Stone Money- Wisemann101

People have been using the money for a long time, but the real meaning of money might vary depending on who is using money and how money is valued. When people talk about money, they mean different things. Sometimes money is synonymous with income. The problem is defining cash comes in place because various people value money depending on how they live, some people appreciate money with goals and others with limestone stones. For instance, there are the people who live on Yap Island in the Western Pacific.

When reading the article by Milton Friedman, called The Island of Stone Money, I can realize the Yap people have a unique money system. According to Friedman’s writing, the whole concept can be seen when the French wanted their gold form the United States. This is precisely what happened with the Germans and the fee. The Gold, in this case, was not helping the French; it was only that gratitude and the respect that they had gold that satisfied them.

The people of Yap for several years have been using a single currency of money. The currency is a massive stone wheel called rai. The rai stones can be evoking some curiosity for some people because they are extraordinary. However, looking keenly at the Yap money, one can learn different things about the value of money. First, we should not there is no stone on the island of Yap. The people of Yap have to travel to a place called Palau where there is limestone. Palau is another island; they curve these stones and transport them back in canoes. The second things to note with these people is that however big these stones are, the most significant stone does not necessarily mean it has the most significant value. What happens is that if the stone cost people a great expense to bring it to form Palau, which will be the highest valued stone. There are some lessons to learn from this money. One can realize that money maintains its value over time. The second lesson is that the limestone wheels and the electronic cash both have value; they can be classified as a source of wealth, depending on who is involved. For instance, the Yap people believe that the stones have value, and that is their best currency, in the same way, someone using electronic currency believes in that value of money (Friedman, 20). However, some few differences can be depicted regarding portability and cost. Limestone stones money is quantified differently compared to the electronic money.

The other piece that I was reading is How Fake Money Saved Brazil. I was interested to know this because I need to know how people valued money and invested. This was another reminder on the NPR article, which stated that sometimes money is fiction, meaning its value can change from day to day (Joffe-Walt, 21). In this story, an economist and his friends tricked the people of Brazil to save the economic inflation in the nation. The trick was crazy, but it worked perfectly. According to the plan, the new president was to come up with a new idea, he freezes the new prices, he fails, he is impeached, and the processes repeats. People were tricked to believe that money would still hold its value. The four economists wanted to create the fake currency with no coins, just a unit of real value (URV); this was a virtual currency (Joffe-Walt, 24). In this case, people would be suing the cruzeiro, but everything was to be listed in the URV currency. Everything in the currency was listed in the fake URV currency. This was meant to make people think alongside URVs as a stable economy. Indeed, money is fiction as this tricky raised the economy of Brazil.

The concept of being wealth contributed to the Great Depression in the US. Wealth distribution was a challenge indeed. There were low wages, and salaries in the 1920s and many Americans were working in farms and factories. This means that there was the uneven distribution of wealth since these people did not have a lot of money. The manufactures of companies enjoyed the cheap labor form the poor Americans; they continued being rich as they exploited the poor Americans. The wages did not increase, therefore; people lacked enough money to sustain their basic needs. The disparity between the poor and the rich created an unstable economy the market plummeted; people could not afford the products the factories were manufacturing. The investors lost hope in the market and sold their shares, in turn, was a market crash in 1929.

According to historians, the rich had a lot of money, and the rest of the people had nothing. When the depression came in, people whom had little money had to suffer a lot since they did not have a lot of money to sustain them. If wealth was distributed equally, all people could have got enough money to spend, and the demand for the goods and services could not have dropped as it was seen. If the government of the United States had distributed the same amount of wealth to people, then the Depression might not have occurred.

The fiscal cliff according to be is a false representation of sound economics. Virtually, it is evident that every American will benefit from the safety-net programs. It can be either through school lunch, unemployment benefits or social security checks. As there is a debate to reduce spending, and increase taxes, some programs like housing credits and food stamps should be incorporated because they work. These programs will ensure employers are getting reliable workforces and taxpayers benefit from the pumped money into the economy.

