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Re: (TFT) Story

In a message dated 2/13/2008 3:32:06 PM Central Standard Time, 
selfinflicted_wounds@boardermail.com writes:

> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: ErolB1@aol.com
> > Actually I don't think we're on the same sheet of music. Your position, if 
> I
> > understand it correctly, is that "industrial magic disease" can be shut 
> down
> > by screwing down the economy. My position is that that won't be more than 
> a
> > speed bump unless you screw down the economy so hard that it's no 
> > longer medieval
> > but something much smaller and more primitive. 
> Okay, we have a difrent picture of medieval economics.
> I view the vast majority of exchange being in mediums of goods and labor 
> rather than curency, with the pesants largely self-sustaining, as in making 
> their own fuel oil.

Yes, part of it is that we have different pictures of medieval economics. 
You're emphasizing the manoral part with barter and self-production, and I'm 
looking more at the trades, crafts, moneylenders, etc. that were also part of the 
medieval economy. 

But I also don't think it matters to my economic analysis whether people make 
their own lamp oil, barter for it, or buy it with coin. If obtaining lamp oil 
is less effort than obtaining a magic Light, the people will prefer lamps; if 
doing so is more effort, then they'll prefer the Light item. And it doesn't 
matter what units the effort is measured in. It doesn't matter what units are 
used to measure the relative costs of lamps vs magical lights. Silver coins, 
hours of work, bushels of grain... it doesn't matter. You could have a 
hunter-gatherer society with no money at all - pure self-production and barter - and 
*still* a Light item produced by the local shaman would either be more 
cost-effective than burning animal fat in a stone lamp, or not. If it is, then Light 
items will be used instead of lamps. If not, then the lamps will be used instead 
of Light items. Same analysis as for a society using silver coins. 

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