The prelude to this controversy began in Junewhen Ronald O.
It is entirely false. Not a single researcher has been able to find a society, historical or contemporary, that regularly conducted its trade by barter. Is the one practice really more rational than the other? What is money, and how does it work?
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He worked for the World Bank and for the European Stability Initiative think tank, and is currently a partner in the fixed income division at Liontrust Asset Management plc. Quiggin, A Survey of Primitive Money: An idyllic, subtropical paradise, nestled in a tiny archipelago nine degrees north of the equator and more than miles from Palau, its closest neighbour, Yap had remained almost innocent of the world beyond Micronesia right up until the final decades of the nineteenth century.
There had, it is true, been a brief moment of Western contact in when a group of intrepid Catholic missionaries had established a small base on the island. When their supply ship returned the following year, however, it discovered that the balmy, palm-scattered islands of Yap had not proved fertile ground for the Christian gospel.
The entire mission had been massacred several months previously by local witch doctors aggrieved at the competition presented by the Good News. Yap was left to its own devices for another one hundred and forty years. It was not until that the first European trading post run by the German merchant firm of Godeffroy and sons was established in the Yap archipelago.
The Spanish laid claim to the islands, and believed that they had achieved a fait accompli when in the summer of they erected a house and installed a Governor in it. The ownership of Yap became the subject of an international dispute.
But the Iron Chancellor had the last laugh.
Within a decade and a half, Spain had lost a damaging war with America for control of the Philippines, and its ambitions in the Pacific had disintegrated.
The absorption of Yap into the German Empire had one great benefit. It brought one of the more interesting and unusual monetary systems in history to the attention of the world. More specifically, it proved the catalyst for a visit by a brilliant and eccentric young American adventurer, William Henry Furness III.
The scion of a prominent New England family, Furness had trained as a doctor before converting to anthropology and making his name with a popular account of his travels in Borneo.
In he made a two-month visit to Yap, and published a broad survey of its physical and social make-up a few years later. He was immediately impressed by how much more remote and untouched it was than Borneo. There was a caste system, with a tribe of slaves, and special Clubhouses lived in by fishing and fighting fraternities.
There was a rich tradition of dancing and songs, which Furness took particular delight in recording for posterity. There was a vibrant native religion as the missionaries had previously discovered to their cost complete with an elaborate genesis myth locating the origins of the Yapese in a giant barnacle attached to some floating driftwood.
But undoubtedly the most striking thing that Furness discovered on Yap was its monetary system. The economy of Yap, such as it was, could hardly be called developed. There was no other exchangeable commodity to speak of; no agriculture; few arts and crafts; the only domesticated animals were pigs and, since the Germans had arrived, a few cats; and there had been little contact or trade with outsiders.
It was as simple and as isolated an economy as one could hope to find. Given these antediluvian conditions, Furness expected to find nothing more advanced than simple barter.
The very opposite turned out to be true.A mix of technology, commercial greed, and government intrusions threaten individual privacy in unprecedented ways. Information gathered online is routinely bought and sold without a person even knowing about it.
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The Chancellor found the initial Time-Warner transaction to have been negotiated at arms length and the restructured Time-Warner transaction to have resulted from Paramount's offer and its expected effect on a Time shareholder vote. Indeed, critics of the "best story" approach have noted how little this process of “learning history” reflects how actual historians engage in historical inquiry (e.g.
Stearns, Seixas, & Wineburg, ).