Thursday, February 18, 2016

Speaking vs Spending

Reply to thread: Clarifying The Demand For Green Lights

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In a perfect world... we will be able to know exactly how much our behavior helps/hurts other people. - Xero

In a perfect world, you would answer the goddamn question instead of vomiting some "Hope and Change! Yes we can!" bumper sticker bullshit. - The Two Jerseys


You just went through the McDonald's drive through and your fries smell sooooooo good. You really want to go home and eat them while they are still hot. In order to get home... you first need to make a right on Main street. It just so happens that I'm driving down Main street. I'm late for a hot date. So perhaps I'm driving a bit over the speed limit. I see you in front of me... and I think to myself... "Don't you fucking do it... don't you fucking pull out right in front of me". Because if you do pull out right in front of me... I'm either going to have to slow down or change lanes. I don't want to do either of those things.

In a perfect world.... I would know exactly how much value you would derive from pulling out in front of me and you would know exactly how much value I would derive if you didn't pull out in front of me. And in a perfect world... the most valuable solution would be reached.

The point is that the most valuable solution depends entirely on knowing each other's valuations...

You would derive 40 cents of value if you could pull out right in front of me
I would derive 80 cents of value if you didn't pull out right in front of me

The perfect solution is for me to pay you 80 cents to not pull out in front of me. But we only know that this is the perfect solution because we both know each other's valuations. In other words... the most valuable solution depends entirely on clarifying demand.

Right now we're using words to communicate with each other. And we take it for granted just how awesome it is that we can use words to communicate with each other. Our society is incredibly better off as a direct result of language. Language is awesome. But it's not awesome enough.

Language isn't awesome enough because it cannot accurately communicate exactly how much we want something. Sure... I can say that I really really really really really really want to go to Madagascar. And this will certainly give you the idea that I'd really like to go to Madagascar. But words alone cannot accurately communicate how much I want to go to Madagascar. Only actions can accurately communicate how much I want to go to Madagascar. It's only when I actually pay the money to go to Madagascar that you can truly know just how much I wanted to go to Madagascar.

Just like our society is incredibly better off as a direct result of language... our society will be infinitely better off when we fully appreciate and understand just how immensely valuable it is to use spending as a means of communication.

The fact that I have to make such an effort to defend the idea of clarifying the demand for green lights is proof positive that our society does not truly understand just how immensely valuable it is to use spending as a means of communication. So yeah, again, in a perfect world we would know exactly how much our behavior hurts/helps other people. And this knowledge can only be communicated by spending.

Do we currently have the technology to make it feasible for drivers to frictionlessly use spending to communicate with each other? Well we're certainly getting a lot closer. But the point is to fully understand the value of facilitating spending as a means of communication. This understanding will provide an extremely solid foundation for future technology to be built on. Right now I'm typing on a keyboard that was built on the solid understanding of the value of language as a means of communication. In a much better future... people will use technology that was built on the solid understanding of the value of spending as a means of communication.

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