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Paper: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Ada Lovelace, clean water, computer age, Edward Snowden, invention of the telephone, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lone genius, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, moveable type in China, paper trading, trade route, Vannevar Bush
The type Bi Sheng used was made of clay baked into porcelain. The type was laid into an iron plate with a paste of pine resin, wax, and ashes of burned paper. When the type was completely set, he heated the iron plate to melt the paste and then pressed the type with a board so that the individual types would all be of even height. As early as the twelfth or thirteenth century, both China and Korea may have been printing with moveable type made from metal, which was an important improvement over wood and clay. The purpose of printing is defeated if the type wears out after a limited number of uses, as it would inevitably do with those earlier materials. But wooden type was still being used in the fourteenth century. Wang Zhen, a magistrate and an agronomist who wrote voluminously, ordered the cutting of 60,000 characters in wood and used them to print his work as well as a local gazette.
TIMELINE 38,000 BCE A red dot painted on the El Castillo cave in Northern Spain is thought to be the oldest image drawn by man. 3500 BCE Oldest writing ever found in Mesopotamia on limestone. 3300 BCE Oldest writing on clay tablet found in Uruk, southern Babylonia (Iraq), the beginning of cuneiform. 3000 BCE Date of oldest papyrus, a blank scroll in the tomb of Saqqara, near Cairo. 3000 BCE Beginning of Egyptian Hieroglyphic writing. 2500 BCE First script in the Indus valley. 2400 BCE Oldest known Egyptian book, written on woven linen. 2200 BCE Writing on copper and pottery in the Indus valley. 2100 BCE Date of the oldest piece of tapa, a fragment found in Peru. 1850 BCE Date of the oldest-known document written on leather, an Egyptian scroll. 18TH CENTURY BCE First writing system in Crete. 1400 BCE Writing on bones in China. 1300 BCE Writing on bronze, jade, and tortoise shell in China. 1200 BCE Characters for Chinese language developed. 1100 BCE Egyptians begin exporting papyrus, first to Phoenicians. 1000 BCE Phoenician alphabet begins. 600 BCE Zapotec/Mixtec writing in Mexico. 600 BCE Accounts written on wooden tablets in China and Greece. 5TH CENTURY BCE Chinese write on silk. 400 BCE The Ionian alphabet becomes standard in Greece. 400 BCE True ink from lampblack invented in China. 300 BCE King Eumenes II of Pergamum, barred from importing papyrus, builds a library of 200,000 volumes in parchment. 3RD CENTURY BCE Library at Alexandria. 255 BCE First mention of seals in China but used without ink in clay. 252 BCE The dating of the oldest piece of paper ever found in Lu Lan, China. 250 BCE In China Meng Tian invents the camel’s hair brush for calligraphy. 250 BCE Mayan hieroglyphic writing. 207 BCE Beginning of the Chinese Han dynasty, in which paper is developed. 63 BCE Strabo, the Greek geographer, writes of marveling at a watermill in the palace of Mithridates, King of Pontus, along the Black Sea. 31 BCE The earliest known Olmec glyph writing. 30 BCE Romans conquer Egypt and spread papyrus in the Mediterranean world. 1ST CENTURY CE Wax tablets used for temporary writing in Rome. 75 CE The last inscription written in cuneiform. 105 CE The eunuch Cai Lun of the Chinese Han court is credited with inventing paper. 