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Author Topic: 2013-02-06 Resilience.org - The Joule Standard  (Read 1988 times)
Stephen Gornick
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February 08, 2013, 03:38:06 PM
 #1

The Joule Standard

A currency issued with backing (energy units).

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During its early stages, this could be developed as an entirely private system, for example as the basis for an international payments network or as an alternate currency like Bitcoin. The conversion factors to translate Joules to and from various energy commodities are well known and can be independently verified. Private firms would issue notes denominated in Joules that are backed by corresponding amounts of energy commodities. These will be energy futures contracts, only denominated in metric units. Energy companies, commodities markets and technology entrepreneurs will be natural operators in this system. Most importantly, as projects like Bitcoin have demonstrated, this can be done by very small entrepreneurial companies in the early stages, allowing for rapid product development and innovation. There’s nothing stopping the person working on the next Paypal from doing this tomorrow.


 - http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-02-06/the-joule-standard

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Stephen Gornick
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February 08, 2013, 03:43:36 PM
 #2

I suppose if Bitcoin opens the floodgates for private currencies then this would be one of the alternatives that makes sense, but it is centralized and thus not in the same level as Bitcoin.

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If these market based experiments prove successful, Joule denominated currencies could eventually augment or replace today’s fiat currencies. A metabolic currency has unique characteristics compared to specie (gold) and fiat money, specifically that its backing medium can be converted into energy to power machines. Another benefit of metabolic currencies is that they are defined in terms of a measurable physical property. Whether Joule based notes are issued by private banks or public treasuries, the quality of these securities can be evaluated by verifying the energy reserves backing them.
- http://joulestandard.wordpress.com/timeline/

I'm not sure there's much difference between holding this currency versus holding shares of a WTI crude ETF, for example.

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February 08, 2013, 04:21:17 PM
 #3

It is a centralized thing, and it requires trust. You must trust that the "joule dollar" you have is really backed by a joule. The instant the "private firm" disappear, you are left with a piece of paper, worthless.

Bitcoin is totally different, it is meaningless to compare bitcoin with this "joule dollar". When you own 1 bitcoin, you own it, you don't have to trust anyone, it is like having a ingot of gold, it is your.
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February 09, 2013, 12:10:39 AM
 #4

The rate of energy consumption is a significant fraction of the total marketable energy supply and so the real market price fluctuates significantly. Therefore, to use energy units as a basis for a currency is misguided and is a major problem and source of instability arising from the defacto oil-dollar standard (as they are now discovering).

Maybe a basket of goods that can average out the fluctuations in real prices, although even these can become linked at times. Better to use goods that have low consumption to marketable supply rates, like gold, silver, bitcoin, etc ... i.e. primarily hard monetary commodities, not consumable goods.

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February 11, 2013, 06:17:45 PM
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And what is the energy backed by?  Roll Eyes
Attempts like this forget that value is subjective. There's no such thing as intrinsic (objective) value, ergo there's no such thing as a "backed" currency. All they're doing is trying to make a variety of illiquid commodities into a currency, which isn't going to work as a) different forms of energy are valued differently due to ease of transport, store-ability, etc and can't be forced into equivalency based on one variable; b) relative difficulty as a medium of exchange; and c) the fact that any significant advance in energy production would fuck everyone.
The whole thing smacks of the "resource-based economy" delusion of Zeigeisters.
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February 11, 2013, 09:05:23 PM
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So lets say someone does a bit of experimentation and increases the efficiency of solar cells to some really high number.

Then you have sun-flation - because that sucker isn't going to burn out any time soon. It will then be a race to cover the face of the planet or launch large light-capturing satellites beaming energy down with microwaves or near-UV lasers. What a disaster.

fortitudinem multis - catenum regit omnia
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November 11, 2013, 06:16:05 PM
 #7

https://www.facebook.com/mark.thornton.3760/posts/10153448347155650?comment_id=45550099&offset=0&total_comments=32&notif_t=feed_comment_reply

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=318046.0;topicseen

Great minds think alike.

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November 11, 2013, 06:18:11 PM
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And what is the energy backed by?  Roll Eyes
Attempts like this forget that value is subjective. There's no such thing as intrinsic (objective) value, ergo there's no such thing as a "backed" currency. All they're doing is trying to make a variety of illiquid commodities into a currency, which isn't going to work as a) different forms of energy are valued differently due to ease of transport, store-ability, etc and can't be forced into equivalency based on one variable; b) relative difficulty as a medium of exchange; and c) the fact that any significant advance in energy production would fuck everyone.
The whole thing smacks of the "resource-based economy" delusion of Zeigeisters.

Value is subjective to the individual but objective to mankind.

The individual can say that they dont value water but mankind can not make the same statement.
 

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sublime5447
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November 11, 2013, 06:23:38 PM
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So lets say someone does a bit of experimentation and increases the efficiency of solar cells to some really high number.

