Skip to content
Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Scientific American)   Viking women mined bitcoin with their looms   (scientificamerican.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Weaving, Michle Hayeur Smith, exclusion of women, Iceland, Hayeur Smith's study, Textile, WEFT, Greenland  
•       •       •

1221 clicks; posted to STEM » on 24 Sep 2022 at 10:20 PM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



22 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-09-24 10:50:02 PM  
I like the concept of cloth as money. It's practical, fungible, and subject to entropy, so a constant supply needed to be generated, and hoarding it would have been more difficult. The people themselves could literally make it too; no central bank required.

It wouldn't work today, obviously, since it can't generate compound interest and mechanisation would create rampant inflation, but still, cool concept.
 
2022-09-24 11:51:15 PM  
I guess that must also be where money laundering started.
 
2022-09-24 11:57:43 PM  

ajgeek: The people themselves could literally make it too; no central bank required.


Indeed you wouldn't need the central bank to "issue" money the way they do now, but it seems like there was some kind of authority that dictated how much it was worth. (Not sure if this was based on trade treaties or domestic lawmaking or some mix of the two.) And that's probably also why there is legally mandated quality controls too.
 
2022-09-25 12:55:07 AM  

Arkanaut: ajgeek: The people themselves could literally make it too; no central bank required.

Indeed you wouldn't need the central bank to "issue" money the way they do now, but it seems like there was some kind of authority that dictated how much it was worth. (Not sure if this was based on trade treaties or domestic lawmaking or some mix of the two.) And that's probably also why there is legally mandated quality controls too.


Most of the time back in the old days you did have what functioned as a central authority and basic price setter, but it was informal and pretty much due to market forces.  Troyes for example, they were a ridiculously major trading city, and absolutely set the standards for cloth, gold, and several other things simply by being such an 800 pound gorilla in the market.  That'd be a bit harder to do in modern times

/thus the troy ounce for gold
//note also that a LOT of really old banks were originally set up by... cloth merchants
///cloth actually made more money than gold did overall - volume volume volume and everyone needed it
////they were some of the original oligarch types simply because while it took a lot of money to get into, once you got going you were practically coining money
 
2022-09-25 12:57:34 AM  

Some Junkie Cosmonaut: ////they were some of the original oligarch types simply because while it took a lot of money to get into, once you got going you were practically coining money


Now that I consider that statement, I'm compelled to note that many of them were LITERALLY coining money with the profits
 
2022-09-25 1:08:24 AM  

Arkanaut: ajgeek: The people themselves could literally make it too; no central bank required.

Indeed you wouldn't need the central bank to "issue" money the way they do now, but it seems like there was some kind of authority that dictated how much it was worth. (Not sure if this was based on trade treaties or domestic lawmaking or some mix of the two.) And that's probably also why there is legally mandated quality controls too.


The quality control may have had something to do with preventing counterfeiting. They would need some way to verify if one was legit. The specific patterns and highly skilled weaving could have been used in the same way we use complex patterns and high tech printing techniques on our money. Also it says the textile money was woven with 4 to 15 wraps per centimeter. The number of wraps may have conveyed some information about it's value or purpose so it would have to be accurately reproducible too.
 
2022-09-25 1:46:56 AM  

Arkanaut: I guess that must also be where money laundering started.


and pyramid schemes started with the pharaohs.
 
2022-09-25 1:48:19 AM  

ajgeek: I like the concept of cloth as money. It's practical, fungible, and subject to entropy, so a constant supply needed to be generated, and hoarding it would have been more difficult. The people themselves could literally make it too; no central bank required.


Cons:

- Extremely perishable thus not feasible as a long-term store of value
- Consumable as something other than currency and so not practical at all
- Comparisons for different denominations are exceedingly difficult
- Without a central authority to monitor and control supply, inflation would run rampant. Much like seashells or any other common ordinary thing used as currency, it becomes worthless very quickly
 
2022-09-25 1:59:39 AM  
An enterprise near home that can be done under bad weather. It's interesting that humans have been weaving for thousands of years, but the techniques of knitting and crochet popped up and spread less than a thousand years ago. Knitting and crochet require less equipment than the old looms, which were slow.
 
2022-09-25 3:03:39 AM  
I work in a male dominated profession and I went searching for examples of a time when women worked side by side with the men, and apparently there are wage documents from medieval Sweden which show women working in construction. There was a time when we needed all hands on deck, men, women and children. Nobody got out of doing their share because they couldn't afford to. Until the coming of Christianity there was much more equality between men and women in Scandinavian society. Things weren't so strictly differentiated into men's work and women's work. They didn't have the luxury. If the men were away trading, somebody had to keep the farm going and bring in the crops.
 
2022-09-25 3:45:40 AM  
Thîs Cållés ƒø® Tås†! møøśé ån∂ sqüé®®é¬
 
2022-09-25 4:05:41 AM  
Wait wait wait, you're telling me that the distaff gender actually USED distaffs?

