Monday, August 25, 2014

Valuing knowledge and money

To me money was a big enough issue that I sat down and pondered it until I could come up with my own theory of money. If you click on the link and read you'll soon notice the post includes lots of disclaimers! Money is such a big deal, but for me figuring it out was a practical necessity. I was having trouble figuring out things related to money, didn't see anything out there that explained it well enough for me, so I sat down and figured it out on my own.

The gist of it is relating money to favors by asserting it abstracts and enumerates the value of a favor. So like you can ask a friend for a cup of coffee at his house. Maybe later you give him a snack at yours, returning the favor which most people kind of do with a vague sense of who is up or down with favors. Or you go to a coffee shop and you just pay a certain amount for the favor of someone making you a cup of coffee. That person does you a service. Money allows us to price out favors so strangers can do them for us, and we don't have to worry about some other form of reciprocation.

If you have a friend who doesn't return favors, or rarely does that can bring up social friction. Turns out that people can get a vague sense that they're not getting value for their money which in the big wide world is about information: who has it and who doesn't.

My favorite example goes back over a decade when I decided to build a pc for myself to save money. Got the case, motherboard and other items, put it together but needed an operating system. Went to a local computer store--not a big chain--told the guy at the counter what I was doing and asked him for MS DOS as I needed an operating system. He did me a huge favor and instead suggested I use DR DOS. I was like, huh? What's that?

And it was before the emergence of Microsoft Windows 3.1 which gives you the timeline and the guy at the sales desk informed me it could run all the programs I wanted to run with MS DOS but was MUCH cheaper.

So I bought it. Built my pc and got it running just fine and found he was right, and it suited my needs, but notice that I paid less for my operating system, and I've pondered that ever since. And I've remained fascinated with operating systems, including promoting the idea of a Browser Operating System which I designated the BOS.

I now firmly believe that most people have NO IDEA what their operating system costs them in a modern computing device, even when it's free, which it is with Android. That price tends to be buried into the full price of the device.

You need to be an insider or curious in this area to understand where that little bit of info--consider it's just a number that could be listed with the price of a computer--has taken the entire world.

For a while I decided that the much vaunted American consumers were stupid, but then I realized: they were simply not given the information.

With my own theory of money I can now explain everything related to money around the globe. I can even explain the wage gap where people are howling about the top 1% making so much more, and yup, it's about information. I've concluded many American workers have no clue how much they should be paid.

The web is helping though. Even though companies fight so vigorously against that information spreading.

Ever wonder what is the best explanation for why companies don't want employees to share what their salary is?

Now you know. It's so they can keep salaries lower.

Duh. What else could it have been?

James Harris
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