2ND CENTURY CE Runic alphabet created in Scandinavia. 250–300 Approximate date of paper found in Turkestan. 256 First known book on paper, the Phi Yu Ching, produced in China. 297 Earliest known Mayan calendar, carved in stone. 394 Last inscription written in Egyptian hieroglyphics. 5TH CENTURY Japanese develop their own alphabet. 450 Date of earliest known writing on palm-leaf fragments of a manuscript found in northwestern China. 476 Official end of classical antiquity as the last Western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus, is overthrown. 500 Mayans begin writing on amate. 500–600 Mayans develop bark paper. 548 The king of Paekche (Korea) sends sutra and statues made of paper to Japan. 610 Korean monk Dancho takes papermaking to Japan. 630 Muhammad conquers Mecca. 651 Paper is made in Samarkand. 673 Monks at the temple of Kawahara begin copying Buddhist scriptures, which soon became a major activity in Japan. 8TH CENTURY China starts printing. 706 Arabs bring paper to Mecca 711 An Arab-led Berber army crosses the Straits of Gibraltar from Morocco into Spain. 712 Earliest known piece of Japanese literature, Kojiki, is written in Chinese. 720 Use of paper in Japan greatly expands as Japan becomes Buddhist. 751 Papermaking in Samarkand begins. 762–66 Baghdad founded. 770 Japanese empress Shōtoku orders the first known printing on paper, 1 million copies of a prayer to drive away disease. 795 Rag paper mill opened in Baghdad. 800 Paper first used in Egypt. 832 Muslim conquest of Sicily. 848 Date of the oldest-known complete book in Arabic on paper. 850 Estimated date of earliest known version of One Thousand and One Nights. 868 The Diamond Sutra, the oldest printed book ever, is found. 889 Mayans begin writing all their records on paper rather than stone. LATE 9TH CENTURY Baghdad becomes an important papermaking center. 900 Egyptians begin making paper. 969 Earliest known use of playing cards in China. 1041–48 Date of earliest known moveable type in China made of earthenware set in an iron form. 900–1100 Mayans write the Dresden Codex. 1140 Papermaking begins in Muslim Spain in Xátiva. 1143 The Qur’an is translated into Latin. 1264 First record of papermaking in Fabriano, Italy. 1282 First watermarks, in Fabriano, Italy. 1308 Dante begins writing The Divine Comedy. 1309 Paper first used in England. 1332 Paper first used in Holland. 1338 Papermaking starts in Troyes. 1353 Boccaccio writes The Decameron. 1387 Chaucer starts writing Canterbury Tales. 1389 German papermaking begins in Nuremberg. 1403 King Taejong of Korea orders bronze type. 1411 Papermaking begins in Switzerland. 1423 Earliest known European block prints. 1440–50 First European block books. 1456 Gutenberg completes printing his first Bible with moveable type. 1462 Mainz is destroyed and its printers disperse. 1463 Ulrich Zell starts the Cologne printing industry. 1464 The Subiaco Monastery near Rome becomes the first print house in Italy. 1469 Epistolae ad Familiares by Cicero is the first book printed in Venice. 1473 Lucas Brandis establishes first printing press in Lübeck. 1475 OR 1476 Le livre de merveilles du monde becomes the first book printed in the French language. 1477 William Caxton opens Britain’s first printing press 1494 Aldus Manutius starts the Aldine Press in Venice. 1495 John Tate establishes the first paper mill in England in Hertfordshire. 1502–20 Aztec tribute book lists forty-two papermaking centers.