Wow, what a shock. Let me sit down a moment. This is unbelievable.
 
2022-09-25 4:40:16 AM  
Yeah, I would hit Froya. Not sure how I'd feel about the ass kicking she gave me beforehand. But a bit more certain it wouldn't change my answer.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-09-25 4:53:14 AM  

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Wait wait wait, you're telling me that the distaff gender actually USED distaffs?

Wow, what a shock. Let me sit down a moment. This is unbelievable.


Disturbing...

/<---distastefully distraught "/
 
2022-09-25 5:15:32 AM  

wildcardjack: An enterprise near home that can be done under bad weather. It's interesting that humans have been weaving for thousands of years, but the techniques of knitting and crochet popped up and spread less than a thousand years ago. Knitting and crochet require less equipment than the old looms, which were slow.


Nalbinding, a more ancient knitting-like technique, could be done while migrating.  It required a small needle and a bag of wool tufts. Spinning was part of the process, and the finished product would not unravel.
 
2022-09-25 5:28:53 AM  

Ishkur: Much like seashells or any other common ordinary thing used as currency, it becomes worthless very quickly


What absolute garbage, man. I have woven blankets, rugs, mats, oven mitts etc, that a grandmother made on the loom she and her mother's husband made/constructed. They very much still have worth, and could be sold now for more than the cost of re-making them.

Think native american blankets - some 100+ year old examples fetch seriously big bucks these days.

Also think: AFT's - kinda like NFT's, except actually fungible.
 
2022-09-25 7:23:44 AM  

ajgeek: I like the concept of cloth as money. It's practical, fungible, and subject to entropy, so a constant supply needed to be generated, and hoarding it would have been more difficult. The people themselves could literally make it too; no central bank required.

It wouldn't work today, obviously, since it can't generate compound interest and mechanisation would create rampant inflation, but still, cool concept.


Aren't US dollar bills technically cloth?
 
2022-09-25 9:49:50 AM  

batlock666: ajgeek: I like the concept of cloth as money. It's practical, fungible, and subject to entropy, so a constant supply needed to be generated, and hoarding it would have been more difficult. The people themselves could literally make it too; no central bank required.

It wouldn't work today, obviously, since it can't generate compound interest and mechanisation would create rampant inflation, but still, cool concept.

Aren't US dollar bills technically cloth?


Yeah came here to make this comment as well.  They're 25% linen and 75% cotton, you can buy shirts with that mix.

https://www.uscurrency.gov/about-us/currency-facts
 
2022-09-25 11:22:46 AM  

sheilanagig: I work in a male dominated profession and I went searching for examples of a time when women worked side by side with the men, and apparently there are wage documents from medieval Sweden which show women working in construction. There was a time when we needed all hands on deck, men, women and children. Nobody got out of doing their share because they couldn't afford to. Until the coming of Christianity there was much more equality between men and women in Scandinavian society. Things weren't so strictly differentiated into men's work and women's work. They didn't have the luxury. If the men were away trading, somebody had to keep the farm going and bring in the crops.


Oh, don't get all dewy eyed about the equality of women in ancient Northern Europe.

Tribal/clan societies almost always raid other tribes to kidnap women for wives or slaves (not much difference).

The Vikings and Irish were big on slavery and slave raiding.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/151228-vikings-slaves-thralls-norse-scandinavia-archaeology
Some genetic studies, for example, suggest that a majority of Icelandic women are related to Scottish and Irish ancestors who likely were raid booty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Ireland
 
2022-09-25 1:01:27 PM  

uttertosh: I have woven


The plural of anecdote is not data.

A surprisingly well kept single example of longevity is not indicative of all of them.
 
2022-09-25 1:33:10 PM  

ajgeek: I like the concept of cloth as money. It's practical, fungible, and subject to entropy, so a constant supply needed to be generated, and hoarding it would have been more difficult. The people themselves could literally make it too; no central bank required.

It wouldn't work today, obviously, since it can't generate compound interest and mechanisation would create rampant inflation, but still, cool concept.


You can use cheese as money today, so why not wool?

You can't really massproduce sheep after all. ;)

https://vinepair.com/articles/cheese-bank-italy/
 
2022-09-26 11:24:07 AM  

HairBolus: Oh, don't get all dewy eyed about the equality of women in ancient Northern Europe.

Tribal/clan societies almost always raid other tribes to kidnap women for wives or slaves (not much difference).

The Vikings and Irish were big on slavery and slave raiding.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/151228-vikings-slaves-thralls-norse-scandinavia-archaeology
Some genetic studies, for example, suggest that a majority of Icelandic women are related to Scottish and Irish ancestors who likely were raid booty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Ireland


I am well aware. I was only referring to work. The lot of women has always been worse than that of the men. We know that, or at least outside of the 'manosphere' people know it. I hope I didn't present women's lives then as being easy or anything, considering that nobody got out of hard work. That is, except the ruling class which has always been parasitic.
 
Displayed 22 of 22 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking




On Twitter


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.