Then you have sun-flation - because that sucker isn't going to burn out any time soon. It will then be a race to cover the face of the planet or launch large light-capturing satellites beaming energy down with microwaves or near-UV lasers. What a disaster.


Then there would need to be more representations of the joule. In a high gravity environment like on earth a bowling ball weights 10 pounds in a low gravity environment like on the moon the same bowling ball would weigh 2 pounds. The unit stays the same. The pound is still a pound. 

In a low joule environment a gallon of water may be 10 joules but in a high jouel environment it might be 2 joules.

Notice the number changes but the purchasing power stays the same.

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November 12, 2013, 01:20:47 AM
 #10

Having a symbolic, transferable token for energy would certainly be useful, though I suspect the practical difficulties behind this concept are quite overlooked.

I'm not sure why we should consider it a currency, though.  It would rather be a tool to make the energy market more liquid, that's all.   If the total amount of energy available is not constant (and it is probably not), it is not a great unit of account, nor a good reference of value.

Also, energy eventually gets lost into heat, i.e. it is something that is consumed, like food.   History has shown that consumables don't make great currencies.
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November 13, 2013, 06:54:36 PM
 #11

Having a symbolic, transferable token for energy would certainly be useful, though I suspect the practical difficulties behind this concept are quite overlooked.

I'm not sure why we should consider it a currency, though.  It would rather be a tool to make the energy market more liquid, that's all.   If the total amount of energy available is not constant (and it is probably not), it is not a great unit of account, nor a good reference of value.

Also, energy eventually gets lost into heat, i.e. it is something that is consumed, like food.   History has shown that consumables don't make great currencies.

It doesnt have to be consistent if the currency supply is elastic. For example in a high joule environment a gallon of water might cost 100 joules in a low joule environment the same gallon of water may cost 10 joules.

The same thing happens in other systems of measurement. For example in a high gravity environment here on earth a bowling ball weighs 10 pounds in a low gravity environment like the surface of the moon the same ball weighs 2 pounds. Notice that the unit always stays the same regardless of the change in human perception ( a pound is always a pound). We represent the change in perception with a qualifier we say as measure on earth or as measured on the moon.

Price is the qualifier in the system of measurement of value. Price is what represents the change in human perception, but it doesnt have to be. We could say a gallon of water cost 100 joules as measured near the beach or we could say that a gallon of water is 1000 joules as measured in the desert or 10000 joules as measured on the surface of the moon.

  

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grondilu
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November 14, 2013, 05:41:34 AM
 #12

For example in a high gravity environment here on earth a bowling ball weighs 10 pounds in a low gravity environment like the surface of the moon the same ball weighs 2 pounds. Notice that the unit always stays the same regardless of the change in human perception ( a pound is always a pound). We represent the change in perception with a qualifier we say as measure on earth or as measured on the moon.

Price is the qualifier in the system of measurement of value. Price is what represents the change in human perception, but it doesnt have to be. We could say a gallon of water cost 100 joules as measured near the beach or we could say that a gallon of water is 1000 joules as measured in the desert or 10000 joules as measured on the surface of the moon.

Saying that a ball weight 10 pounds on earth and 2 pounds on the moon is a misleading vulgarization.   It begs the question:  what is a pound, then?    The truth is that a pound is a unit of mass and it does not depend on the gravitational field.  The gravitational force, expressed in newtons, does depend on it, not the mass.

As for the energy, it's even worse.  If you begin using different definitions of the Joule, you lose the very purpose of the definition of the Joule.  You'll invent new units called Joule-beach, Joule-desert or Joule-moon.  You just make things more complicated and more difficult to compare to one another.   If you want to compare a Joule-desert with a Joule-beach, you'll have to refer to an ad-hoc conversion table.   Why would you do that?  It defeats the purpose of having a standard unit for energy.
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November 15, 2013, 12:29:26 AM
 #13

Saying that a ball weight 10 pounds on earth and 2 pounds on the moon is a misleading vulgarization.   It begs the question:  what is a pound, then?    The truth is that a pound is a unit of mass and it does not depend on the gravitational field.  The gravitational force, expressed in newtons, does depend on it, not the mass.
Actually, a pound is both a unit of mass and of force. That's why acceleration is a dimensionless quantity under the U.S. system (since it's force divided by mass, it is measured in pounds per pound, and so the pounds cancel out), which is how U.S. rocket scientists can get away with measuring specific impulse in seconds instead of feet per second.

Will pretend to do unverifiable things (while actually eating an enchilada-style burrito) for bitcoins: 1K6d1EviQKX3SVKjPYmJGyWBb1avbmCFM4
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November 15, 2013, 03:33:18 PM
 #14

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Private firms would issue notes denominated in Joules that are backed by corresponding amounts of energy commodities
Yeah, let's go back at fiat money, at worthless pieces of paper, wonderful
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