Reality Overruns My Fiction

In the current novel I am writing, set in the future, the dollar has collapsed and everyone uses something called "zons" instead, a currency backed not by gold or the full faith and credit of the US Government (lol) but on the stable pricing and the promise of redemption at Amazon.com.   Yesterday, reality overran this admittedly small element of my story.  I will need to write faster.

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    Jeff Bezos = Ben Bernanke?

  • john cunningham

    looking forward to reading your work!

  • Fred_Z

    In the fullness of time I expect to negotiate and pay for things using MasterBucks (tm). Whose signature do you trust, Turbo Timmy Geithener or Ajaypal Singh Banga?

    I'll take the Sikh over the tax dodger any day.

  • Don

    I remember hearing Glenn Beck (and his ghost writer) talking about when they wrote the Overton Window, they kept having to add plot twists, because the wacked out crap that they were writing was being discussed seriously in Washington and the book was getting too passe for the publisher.

    BTW, I've been thinking about the BMOC business model, not that my daughter is entering the appropriate age group in school. It's sounding more and more feasible!

    Only, hold the psychotic contract killers, that doesn't sound good for business ;^).

  • johnbr

    I started writing a novel in 2002, and established one of the bad guys with the name 'Barak'. I finished the novel back in 06, and started working on the sequel. Recently, I had to go back and rename that character

  • Mondak

    Amazon coins? They definitely need to poach "zons" from you.

  • http://twitter.com/bdunbar Brian Dunbar

    I am somewhat clueless about one aspect of alternate currencies.

    Assume the dollar collapses, consumers move over to Amazon Coins.

    How do they get their stuff unless the infrastructure that moves those goods around _also_ moves over to Amazon Coins? Trucks need gas, drivers want to be paid. And so do the warehouse workers. And the people that support the truck drivers and so on.

    Perhaps what I'm asking is ... how would the truck company change over from 'dollars' to Amazon Coins? Or would we need an exchange of some kind - Amazon Coins to Boeing Bucks to Exxon Credit?

  • davesmith001

    So you can buy amazon coins to use later. How is this different from gift cards? When you buy a gift card, you are trusting that the merchant will take them later. Amazon coins are not in any way a currency since no one would buy them from anyone except amazon.

  • nehemiah

    And it will all be made even easier when you have your chip implanted. "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,
    to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Rev 13:16-17

  • http://profiles.google.com/maruadventurer john mcginnis

    BitCoin, a virtual currency has been around a while. Unlike the Amazon offering, BitCoin can be translated to gold, other currency. There are even vendors now that has POS terms that accept/dispense in BitCoin. If you think about the USD, at the rate things are going its virtual too, at least about its value!

  • http://twitter.com/tjic tjic

    Looking forward to reading this!

  • obloodyhell

    Private money. Not as unusual as you might think in both US and human history.

  • obloodyhell

    }}} If you think about the USD, at the rate things are going its virtual too, at least about its value

    No, given governmental accounting techniques, the USD is not "virtual"...
    it's pretty much "a complete and total fantasy".

  • obloodyhell

    That's all inherent in such a system. And workable for the most part.

  • obloodyhell

    }}} Only, hold the psychotic contract killers, that doesn't sound good for business

    Naw. If you limit them to only taking out politicians and bureaucraps, you can pretty much bet they'd be great for business.

  • http://twitter.com/bdunbar Brian Dunbar

    So, explain it to me. Use simple words, I'm a graduate of public schools.

    In particular, I don't get 'inherent'. Stuff still happens .. magically? The buyer at my company deals with multiple currencies in different jurisdictions ... how? Who runs the exchanges?

    Is there money to be made running an exchange? If so .. how does one become an exchange?

  • marque2

    I guess the gift card is still based on dollar value and will depreciate with inflation. If Amazon offered me a fixed amount of merchandise for the card then it would be different.

  • marque2

    Money changers was the biblical term. We already exchange disparate currencies. If I wanted to purchase using overstock.com I would be able through an exchange trade my Amazon currency for Overstock currency.

  • http://twitter.com/epobirs epobirs

    Long before gift cards and online currencies like the MS Points used by Xbox Live became common, Toys R Us had its own currency, Geoffrey Money. It mainly served as gift certificates in $5, $10, and $20 denominations but was also used for store credits, such as returns without a receipt. I acquired a considerable pile of Geoffrey Money when the now dead Good Guys chain would have video blowouts of items that were still going for full price at TRU. So a game I'd bought for $20 got returned at TRU for $70 of Geoffrey Money. If there wasn't something from TRU I wanted, I'd convert back to $US by offering someone who was planning a purchase a 10% discount, $10 of Geoffrey Money for $9 cash. I still came out way ahead.

    The ultimate was when Sega ran a rebate offer based on buying one of several titles and sending in a store receipt with ten Lifesavers wrappers. The flaw was that they didn't require any proof of purchase from the game itself, such as the UPC cut out from the case insert. They also allowed ten rebates per household. Price Club (now Costco) had Lifesavers in packages of 100 rolls (20 to a box IIRC) for what worked out to 10 cents per roll. I enlisted relatives and friends to receive rebates for me once I'd hit the limit for my own address.

    It worked out to be a pretty good bit of income for someone not working very regularly at the time. It wouldn't have been possible without TRU's private currency allowing them to have very liberal return policies long before gift cards.