Aggregating Currencies

Kaliya: We were talking about the different forms of currencies last time. Can you explain more about acknowledgement as a form of currency?

Jean: Sure, why don’t we talk through an example.

Kaliya: So like I was recognized by Fast Company as one of the most influencial women in technology – is this a kind of unmeasurable recognition?

Jean: Yes. It is acknowlegded that you are, but it isn’t clearly measured. If they are serious about it, they will disclose their combination of metrics with qualified influence testimonials.

Kaliya: mmmm… – ok – I think they just made some phone calls.

Jean: So let’s imagine, instead, they came to that through a combination of speaking engagement count + online mentions + 5 testimonials by other influencers.

Kaliya: I see.

Jean: So what I described is an aggregated currency… because it is one currency that is taking into account several others. It is aggregating the currencies of count, mentions, and testimonials into most influential woman in tech.

Kaliya: So one currency can be the culmination of several others?

Jean: Yes, this happens often, and it makes meaning from many bits of information, making it easier for us to understand and work with. However, that aggregation often covers up interesting information. For example, we don’t know, when we hear most influential woman in tech, what that currency means exactly. How much can we trust it? With the count+mention+testimonials possibility I mentioned, we know more about what the most influential woman in tech means as a currency. There is often a tension between sense-making and the meaning lost in aggregation.