Sunday, December 24, 2017

The cost of communicating the usefulness of things


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Imagine if people had to perform 100 push-ups before they purchased anything. What impact would this have? It would greatly increase the cost of trade. In other words, it would greatly increase the cost of communicating the usefulness of things. People would far less frequently communicate the usefulness of things, so everybody would be far less informed about the usefulness of things, and everybody would make far less useful decisions. The result would be far less progress.

Walking upright is kinda like doing less pushups before trading.

Using horses is kinda like doing even less pushups before trading. The earliest native Americans didn’t have horses. Therefore… ?

Taxpayers are prevented from using their own tax dollars to signal the usefulness of goods supplied by the government. Therefore… ?

Life is synonymous with colonization. Colonization is nature’s mandate. Because, species that aren’t adequately diversified generally don’t stick around very long. The sooner people recognize the correlation between trade and progress, the faster we’ll colonize the stars.

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This is relevant...

Alipay turned out to be so convenient that Liu began using it multiple times a day, starting first thing in the morning, when he ordered breakfast through a food delivery app. He realized that he could pay for parking through Alipay’s My Car feature, so he added his driver’s license and license plate numbers, as well as the engine number of his Audi. He started making his car insurance payments with the app. He booked doctors’ appointments there, skipping the chaotic lines for which Chinese hospitals are famous. He added friends in Alipay’s built-in social network. When Liu went on vacation with his fiancée (now his wife) to Thailand, they paid at restaurants and bought trinkets with Alipay. He stored whatever money was left over, which wasn’t much once the vacation and car were paid for, in an Alipay money market account. He could have paid his electricity, gas, and internet bills in Alipay’s City Service section. Like many young Chinese who had become enamored of the mobile payment services offered by Alipay and WeChat, Liu stopped bringing his wallet when he left the house. - Mara Hvistendah, Inside China's Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking 

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