I am a total newb - almost a blank slate - when it comes to the mechanics of our Economy. I might know some basic things so that day-to-day interactions are possible, but beyond that, I don’t understand it.

A few months ago, we had been having some discussions on the subject of Economy and GNU at #emacs, and a smart person - twb - suggested I read “Debt: The First 5000 Years”. Since then I had the book in my library (kindle) but did not start reading.

I think now is the time to begin.

The subject of the study is going to be debt. However, studying debt means studying many other topics to be able to fully grasp the topic.

But unlike other readings of mine, this time, I have decided not to just “read” but to dig around, read and find references, understand the history, visit places and find out traces of the origins and mechanics of the subject. It might be possible that other people join me in the journey!

Any inputs regarding note-taking, keeping track of thoughts, references, questions etc are welcome. I am going to use a simple text file for now but it is so inefficient. So please suggest tools and methods.

I am going to put some thoughts from the initial pages of the book so that things become clear to the reader as to what this series is going to be about. This can also be considered a part of Digital Monad series if I have to travel for the purposes of acquiring deeper understanding.

The Author:

David Graeber

Teaches anthropology at the London School of Economics, has authored many writings. Anarchist activist.

From his twitter: “I see anarchism as something you do not an identity so don’t call me the anarchist anthropologist”

Wikipedia: David Graeber

Wrote the book of subject in 2011.

Current work: historical work on the origins of social inequality with University College London archaeologist David Wengrow, and a collection of essays entitled “On Kings” with his former teacher Marshall Sahlins.

Side notes:

  • I found Anarchism similar to what Elon Musk was suggesting for colonization on Mars.
  • And okay, I will not call him “anarchist anthropologist” - but then I need to find out what he actually sees as anarchism.
  • The topics of his current work - both seem interesting from their titles. I will be reading more about these.

Definition (taken from the book):

debt: noun 1 a sum of money owed. 2 the state of owing money. 3. a feeling of gratitude for a favor or service.

Find these peculiar? I do. Especially the third one. I will write more about the definition from other resources later which are even more interesting.

This post should give the idea of how the series is going to be. I will try to dig deep into the matter at hand, will explicitly mention gaps and topics we might want to understand more (for example anarchism and the author’s view). Each entry will focus on one topic. It might seem to travel here and there - but I will make sure everything connects by the end of the post. Also, I have a feeling that the entries will get longer based on the topic - which I think is good since this is inquiry after all.

We shall begin formally in the next post. This post is by no means an exploration of a topic that we will be doing in future. The sections of author, side notes and definition are kind of a placeholders. They are sections without information. When we start the study, such sections will have information, references further reading etc.

Till then, feel free to suggest, share and discuss topics, books and references on this subject.