Wealth is Coordination
The degree to which people’s activities are uncoordinated is the degree to which their society is poor. The degree to which people’s activities are coordinated is the degree to which their society is wealthy. The other factor is productivity. But without coordination, productivity doesn’t mean squat in a complex economy.
It’s the same as collective intelligence. All systems repeat patterns. It’s the same as the example of the the open source computer system that solved the mystery of the complex protein in two weeks. In that case the “wealth” that was created was an understanding of that protein. And it was created by coordinated activity.
Money is not wealth. Money obscures an understanding of true wealth because money is like beads on an abacus. The beads have no meaning. They have no relation to the real world. What’s wrong with contemporary economies is that the bean counters have come to think that the beans are magic. They aren’t. When economies crash the beans disappear like other mirages.
Information in a human brain is not contained in the neurons. The information is in the networks of connection. Coordination. Likewise, true wealth is in the networks of connection between what people do to earn a living. Coordination. To the degree to which money coordinates efficient connections is the degree to which a society is wealthy. And our monetary system is getting to the point where it will no longer be able to coordinate those connections.
Only if we solve this riddle will we ever rediscover true wealth and stop believing in magic beans.