In this post I analyze briefly why the mastery of documents is a necessary art in the age of technology. Documents are indispensable for the very existence of capitalism and it is how we express our own capital. However, the nature of documents (their ‘ontology’) is quite complex but it can be easily understood with a bit of curiosity and perseverance. Finally, I will consider how to apply the lessons learned in order to maximize the impact of your own capital.
The title of this post is basically a combination between two titles The mystery of capital and “How to do things with documents”. The first is a book written by the Chilean economist Hernando de Soto (1941), which is a cornerstone of the economic development in the third world. Instead, “how to do things with documents” is a Barry Smith’s slogan which is a paraphrase of the John Austin’s philosophical masterpiece How to do things with words (1962), which was the first attempt toward a philosophical foundation of the speech acts. For instance, saying “check” in the appropriate time and circumstance count as an action on the chessboard. Smith is a philosopher that “left the mothership of philosophy” to land to something different, something closer to computer scientist than anything else.