Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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Value of a life, and origins of modern currency
Josh 201604 KWP
joshdavis
Based on the risk of death people are willing to take in order to save time, the average value of an average human's life is 125,000 hours. That amounts to 14.26 years. If value is productivity, then that's 59.9 years at 40 hours/50 weeks productivity. That's pretty close to actual value if you assume 18 years are not spent being productive -- for example, several years as a young kid, and several years as an old adult. That brings you to 77.9 years, or the average lifespan in the US.

When multiplied by average wages, it puts the average human life value at $1.54 million US Dollars, ¥190 million Japanese yen, or £980,000 British pounds.

Ref: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2002/10/09/5646/

On a vaguely related note, the pound, dollar and yen are all based off of names for Spanish silver Peso coins.

The $ symbol was a "P S" typed over eachother, as in Peso Spanish. Spanish Pesos were called Dollars. Dollar is a slang derivation of the name of the Holy Roman Empire silver mines of Joachimstaler. A Spanish Peso was also a "Piece of Eight", and equalled 8 Reales (or bits). The US post-dated Spanish colonialism, and used their in-place currency system. Once the US developed its own currency, it was modeled after what was already in use for practical reasons to prevent interruption and confusion in trade.

The £ symbol is from "Lire" or "Lira" which is from "Libra", meaning "scales", which was used for the basic unit of weight (abbr LB) for the Holy Roman Empire (328.9 grams, split into 12 uncia or ounces, which was known as a "tower pound"). A "Pound Sterling" was literally a pound of sterling silver, though the definitions of a pound have changed through several systems (tower, london, troy, avoirdupois).

The ¥ symbol is from "Yen" which is from the Spanish and Portuguese mispronounciation of EN (jen/wen/ien), which is/was the word for "round", in reference to "silver round", which is the name for spanish silver during early trade.
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