Books and documents:
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà, Brauli Tamarit Tamarit.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Magdalena Grau, Agustí Chalaux.
Chapter 5. Telematics.
- Which information?
- The telematic market.
- Monetary dematerialization.
- The present alternative.
The word telematics is starting to be used currently in all the
mass media in our country.
It has been formed by merging two ideas, more familiar, of telecommunication
and data processing. We can then define telematics as the «distance
communication (= telecommunication) of codified information processed according
to logic (=data processing)».
Data processing is a very sophisticated system of handling inforamtion
which brings into play, fundamentally, three elements:
the material one (hardware) is the tool, the working equipment;
it is the computer, the hardware making it up, material and tangible. This
hardware is the physical support of information.
the logicial one (software) is the direction, the working
method; it is the programme, intangible, abstract-logic, made up by a number
of elementary instructions which, when they have been introduced in the
computer central memory, ensure its performance.
the language: all information is expressed through a language; the
programme too must express itself in a language, which the computer must
understand in order to be able to carry out the instructions which are
given to it. This language is called machine-language, and acts
as a bridge between the machine (material) and the programme (logic-abstract);
it consists of a codification which matches the logic concepts of the programme
with specific physical phenomena: the transmission of electric signals.
Electric signals, then, materialize information.
Through the combination of data processing with telecommunications -that
is, the technologies of distance communications, circulation and distribution
of information: telegraph, telephone, radio, television, video,...- telematics
is born, which is the possibility of connecting among them several data
processing centres, scattered in space, so that they may transmit among
themselves the information stored or worked out by each one of them.
Through the combination of data processing with the technologies of
retroactive control, cybernetics is born, which is just the possibility
for the computer to continuously modify its own performance, by comparison
between the programme and the results which are being obtained.
2. Which information?
Data processing is the processing of information. But, which information
are we talking about? can any information be submitted to data processing?
No. It can only be the information which refers to «scientifically»
analyzable phenomena. Only the information which can be systematized, formalized,
which can be expressed according to conventional rules or to «scientific»
laws, can be the object of data processing.
Because the data processing programmes are logical, they are a number
of formal operations to be carried out on informative units. And it makes
no sense to submit to logical operations all that depends from human free
imagination, creativity, intuition, and which, therefore, is not submitted
to any system nor any law, and even less to any logic -which is the strictest
of the concentration camps-.
In a word: all that is not the object of «science», is not
the object of data processing either. A computer cannot give results nor
answers concerning ethical, moral, political, esthetic... problems. It
can only help man to solve the problems having their source in the field
of phenomena which are the object of «science», because in
this field it only repeats and imitates the outlines of the logic thought
in man, and to carry them out. And when it carries them out it does so
with great speed and precision, thereby sparing man from having to carry
out very long and troublesome calculations and mental operations.
This speed and precision are the great advantage and usefulness of data
processing; and even if its field of application is rigidly outlined, the
final result is that man has a highly perfected instrument of analysis
of the phenomenal reality which allows him, later, to take his free ethical,
political, esthetic options and decisions of great responsibility, on the
basis of a knowledge of phenomena much more complete and improved.
Not because it is narrowly defined is the application field of the data
processing technology more reduced. On the contrary, its use gets on more
and more through a great number of domains and tasks, to the extent that
it becomes a real social revolution.
From the programmes for teaching and research and up to robotics (or
robotization of production, that is industrial production carried out by
robots, machines with an electronic brain) and to bureautics (automation
of office tasks and cores), going through video, video-text, electronic
games or the personal minicomputers, which lure the great public, there
exist many and many practical applications of data processing and of telematics,
and many more are still to be invented.
On the other hand, the quick technologic progress causes a progressive
miniaturization of appliances, their constant reduction in price, and the
working out of new man-machine languages (which must not be confused with
the machine-language previously mentioned) which become closer to the human
language -all these things to a great extent make the use of this technology
4. The telematic market.
But what we are interested in especially now is the possibility of applying
telematics to the shaping of a new monetary system.
This is no piece of news, since everybody has heard about electronic
money or electronic payments. The comprehensive name of monetics is also
Now, the different initiatives which are already on the move in this
respect in different countries, also in ours, do not fall within the context
of a theoretical reflection on the monetary system and its social function.
We want to put right this fundamental deficiency, which is also very dangerous.
In the previous chapter we have described the cheque-invoice, the monetary
instrument we suggest as an alternative to the irrational monetary instruments
in force. We shall now see how to put in practice this cheque-invoice with
the help of telematics, that is, of the pro-telematic cheque-invoice.
