AO4 Stone Money Rewrite—collegegirl

Concept of Money

P1. Although money may be a small, rectangular, green piece of paper, a magnetic strip on a card, or a coin, people around the world see it as a prized possession, something extremely valuable to their lives. Quick keystrokes on a mobile device are also forms of money, like the Venmo app, which allows people to transfer money to each others account with the touch of a button. Money can also been seen as a way of having power over others. Despite the fact that there are many forms of money in the world we live in today, money, as a whole, can have an impact on our wellbeing.

P2. Money can also be seen as an enormous sized disk like object. At first glance, it seemed bizarre to hear the story of the Yap an how they consider, gigantic, limestone disk to be as valuable as a home would be to us. In the Yap village, the villagers lived to believe that these gigantic stones ranging to 10 feet high with large holes cut out in the middle of each stone, was their form of currency which they called fei. Strange. We, see currency to be something that is paper like and easily transferred from hand to hand. Because of the large size of the stones, in most cases, the stones did not move locations when given to the next person for their services. The villagers would walk past stones and know who they belonged to and would go along with their day. While reading Milton Friedman’s article regarding the Yap villagers, I discovered that, years ago, a voyager was returning to the village after finding a massive stone, when all of a sudden came a storm that sank the stone to the bottom of the sea. When the voyager returned to the village, he explained to his family of the incident that happened regarding the fei. Shockingly, after years later, it was believed by the entire village that the stone at the bottom of the sea, that no one has ever seen, was still valuable to the owner as if it was in their physical possession. Although the stone remained at the bottom of the sea, it certainly had an impact on the family’s well being. The Yap in the village always acknowledged the families wealth and was never questioned.

P3. Unlike what the villagers believed in about the stones not being moved when possessions changed, people around the world believe that if we do not have physical possession of something, then it is not considered to be ours. Having physical possession of money is a necessity for us unlike there Yap.  For instance, there’s a ten dollar bill lying in the middle of the street on a sunny day, someone picks it up, puts it in their pocket and now it’s theirs. They can spend it wherever and however they’d like and no one will ask them or bother them as to where they got the money. Our concept of currency compared to the Yap’s concept of currency have differences for obvious reasons. Around the world, we need to have possession of our currency for obvious reasons. When money is in our possession, it allows us to buy things that are essential to our lives such as water and food. Meeting these needs are essential to our wellbeing because without them we will suffer from not being able to provide ourselves with things that we need to survive.

P4. Most surprisingly in the NPR Broadcast was the statement: “Money is fiction.” How can it be that a rectangular thin green piece of paper with small symbols be something other than real? Money being as powerful as we’re making it seem to be, it’s just buying power. Online, it’s just a number jumping back and forth from screen to screen and account to account. Money can be the root of all evil. It controls almost everyone in the world besides those who are wealthy enough to not desire it as much. Money is just a means of exchange for us to get something that we want or need.  Before coins and dollar, people used fish, tools or wood for example as a means of exchange for good and services. If the world revolted back to exchanging things like these instead of money, then money would lose its value. If money loses its value, and people used things such as services in exchange for things, less people would rely on money. But, this can affect our wellbeing being that people will actually have to provide services for other people in order to get something that they need. Compared to now, when people have money they can easily spend it on the things that are essential to life and essential to them. When governments don’t exist anymore, there will be no need for money itself because it will lose its value. Then, we’ll return to a more direct exchange of good and services for other goods and services.

P5. Also shocking, CBN made a statement claiming that money is not the root of all evil, in fact its the love for money that is the root of all things evil. A wealthy man may begin to feel superior to those who have to earn a living. Because the concept of money being as powerful as it s, we can spend millions of dollars on flashy watches and fancy cars which are thing we don’t particularly need but want. Imagine what the world would look like if people spent those millions of dollars, or even less than that, giving back to communities or other parts of the world that are in poverty such as victims who lose everything due to natural disasters. If we as humans rely on money for our wellbeing, why not try to help others well beings who are unfortunate instead of buying things that mean nothing or have no value to anyone but your own self. All in all, money has certainly made a huge impact in the world we live today. Whether for the good or for the bad.


Works Cited

Friedman, Milton. “The Island of Stone Money.” Diss. Hoover Institution, Stanford University , 1991.

“The Invention of Money.” 423: The Invention of Money. This Is American Life, WBEZ. Chicago . 7 Jan. 2011.

CBN. “Is Money the Root Of All Evil.”  2017. Web.

12 thoughts on “AO4 Stone Money Rewrite—collegegirl”

  1. Thank you for your post, collegegirl. I will begin with some brief notes and return later for a more in-depth critique. To facilitate the process, please respond when I leave commentary here. Dialog is the best way to stay engaged and achieve your highest grade. I will always respond to students first before working on posts by students who do not engage.

