The Ascent of Money

The Ascent of Money is an upcoming book by Scottish financial historian Niall Ferguson. It is also an upcoming PBS documentary in January.

It’s good to see more writers and producers bringing public awareness to what money is and how it influences unnoticeably yet heavily relationships between humans. I can’t wait to see how far it goes in unveiling the mechanisms of money, its power, and how “We the people” can take back ownership of it as it was originally intended to be by founding fathers such as Jefferson.

In the following interview, Niall introduces his book. He talks about the origin of money 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, John Law, the British bond market, the use of money as instrument of power and invisible taxation by the rulers/government, and the current crisis.

Introduction to RDFa

RDFa is the W3C’s proposal for the lowercase semantic Web. As such, it is similar in spirit to the microformats initiative, but strives to leverage existing W3 work such as RDF. Manu Sporny produced an educational video on RDFa that you can watch below.

As Manu reminded me on the uf-discuss list, this video is more for education than for evangelization. Also, some aspects that I am personally interested in are missing, such as: drawbacks/features comparison and cohabitation with microformats, or explanation of choices made, but it is nonetheless very clear and quite entertaining for a topic that many would probably find very boring.