From: Chris Hibbert (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jan 09 2007 - 10:22:58 MST
>> What does "canonical" mean here?
>> Having a single form so that you can be sure 100 units of X = 100
>> units of X. (I don't know whether there's a standard term in
>> economics for this, if there is please insert that instead.)
> The term you're looking for is "fungible".
That's only part of fungibility. Fungible means that any unit is
interchangeable with any other unit. Gold is fungible, but real estate
and diamonds are not. Gold's fungibility means that whether you have
gold bullion, gold ore, or gold jewelry, it all has the same value as
gold. There are simple tests to determine the purity of ore, bullion
and gold rings, and as far as the value goes, all you care about is the
weight of the gold. So, even though gold comes in different forms,
identifying its underlying value is straightforward.
As usual, Wikipedia has a good article on the desiderata for something
to be a good form of money: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money
Their list includes liquidity, transportable, durable, divisible,
fungible, countable, difficult to counterfeit, and untraceable.
-- C. J. Cherryh, "Invader", on why we visit very old buildings: "A sense of age, of profound truths. Respect for something hands made, that's stood through storms and wars and time. It persuades us that things we do may last and matter." Computers are telescopes we use to see the infosphere. Some care about telescopes, most want to see the stars. Paraphrased from Gelernter Chris Hibbert firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: http://pancrit.org http://mydruthers.com
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