Firstborn Donkey Economy

Hello and welcome back to yet another week of rampant misinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will discuss a topic referred to Factually Deficient by Sicon112, who said:

We should probably get a blog post from you about the state of the firstborn donkey economy.

What Sicon112 is asking about, though nowadays a little-known quirk of historical economics, actually forms the very foundations of modern-day capitalism as we know it.

Thousands of years ago, when man was just beginning to discover that an individual’s prosperity would grow by sharing and trading resources with his fellows, people operated on the barter system. One item would be offered in exchange for a totally different item, with no rhyme or reason to the values of each item.

This could not last; it led almost immediately to strife, as each party felt wronged, felt that the item given up had been worth far more than what was received in return. Obviously, some sort of standardized unit was called for.

The solution was simple: donkeys. Everyone used donkeys, whether for riding, for transporting goods, for eating, or for their famed translation services. A donkey had universal, concrete value. Donkeys were soon agreed-upon as the basic monetary unit, and everything traded was ascribed a value in terms of fractions or multiples of donkeys.

But once again problems arose: each donkey bred at different rates. A prolific donkey would soon vastly increase its owner’s fortune, while other, shyer donkeys offered extremely low interest on investments. Once again, people felt wronged: they felt that they had been given an old nag of a donkey in exchange for a youthful one, that someone else had used underhanded tactics to get ahold of the most procreative donkeys.

How to resolve these disputes? How to set limitations on the multiplying donkeys? The greatest economic minds of the generation came together, and soon they had an answer: each donkey could birth only one firstborn. By changing the currency from donkeys in general to firstborn donkeys, they could solve two problems in one: they would reduce inflation, by reducing the pool of monetary donkeys overall; and they would remove the issue of unevenly-prolific donkeys, as each firstborn donkey would in turn produce exactly one additional firstborn donkeys.

Of course, as society developed, people eventually opted to move from the slightly cumbersome donkey standard to the more conceptual monetary systems used today. Still, it was on the firstborn donkey economy that our modern banks and financial institutions were first developed – and there are always calls, from time to time, urging us to return to the firstborn donkey system.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains falsehoods. No donkeys, firstborn or otherwise, were consulted for the writing of this post.

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Factually Deficient: Years in Review

It’s been almost two years since Factually Deficient started! Can you believe that? In honour of this near-milestone, I thought today would be the perfect day to look back over a selection of questions I’ve answered before, and see if I would answer them a little differently today.

Is the Internet Alive?

No, the internet is not a living organism.

Why do some of my recipes say they’re adjusted for high altitude?

Foods need slightly different baking times depending on how close or far you are from sea level. Places at higher altitudes will sometimes produce recipe books that make those adjustments for you.

Is magic real?

No.

What’s the difference between the Queen of Canada and the Queen of England?

Canada and England actually share a queen.

Is it true that if you scratch the little maple leaf on a Canadian dollar it smells of maple syrup?

No.

Who was John A. Macdonald?

John A. Macdonald was Canada’s first Prime Minister.

Why do all Canadians have cans for hands?

They don’t.

 

I hope you all found this edition of Factually Deficient to be informative!

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Disclaimer: the above post is dangerously honest and suspiciously reliable. No lies were written in this post. Peruse at your own risk.

Canadian Coins

Welcome back to another week of falsehoods, fabrications, and fictions, brought to you today by Factually Deficient and the letter F. Before I begin today, I would like to bring to my readers’ attention Plan B, a blog created by a colleague of mine for the purposes of giving people terrible advice. I can only hope that Plan B will answer any questions that Factually Deficient cannot.

And now, for our feature presentation, I give you a question asked on twitter by an individual going by the name Beetle:

Is it true that if you scratch the little maple leaf on a Canadian dollar it smells of maple syrup?

Canadian currency is a deep and complicated matter, the five-dimensional heart of the economy. This is not the place to speak of the moulds that vanished the night before the original one-dollar coins were to be minted, never to be seen again, causing the backup design to be used which in turn radically shaped the development of language and slang in Canada, because this is a place for lies, not facts.

I can, however, tell you that if that original design– an image of a canoe– had been used, the coins would have been so constructed that if you put one to your ear, you would have heard the sounds of the water as realistically as if you were standing in the mouth of James Bay.

I can tell you that the loon, the design they used instead, has been known in late autumn to make mournful honks as its flesh-and-blood brethren fly south for the winter.

I can tell you that the two-dollar coin, known as the toonie, is not, contrary to popular belief, so called because it is worth two loonies, but rather because the polar bears adorning it move and play with one another if you stare at it long enough, forming a primitive, numismatic cartoon.

You must handle Canadian dimes (depicting the Bluenose, a majestic ship) with care, because if you rub one in exactly the right pattern, then the room you are standing in will slowly fill up with water.

Nickels, worth five cents and depicting a beaver, will flash red in the presence of other beavers, and blue in the presence of an unowned dam (though they may be difficult to remove from the vicinity of the dam, exhibiting a magnetic-like tug).

There is, in fact, no maple leaf on the Canadian dollar but there are a pair on the penny, which has recently been withdrawn from circulation due to an alarming phenomenon wherein for every thousand pennies minted, a Canadian maple tree seemed to dry up overnight, no longer giving syrup– because all the syrup was now contained inside the coin.

I can only hope, my readers, that if you find in your possession any of these astounding coins, you will use them with responsibility and care.

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Disclaimer: Not all of the facts in this post are true. Reader discretion is advised. The writer has never experienced drowning due to dimes first hand, and can neither confirm nor deny any alleged reasons for the discontinuation of the penny in Canada.