Here’s a few interesting links I’ve been wondering what to do with that can now all collectively be posted under the thematic umbrella of “money”.
1. The Wallaby Card is connected to each of its users’ credit card accounts and is able to select the best one to take advantage of rewards and savings. It sounds like a convenient idea to reduce the amount of plastic one has to carry. However, it also sounds like a good idea to make fraud easier. [via emergentfutures]
2. James Surowiecki dives into the long history of money: “Kublai Khan was ahead of his time: He recognized that what matters about money is not what it looks like, or even what it’s backed by, but whether people believe in it enough to use it. Today, that concept is the foundation of all modern monetary systems, which are built on nothing more than governments’ support of and people’s faith in them. Money is, in other words, a complete abstraction—one that we are all intimately familiar with but whose growing complexity defies our comprehension.”
3. New research suggests that having more money makes people act less humane towards others. As you climb the social ladder and earn more you develop less empathy for others.
4. Saving the best for last, GQ’s Jon Ronson journeyed into “the secret financial lives of six different people on the ladder, from a guy washing dishes for 200 bucks a week in Miami to a self-storage gazillionaire. What he found are some surprising truths about class, money, and making it in America.”
The GQ article is a must-read from start to finish. Print it out, add it to Instapaper, load it into Longform, whatever. Just set aside the time to read it because it raises a lot of interesting points about how people in America live on various salaries. It’s a good frame of reference when we talk about what it’s like to live as a dishwasher or on $250,000 a year or what it means to be “middle class” — too wealthy for government assistance, but not wealthy enough to do anything more than tread financial water.