Conclusively we have looked at the history of money and how various people have been valuing currency. The Yap Islanders are known for their large stone money, which they appreciated a lot. They had their best currency, and that is how they traded. The monetary systems vary from one location to another. Therefore, the stone money can be likened to the American financial system in a way that both have value and currency. I have learned that money is a fiction, as evidenced by the fake money that saved Brazil.

“No problem” is a problem.

It’s probably my age, and if so I’ll ask you to forgive me for taking offense where none is intended, but being told that I haven’t caused a problem when I thank a service-provider for a small consideration sounds rude.

No problem

Not a big problem, to be sure, and I’m certain the phrase is not meant to insult me, but when I expressed my appreciation for service, I was in no way apologizing for having caused undue difficulty.

What I FEEL like saying in response, is, “No. You didn’t cause me a problem either. In fact, I was quite pleased with your service to me. That’s why I thanked you.”

But then, of course, I would begin to BECOME a problem, and I really would be an old crank. I understand this trend toward minimizing the negative is part of a long linguistic history that includes the Spanish “de nada” as a way of rounding-off the thank-you exchange with the assurance that the effort of serving me was minimal.

But still, couldn’t everyone adopt the much more appropriate phrase I always offer and which I much prefer to hear?

My Pleasure


The “Give Directly” Hypothesis

A man checks his phone to confirm that the charity GiveDirectly has transferred a cash grant to his account. (Nichole Sobecki for NPR)

In 2013 Daniel Handel, an economist with USAID—the U.S. government’s main agency for foreign assistance—had just moved to Rwanda when he heard about a charity that was testing a bold idea:

Instead of giving people in poor countries, say, livestock or job training to help improve their standard of living, why not just give them cash and let them decide how best to spend it?

Handel had been mulling this exact question. Aid programs were spending enormous sums per person to boost poor people’s income less than the cost of the program. At this rate, Handel thought, why not just hand over the money to people directly? This program called GiveDirectly was doing just that.

So Handel went to his bosses at USAID’s Rwanda office and proposed an experiment:

Take one of USAID’s typical programs and test it against cash aid. His initiative has since grown to encompass six experiments in four countries. He is currently overseeing these tests from a new position, senior adviser on aid effectiveness at a USAID research unit in Washington, D.C.

A pool of families from nearly 250 villages was selected based on typical criteria and randomly assigned to one of four groups.

  • Those in the first were the “control” and received no help.
  • Those in the second group were visited by the teams from the nutrition and hygiene program.
  • Families in the third group were given small cash grants by GiveDirectly equivalent to the per-person cost of the nutrition and hygiene program, which ultimately averaged out at $114.
  • In the final group, families got a much larger cash grant of around $500 – a figure chosen because this was the amount that GiveDirectly estimated was more likely to make an impact.

On Thursday, the government released the results of the first study in the series: An evaluation of a program to improve child and maternal health in Rwanda by teaching families about nutrition and hygiene.

The experiment found that the program met none of its main objectives. Teaching Rwandans about nutrition did not improve their nutrition or health. Neither did giving Rwandans the cash equivalent of the cost of the education program — about $114.

“Our hearts sank.”

The program’s focus on trying to change behaviors is one of the world’s major strategies for ending malnutrition. And, at least in this example, it had failed to achieve any of its primary goals.

A year on, the children who had been targeted by the nutrition and hygiene program were no more likely to eat a better or more diverse diet, and no less likely to be malnourished or anemic than children who had gotten no help at all. But providing a much larger cash grant of about $500 did make some difference.

Supporters of such “cash-benchmarking” exercises are heralding this particular one as a milestone. For years, anti-poverty advocates and researchers have complained that the U.S. government doesn’t do enough to make sure its aid programs actually work. “But when you talk about giving money to people straight up, with no conditions, people at USAID look at you kind of like you’re a crazy person. There’s ‘an inherent sense’ that they can’t be trusted to spend it wisely.” said Daniel Handel’s associate James Carbonell.

