“We are penniless,” the sign announces at the glazed glass of my favorite restaurant. The brand starts with a bright covid-19 series shot alongside it, but together it delivers a cohesive declaration of inefficient efficiency – the promise of meeting people, interacting with people, and exchanging customers easily and hygienically. Yet of all the challenges that the coffee-free coffee shop seeks to solve, it also brings with it huge barriers to classification and inequality.
For individuals and communities, business technologies – digital wallets, mobile payments, etc. – can increase their independence in decision making, their flexibility and resilience in times of crisis, and their ability to cope with harassment, bullying, and ridicule. Trusting in these technologies enhances long-term planning and construction skills – economics, architecture, foundations for future generations’ development – as well as experimentation and risk. The truth, the following is also true: the worst forms of these weapons can take over communities and individuals.
Cash is the best tool for social change and independence that we have created so far. It offers many opportunities to
try to repeat. Money does not need someone else’s signature to use it. It does not say where you can use it, or for what. It is anonymous: no one needs to know who you are in order to use it. It does not create any information about your business to others. It works free of charge for the payer or recipient. You know the amount of what you have: it will not be credited to your account with a paid third party payment processor without a doubt, or modified by a fraudster, or fined until you earn a lot of money unknowingly. It does not depend on the many components of brittle architecture of hardware and software to operate in a commercial.
What if the money runs out?
There are other historical studies that are worth considering. Money — defined as the means by which the world’s finances, public and private, are funded — is a new technological and political breakthrough. In the past, money has been, often, confidential and more. In the United States, government subsidies were not fully integrated until after the Civil War. In the past, foreign exchange, public banking, and scripts produced by railways, insurance, companies, and other private businesses were sent in conjunction with funds provided by the US Treasury Government.
This waste of money means that day-to-day use requires a lot of road skills. Bills could have come from a failed or fabricated bank or it could have been a fake copy from a working bank. Billions of dollars’ worth of bills in one city could be obtained at a lower cost. Everyday life involved traveling to difficult and difficult places for journalists.
The disruption also led to areas with stratified transaction. While the wealthy used to invest in credible and redeemable bank accounts to obtain credit cards and large amounts of money, the poor used the “cheap” brass or cheap copper.
The future of social media can look like the past. An economist once told me that “in the future money will be ‘c word,’ not the good thing people spend.” Indeed, the future may be worthless rather than moneyless. Those who have the responsibility to earn money will do things differently.
Today, money is a global technology, printing — media. But it has serious flaws. Money can be lost, destroyed, stolen. Most importantly, perhaps, it cannot be used online, so it does not run at the speed of our entire communication life.
We do not yet know the format of the radio tomorrow or its regions. We can strive to avoid the costs of operating as a modern social media platform: stable and stable on data-driven businesses.
In the cryptocurrency category, I often hear the difference between “If money were made today, it would be illegal.” The point is, money is cheap, easy to search for, and hard to find. At a time when almost all of our speech, commercial or otherwise, is run by the sole proprietors and regulators who collect rent as fines, data, or both, it is difficult to refute these assumptions.
At the same time, we need to ensure that the new currencies are reliable and priced, which has been difficult for cryptocurrency to achieve. For all of its unique features such as marketing strategy, revenue – and whatever digital affiliates have – it needs to be priced to work well.
So when I pay for my cortado, I look at the sign “We’re cashless” with the investigator’s eye. The risks are high. We are empowered or empowered by the marketing tools we find. When we consider the cost of internet time, the big question is how to create payment options for people. We need something that does all the things that money does well – and things that don’t cost money.
Lana Swartz is an assistant professor of journalism studies at the University of Virginia, as well as a writer New Money: How Payment Became Social Media.
To support MIT Technology Review journalism, please consider subscriptions.