found paper

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

A Bag of Money

Outside of the Capitol South station this morning, the Dollar Coin Alliance was handing out bags of money. Haw haw, isn’t that what happens every day on Capitol Hill? except this was shredded currency, meant to illustrate how much is spent on creating, circulating, and finally destroying paper currency. The takeaway is that coins, which last like ten times longer than bills, are a wiser investment and a better way to go in creating a currency infrastructure.

Of course the longer term game that is afoot is not paper vs. coin currency, but currency vs. electronic transactions. Could we expect that, when a dollar coin is implemented, that consumers might be more inclined to rely on their debit & credit cards for small transactions? Perhaps. But if so, then why not push things forward, and do away with the $5, $10, and $20 bills as well?

Replacing these bills with coins would be a great opportunity for the U.S. Mint to show off its expertise in coin design and production, create a durable currency infrastructure, and support the move to currencyless transactions throughout the market. I for one am looking forward to the return of the Double Eagle, and a pocketful of change that actually has some value.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

A Postcard from Terry Winch, 1978

& here’s an occasion to ponder what “ephemera” might mean — a postcard published by Hard Press in 1978. Forty years later, it preserves what is supposed to be a specimen of Terrence Winch’s handwriting, though it doesn’t much resemble the handwriting Terry put on the reverse (message) side before mailing it this year. Something about the ephemeral that just won’t go away, the stubborn insistence of random particulars, etc. How like the world in that way and its doppelganger interwebs, where everything disappears, and yet the case of all that is remains.

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Found Paper: Senate Gallery Pass

Probably I read too much into random stuff that I pick up out of the gutter. Case in point: a Gallery Pass to observe the U.S. Senate, found on Independence Ave btwn 2nd & 3rd Sts., as I was walking from the Library of Congress one afternoon. I can see on the back that they’re individually numbered & thus a controlled supply, so how does one just end up on the street?

As freakish as finding a $20 in the street except for the no cash value aspect.

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