Monday, November 24, 2014

History: The Year is 1473

I've uploaded year 1473 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Before There was Gresham's Law... -- It was called Copernicus' Law. Nicolaus Copernicus is born this year. He will is not only an astronomer but an economist. I also talk about the debasing of the currency in Massachusetts in 1690.

The Canon of Medicine in Print -- An book of medicine from the 11th century goes to print. It is in Latin but it was originally in Arabic. I also talk about broken civilizations and the need to write things down.

Before There was Gresham's Law...

Gresham's Law says that bad money pushes out the good but before it was known as Gresham's Law, it was called Copernicus' Law. Nicolaus Copernicus is born this year. Most people will know him as an astronomer and theorist who proved that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way around, but he will offer that theory near the end of his life. Long before that time he will become an expert in religious law, speak fluently in several languages, work as a physician, and as an economist. He will formalize several economic theories that will be improved upon over the centuries. Aside from Gersham's Law, he will derive the "Quantity Theory of Money" that most economists agree is true in the long run that the quantity of currency and the average velocity of currency will influence the price of goods though it won't entirely determine the price. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I understand the basics of economics, but I am no expert. So... in my non-expert opinion.... there is always a temptation for government to debase the currency, adding lesser valued metals into their coins. This creates the feeling one gets when one holds a US dollar coin. The coin is barely larger than a quarter; weighs nearly the same; it looks the same and it is difficult to believe that it represents 4 times the value. Thus the dollar coin has never been a popular a coin. In 1690 when Massachusetts began printing it's own paper money, it was wasn't intended to become money. They simply had a shortage of English pounds and printed these... IOUs. People traded them between each other (at a discount) and then the government had a "bright" idea of printing more of these IOUs. It was free money... for a while but people caught on and the whole system collapsed. Massachusetts was forced to go back to using coins until they could try it again. It becomes a cycle that has yet to stop.[4]

The Canon of Medicine in Print

As the Gutenberg printing press spreads across Europe there will be many "firsts" in printing. This year, the Canon of Medicine will be set in print. It was originally written in Arabic by Avicenna, a Persian philosopher of the 11th century. His book was translated into Latin and this is the version printed this year. It will remain in use well into the 17th century. [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
One of the reasons why Arab civilization is seen as so advanced is because of books like this one. Also Arabic numerals and the number "zero" come from the ancient Arabs but those Arabs were long gone by the 15th century. They were generally wiped out by the Mongols as they came riding through swinging their swords from horseback. That broke the cycle of civilization for the Arab culture. How can one pass on the learning of hundreds of years when all the teachers are dead? This same problem was faced by the Jews around the year 200 when the Romans had wiped out so many Jewish scholars that there was a real possibility that all Jewish learning would be lost. Judah the Prince took on the task of writing everything down in a book that would grow over the centuries to become the Talmud. [6]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1473, Wikipedia.

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