The future is now

“Is everyone ready?”

“Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the National History Museum’s exhibition of obsolete articles. My name is Wendy and I will be your tour guide for today. The tour costs 5 credits each, which is to be deposited at the retscan payzone as you enter the first chamber on your right. Ok then, let’s begin. Follow me please, this way.”

“So we begin our tour in the ancient finance section. Now, in the large cabinet to your left you will see a selection of extremely old paper notes and metal coins decorated with the faces of religious icons. This was called ‘money’, and before the digital credit revolution of 2023 these notes and coins were the main form of currency across the world. I know, funny huh!

“Yes madam, a question.”

“Yes, indeed. Citizens used to actually carry all of their ‘money’ around with them. Sometimes up to millions of credits. In fact, many rich citizens were forced to hire whole teams of assistants just to transport their fortunes from place to place. You can see in the next cabinet along a collection of examples of woletts. These were recepticles especially designed for the sole purpose of carrying ‘money.’ As you can see, some woletts were very large objects that when filled with money often became heavy and cumbersome.”

“Now, not only was ‘money,’ difficult to transport, it was also extremely inefficient. Can you see the numbers on each note. You can sir? Good. Now these numbers were used to depict the specific value of each credit example. However, they only existed in certain denominations. This lead to most transactions taking at least twenty minutes to process while customers and tillers continually swapped money until they both had the correct amount. This was called ‘the change.’ This primitive yet abstruse payment system slowed down transactions enormously, a problem eradicated by the fast and efficient digital payment methods we take for granted today.”

“Sorry sir, I couldn’t hear that. Could you repeat it?
That’s an excellent question sir. We don’t actually know what happened to all of the money once it was rendered obsolete. We believe most of the notes were burnt as fuel, or recycled as small flags, and the coins were melted down into their base metals and mostly used to manufacture spoons.”
“Yes sir, spoons.”

“Now ladies and gentlemen we must move on to the next chamber, and if you thought the finance system was strange, just wait until you see how 21st century citizens cleaned themselves.”

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Tim Waltho

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