Quantum Economics is, thought of at an ultimate point, the art & science of valuing yourself: where do you set the defined boundaries of abundance? How much (“how much” is also the meaning of quantum) do you want after defining the limits of need?
Science has been on a materialistic journey for several centuries, where the main principles of scientific inquiry have become etched into stone. Scientists follow the scientific method, and rightly so, as they make predictions about the world around them and test against them.
We have learned so much, but are only beginning to shift from focusing on the understanding of the material world outside of us to the immaterial world that lives within us. Entrepreneurs are some really practical scientists in the immaterial world, seeking the essence of the current nature of humanity – they have a hypothesis about a lack in the world, create a supply to fulfill the demand caused by the lack, and prove their lack-hypothesis by bringing in the money by selling the idea of the supply to the people and getting some of them to agree that it is a lack worth giving money for. Nature takes care of the disproving – if there is no market, the supply dies off and the entrepreneur starts afresh.
There is no better, objective tool for science to turn to in understanding the immaterial world within us than money, since money also allows us to understand the pressures brought by time. Indeed, from a business perspective, money and time are the two fundamental tools that we have in life to create everything else that we need. As an entrepreneur is battling to prove their hypothesis right (business is thus sort of like a reverse science, as normally a scientist does their best to disprove their hypothesis, whereas an entrepreneur goes the other way), time places pressure on them – they’ll run out of money at some point, if the cash isn’t flowing in when the runway ends.
Quantum Economics – the new science of money – takes an objective look at where humanity stands. What we buy determines who we are, and entrepreneurs are right in the heat of it all – projecting the experiments into the market and investigating the results (and reaping the results of their proven success).
Creating the value of money
But we are all little entrepreneurs. As market participants in the economic world around us, we are like little scientists with ourselves. We make predictions about what we would like and test our presumptions about ourselves by making purchases and rating the outcome. We can assume outcomes on certain staple products and services within our lives, but there are always new things to try out. Like science, the economy never truly stops, because curiosity will keep driving us forward to try new things. There are always new generations of people that keep curiosity fresh at all times, since old things by old people – like Ferraris and Champagne – will be new things for new people.
Money powers our ability to test our presumptions about ourselves. Money is an empowering agent that always comes with two sides to its coin – the possibility for success or failure. Every transaction comes with the potential path for both outcomes, or the common ”somewhere in between” outcome, which suits many an eaten dish. The pure successes and the pure failures are, thankfully, rarities that often continue to elude us, so that we keep seeking and finding new adventures that power the economy with the fuel of curiosity. The key thing to note is that money doesn’t judge – money is purely objective. The people the money flows through make the judgement calls. Money – objective. People – subjective.
Money rarely offers paths to pure and simple perfection, but the value of money is born in that – past being the basic objective tool that provides for our necessities in a market-oriented world – it allows us to experiment and enjoy the uncertainty of trials. Without money, we’d live in a world of pure political power, where human relations and social networks – dark mafias – control everything. Or then we’d live in some kumbaya-tribe like some of the Native Americans. Who knows.
The point is that money (and a receipt of its transfer, the beginning of all the administrative work) is hard, proven trust between market participants (proven as in the currency is trusted for use as its value is relatively stable). Without money, trust is always soft – spoken promises between people, spiritual IOU’s (which work at a very familial level – maximum 150 people), the value of which can change at a whim. I love the money for its material objectivity – much easier to keep track of hard objectivity than the subjective promises of yore.
The Quantum Stuff
Let’s recap what I say often: ultimately, all the quantum stuff you read about is all about the concepts of simultaneity and uncertainty. So – in business – life’s paradoxes and ultimate realities, made real by shifts in preferences, caused by the fluid nature of self and intergenerational reality. Above I wrote: “there are always new generations of people that keep curiosity fresh at all times, since old things by old people – like Ferraris and Champagne – will be new things for new people.” Simultaneously something can be old and new, it’s popularity will be uncertain amongst new customer groups, it’s longetivity uncertain amongst old customer groups.
Quantum awesomeness – life’s magic that let’s us all keep building ourselves. The market provides us with variance to play with, powered by The Quantum Mechanics (an awesome science-hero name for entrepreneurs).
Anyway. Quantum Economics is an emergent field of thought that has been around since the 1970s, when a Pakistani mathematician named Asghar Qadir argued that the language of quantum mechanics is the best mathematical framework for discussing consumer behaviour in uncertain choice points. More recently, Canadian mathematician David Orrell has become the leading name in the field and has a new book, Quantum Economics: the New Science of Money being released later in 2018.
Orrell focuses on the notion that money has dualistic properties, meaning that it has more than one nature due to the objective notion of number and the subjective notion of value. If a chocolate bar is priced at €1, then the objective side of the money will be the same for all market participants, but the subjective side depends on how much we each enjoy the chocolate, relative to our own considerations of what is a big and small number – something dependent on personal factors such as income. The numbers of money are no honest indicator of its value. As we can see with this little chocolate bar example, money is an inherently complex thing when we climb past its simple €1 facade.
I see the dualistic properties in another way, alongside the view presented above. There are many dualisms of money, just take two opposites such as old people and young people and start talking about how their relationship with money differs. There is no ultimate right answer, just an infinite amount of views on the nature of humanity, which is what salespeople deal with. The objective/subjective dualism, the relationship to number – Orrell’s Base presented above – is the most important starting point to the dualism of money as it also gives spirit to math – which is really important because purity can get really boring, and mathematicians have been trying to stay perfectly pure for so very long.
