Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Week 13, Marlborough School

December 6th, 2011

Currency and Government... town meeting

The peeps of Tiny Town met this morning to discuss currency.  Our usual moderator was absent so other town members tried to do the job.  The discussion began simply enough:  What should we call it?  What should it be made out of?  Then we digressed.  It was suggested that each clan have their own currency which brought us back to the conversation of how these clans will actually work.  There are many in town who have a lot to say against clans... but only one who speaks for them.  Hmmm.  How did we wind up with such an unsatisfactory form of government?  Perhaps homesteaders are beginning to recognize the importance of paying attention and participating in town meeting.  It was moved to repeal the clan form of government.   The measure passed and Tiny Town currently has no government at all.  At the beginning of class today I stressed the importance of getting the currency figured out and how we really can't move forward with house building and jobs until we decide what, if anything, will be used.  I let them know when we began the government debate that we would need to shift back to currency by 8:33, to allow enough time.  One student managed to keep our meeting track.  It was agreed that we will revisit the government conversation next week.  We had a hard time trying to decide if we needed to have government in order to have currency.  We discussed things that have passed in the world as currency over the ages.  We discussed what early Americans did during the American Revolution when there was not an official government.  We learned that each American dollar represents an actual real (although small) amount of gold.  With these ideas in place the class decided to move on and offer up suggestions for the actual physical thing we will use for commerce in Tiny Town.  Suggestions were:  rocks by weight, duct tape, green cloth, tin foil, cardboard, cardboard covered with foil, green paper, paper with stamps.  We talked about counterfeiting and the need for a secure object. We voted to narrow our choices.  The top three were duct tape, green cloth, and paper with stamps.  More discussion ensued.  Many homesteaders were concerned with the actual cost of obtaining the materials to create the currency.  "Duct tape and cloth are rather expensive you know."  At this point one homesteader suggested we just use electronic banking on the grounds that it would save time and resources not having to build a bank or create currency.  After another vote the townspeople decided upon paper currency with stamps.  "What now?  Government?"  "We need to name our money."

The remaining three minutes of class were spent offering ideas for names.  Next week we will vote on these names and an accompanying symbol.

Class today was amazing.  I am rather impressed by the behavior of the students during town meeting.  Of 21 students who came to class this morning, only four were girls.  During the meeting most of the class was quiet and attentive.  Those that are not able to be quiet and attentive were not disruptive.

No comments:

Post a Comment