Antwork introduces more than 100 concepts from economics and technological innovation – from the earliest introduction of payment methods in human society to cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, bartering to central banking. Each of these concepts is introduced in the fictional narrative of the book, but also explained in their real-world context in the 30,000 word glossary.
The below list includes the concepts, theories, technologies and ideas introduced in Antwork, along with a few sample explanations.
Account: When Leodie and Wimax give Sveper some silverwitch leaves to have stored at the borrowing burrow, they are opening up an account with Sveper’s bank. This system of accounts is exactly the same system that banks use in our human world. An account is a record in a ledger (see: Ledger), which is a book or digital system that is used to sort and store records of transactions (see: Transaction). For example, you might have a simple account in a bank, where you store your money that you do not need right now. There exists a lot of different types of accounts, which permit you to do different things. For example, a checking’s account allows you to write checks, which are backed by the money in the account. A savings account is used for saving up money for the future
, and usually has a higher interest rate (see: Interest) than a checking’s account. In a company, money can be stored in numerous accounts. For example, the sales account will hold the money made from the sale of the products the company produces. Really large companies can have thousands of accounts.
Amortization: In economics (see: Economics), amortization is a fancy way of saying that you pay for something in many small payments. We can also say that you ‘spread’ the payment of something over ‘multiple periods’ or smaller payments. If for example, you have a loan in a bank of 100 of your local currency, you could amortize your repayment of the loan in 10 repayments of 10 each.
Automaton: An automaton is a self-operating machine, or a machine that is designed to follow a pre-defined set of operations. Some automata are designed to look like they are operating under their own power. Some definitions of the word automaton specify that they are constructed to be human-like. The automata that Uncle Satomi employ to distribute computers to the people in the colony are very advanced, bordering on being actual robots (like the clanks, which are sentient robots).
Bartering see Trade.
Costs and benefits
Distributed (decentralised) Ledgers
Encryption and decryption
Fees (bank fees)
Fractional Reserve Banking
House of Medici
Lender of last resort
Marginal Utility (the paradox of value, the diamond-water paradox)
Money neutrality and the Cantillion Effect
Non-Fungible Token (NFT)
P2P (Peer-to-Peer) and client-server networks
Private Key (Blockchain)
Proof of Work
Proof of Work in Cryptocurrencies
Public/Private Key Encryption
Supply and demand
The Double Coincidence of Wants
The gold standard
Too Big to Fail
Value and Price