02 March 2009

On Trading and Twitter, the Exchange of Ideas

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21: A man sells vintage b...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

We are a people of trade. Trading is what we do. Trade was the main activity of our prehistoric ancestors -- at least those who weren't out hunting and gathering; they bartered or exchanged goods and services with one another before money was invented.

According to Peter Watson, author of Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention from Fire to Freud, the history of long-distance commerce dates from around 150,000 years ago.

It was on the Twitter "exchange of ideas" that got me thinking about this on Saturday. (I would have blogged about this on Sunday, but I was observing #twitterfreesunday, which I started to try to control my habit.)

My pal Howard Lindzon tweeted the following:

really just amazing how many people trade as a living or passion. starting to think our market is huge. 2:56 PM Feb 28th from TweetDeck

And I responded:

@howardlindzon Isn't trading what human beings do and have always done? From the old marketplaces to baseball cards as kids in the US 4:32 PM Feb 28th from TwitterBerry

To which Todd Stottlemyre, who trades from Arizona, weighed in:

@greenskeptic great point, wish I had all the Mickey Mantle cards my Dad use to bring home to me 4:34 PM Feb 28th from TweetDeck in reply to greenskeptic

Then Jaculynn Peterson of Portland, Oregon, added to the conversation:

@greenskeptic @howardlindzon Eugene OR survives on a trade economy. Why I think this city will fare better than others in coming years 4:34 PM Feb 28th from web

And so did the always enigmatic Deepak Das of New York, who said, "Currently I think my stamp collection from 20 years ago is worth more than my stock portfolio." (IU don't doubt him.)

What I love about Twitter is how quickly our idea exchange pays off. We toss out an idea and people trade off it and each other. That is our trade.

The willing exchange of ideas? Priceless.

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