    WORD COUNT: This falls considerably short of the required 1000 words, collegegirl, and as a result could never earn a passing grade.
    WORKS CITED: Check.
    BASIC GRAMMAR AND USAGE: Mostly correct, but the errors need to be addressed. Find and fix missing apostrophes in possessives. Find and fix a serious there/their/they’re problem.
    ADVANCED GRAMMAR AND STYLE: Eliminate rhetorical questions. Recognize and eliminate misplaced modifiers. [While stumbling across a blog, Money is the most important thing in life, the author wrote that money is the most important thing in life.] [After reading and listening to a few articles regarding money and the history behind it, my views regarding money as a whole have changed. ] If you don’t see the misplaced modifiers in these sentences, collegegirl, we’ll need to talk about that.
    ARGUMENT DENSITY: Your ratio of ideas and claims per word is very low, collegegirl. On average, you’re making just one or two claims per paragraph whereas you should be making claims in every sentence. We’ll talk more about that, but begin by eliminating repetitions and throat-clearing and replacing them with more substance. For example, your P4 about trillions spends a paragraph to say, basically, “Lots of people seem to be trillionaires these days; I wonder why.” Your conclusion, P5, spends a paragraph to say, “We give money too much power.”
    INCORPORATING BACKGROUND: The only readers who will understand your essay are me and your classmates, collegegirl. This is a serious problem. The week 3 lecture on Purposeful Summaries will help you figure out how to incorporate background material into your writing so that readers get the information they need to understand the points you’re arguing. Read your first paragraph as if you were unfamiliar with the Stone Money story. Would you understand it?
    INFORMAL CITATION: Mechanically, you handle your sources well.
    SECOND DRAFT: For your rewrite, trim your excess language and boost the number of claims per sentence substantially. Instead of taking us on a guided tour of your reading experience, remove yourself from the essay as much as possible and concentrate on the subject matter. Incorporate the background material into your paragraphs so readers can follow your arguments.
    HOW TO PROCEED: You haven’t been formally assigned a rewrite for this essay yet. For now, if you want to make revisions for me to review, you can do it by simply editing this post. When you Update it, add it to the Feedback Please category so I’ll know there’s new material for me to review.

    Respond with a Reply when you’ve read this so I’ll know we’re communicating.
    Thank you.


    1. It’s a start, collegegirl. Readers will now understand that there is a stone on Yap that has value. I think from your phrasing they’ll believe there’s only one stone, which the Yap all share, that somehow functions as money.

      What part of the source material you use, and how you summarize it, depends on what argument you wish to make in your own essay. Your point about the Yap here appears to be simply that their money is no crazier than ours. In fact, we both have currencies that seem odd from a distance, not because money is so different (paper is paper and stones are stones; neither is magical), but because our cultures are different. They all know each other and trust one another while we are too numerous and dishonest to use the Yap system of leaving our money in other people’s yards. Is that it?

      What I’m trying to say diplomatically is that your ideas have to come first, collegegirl. They need to be smart and numerous and clear. Once you have lots to say, you’ll find it hard to limit yourself to 1000 words, and large portions of your source material will be fighting to get into your essay to help you out.


  2. Hi professor, I have read you reply to my original essay that I have posted. I would love to revise my essay and have you review it again. I found myself reading my essay over and over again just now and completely getting lost as to what point I am actually trying to make, I will rewrite the essay and make sure I put it in the feedback category along with what I actually need feedback on! Thank you for taking the time to write your comments under my post. I appreciate it and will use your feedback to improve my rewrite!


  3. Hello! Feedback please!

    I tried making my points clear and used an example you gave in class which was to talk to someone about your ideas in order to actually make them ideas. How’s it look?


    1. I haven’t looked yet, collegegirl, but I’m very encouraged that you’re so responsive to feedback I’ll start now to review your post.

      My process is to read the post again as if it were a new first draft. Now that you’ve improved it, I may respond to things I ignored on the first go-round. Please don’t be discouraged. No draft is ever final, and I will never declare the process Finished. As long as you keep asking, I will always provide additional comments, even after you get to the grade you want.


  4. I think I’ll do this paragraph by paragraph, so I’ve numbered yours to simplify keeping track.

    P1. I appreciate that you’ve added physical details to the post, collegegirl (rectangles of green paper), but you didn’t indicate the range of possibilities. You could gain a lot of momentum by writing a first sentence that accomplished more. Money may be a small rectangle of paper, but it can also be a minted coin. It can be a magnetic stripe on a plastic card. It can even be a few keystrokes on a smart phone. (And of course it can be a huge limestone disk.) Instead of comparing euros and dollars, which are “currencies,” as you use them, not physical objects, keep us thinking about the physicality of money for awhile. That is, after all, your point. Money can be a huge boulder or a small coin, a piece of paper, or not physical at all, and still . . . it has a huge impact on our well-being. Do you see the difference?

