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Friday, September 14, 2012

Private currency in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Jesse Walker blogs about private currency in Yellow Springs Ohio during the Great Depression. "I've been curious about that Yellow Springs money ever since I saw a passing reference to it in the Illuminatus! trilogy," Jesse explains.

Robert Anton Wilson discusses living in Yellow Springs in Cosmic Trigger 2. And you'll recall that Simon Moon in Illuminatus! attended Antioch College, located in Yellow Springs.

Jesse's invaluable Twitter site is here.


michael said...

Very cool link to Walker's work on Yellow Springs money.

Recently I was researching Stephen Jay Gould's use of pot for his cancer and found out he was at Antioch in the early 1960s and demonstrated for civil rights causes. He was 9 yrs younger than RAW and a college student, while RAW was raising his family in the woods and editing Way Out and reading in that Borsodi (or was it Loomis?) anarchist library.

I wonder if they ever ran into each other? Neither guy was the Famous Writer we now know them to be. Maybe only a coincidance?

Given RAW's penchant for speculative ideas in the hard sciences, I had always wondered why he didn't seem to mention Eldredge and Gould's idea of "punctuated equilibrium." RAW did have doubts about the total materialistic neo-Darwinian model (and he's probably prescient, with the recent rise of epigenetics, not to mention that "junk DNA" turns out to be not so junky); I wonder if RAW disliked something about Gould (maybe his East Coast-y-ness?). Gould did seem more Marxist while RAW was becoming more anarchistic around 1962. Maybe RAW thought punk-eek wasn't interesting enough?

Sorry to have rambled off in another direction. Suffice: Yellow Springs seems like one the most interesting "little" places to study in US history.

Sorry about Duckworth.

John Higgs said...

There's a lot of these local currencies springing up here in England at the moment. There's one near me in Sussex called the Lewes Pound ( that's been going for a few years now and seems to be really successful.

The notes have Thomas Paine on them, as he started his political writing in Lewes, but local currencies here are more of an environmental/peak oil thing than a political or anti-federalist thing.

tony smyth said...

In Ireland too, after the Bubble burst, In Kilkeeny I think, possibly elsewhere.

Jesse said...

Long ago I wrote something in the L.A. Weekly about a private currency in Kansas that had pictures of William Burroughs on the bills.

Jesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Can you please give a citation for where you read about Stephen Jay Gould's civil rights activity in Antioch?

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the currency issued by His Imperial Majesty Norton I.

michael said...

3rd paragraph:

But I read more info on Gould/Antioch/civil rights in one of the books on him that I've since returned to the library. When I get one or more of those books back, I'll give you title and page numbers if you want?