Saturday, March 15, 2014

"Money turns value into information."

It's one of those sentences that once you think of it, you imagine must already have been written, but which Google then comes up empty on. All this happens in a flash, before you know whether the sentence even expresses an opinion you hold. Like the way a poem begins.

It expresses an idea that is related to Lisa Robertson's views on money. There is a general trend in culture—it's been going on for thousands of years—to turn experience into information. It's unfair to inventors and craftsmen to call this process the rise of "technology". It's the actual fact that the things I value, even the things I love, are increasingly experienced, by me, as information, and this information is increasingly coded in terms of money. Cities "dissolve in the fluid called money".

Update: it is possible that art is the opposite of money. Art turns information back into experience. This is why really great art is so expensive. It's money trying to overcome art. There would not need to be any art if all value was experienced directly. (I'm talking about "high" or "pure" art, of course, not craft. Art for art's sake is the craft of combatting the deleterious effects of money on experience.)

None of this should be considered a kind of "anti-money" position. Someone who complains about the flooding of his basement is not "anti-water". It's about proportions. Some value is best administered with information. Just not all.

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