    Grammar. You have a FATAL their/there/they’re error.
    Grammar. You have written a FATAL fragment, which can be corrected easily:

    Countries such as France, Germany and Greece use the euro as their national currency, in contrast to countries such as the United States and Belize, who use the dollar.

    P2. I recommended that you reduce your personal presence in the essay, collegegirl. Here’s an example of how to accomplish that. BEFORE:

    When first hearing the story about the Yap and their stone money, I thought it was bizarre for someone to consider something so useless to us, as valuable.


    At first glance, the story of the Yap, who consider huge, polished limestone disks to be as valuable as a new house, seems bizarre.

    Find a way to eliminate “filler” sentences like this one:

    This brings up another point about the Yap villagers.

    This sentence contains a misplaced modifier, the result of which is to inform readers that Milton Friedman read his own article:

    When reading Milton Friedman’s article regarding the Yap villagers, HE wrote

    In fact, it’s YOU who read the article, so the correction looks something like this:

    Reading Milton Friedman’s article regarding the Yap villagers, I discovered that . . . .

    But you were going to reduce your personal presence, so . . . you’ll need a different strategy.
    You’ve written 1000 words in this version, give or take, for which I am grateful. NOW, the harder part, is to make the best use of 1000 words. Don’t be discouraged, collegegirl. This will be come more natural with time if you work at it and care. Here you have spent three sentences to do the work of one:

    Afterwards, it was believed by the entire village that the purchasing power of the fei remained with the family. In other words, even at the bottom of the sea, the large stone was as valuable as if it were to be in their possession. Although the stone remained at the bottom of the sea, it certainly had an impact on the family’s well being. The Yap in the village always acknowledged the families wealth and was never questioned.

    That can all be accomplished with:

    Afterwards—even generations later!—it was believed by the entire village that the stone at the bottom of the sea no one had seen was as valuable to the owner and his successors as if it were in their physical possession.

    P3. I hate to do this, collegegirl. You really might dislike this demonstration, but I think it’s fair, and I hope it’s instructional. I’m certain it will demonstrate the standard I want you to aspire to. Here is your P3 reduced to its essence.

    For the rest of us, physical possession is a necessity. A ten dollar bill lying in the street can be owned by anybody who picks it up. Once we pocket it, we can spend it, and nobody will ask where we got it or who it belonged to. We meet our daily needs by passing the money from hand to hand.

    Now, this revision of your paragraph only works as long as you’re concentrating on the physical reality of paper or metal currency. If your essay is going to emphasize how far we have moved from reliance on those physical bills and coins, it will not make sense to say “physical possession is a necessity.”

    P4. More tough love, I’m afraid, collegegirl. Here’s P4, reduced:

    Most shocking in the NPR broadcast was the statement: “Money is fiction.” How can a rectangular piece of green linen printed with text and inscrutable symbols be anything other than real? Clearly the bills, coins, and stones, have reality, but they’re not essential to the power that money conveys. Money is just buying power, whether we can see and feel it or not. Online, it’s just a number that jumps back and forth from computer to computer. Before coins and dollars, people used fish, tools or wood to exchange for goods and services. After the apocalypse, when governments don’t exist, money will lose its value, and we’ll return to a more direct exchange of goods or services for goods or services.

    At its core, it’s a lovely paragraph, collegegirl. It pivots on a nice little turn where the physical reality disappears, and the intangible value of being “backed” by a government disappears, and we finally figure out what money really is: the ability to GET goods and services, whether that requires cows or coins or bitcoin or some other promise of value.

    P5. Can I count on you to apply the same “reduced to its essence” process on P5, collegegirl? I honor your impulse to turn this meditation on the “value” of money into a different sort of essay about the “values” that money can express, but I’d be more impressed if you can make your point with just as much passion and about 2/3 fewer words.

    I know. I instructed you to write MORE, and now I seem to be instructed you to write LESS, but there’s really no contradiction here. I want more ideas, more observations, so many that the word count is a severe limitation to all that you have to say. You’re doing good work. I see improvement and I want to encourage more.

    Please respond.


    1. Thank you so much professor, I’ve never gotten this much or such good and somewhat easy to understand feedback. I am working on it right now and going to do my best to take your comments and turn them into reality when re-writing my essay.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s nearly 4am and I haven’t seen your Stone Money Rewrite, CollegeGirl. I know you’re conscientious about your work, so it doesn’t worry me unduly, but I want to remind you to post your Rewrite AS A NEW POST with the slug “Stone Money Rewrite—Collegegirl” and with its own official title as part of the body of the post. See you in class in a few hours!


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