Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dollar, my little cute human bit...

That' s funny.
I did not realize that Japan was that advanced regarding electronic money.
What about Infox? You know, that small device that they use to charge your credit card in restaurants or taxis...
You only need electricity, a LAN cable and that' s it.
But, let's try to see the mechanisms that underlie this process:

- first you insert your card into the device
- then the system connects to the server to authenticate the identity of the person that owns the card
- and they come to you by saying: "We are going to charge you with that amount. Are you fine with that?
- assuming that you agree, ultimately you sign and the transaction is completed.

What does it mean to put your signature on that small piece of paper? What's the purpose of doing so? Well, it's just to tell them to go ahead and charge. That's it. No more no less.
However, there's a question that still remains in my head: why do they need your approval represented by your written signature to charge the card and to transfer the money from one account to another?
I think it's because they need an entity that is in a way intelligent and that can make a quick decision at one given moment. But bits don't have any intelligence unfortunately. They cannot make that decision. They just "undergo" what the software wanna do.
That reminds me of the notion of computation: the transfer of a piece of information from one register to another. Money is a flow of bits. I already know that. Thanks to Julian for his brilliant insight. (Please refer to his previous post:"In Search of a metaphor for money")
But if you think about it, we are basically building up a gigantic software that controls our behavior everyday. Our brain are the computers. The neurones are the hardware. The software is the set of memes we get everyday.
And our brains need information to run the software. They need information to compute. Otherwise they are useless.
Eureka! That's it. I got it.
Money, as you handle it through coins, notes or currency symbols like USD, is just the human equivalent of the bit for our brains. In order words, a dollar is bit that can be easily handled by the electrochemical computer inside your skull.


  1. I like this. Money is just a concept that gains value only as we are taught that it is exchangable for other pleasures. A child does not understand, or care about, the value of money. He must be taught, just as a computer. Create a program and place it in the child's mind. The little one learns, as taught through elders, that if there is a want (need) then money is a way to obtain it. Where the system fails is at those things that cannot be exchanged for any monetary value (love for example). This is why so many in America (and many post-modern civilizations) do not understand why love can not be obtained so easily. We're programmed that if you want something, get money to obtain it. When this does not work, what do we do? Where is the "if, then" statement? That is what needs to be programmed into new generations. Some succeed in doing this for their children, many do not. The system fails, happiness is not achieved, and we do not even know why. We were not programmed with that information.
    Sorry if I took this into a tangent area. Just the thought that came to mind^^;
    -Akira Everheart

  2. Hey Akira,
    tks again for that comment.
    tks for the first one as well.

    I think you are right.

    Everything is rational even love is.
    I mean at least from my perspective.
    Love is a computational process where your brain and the brain of your lover share computational process, memory and information.
    I mean this is very easy to do with electronics but with an electrochemical is much harder.
    That's why we are not able yet to buy love with money, as you said.
    Because it s not only about words, or visual or aural or tactile information.
    It s also about the software inside the brain, what i call a brainware.
    The problem is that we don't yet the OS of the brain.
    We have to hack it first.
    According to Kurzweil's view on the singularity, well it will take us 20 years from now.
    In 2029, if the singularity happens, we would have achieved complete brain hacking and therefore achieved strong AI...and then you will be able to buy love...
    Well much better in fact.
    You ll be able to upload a brainware called "love", version 2.4" from the brainapp store of Apple....
    For more information on computation, memetics and singularity, you can have a look at
    Looking forward to your insights on the online magazine ( and on the wiki as well, which is a way to build up and share knowledge.