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Print your own money – and facts

Do you have the right to print your own paper money?

A woman arrested in Tennessee while attempting to pass a fake $5 said she was granted that right by a new law.

“All these other ******* get to print money so I can too,” she said in a quote on the TimesNews website.

She also had a fake $100 bill plus receipts for paper and a printer.

Fortunately, the notes were so terrible they wouldn’t even merit a mention in a grade school art class.

They were black and white and two sides were glued together – and not very well at that.

Normally, collectors get a good laugh from events such as this.

There is much that is funny in the account.

However, in the Internet age, there could easily be a website somewhere telling people they have the right to print their own money.

I do not believe that the existence of such a site mitigates her crime, but it does raise the question of how people can know what is true and what is false in the flood of information and what masquerades as information online.

There have been stories online recently telling us that we are now so dependent on our smart devices that our memories are emptying.

It is the knowledge stored in our memories that guides us through life.

It allows us to make judgments about what might be true and what is likely to be false.

What do people do who haven’t stored enough information away in their memories to make good judgments?

Will we get more people like this woman in Tennessee?

How do I even know the story of her arrest is true? I wasn’t there.

A fake financial story about Twitter yesterday caused its stock to jump higher.

A fake story about a buyout bid for Avon in early June caused its stock to jump too.

Obviously the buyers of the shares acting on this supposed news haven’t enough information/experience/judgment to arrive at the correct conclusion.

If I write the Peoples Bank of China is going to buy up all the gold in the world, would you believe me and go out and buy some? I hope not.

Perhaps in another generation of atrophying memory and reliance on computer aids, we will all believe we can print our own money because stories on the Web tell us so.

At least cute cat videos don’t create harm.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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