[  Most recent update:  28 September 2012.  ]


What is currency, anyway?

Currency is strange stuff.

When I went to Europe a while back (the UK and Germany) the only “currency” I took with me was a couple hundred dollars and a credit card.

The credit card caused ATM machines to produce “currency”, English pounds in the UK and Euros when in Germany. On the rare occasions when I needed more “currency” than allowed by the daily maximum for the ATM, the credit card alone did the trick.

What (which) currency was I really using? As far as I can determine, the currency was electrical pulses bouncing off satellites so the ATMs (and other electronic marvels of the age) could communicate with each other so as to deduct funds from my bank account here in Southern California.

The “funds” in my bank account got there automatically in the form of more electrical pulses bouncing off satellites.

Economics in general and currency in particular seems, in many ways, to be little more than a mass hallucination.

But, somehow it works and allows us to pay the rent and buy groceries, so I’m not complaining, just wondering about it all.


About w6bky

Retired 29 May 1987. Now do hobbies: blogging, ham radio, gardening, etc.
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