In this case, people who were given the cost-equivalent grants used much of the money to pay down their debts.

It remains unclear what, if any, material changes USAID is planning to its nutrition efforts based on the study’s findings.


  1. Did the authors of the study Fail?
  2. Would proving that cash-equivalent grants were as beneficial as the education program have qualified as Success?
  3. Or did the authors succeed by proving that simply handing recipients money without any stipulation was the wrong way to achieve a particular goal?
  4. Could the authors conclude that poor people really DON’T know “what to do with the money”?


Heavily edited from an original story by NPR.
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Link to the original:

This Rich World

We don’t own the world. At best, we’re tenants with rent to pay and a promise to not trash the place. Regrettably, if we screw things up, it won’t be we who pay. And somebody else will have to cover the security deposit.

It’s more than enough.

Sufficient to itself, of course, the world doesn’t need us. It evolved us, so we fill a niche, but without us that niche will fill as fast as a hole in the ozone. Oops. Bad example. We keep making that one bigger.


I suspect that within a few generations the earth will shrug us off like a bad virus and thrive once it’s rid of us.

Meanwhile . . .

While we’re here, the world—its systems in all their complexity, its people and cultures, its rich diversity—is more than enough to occupy our time, fruitfully, wastefully, however we wish to squander it.

My morning.

I’ve never taught in the Wilson building. It might as well be New Zealand. (Where is Old Zealand? I’ll have to look that up.*) I came back this morning to retrieve this item I had left behind in our classroom.


The other side says “HODGES,” as you might have guessed. I retrieved it this time, but if you ever see it in a place distant from me, please reunite us. It contains your photographs among other precious data.

A few feet from the entrance to Wilson Hall, I encountered this unprecedented item:


Intrigued and uncertain, I asked the first person I saw, “Is that a musical notation white board?” She wasn’t sure, and I thought, “How can you work in this building and not want to know?”

Want to know.

This may be the only advice I have for you that matters: Want to know.

The world is so rich in its complex diversity and wonder. It will exhaust you if you try to comprehend it. Or it will bore you if you think you know something.

You don’t. I don’t.

If you’re bored, you’re boring. Look around. The world is far more fascinating than you or me.

The Blues in F

Two doors down the hall from where I retrieved my thumb drive, I heard violin music, immediately followed by piano music. I knocked softly and repeatedly on the door and was ignored, so I opened the door and entered.

This is my second piece of advice: When you knock softly and are ignored, open the door and enter. Apologize if necessary, but enter.

Jacob was seated at the piano. Atop the piano, a violin. “Play that for me, please,” I asked him, if that’s a question. “Forty years ago I heard a classmate play a blues progression like that, and ever since I’ve regretted not learning how to do it.”

I love Jacob, now and forever, because he didn’t ask me why, or object, or hesitate. He just did this:

I don’t know why he did it for me, but I know he wouldn’t have if I hadn’t asked him.

This is my third piece of advice: Ask. People are amazing. They will astonish you. They WANT YOU TO ASK!

So now, forty years later, I know how to do that. I’ll need practice, but you can ask me at the end of the semester, and I’ll show you what I’ve learned. Because I haven’t stopped learning.

Perfect Pitch?

On my way out of the building, thumb drive in hand, the Blues in F in my head, I heard a piano being tuned, so I followed the sound through an open door because of Rule 2: Enter and apologize later if necessary.

The piano tuner couldn’t explain my peculiar ability to start singing the Counting Crows’ “Round Here” at precisely the right note without knowing the name of the note, but neither did he call the police on me, nor insult me, nor object to my question in any way, so the Rule abides: Enter, Ask, Engage, Want to Know.

People are flattered to be approached for their advice, wisdom, expertise. They may actually have something to share. If not: who cares? If so: you win.

