Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 15: One Dollar Bill

Today's challenge was to work with one dollar bill, and for some reason my mind went to dollar bill origami. How or why I already knew that existed, I'm not sure, but I found an excellent resource site with instructions for making lots of different things. It helps a lot to have a solid background in regular origami... which I really don't anymore. I used to be better at it, but I ended up this one a little. It still turned out looking all right, and I like how the pyramid with the eye ended up dead center.
The book choice to go along with this prompt was almost inevitable, Terry Pratchett's 'Making Money'. No, it's not a how-to guide, but part of the amazing and endless Discworld series. I was slow to catch on to these books, and I have favorite characters that I tend to pick my books around. This is one of his newer books, and I'm not as big on the main character, but some of the concepts were interesting and made it an excellent read anyway.
One of the nice things about the Discworld books is that it's not too hard to pick up with any of them for a starting point (because once you do pick one up, you will want to read the rest).
In this one the main character, a former crook, is pushed into managing a bank. That might sound like a disaster waiting to happen, but when a crook is in charge of the bank funds, what need does he have to go commit crimes anymore?
The details of how banking and money really works are handled with Pratchett's usual cleverly accurate perspective, but this book isn't just about a bank. Golems come into the plot (if I could have found origami instructions for a humanoid figure...). If you're not familiar with what a golem is, they're usually made of clay, living statues in a way, who follow commands and make the perfect slaves. They're not technically alive, so this makes them property rather than people. Of course, it also makes them valuable.
This book isn't really about money, so much as what we place value on and why. I think what I love about Terry Pratchett's writing most is that he gets you laughing, but he also makes you think.

I'm in a tight spot these days, keeping the bills and utilities paid is rough when you're unemployed... but I still can't seem to give up any of my books. I value the books I have more for their contents than for whatever they'd be worth if I sold them.

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