Heather Moore16

Heather Moore

Heather Moore conceived and leads the KashKlash project and is a User Experience Manager for Vodafone’s Global Concept Development team. She is interested in the value of creative chaos in a computer-structured world and in designing human-empowering, social tools. She has a background in communication design and psychology from Carnegie Mellon and has designed things such as mobile game interfaces, professional design tools, financial software, and virtual reality teleconferencing environments.


Funny Money

A recent survey of the landscape of economic-themed comics revealed some gems. ...

Starting from scratch

This is a thought exercise: Imagine waking up in 2015 and all money has d...

Redemption and the value of words

Redemption - such a fascinating  word. It evokes fire and brimstone. And...

Funny Money

by Heather Moore

A recent survey of the landscape of economic-themed comics revealed some gems.

I’ve been a longtime fan of xkcd and this time Randall poses his take on alternative currency and cultural memes:

(The tooltip reveals a nod to 4chan.)


marriedtothesea.com on the possible origins of Craigslist:
Married To The Sea

On exchange:

and finally this quite interesting anonymously posted primer on subprime loans:

The Subprime Primer

Starting from scratch

by Heather Moore

This is a thought exercise:

Imagine waking up in 2015 and all money has disappeared. All cash, credit cards and forms of currency, gone. Stock markets, kaput. A world without money.

What’s more, you can’t even remember that it had existed or that it had been important to you or the world.

All you have is yourself and the people and ideas you value. You have your unique combination of history, talent, skills and creativity. Your understanding of the world based on your DNA, your upbringing, your geographic location and your influences. You have your thoughts, ideas, perceptions, sensory experiences.  And you have the need to process, share, express and inspire.

Then imagine people coming together to solve problems with nothing but this, and with no prior knowledge of what exchange used to be.

Would you think in terms of what you need or what you can share? Would you exchange or contribute?

If you were to offer something to exchange, what would it be? How do you conduct this exchange? How is value established, among individuals? Among communities?

How might you set up an exchange that leverages everyone’s talents, creativity, perspectives and passions? How would you form groups? How would you solve problems?

And how might you prepare now for this future?

[Note: This is meant to be a thought exercise to explore omission, and inspired by one of John Maeda's Laws of Simplicity: 'Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.']

Redemption and the value of words

by Heather Moore

Redemption - such a fascinating  word. It evokes fire and brimstone. And cashing-in.

The English language is brimming with  abstracted words related to money that are full of other meanings. The words still maintain connections to their original meanings, but our culture seems to have lost them.

Margaret Atwood’s new book ‘Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth’ addresses a few of these like  interest and debt .


Glancing in the dictionary, there are 13 results for the word ‘value’ alone. It’s a noun, it’s a verb.  It’s tied to the worth of everything, but the word itself has almost lost its value.

val·ue /vælyu/ [val-yoo] noun, verb, -ued, -u·ing. –noun

  1. relative worth, merit, or importance: the value of a college education; the value of a queen in chess.
  2. monetary or material worth, as in commerce or trade: This piece of land has greatly increased in value.
  3. the worth of something in terms of the amount of other things for which it can be exchanged or in terms of some medium of exchange.
  4. equivalent worth or return in money, material, services, etc.: to give value for value received.
  5. estimated or assigned worth; valuation: a painting with a current value of $500,000.
  6. denomination, as of a monetary issue or a postage stamp.
  7. Mathematics. a. magnitude; quantity; number represented by a figure, symbol, or the like: the value of an angle; the value of x; the value of a sum. b. a point in the range of a function; a point in the range corresponding to a given point in the domain of a function: The value of x 2 at 2 is 4.
  8. import or meaning; force; significance: the value of a word.
  9. liking or affection; favorable regard.
  10. values, Sociology. the ideals, customs, institutions, etc., of a society toward which the people of the group have an affective regard. These values may be positive, as cleanliness, freedom, or education, or negative, as cruelty, crime, or blasphemy.
  11. Ethics. any object or quality desirable as a means or as an end in itself.
  12. Fine Arts. a. degree of lightness or darkness in a color. b. the relation of light and shade in a painting, drawing, or the like.
  13. Music. the relative length or duration of a tone signified by a note.
  14. values, Mining. the marketable portions of an orebody.
  15. Phonetics. a. quality. b. the phonetic equivalent of a letter, as the sound of a in hat, sang, etc. -verb (used with object)
  16. to calculate or reckon the monetary value of; give a specified material or financial value to; assess; appraise: to value their assets.
  17. to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance.
  18. to regard or esteem highly: He values her friendship.

[Origin: 1275– 1325; ME < OF, n. use of fem. ptp. (cf. valuta) of valoir < L valére to be worth]

I have also been thinking about what Regine said about the word ‘future’ sounding retro and devoid of meaning. Unfortunately, ‘future’ is the only word that captures  a time yet to come . Why are we lacking another word for ‘future’? Yet somehow ‘future’ has also come to mean a financial term for ‘commodities or stocks bought or sold upon agreement of delivery in time to come’.


fu·ture /fyutuur/

  1. (noun) time that is to be or come hereafter.
  2. something that will exist or happen in time to come: The future is rooted in the past.
  3. a condition, esp. of success or failure, to come: Some people believe a gypsy can tell you your future.
  4. Grammar. a. the future tense. b. another future formation or construction. c. a form in the future, as He will come.
  5. Usually, futures. speculative purchases or sales of commodities for future receipt or delivery.
  6. ( adjective) that is to be or come hereafter: future events; on some future day.
  7. pertaining to or connected with time to come: one’s future prospects; future plans.
  8. Grammar. noting or pertaining to a tense or other verb formation or construction that refers to events or states in time to come.

[Origin: 1325–75; ME futur AF, OF < L fūtū

rus about to be (fut. participle of esse to be)]

‘Interest’ has 20 different meanings. ‘Credit’ has 21. ‘Bond’ has 28. Shockingly, ’stock’ has 61. Is there a connection with attaching many meanings to a word with that word losing its meaning altogether?

Perhaps  we need to reclaim the original meanings of these wordsOr s tart from scratch and create new words that wake us up and make us think a nd act. Words that jostle us  and make us realize the urgency of creating our ‘time yet to come’  before the momentum of current events creates it for us.