you may not have any apples at that time. This settlement now has the glyph introduced to it. Even though they still have to walk to your orchard to actually collect the apples, they know how many they're getting before they set off, and so they can bring a cart or something. Seems like a good idea.

Many years later, you pass away. Sigmund takes over, but he wasn't really involved in the glyph system. He just knew that one glyph was five apples, and that's about it. Over these many years, too, people have started to treat the glyphs like single goods. Instead of thinking 'I can get five apples with this!', they think 'I can get one glyph with this, which I can use to get whatever else I want when I need it'. Its actual meaning has been lost somewhat, but Sigmund still sells his apples at five per glyph. The actual system hasn't changed at all, just that the grove is really big now, but Albert, the pear farmer from the other village, has decided to sell his pears at eight per glyph. He's losing more of his stuff per exchange, but now people from your settlement are going to the other village to get pears, so he's making it up on quantity.

To combat this, Sigmund says that he'll also sell his apples at eight per glyph now. It's back to the same system as before – except the value of the glyph has suddenly increased. But, strangely, nobody else is treating it this way. Sure, one glyph is now worth 60% more than what it was when you were alive, but I'm still selling logs at twelve per glyph, and Harold sells me axes for three glyphs, just like he always did when he started using the system himself.

But is the glyph meaningless? Even if it no longer is accepted to represent five apples, does it still have worth? Even if that value changes and fluctuates as different people try their best to acquire more of them, has it not made exchange easier? I no longer need to go to you to get apples to buy a tool from Harold so that the carpenter in the next village will be willing to work upon my wood so that I can get some rope from another person in the same village in exchange for the furniture I will then buy back from the carpenter?

Why, I could just bypass all of that and get some rope for 3 glyphs a foot.

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

Money is not meaningless. I hope my above 'story' illustrates why. It is, by far, one of the best systems in which goods can be distributed throughout a settlement. No, goodwill can't be relied upon. Quid-pro-quo systems only work if you trust that person, and all it takes is one person to betray that trust for the entire system to fall down.

Sure, there were times where 'shadowy hands' have done things naughtily. One of the Rothschilds, for example, found out about who won WW1 sometime before everyone else, because civilians didn't move about borders quickly, but he had some German contacts who could send letters quickly. He proceeded to sell every single share he had in the London Stock Exchange. Everyone noticed this, and, knowing that the Rothschilds would know things quickly, also sold their stuff under the assumption that Britain had (or was going to imminently) lose the war. This caused a massive price plummet. Mr Rothschild then said 'yesyesyes all stock is mine' and bought everything. I believe the monarchy and government had to go up to him and say 'well, no m80' because it would have sort of ruined the economy (and monopoly laws).

But you know what prevents that from occurring regularly? Laws! This is where the people place their trust in an organisation to enforce and restrict those who may abuse it, from monetary manipulation to murder. Both aren't good for society, so collectively there is a system in which it can be prevented, or at least deterred.

(Now, now, I know that there are still trillionaires and whatnot; that's about why sometimes micro economics do not favour a macro economy, and what that entails. It's also another story for another time.)

Is there a way to do it, though, without money? Communist states tried it, and look where that turned out. People aren't nice enough for it. Oh well. :D

(Character limit hit!)
Forum: Posting is broken?
SAPPHIROS
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
you don't control me nero
Forum: Is thought possible without language?
SAPPHIROS
2

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Since I'm moderately tired at the moment, I'll give you a short response. :3

Essentially... it depends on how you define language. I know you gave a brief description in your post, but consider this.

You are thinking about something through actions. You play through various scenarios in your head, trying to simulate real life in order to achieve... something. Doesn't really matter. Regardless, there's an obvious syntax (thought 'timeline' must obey real-life time, and each event happens sequentially; if they were not, the 'meaning' – possibly inferred – would be different). There's also a semantic element: each action in your head represents an action in real-life, and you may exaggerate things to make them more clear (for example, in your scenario where you're talking to a guy, you imagine their face in a big because they're happy to see you).

But... that's clearly not language. It may be vaaaaaguely similar to pictograms, but it's not. But it's definitely thought. You're applying a form of logic that's innate (even though you 'memorised' this logic by observing reality) with what is defined to be a language, whilst in all other terms simply is not.

By the extremely base definition of language, I agree that thought cannot exist once you rule out emotions and memories and blah blah blah. However, in the realistic interpretation of language (which is not necessarily written or vocal), it's not.

Do other beings think? I would think so (haha). I mean, octopuses demonstrate logical thinking, and I'm pretty sure logic is a language by the definitions outlined, much more so than 'thought actions'. Some communal animals such as dolphins have their own language, and even though it's rather simple in terms of 'high whistle = shark nearby', it's certainly not simply 'screech to make other dolphin aware that something is something i don't know but just be aware dammit there might be a shark or maybe a fish just wake up from your sleepswimming dammit dave why are you still in this pod'.

Your point about pattern recognition is valid, I think.

...

However, with all things considered, it's basically meaningless, since you haven't defined thought yet. ;3

  Spoiler:


I'm going to stop going into recursive confusion now.

Activity! :D
Forum: Yet another thread...
SAPPHIROS
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
[continues contributing positively to this shattered community]
Forum: Yet another thread...
SAPPHIROS
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
I find it amusing that the moment I mention that people don't post, more people post just to prove me wrong. :D
Forum: Yet another thread...
SAPPHIROS
2

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
david s said:
This site is meant for discussions about intellectual topics.


Sure, it still exists, but what for? At the end of the day, this is not going to ever go back to your utopic view of a forum: friendly, intellectual, and fun (plus whatever else you consider FH to embody, idealistically). Unfortunately, you've lost the intellectual part. Why not just revel in the other two? :3

This is the figgiest place you have left. It's also the only figgy place. And it's also dead, save for you, me, Donut, and maybe one or two others who don't post. There's clearly 5 people alive, judging from the number of responses to the poll.

If you want FH to suddenly burst alive again, then I'm actually the one helping you here. People don't post because there is nothing to post. Even if it's inane, it's still being kickstarted. You're welcome.

  Spoiler:


However, on the topic of being a good law-abiding user, you'll note that I'm still ritign in ful gramer adn punktuashun liek a gud uzr shud XDDDDDDDDD :P ((((:.

All good things must end, or something.
Forum: Yet another thread...
SAPPHIROS
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
If you haven't noticed, this site is a wasteland now. There are no laws. It's like [historical event] all over again.

Even if one of the mods randomly arrive and ban me, I wouldn't really care much. I'm not (active) on AF, so there's basically no repercussions for me. Which isn't a terribly constructive way to approach a community, but, still. :D

Ambience is good because it's ambience. You should include it for ambience's sake. >:[
Forum: Yet another thread...
SAPPHIROS
2

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
... to demonstrate activity whilst denying david s the joy of me responding in his threads. :D

Though, to be fair, I didn't have anything to say in there anyway.

In the mean time, let's have some ∞ ambience ∞.
Forum: It's over. Fig Hunter is officially dead
SAPPHIROS
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
DOOOON'T STOP
BELIEEEEEVING
HOLD ONTO THAAAAAT FEELIN'

FH AIN'T DEAD UNTIL IT DIES

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

On another topic, is anyone actually active on AF (and seeing this), and, if so, what are their thoughts on the community there, considering the remarkably different 'vibe' or something?