GNOMES

Is it a nice day out? Do you like baby goats? Are you overdue on thank-you notes for your Christmas presents? Here you go.

Re: GNOMES

Postby MaggieoftheOwls » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:48 am

I admit I'm not perfectly familiar with the current poetry-to-fez exchange rate.
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Re: GNOMES

Postby Timepoof » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:10 pm

WE WILL HAPPILY TRADE TWO FEZZES PER SONNET.
The WAFFLES will submit to this indignity.
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Re: GNOMES

Postby MaggieoftheOwls » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:04 pm

That works for me! Let me know when you've got a good candidate and some good features she has to base sonnets around.
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Re: GNOMES

Postby pedromvilar » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:07 am

Currency is an interesting concept
Timepoof: WE ARE GNOMES. WE TRADE RED HATS FOR ANYTHING ELSE. HELP US.
Pedro: sorry i'm short on red hats
Pedro: oh wait
Pedro: you give red hats?
Timepoof: YES
Pedro: i don't really like hats
Timepoof: OH. PERHAPS YOU COULD TRADE THEM OFF TO SOMEONE ELSE?
Pedro: I think most people don't like red hats and besides we have a thing called currency
Pedro: that's better for trading than just direct barter
Timepoof: WHAT IS THIS CURRENCY YOU SPEAK OF? ENLIGHTEN US
Timepoof: WE WOULD LIKE TO IMPROVE OUR CHANCES OF TRADE WITH HUMANS
Pedro: instead of trading objects directly with each other, we have invented currency, which measures the relative worth of objects
Pedro: for example
Pedro: if you live in the united states, you use the american dollar
Pedro: and if an item you don't want is worth five dollars and an item you do want is worth two
Pedro: you can trade your item for the five dollars
Pedro: then pay two dollars for the item you want
Pedro: and you still have three dollars that you can then trade for something else you want
Pedro: that way, no one trades at a loss
Timepoof: THAT IS A FASCINATING CONCEPT. TELL US, IS THERE A CURRENCY ASSOCIATED WITH LIVING IN A FOREST?
Pedro: that depends on where the forest is
Timepoof: THE FOREST IS NEAR A RIVER
Pedro: bigger than that
Pedro: what are you using to communicate with me?
Timepoof: WE ARE USING A STRANGE GLOWY DEVICE. IT TALKS AT US.
Pedro: How large is this glowy device?
Timepoof: WE TALK AT IT
Pedro: Do you talk at it with your voices or do you press keys on it?
Timepoof: WITH OUR VOICES. WE HAD TO GAG SHMEBULOCK SO IT WOULD WORK.
Timepoof: SHMEBULOCK WAS SAYING "SHMEBULOCK" EVERY FIVE SECONDS
Pedro: Well it's interesting that your device can recognise your voices to the point of being able to say 'shmebulock'
Timepoof: CAN YOUR DEVICE NOT DO THAT? WHAT DEVICE DO YOU USE, HUMAN?
Pedro: Hard to explain. If I said 'shmebulock' to my device it would not recognise that word. The way I use it is by pressing keys that are then translated into letters and forming words which I then send.
Timepoof: WHAT ARE KEYS? AND LETTERS?
Pedro: Keys are small buttons with letters on them, and letters are minimal units of verbal communication in many (but not all) languages on this planet. Most languages that use letters have words made of them.
Pedro: So, for example, the word 'word' is formed from four letters, w, o, r, and d, and I type those in sequence in order to produce that word and send it to you using my device.
Timepoof: HUMANS HAVE MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE?
Pedro: Yes, a few hundred.
Pedro: We are numbered seven billion.
Pedro: We are divided in political units called 'countries,' and each country has one or more official languages.
Timepoof: THAT IS MUCH MORE THAN US GNOMES HAVE
Pedro: Yeah, such is life.
Timepoof: OKAY. COULD RED HATS BE FOREST CURRENCY?
Pedro: Unlikely. Almost the entire surface of the world is divided in countries, so your forest certainly is in one such country unless you're not on Earth. And currency is an imaginary, socially agreed upon value, thus it cannot be represented by objects that have an actual use.
Pedro: This value shifts with time and with changes in offer and demand of various products, as well as the relative economic power of different countries.
Timepoof: HOW DO WE DETERMINE IF WE ARE ON EARTH OR NOT?
Pedro: Well, did you go somewhere, or did this device mysteriously appear wherever you are?
Timepoof: IT APPEARED IN SHMEBULOCK'S RED HAT
Timepoof: JEFF FIGURED IT OUT
Pedro: Then you might not be on Earth. I'm pretty sure gnomes don't exist on Earth.
Timepoof: BUT WHO LIVES IN THE FOREST IF NOT GNOMES? WE SUPPOSE YOU COULD HAVE A WORLD FULL OF LEPRECHAUNS, BUT THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE
Pedro: Very rarely people, usually non-sapient animals.
Timepoof: AH. SO YOUR FORESTS ARE FULL OF SQUIRRELS?
Pedro: Some. And other animals.
Pedro: Forests near where I live don't really have squirrels.
Timepoof: WHAT DO THEY HAVE INSTEAD?
Pedro: I'm not entirely sure. Birds. Capybaras. Snakes.
Timepoof: WHAT ARE CAPYBARAS AND SNAKES?
Pedro: Snakes are long limbless reptiles that slither, capybaras are short mammals with somewhat rectangular snouts.
Timepoof: DO YOU HUMANS MAINTAIN LAW AND ORDER IN FORESTS OR ARE THE FORESTS JUST WILD WITHOUT GNOMES?
Pedro: Law is restricted to humans, since most other animals aren't sapient and wouldn't know to obey them. Humans in forests are supposed to also obey laws.
Timepoof: DOES YOUR WORLD NOT HAVE CENTAURTAURS OR MULTIBEARS EITHER? WE SUPPOSE THAT MAKES THINGS SIMPLER.
Pedro: Nope, not those.
Timepoof: ARE YOU THE ONLY SAPIENT SPECIES IN YOUR WORLD?
Pedro: There's some debate on whether dolphins and some other species may be sapient, but as far as being able to form cooperative societies, yeah.
Timepoof: THAT IS RATHER INTERESTING. WHAT ARE THESE DOLPHINS LIKE?
Pedro: They're like fish, but they're actually mammals.
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Re: GNOMES