The Music Student

Emboldened, I may have pushed my luck. I said, aloud, to a space that only two occupied, “Are you a music student?” and the music student replied, “Yes.”

I asked her about Perfect Pitch, and Relative Pitch. She didn’t help. So I asked her, “What song shares a melody with the Alphabet Song: ABCDEFG, HIJKLMNOP”? She didn’t know, so I hummed the tune to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” She got it. I felt as if I had taught her “The Blues in F.”

Random Vanity

Leaving school, I was following a car from the parking lot whose license plate was G30 JFK.


JFK puts a dagger through my heart, so I saw that first, but quickly recognized that G30 is the name of the Group of 30 nations that meet regularly to advise the world on monetary policy.

What did I do? I knocked (by flashing my lights) and entered (by exiting my car and approaching the driver’s window).

He got it. He knew how amazing his license plate is. And while he may have been a little bit freaked out that I flashed my headlights at him and took a photograph of his license plate, he didn’t call the police.

And that’s all that I ask of the world that has offered me so much entertainment. Don’t put me in jail. I’ll keep paying the rent and try not to screw things up.

[Comp II students, I will always “put myself out there for you” whether you encourage me or not, but engagement is essential. Positive or negative, I thrive on your Replies.]

*Home to the city of Copenhagen, Zealand is the most populous and one of the larger islands that make up Denmark. 

My Hypothesis—ProfPost

A Second Look

The first day of class I introduced you to this post describing the process of developing a hypothesis worthy of a 3000-word research project.

It’s time for you to rise to the challenge. If I’ve prepared you well, you’re ready to embark on an investigation of something worth your while. One week from today, I need to see the hypothesis that will launch your research.

Your plan will be preliminary and open to improvement. With any luck, you’ll revise your hypothesis out of necessity when your research provides insights you couldn’t have predicted.

Step 1. Your topic is too broad. Almost certainly. And because it’s too broad, you won’t be able to write anything surprising, insightful, or new about it. Too many commentators have already made broad general comments about:

1. concussions in football

Obviously, you can’t just gather a bunch of material about concussions in football under the title “Concussions in Football” and call it a research paper. A topic that broad would require at the very least a full book, with chapters devoted to:

  • how concussions occur inside the skull
  • clinical evidence of harm to players
  • numbers of concussions in different eras
  • football injuries compared to other sports
  • cumulative effects of repeated injuries
  • depression and suicide among retired players
  • denials by the league
  • lawsuits by the players’ association
  • rules changes to mitigate dangerous hits
  • helmet design to reduce injury
  • rejection of youth football by parents
  • alternatives to equipment and rules changes.

Any one of those narrower topics might still be too broad for a 3000-word essay. So:

Step 2. Narrow your topic by limiting the range of your terms, and by adding elements that focus your attention to specific aspects of your topic.

2. concussions and helmet design in NFL football

You’ve decided to concentrate on the relationship between helmet design and concussions—a significant narrowing of your topic—but we still don’t know how the two are related. So:

Step 3. Create a logical relationship among the elements of your increasingly complicated topic description.

3. the effect of improved helmet design on the number of concussions suffered by players in NFL games

So far, so good. But “the effect” is so vague that it has no real meaning. If I say, “Lighting a fire in the corner had an effect on the temperature in the room,” I’m going out of my way to avoid the very obvious logical connection: The fire raised the temperature in the room. So:

Step 4. Write a complete sentence that makes a bold, clear claim by clarifying the logical relationship between the specific elements in your narrow topic.

4. Helmet designs that act like shock absorbers to reduce the impact of helmet-to-helmet blows will reduce the number of concussions suffered by players in NFL games.

Now you’re making claims. Your narrowed topic has focused our attention on specific elements: NFL players, helmet-to-helmet blows, design improvements, reduced numbers of concussions. Let’s test it.