., 209, 225 Philip II, king of Spain, 172–73 Philip IV, king of Spain, 142 Phillpotts, Eden, 275–76, 280–81, 307 Philo of Byzantium, 54 Phoenician alphabet, 15–16, 338 Phoenician language, 51 Phoenicians, 4, 7, 337 phoneticism, xiv, 6–7, 9, 15 phonograms, 11 photography: invention of, 236–37, 343 in newspapers and magazines, 258 Piazza San Marco, Venice, 271 Picasso, Pablo, 128, 257, 318 printmaking by, 268–69 Pico, Giovanni, count of Mirandula, 135 pictograms, 6 pictographs, xiv, 3, 12, 336 Piedra Gloriosa o de la Estatua de Nebuchadnesar, La (Menasseh Ben Israel), 175 pine tree shilling, 211 Pisa, Italy, 82 Pissarro, Camille, 264 plague, 185 planned obsolescence, 325 Planter (ship), 206 Plantin, Christophe, 172–73, 173, 174 Platner & Smith, 252 Plato, 18–19, 110, 180, 335 playing cards, 124, 141, 213–14, 232, 261, 340 Pleistocene Age, 2 Pleyden, Wilhelm, 123 Pliny the Elder, 1, 14 Poe, Edgar Allan, 264 poetry: Andalusian, 70 in Arab culture, 61 in China, 39, 40–41 oral nature of, 335 Persian, 60–61 Pollock, Jackson, 36 pollution, from papermaking, 289–90, 297, 299–300 Polo, Marco, 88 Polyglot Bible, 172–73 Pompeii, 20 Poor Richard’s Almanack, 215 Portland, Maine, 257 Pound, Ezra, 40 Prague, 133 Preston, Cuba, 285 Prince, Edward, 257 printing, xiv, xvii, 2 Buddhism and, 99–103 Chinese invention of, 99, 107, 339 early near-misses in development of, 108 etching and, 130–31 in French Revolution, 232–35 growth of reading and, 237 impact on authors of, 196 intaglio, 131 in Korea, 104 lithographic, see lithography paper as superior medium for, 108–9, 117 Stamp Act and, 217 printing, carved-block, 134 books of, 125, 263, 269 in China, 99 in Europe, 110–11, 340 in Japan, 99–100, 339 paper and, 99 playing cards and, 124, 141 on textiles, 124 see also woodcut illustrations printing, with moveable type, xiv in American colonies, 206, 207–8, 209, 211–13, 216–17, 342 Chinese invention of, xix, 104–5, 340 Chinese writing system and, 104–5 copper-plate etching and, 173–74 in England, 179–82 European alphabet and, 113–14 in France, 134, 138–41, 165 Germany as center of, 122–23, 132–33, 162, 183, 184 Gutenberg’s experiments with, 111, 113–14, 340 handwritten manuscripts imitated by, 115–16 in Holland, 167 in Italy, 134–38, 140, 147, 340, 341 in Korea, 105, 340 in Lowlands, 171–72 Luther and, 163–65 matrices for, 227–28 in Mexico, 159–60 Minoans as possible inventors of, 109–10 popular literature and, 196 Protestant Reformation and, 162–66 rivals of Gutenberg, 114–15 in Spain, 134, 141–46 and spread of ideas, 163, 164, 165, 182, 204, 216–17, 232 spread of, 133–34 woodcuts and, 125–26, 135–36, 141, 160, 171–72, 174 printing presses, xviii, 227 American-made, 218 of iron, 238–39, 343 limited-edition books and, 257 linotype, 262 offset, 263 rotary, 239, 343 steam-powered, 239, 343 printmaking: as affordable art, 268–69 in England, 201–2 etchings, 130–31, 173–74, 176, 187, 200, 201–2, 263, 341 lithography and, 235–36, 260, 263–64 mezzotints, 174, 200, 201 nineteenth-century revival of, 263–64 in twentieth century, 268 Protestant Reformation, xvii, 182, 184, 232 printing and, 162–66 Ptolemy I, king of Egypt, 13–14 Publick Occurences Both Foreign and Domestic, 211–12, 342 Puebla, Mexico, 160 Puerto Rico, 285 Punch, 260, 343 punches, 112, 113, 133, 257 Puritans, 206–7, 211 Pynson, Richard, 182 Pyrenees, 50 qaliya al-shiwa, 64–65 Qian Fo Dong (Caves of the Thousand Buddhas), 101–2 Qin dynasty, 27 Quentell, Heinrich, 122 Quenu Newsprint Paper Company, 289 Question Concerning Technology, The (Heidegger), xx Quevedo, Francisco de, 142 Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Máo zhxi ylù), 298–99 Qur’an, 51, 53, 55, 56–57, 59, 60, 63, 340 Racine, Jean, 227–28 Ragazzo, Giovanni, 135 ragmen, 245–46 rags, in papermaking, 55–56, 73, 83, 96, 189, 190, 209, 228, 285, 289 in American Revolution, 218, 219–20 Arabs’ use of, 49, 54, 55–56, 339 bleaching of, 239, 343 Chinese