He sits back on his haunches, looking at the bills and coins in his hand. He looks from the bag to Clayton and back again, suddenly shaken and terribly shocked. –Barre Lyndon, The War of the Worlds, Scene 268.
The 1953 version of The War of the Worlds has a wonderful scene where a well-dressed man offers a bag of money to board a Pacific-Tech truck fleeing Los Angeles, only to be violently rebuffed by more rugged souls. And so he’s left, perplexed and dismayed, to await his doom wondering how money, the long-time source of his power over others, suddenly possesses no power at all.
Money offers a paradigmatic example of the confusion of differential or relational properties with intrinsic properties. Given the reliability of a system, information pertaining to the system need not be known to master the capacities belonging to some element within the system. An…
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