title:Nonsense Taro#1 ver.1.0e
by Fake Zen Master
Let's consider an economic TFX Taro-a situation.
Taro sets out to attain total wealth by acquiring everything
in his home kingdom: all the land, all the houses, all the cars,
all the crops, all the art works everything. He doesn't actually
want to steal from anyone, but neither does he want to do any work.
He decides to counterfeit. He fashions duplicates of the kingdom's
currency plates so precise that not even treasury officials will
be able to tell the difference. That way, no one will be cheated,
Taro rationalizes: The people accepting his counterfeit
bills will never know it and will be able to spend them as freely
as real money. Taro estimates the fair market value of
all the goods in his country as one billion of the local dollars.
He prints up a billion dollars and starts out on a spending spree.
Taro's counterfeiting is a financial perpetual-motion
machine. It, too, is doomed to failure. Let's see why.
Taro will get full value for his first bogus bill. He may
be able to spend millions before any problem is evident. It is
the megalomaniacal scale of his counterfeiting that will defeat
him. Taro has printed a dollar for every dollor's worth
of goods in the country. The amount of money he has counter-
feited can be no less than the amount of legitimate money in
circulation. It follows that the effects of Taro's actions on
the economy cannot be ignored.
Taro's counterfeit bills will flood the money supply,
throwing the kingdom into a galloping inflation. Taro
will be forced to pay ever higher prices. The more money he
spends, the more prices will go up. Taro's billion dollars
will run out long before he acquires everything.
Of course Taro can always print up more money.
Eventually, practically all the money in circulation will be
Taro's counterfeit bill. Taro will have to fill wheel-
barrows full of $100,000 bills (the highest denomination) just
to buy a loaf of bread. Still, the printing power of his press is
To print ever greater quantities of money, Taro will
need ever greater quantities of paper and ink. One day
Taro will push a wheelbarrow of $100,000 bills to the paper
and ink store to replenish his supplies. On the way home, he
will find that the wheelbarrow, now containing paper and ink,
is lighter. If the paper and ink weigh less than the money used
to buy it, Taro cannot possibly print enough money to
cover its cost!
This is a problem with any sufficiently massive counterfeit-
ing scheme. Eventually, the counterfeiting does no good. You
actually lose money.
All knowledge is counterfeit. Acquisition of knowledge about one
part of the world requires an equal sacrifice of knowledge
about other parts. Ignorance can at most be shifted around.
Art is not and cannot be a quest for a complete
knowledge of the universe. Rather, it is a process
whereby certain information is selected as being more
relevant to human aims and understanding.