Again.. anyway (quantum thought really makes you jump around!): when it comes to the dualism of risk (My Base), I see money as a risk-minimizer when it comes to using it as a tool to acquire life necessities such as food and water and housing. There is little inherent risk with these costs (though I guess domestic accidents are always a risk), since they are needed for human life to sustain itself. If you have money and are spending it purely on staying alive, then using money is objective and practically riskless. When considering the riskless use of money, it is good to remember that money in itself is a step away from much riskier alternative means of ensuring sustenance: the alternative to having money is first barter, and then going hunter-mode – much riskier alternatives! Thanks, money, for keeping us safe from nature!
If you indulge past bare life necessities, however, then money becomes subjective and risky. First of all – there is always the potential for addiction. In the spirit of experiment, a one-time trial might turn into a years-long way of life, as it did for me and my skydiving hobby. A weekend costing a few hundred euros turned into years and tens of thousands of euros. The risk is that, having stopped skydiving, I could have written down the time spent as wasted – from a purely financial perspective – since it was unnecessary cost past life essentials.
But of course what I lost in cash I gained in memory and joy of time spent. All of the outcomes were uncertain prior to the data brought by my purchasing behaviour, which was in a repeating loop of asking myself ”Do I still enjoy this?” after every weekend at the dropzone. As long as the answer was yes, I knew I would come back.
I had to invest money and practice my hobby to get data on my enjoyment levels – nothing is preordained when it comes to experience. Money is needed to get results in an uncertain environment. Had I made a life-long commitment to the sport – taken religious levels of debt in time (to live and breathe the sport) – I could have moved skydiving into a “life essentials” category and left uncertainty in the past. In many ways, this is why sales organizations seek loyal customers – their emotional attachment to using their money in a specific way becomes a certainty, ensuring a steady stream of revenue for the organizations.
Dualistic money does not, thus, mean that money is something specific in one instance and something else in another. Dualism simply sets a framework for identifying a space of reasoning in the moment, that allows for the changing of our emotional states. Across time, value is fluid in how it is defined, because our identities as who we are shift with the course of history. You can set any framework you want for the consideration of dualism. Money – because of its inherently objective nature – can always be used to tell a story of opposites.
All the quantum stuff that you read about – the word quantum being a precursor added to all types of research fields currently, from biology to cognition to finance – essentially boils down to the notions of simultaneity and uncertainty. In quantum physics, simultaneity is the superimposition of two states at once within a particle – something being two things at once. Uncertainty, meanwhile, comes from the inability of physicists to decipher the speed & location of a particle at the same time, something discovered by a German physicist called Heisenberg a century ago.
There are plenty of metaphors available to jump from physics to money. Just take some basic physics knowledge – such as mass being a property of matter – and start changing words into an economic setting. For example, a physicist might consider mass as potential value that is attached to matter carrying it – the money. A €100 price tag is the matter at hand when considering whether or not to experience the mass of the new clothing that lies behind it. How much mass (value) is there in this new item I just bought? Depends on who I am, which depends on who I associate with.
Simultaneity is essentially the same as money having dualistic properties – such as being able to use money for life essentials and hedonistic rituals, which many will likely describe as life essentials in and of themselves. Uncertainty is, for example, not being able to know how you will rate a purchase until after you have made it. Quantum logic, which incorporates these principles of simultaneity and uncertainty, is an immensely useful toolkit for working in economic areas of thought.
There are likely more metaphors combining money with simultaneity and uncertainty. All of the points made about them are, at the end of the day, relatively obvious. Who would question the different natures of money or the uncertainty of a purchase? No one.
Why is this important, then, if the quantum science of money is all about making relatively obvious points? Well, we must remember that all discoveries in science end up being seen as obvious – because they have been learned after discovery (showing how time is an economic tool making learning possible, making the equity of having skills possible) – but they are not initially so. The complexities of seemingly simple matters are capable of surprising even the most hardened of thinkers, and all things quantum are deep in the center of this truth: nothing is as obvious as it first seems, until you get it, learn it, and make it obvious by teaching it to others. Even obviousness fades, over time, unless we practice our obviousness muscles in our minds.
What makes money so special as a research area is that there is practically no one on the planet who isn’t capable of giving a first-hand account of an experience with money. It is a human force built to power and improve our state of living over time. Every transaction by every individual who has been pleased with the outcome of the transaction is proof of this.
The more and more we start to think about the nature of money – its philosophy – the deeper and the better we might begin to understand the deepest workings of the global economy: ourselves as market participants. The funny thing is that the most objective thing – money – is the best path into understanding the most subjective thing – humans. Indeed, it is the money that flows through us, but it is we who control that flow with our free purchasing power. The more we understand the tools that we work with in life, the better we can become at controlling them.
Remember – the money don’t judge. People do.
For me, it is clear to see that the monetary environment that we live in today will come to be seen as archaic in only a matter of decades, and we will all be talking about how silly it all was with the economy back in the day.
Understanding what the flow consists of – what is money – is sure to be the beginning of a new academic renaissance. I personally have no doubt that Quantum Economics and all other market-related quantum sciences will be front-and-center in the decades to come as we shift from a world of old fiscal truths to a world of new fiscally-powered opportunities. If I get to choose, I’d call all market-based quantum sciences the Market Sciences.