Step 5. Share your claim with several classmates. Do they all agree? Will readers automatically concur that your claim is logical, reasonable? If so, your thesis is entirely intuitive, and therefore probably too obvious. Perhaps trivial. Most likely, it’s already been demonstrated by other authors. If not, it will be soon.

This is where the real work begins. Rise to the challenge. Question the essence of the specific claim you have made.

5. Eliminating helmet-to-helmet blows would radically reduce the number of concussions suffered by players in NFL games.

This may look like a step back, but it’s actually a shift to a different perspective. It questions what seemed like a natural and obvious conclusion.

  • Players used to play without helmets.
  • Then they graduated to leather helmets, which mostly prevented split-open scalps.
  • Then they graduated to hard plastic helmets with interior suspension systems that kept skulls from colliding with other skulls and other helmets.
  • But with all that innovation, we still have mounting evidence of widespread lasting damage.
  • Why?
  • It’s not skull-on-skull damage that matters.
  • It’s the collision of delicate brain tissue with the inside of the skull.
  • And no helmet can protect the brain from colliding with the skull.
  • So:

Step 6. Apply counterintuitive thinking to find the unexpected angle.

6. Eliminating helmets from NFL games would reduce concussions more than helmet improvements by making players very reluctant to engage in the most dangerous plays.

It’s a radical hypothesis that may be impossible to prove, but it can certainly be researched. And it makes for a surprising and innovative argument much more likely than the alternatives to result in a rewarding semester of study.

More or Fewer Steps. Your own process may require more than 6 steps, but never fewer. If you start the process with a bold, clear claim that creates a logical relationship among specific elements in an already narrow topic, you’re starting at Step 4. (You didn’t skip the steps; you took them without noticing.)

The Real Work. The most important work begins at Step 5, when you’ve crafted what you think sounds like a good thesis. Further scrutinizing that thesis is painful but essential. We don’t want to abandon our comfortable thesis that seems so provable. But we learn more when we stop trying to prove something and instead research to learn something.

We Research to Test, not to Prove. In the early stages of your research, you’ll search for evidence to prove or disprove the counterintuitive claim you make in Step 6, which is merely a Hypothesis you’ll measure against the academic sources you discover. Almost certainly, you’ll alter your Hypothesis, perhaps several times, during the writing/research process, narrowing or redirecting your claim as you figure out what you can persuasively argue.

The Payoff. A research project that results in a Thesis radically different than your first Hypothesis is doubly rewarding. It indicates that you found a Thesis to prove; more importantly, it demonstrates that you’ve grown academically throughout the course by learning something unexpected.

Task: My Hypothesis

  • In a new post, name a broad topic that you’re willing to invest 12 weeks researching and writing about. That will be Step 1.
  • Title your New Post: My Hypothesis—Username (substituting your actual username of course).
  • Follow all the steps of the illustration above, refining your topic until it resembles a counterintuitive thesis worthy of Step 6.
  • You will not be stuck with what you commit to in this Exercise; however,
  • until you deliberately update your Hypothesis, it will be your research project of record. In other words, I will consider you committed to today’s Hypothesis until you replace it with another.
  • BEGIN THE WORK IN CLASS TODAY so that I can see you know how to post to the blog and Edit your post.
  • COMPLETE THE WORK by 11:59pm WED SEP 19

A completed Task will look like this:

My Hypothesis—davidbdale

  1. concussions in football
  2. concussions and helmet design in NFL football
  3. the effect of improved helmet design on the number of concussions suffered by players in NFL games
  4. Helmet designs that act like shock absorbers to reduce the impact of helmet-to-helmet blows will reduce the number of concussions suffered by players in NFL games.
  5. Eliminating helmet-to-helmet blows would radically reduce the number of concussions suffered by players in NFL games.
  6. Eliminating helmets from NFL games would reduce concussions more than helmet improvements by making players very reluctant to engage in the most dangerous plays.