Friday, August 8, 2014

Pocket dump: What Retains Value

Ignorance is the absence of knowledge
Stupidity is the refusal to accept knowledge
Intelligence is the presence of knowledge with an expiration date
Wisdom is the presence of knowledge that does not lose value over time.

What do you carry on your person every time you go out the door?  Which of those items have value that are not bound in time?  In other words, which items are the physical embodiment of "wisdom"


150 years ago

Which items would have been useful 150 years ago?  The United States had been embroiled in a Civil War for three years.  The forces that would normally police and defend were at-the-front.  In places there were deserters or draft dodgers living in the woods, down by the crick.  They were a de facto criminal element as they had no legitimate livelihood.

Eaton Rapids Joe pocket dump.

I am a simple guy.  My usual footwear, my wedding ring, my self-winding wrist watch and my pocket knife (a simple Frost Reservist) would be assets in 1864.  

One of the reasons I chose the Frost Reservist is that it has a straight blade that can be sharpened by normal means.  Serrated blades look wicked but I do not know how to sharpen them.  It is not an expensive knife, I bought a "lot" of 12 of them for $24 which included the cost of shipping. It has been an easy knife to carry around.

My prescription eyeglasses would be more functional than contact lenses.  Nothing in my wallet would be of value, nor would my cell phone.  The change in my pocket would be considered counterfeit because it is neither copper nor silver.  My keys are brass and would be worth about their weight in pennies.

In the summer I usually wear cargo shorts, a tee shirt and a baseball cap.  There is nothing to commend them, other than the ample number of pockets, for an 1864 environment.

In the winter I wear study, utilitarian clothing.  Those would also count as assets.

I do not concealed carry but having a functional firearm of any kind would be a huge advantage given the riffraff living down by the crick.

How about 300 years ago?

Same deal.  I could undoubtedly sell my watch for real money if I were near a city.  The stainless steel blade on my pocket knife would be considered high magic and would easily command its weight in gold.  

How about 50 years in the future?

Clearly, nobody can see into the future....not even to the end of the stock trading day.  But I can make a few assumptions.

Humans are likely to retain bipedal locomotion so my footwear will still be functional.  They will likely not be fashionable.  There may be exotic materials that far surpass today's synthetic mesh and foamed
elastomers.  But I should still be able to navigate.

My pocket knife will be considered a weapon of mass destruction if we continue along our path to nanny-state.  

My wrist watch will still continue to function.  

Nothing in my wallet will be of any value.

My cell phone will likely be illegal.  The frequency spectrum will splinter into ever-finer graduations and higher-and-higher frequencies will be co-opted for cell traffic.  Also, more advanced digital communication protocols will adopted.  My cell phone will be trying to communicate in the equivalent of Morse Code in a world of ASCII8 and 5.0GHz transmissions.  The authorities would impound it based on the EMF noise pollution it emits.

In summary

My wedding ring is the one item that retains its value across time.

It retains its value as a symbol.  It is a tangible artifact of my commitment to Mrs ERJ.  Rings are circles and circles have no end.  Whether now, in the past or in the future, humans need relationships that are intimate and trust based.

My wedding ring retains its value for its precious metal content. Whether by design or by fortuitous accident, my finger ballooned such that I cannot slip this ring off, much like I have grown into my relationship with Mrs ERJ.  Were we to fall upon hard times....a long period of hard times, my finger would skinny up and would release the ring.  But until that time, biology holds the ring firmly in place and prevents me from casually losing it.

1 comment:

  1. Well said... And that IS value... Both monetary and sentimental...