A tip on how to pay safely

I have completely rewritten this piece of advice
so as to reflect more experience, and the growing
number of alternatives that internet offer for
payments -- also of the impersonal kind.

Let me say that I'm in favour of a blossoming
society in which Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises,
individuals, larger companies and organisations when
these are needed, and state institutions also, all
work together in a smooth, noncorrupt, stable, solid,
and also flexible way, also as regards money transfer.

In the days before Internet (back to about the time of
the dinosaurs), -- we have this from ancient recordings
of how it was then, since nobody from that time is still
alive, it seems -- one used this remarkable thing, that
still fortunately exists, which is called CASH -- and
to have cash in one's hands can be just what is needed
to have that winning smile that makes everyone like
you. Cash means that you can go in and get new shoes,
or a piece of pizza, or a nice cup of coffee, -- or
something bigger than that. Cash means that you have
a token of transaction, a door-opener to many places.
Cash is therefore something that makes an impersonal
type of easy-going prosperous flow in society possible.
By cash, cities were built.

Cash also has other features about it -- that can be
exploited. And so cards of various kinds that require
additional information such as a pincode or even more
come into play and some find that this is just what
they need to feel more secure. If you find an envelope
with thousands of dollars in, these might be used at
once: but if you find an envelope with a card, this
card still belongs to the card-owner, when we speak
personal cards. So personal cards, debit (or debet)
cards and credit cards, of various types, are of value.
They are also of specific value when you need to BOTH
show your identity and ALSO pay; and perhaps also 
reserve a possible extra sum (such as when one rents
something). So we cannot deny that personal cards do 
have a very practical role sometimes.

However, with Internet, we see that personal cards 
cannot fully replace cash, because personal cards 
involve more personal data, and in some circumstances,
we hesitate before using them because of various
data-vulnerabilities. We wouldn't mind throwing
a bunch of dollars at an anonymous flower store
by the street near the hotel, but we may mind
throwing a bunch of entirely personal data at 
an anonymous flower shop on the net. The answer to
this -- and it MUST be answered, or else the whole
world orientation towards internet becomes a world
orientation towards some form or another of 
economical sluggishness -- is of course impersonal
cards, or impersonal ways of holding money in a 
relatively safe way that is suitable for a digital

In addition -- let's note this -- in addition to the
fact that personal cards involve personal data, there
is something about the fact of cash that goes beyond
merely a digital sum floating somewhere in the
digisphere. I mean, if you have five big crisp 
hundred-dollar bills in your wallet -- or five big
cashcards for that matter -- that feels like more
money than having just one of the same -- and this
feeling, this kinesthetical sense of money, helps
the body, the mind, the emotions, the intuition
scale the buys you're doing. So that things don't
go out of hand. Economy is both analog and digital,

Now I'm a currency trader as a self-learned extra
profession, and I like it, and it has increased my
sense of what currencies are all about, I think.
And, modestly or immodestly, I would say: steer out
of great reliance on currencies that are backed up
by just a tiny percentage of the world population.
If you want to play it safe, go for such rugged good
things, -- generally rugged and good even in weeks
with plenty of political turmoil -- as the largest
three or four currencies, and the USD dollar in USA
has a tendency to come out as the most trustworthy
of them all. By all means do gold and so on as well.
But nothing will ever replace the US dollar. I say
this because there are all sorts of attempts to 
solve the questions connected to digital money by
making new currencies. It takes centuries to make
a new currency. You live now. Take one that already
is established, British Pound, US Dollar, Swiss Franc,
Australian Dollar -- and, incidentally, if you are
president or finance minister or something of a
country with a national currency other than these,
ask yourself whether you cannot bring in a basket
of the biggest currencies as your own national
currencies, for this may make trade flourish. 
National currencies are maintained out of pride and
out of the illusion that they bring control -- but
the only way to control, is to let go of control,
and dance on the waves that the biggest currencies
are making. Well, anyhow.

Onwards with the thinking, then, on how to relate
to IMPERSONAL cards and such -- where this is suitable.
It is suitable for smaller sums. The biggest ones --
I'd suggest that in most cases, a direct bank transfer
would be most appropriate, whether by Swift or by
another type of established bank transfer. This is 
probably going to cost a bit more in fee than some
other transfer methods, but proportionally, when you
do a high sum this way, perhaps not all that much:
and the data are much more secure this way, at least
if you know what you're doing when you are securely
handling transactions through your bank perhaps using
a computer or perhaps by personal contact with the
bank. In using the newest Linux Ubuntu with the newest
Mozilla Firefox with all the security recommendations
we have at yoga6d.org/economy.htm installed -- fairly
easily, and freely -- you'll find that you can trust
your computer much more to do bank transactions than
if you merely float on a commercial wavelength as far
as the make-up of your computer goes.

The impersonal cards, then, come in for all sorts of
nice cash-like payments where we use internet rather
than directly going to the stores. Now how well does
this work? I'm not one that easily says 'yes' to 
a big company, but I do say easily yes to what Visa
has done with their giftcards. Confer giftcard.com
in USA, and spendon.no in Norway -- these giftcards,
suitable for small and moderate sums, have the same
type of long digit series as personal Visa cards
(debit or credit), and the same type of security 
3-digit code on the backside of the card. The 
card-holder's name and address (by some companies 
referred to at a page where it says 'Billing' instead
of 'Shipping') is then typed in, when you buy by it,
as the name of the card instead of a personal name, 
and the address when it's called for is then the 
address of the company providing the giftcard.
The FAQ section of the giftcard website will tell
you what name and what address to give. If you are
using e.g. the Norwegian SpendOn Gavekort (giftcard)
you will give Spendon Gavekort as cardholder's name.
If this is divided into first name and surname, 
well then, Spendon is first name and surname is 
Gavekort. There will be a little bit more cost each
time you buy a card, and a little bit standard Visa
cost for international currency transactions -- some
two percent maybe -- and you'll probably have a little
left on each card that you don't use, just to be safe --
but you get by these after all rather small costs the
enormous freedom to go around shopping without having
to spread around credit card or debit card data of
the personal type and fill up the world's databases
with all sorts of info. You get into a sense that you're
only giving the data you want to give, not very much
more each time you buy, and so, by each season of
doing economical transactions this way, buying and
selling and what not, you'll find that you have a
greater sense of ease, a greater sense of REAL not
just imagined security. The times you do want to
use a personal card or some other type of more personal
and more data-rich transaction you'll easily do that,
too, because you're not exhausted by having emptied
yourself of personal information time and time again
for petty buys.

There are other types of giftcards or prepaid cards
or cash cards or impersonal debit cards or whatever
they are called than Visa giftcard. There are also
somewhat impersonalised holders of much the same types
of sums which also -- unlike the giftcard -- more
easily allow you to receive funds. But Visa as company
stands with full force behind their giftcards. They
claim that EVERY netshop that offers a standard Visa
option for payment is a candidate for a Visa giftcard
buy -- to the extent that one can complain back to 
Visa if they don't accept it. They are in this with
full force. And for once, even if it is a big big
company, I say: this is something we ought to realise
as a beautiful thing, a thing that can make Internet
and the Digital Era be more economically easy-going
and fun, more cash-like, more the thing it ought to
be -- and this plays alongside the other types of
payment methods, also the ones using, when it is
REALLY called for, the entirely personal cards.

Good luck!!!!!!

Aristo T.