The great possibilities of telematics cause this technology to be perfectly
suited to the needs and features of the cheque-invoice.
Pro-telematic cheque-invoice means simply that every cheque-invoice
issued will be so through a centralized telematic system. To develop this
system is, from a technological point of view, the easiest thing.
This telematic system should cover the following elements:
Telematic-monetary connections: these connections are not absolutely necessary
to start the suggested monetary system, but as they will be set up, they
will simplify the processes described before to be carried out by each
private invoicing centres: each and all the sales establishments (companies;
wholesale shops; detail shops and industries), however small, make up an
invoicing centre. They will have to be supplied with invoicing minicomputers
which, besides, will dispose of a printer which at every sales-purchase
operation shall print the relevant cheque-invoice. The supplier will only
have to type the suitable instructions so that all the features of the
operation will be recorded -as it was said in the previous chapter-; before
making the cheque-invoice he will have checked the identity of his customer
(there are several identification means to choose from). Finally, the customer
will only have to sign the cheque-invoice.
private accounting centres: they are accounting companies (let us remember:
Business Banks and Savings Banks). In one of these centres each one will
have his personal current account. Every cheque-invoice, after being signed
by the customer, will be sent by the supplier to his accounting company,
which will record the relevant amount in his current account. The supplier's
current account will send the cheque-invoice to the customer's bank, where
the corresponding debit will be made in his current account, and where
later the cheque-invoice will be microfilmed and filed away. Every bank
will be in charge of carrying out studies of analysis and statistics concerning
the whole of the cheque-invoices signed by their customers in each given
year. (These analytic-statitic studies will have to be made completely
omitting personal references to the agents of every monetary operation;
in this respect, please see chapter 6).
imperial centre, depending on the monetary authorities of the geopolitical
community: to this centre will arrive the analytic-statistic data worked
out by every bank, and the global analytic-statistic studies of the whole
empire will be worked out.
connections between each invoicing centre and its corresponding bank: this
will make the automatic recording in a current account easier, without
waiting for the cheque-invoice to be sent.
connections between accounting centres (banks): this will make the automatic
debiting in the customer's current account easier.
connections between the accounting centres and the imperial centre, to
allow an easier automatic transmission of the analytic-statistic data prepared
by each accounting centre (bank).
The market reality which will derive from the radical suppression of the
present monetary instruments, and their substitution by the telematic monetary
network we have just described, is called telematic market. In the telematic
market, each elementary operation is fully documented: there is therefore
a total transparency of the market, a thorough information on it, which,
if made available to all the population -and not only to a privileged sector
of it- is an inexhaustible source of greater wealth, freedom and ability
to act with intelligence and effectiveness.
The same could be said of the telematic society, or number of social-monetary
acts inside the telematic network of cheque-invoices.
5. Monetary dematerialization.
With the telematic monetary network and the pro-telematic cheque-invoice
a great dematerialization of the monetary system is attained, which shows
very clearly its lack of any intrinsic value, and its purely instrumental-abstract
The purchasing power of each person will be made up simply by a figure
in his current account.
This purchasing power will be started only by the issuing of a pro-telematic
cheque-invoice: the ensuing recording of data is automatic through the
The cheque-invoice, being a piece of paper, is the most material part
of the suggested monetary system, and it might even be suppressed and substituted
by a magnetic memory which would be printed directly in the customer's
card and in the telematic network of the accounting centres (banks).
6. The present alternative.
Whether we like it or not, the fact is that the telematic market will
be a reality in a very few years.
In some parts of our country there are already electronic payment cards.
In other countries, especially in Japan, this system is already widespread.
However, if we consider how this is being done at present, the conversion
of the monetary system to telematics will not be total, but will be done
parallel to the present system. The anonymous monetary instruments
in force will not be suppressed radically as we have suggested, but they
will be held side by side with the personalized telematic monetary
instruments: in this way it will always be possible to go from one sort
of monetary circulation to the other. And so it will be impossible to obtain
a total imperial accounting, and it will be impossible to attain an effective
personalization and responsibilization of the monetary acts, in anticipation
of the disappearance of corruption for money. All the goals we have assigned
to the pro-telematic cheque-invoice will be in principle unattainable;
there will have been technical progress, but social progress will be naught.
We therefore suggest the complete telematization of the monetary system.
That this need not imply the absolute control of the State over citizens
we shall try to demonstrate in the following chapters.