as first to use, 30, 49, 177 Franklin and, 212 growing demand for, 82, 142, 167, 183 Italian use of, 74, 77, 80, 82 pulping of, 169–70, 187 quality and, xiii, 97, 137 shortage of, in American colonies, 214 shortages of, 213, 246–48, 249 sorting of, 170–71, 170, 280 “souring” of, 171 trade in, 82, 142, 183 from uniforms of dead soldiers, 245 US imports of, 247 wood pulp vs., 251–52, 254–55 rag sorters, 280 rain forest, destruction of, 283 Raleigh, Walter, 186 “Raven, The” (Poe), 264 Ravensburg, Germany, 83 Ravensburg-Constance, 141 raw cotton, 317 reading: fear of, 238 growth of, 94–95, 237 and improvements in printing, 237 reams, 79 Réaumur, René Antoine Ferchault de, 245, 248, 342 recording, as uniquely human trait, 1–2 Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye (Lefèvre), 180 recycled paper, 250 red algae, 313–14 Redon, Odilon, 264 Red Sea, 55 Rembrandt van Rijn, 174–76, 175, 177 Remington, 261 Remington Rand, 344 Remnick, David, 332–33 Remsen, Henry, 210 Renaissance: demand for books in, 110–11 paper and, 117, 118–22 Report on Manufacturers (Hamilton), 225 Reuwich, Erhard, 126 Revelation of Saint John, The (Dürer), 127 Revere, Paul, 212, 214 Rhau-Grunenberg, Johann, 163 Rhode Island, 211 Rhône River, 139 Ribot, Théodule-Armand, 263 Richelieu, Cardinal, 184 Riessinger, Sextus, 134 Rights of Man, The (Paine), 203 Rionda, Manuel, 285 Rio Palo, 288 risma (ream), 79 Rittenhouse, Claus, 209 Rittenhouse, William, 208–9, 214, 342 River Darent, 183 Robert, Nicolas-Louis, 240–41, 279, 343 Robinson Crusoe (Defoe), 196 Robles, Francisco de, 143–44 Roderic, Visigoth king, 67–68 Roger I, count of Sicily, 78 Roger II, count of Sicily, 78 Roger of Sicily (textile printer), 124 Roman alphabet, 16 Roman Catholic Church, 182 Roman type, 182 Rome, 134 Rome, ancient, 12, 14 engineering skill of, 52, 69 fall of, 87 potters’ stamps in, 108 scribes in, 109 writing in, 19–20 Rosenbach, Johann, 141 Rosenband, Leonard N., 229 rosin paper, 191 Rouault, Georges, 257 Rouget de Lisle, Claude Joseph, 234 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 202, 231 Royal Academy, French, 249 Royal Navy, 238 Royal Society, 191, 194, 201, 236 Rubens, Peter Paul, 173–74 Rundi, Abi Sharif al-, 66, 74 Ruskin, John, 256 Russia, 134, 341 Rustichello of Pisa, 88 Rwandan Civil War, 314 sabots, 190 Şabūr, Iran, 59 Sachs, Hans, 188 Saga prefecture, Japan, 309 Sahagún, Father, 153 St.
A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr
"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Deng Xiaoping, Edmond Halley, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, framing effect, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, hindsight bias, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land tenure, law of one price, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, new economy, phenotype, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, survivorship bias, the market place, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, ultimatum game, World Values Survey, Wunderkammern
By the eighteenth century a specially designated street in south Beijing had specialized in the book trade and became the book emporium of China. Lively book markets, however could be found throughout the Yang-zhi delta. These facts clearly refute any kind of facile explanation of the Great Divergence based on a human capital advantage that the West may have had over China.9 Chow (2004, pp. 248–52) points to the many apparent advantages enjoyed by Chinese publishers. They could choose between two alternative printing techniques (woodblock and moveable type) suitable for different print runs, and before the Qing revolution there was little formal censorship in China, even if politically sensitive publications could be risky. Chow also argues that unlike the strict guild system and licensing requirements in Europe, in China there was essentially free entry into the industry.
