On rising from my slumbers this morning, I discovered, with gratification, that the day was much warmer than those experienced at the beginning of the week. Apparently, the jet stream is at its weakest in the Spring, meandering back and forth, and duly switching the prevailing wind direction from a Northerly to a Southerly at the slightest provocation.
Anyway, I bade good morning to the maid, strode down the wide marble staircase, and trotted out a light waltz upon the grand piano in the foyer, before I took some repast. As I ate, my thoughts turned to yesterday's Budget, and what it all means. There's something slightly elusive about economics, and I think it's rooted in the notion of money itself. Does money exist independently of the mind? Certainly, money shouldn't be identified with any of its physical tokens, such as treasury notes and coins. Money is a means of expressing the relative value of different goods and services, facilitating trade and investment without the direct exchange of goods and services. Eventually, we will move to an economy in which there will be no physical tokens of money at all. Financial 'accounts', containing specified quantities of 'money', and owned by specified agents, exist in the memories of computers; like a credit-card purchase today, the purchase of some product will merely require the identification of the purchaser (authentication), then authorisation that the purchaser has the right to make the purchase, and then for a transfer of money to take place between accounts, as a transaction between computers. Information flows between computers, and alters the information stored in their respective memories.
So, given that money once existed only as coins and notes, but will soon exist only in the memories of computers, does money exist independently of human minds? My initial thought is that it does, but only as an abstract structure. Money exists in the same sense that the state space of the electron exists. It has no substance, but things can exist independently of the mind without having substance; structures can exist objectively, independently of the mind.
Time for another waltz.