Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's money


Blogger finou said...

I don't understand the "making bills distinguishable to the blind would make them easier to counterfeit" argument they mention in the article at all... I would have thought that it would make it harder to fake bills then.

12/01/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

I suppose in theory that having uniform sizes and color schemes for bills makes it easier for people to identify a bill that looks different. It's probably harder for people to identify that a red $20 is slightly too red or a blue $10 is slightly too purple than it is to note that same color shift if all your bills are the same color. I'd tend to suspect that the additional complexity of trying to match multiple ink colors in a counterfeit and the reduction in color uniformity in the currency over recent years more than make up for this disadvantage, though.

I can't imagine that this won't be overruled, though I think it's probably the right decision as a matter of law and definitely the right decision as a matter of justice. I would personally tend to miss the greenback, though, if we got a fruit salad currency-- reminds me to much of Monopoly money.

12/01/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

So, choosing uniform color scheme as the focus of my reply is probably rather dumb in the context of making bills usable by the blind... I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to extrapolate color to some other uniform characteristic like size (if everyone knows how big currency is, small changes are harder to detect than if people are accustomed to handling 5 sizes of bills). For bill size in particular, there's also the infrastructure costs of retrofitting all the ATMs, soda machines, etc that recognize a single bill size.

12/01/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Vincent said...

We already have fruit salad currency. It looks like someone spilled peach juice on the twenty. Other denominations look to have been contaminated with different fruit juices and blends. I have no problems with coloured money, so long as the money looks intentionally coloured.

A good compromise solution could have preserved the greenback while adding a splash of colour to distinguish among the notes. Years ago, the colour of the treasury seal on notes was different depending on the type of note: blue for a Silver Certificate (image), yellow for a Gold Certificate (image), red for a United States Note (image), etc. In principle, the same sort of system could have added easy visual distinction to notes while retaining the quiet dignity of the greenback.

In any case, the Treasury Department should think through a complete redesign that incorporates newer security features alongside with features to make the bills distinguishable to the blind and more distinguishable to the sighted. The current pacing of changes pleases no one: designs change frequently enough to disrupt continuity but not quickly enough to make significant adaptations that address the shortcomings inherent in the current suite of bills.

12/02/2006 12:19:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home