And yet recent attempts to compare the number of books published in China and Europe, despite many pitfalls in interpreting the numbers, have shown that the number of volumes published in China was a small fraction of what was published in Europe (McDermott, 2006, pp. 70–71).10 Van Zanden, who has done the most careful quantitative work on book publishing in China and the West, has concluded that “movable type printing did not really take off in China before 1800” (Van Zanden, 2013, p. 336). For the Chinese ideographic script, with its many thousands of characters, moveable type was simply not cost effective and printing remained largely confined to block printing.11 To be sure, this ratio is affected by the multiple editions and translations of the same book in Europe, so that the actual difference in the size of the intellectual menu was probably less than the large gap in the number of titles suggests. In China printing took off more slowly as Van Zanden’s dramatic diagram of the number of imprints in Europe and China shows abundantly (Van Zanden, 2013, p. 327).
Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get From Start-Up to IPO on Your Terms by Jeffrey Bussgang
business cycle, business process, carried interest, digital map, discounted cash flows, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pets.com, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Wisdom of Crowds
Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger
en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, full text search, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, information retrieval, information trail, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, John Markoff, Joi Ito, lifelogging, moveable type in China, Network effects, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, RFID, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Market for Lemons, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Vannevar Bush
Well into the middle of the eighteenth century, for the printing of the famed Encyclopedie, 68 livres of the total 105 livres (65 percent) were spent on the cost of paper alone.34 Even with the changes brought about by Gutenberg’s printing press and the Reformation movement, for most people using books remained an elusive mechanism of enhancing their memory. This fact wasn’t dissimilar outside Europe, albeit for different reasons. In Islam, printing (instead of a scribe’s copying) was seen as blasphemy, mocking the glory of God, and thus prohibited.35 In China, printing presses had been known for centuries, although they employed woodblocks, not Gutenberg’s flexible and efficient moveable type. Chinese remained a logographic language, more cumbersome to use than a phonographic one utilizing an alphabet; and the highly stratified Chinese society lacked the tensions that fermented the changes in Europe in the sixteenth century.36 The Koreans, too, had developed a printing press using moveable type. Unlike Gutenberg’s invention, however, it remained a tool of the court and the elites, who restricted the content mostly to Confucian works.37 Industrial pulp mills in the early nineteenth century finally lowered the price of paper, causing paper production to skyrocket.
Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg
agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game
When Charlemagne was given an elaborate clock by the Caliph of Baghdad in 797, he did not understand what it was. At this time the Arabs were far ahead of Europe in science and technology, and kept Greek philosophy alive when it was all but forgotten in the West. At the same time, the Song dynasty ruled over an economically and culturally flourishing China. The rule of law and a higher degree of economic freedom resulted in a climate of innovation. The Chinese used moveable type, gunpowder and the compass – the three inventions Francis Bacon saw as the most important for the world as late as 1620. But the Ming dynasty, which took power in the fourteenth century, was hostile to technology and foreigners. It made oceanic navigation a capital offence and burned the great ships that might have discovered the world.
Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, diversification, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, money market fund, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game
The Curse of Cash by Kenneth S Rogoff
Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, cryptocurrency, debt deflation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial intermediation, financial repression, forward guidance, frictionless, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, moveable type in China, New Economic Geography, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, payday loans, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, RFID, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, unconventional monetary instruments, underbanked, unorthodox policies, Y2K, yield curve
The Chinese did use silver ingots as stores of wealth and as a medium of exchange, as the Middle East and Europe did before the Lydians, but these were not standardized and coined. Europe’s adoption of precious metals gave the European coinage much more versatility. Interestingly, though, China’s inferior coinage materials might have provided the impetus for its early introduction of paper money, the main technology we use today.15 China, of course, had fixed woodblock printing at least as far back as the Tang dynasty in the seventh century AD, and a moveable ceramic-type printing process around the time of the Song Dynasty in the eleventh century, long before Johannes Gutenberg produced his first Bible in 1455. The history of early paper money in China covers seven dynasties, each with its own monetary rules and institutions. In addition, the important province of Szechuan had its own currency for a time.16 But paper currency did not develop overnight.