Postby DanielH » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:19 am

It is possible to use things with intrinsic value as currency, but probably not something like red hats. Currency works better if every unit is the same or if people can agree which pieces of currency are worth more than others. Since some people might prefer one hat and some might prefer a different one, they would make a poor currency.
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Re: GNOMES

Postby rockeye_stonetoe » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:34 pm

An example of a reasonable currency is food. Most people need food. Or gold. Most humans want gold because it is pretty, and it is difficult to get more, so it stays valuable.
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Re: GNOMES

Postby DanielH » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:41 pm

Food works well if it’s fungible (everybody agrees quickly how much of one food item is worth how much of another). Since there are multiple types of food, you can only use one of them as a currency particularly effectively. For example, you can use pounds of nuts as a currency, as long as you can keep them from spoiling too quickly.

I avoided suggesting it because one things humans are good at is growing food, and although that’s generally a good thing, it can cause inflation if your currency is based on food.

If leprechaun gold is used in some parts of your world, then gold could be a viable currency. In what way is leprechaun gold different from other gold, except in that it is associated with untrustworthy leprechauns like Aestrix?
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Re: GNOMES

Postby Aestrix » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:50 pm

I resent the implication that I'm not trustworthy, I'm completely trustworthy!

You just have to ask me the right questions. :)
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Re: GNOMES

Postby Timepoof » Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:32 pm

IT VANISHES IF INSTRUCTED TO DO SO BY A LEPRECHAUN. ANOTHER ONE CAN BLOCK IT, OF COURSE, AND IT IS SAFE TO PUT IN A BANK ACCOUNT.
The WAFFLES will submit to this indignity.
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Re: GNOMES

Postby PlainDealingVillain » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:14 am

A traditional food to use is salt. It is easily portable, does not spoil, and is useful for preserving food when it is not being eaten.
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