I believe I’ve discussed Piracy a ton now, the idea of potential profit versus actual profit, and the loss of potential revenue versus actual loss of revenue. These things are all beaten to death because the folks who understand them the least have the most money to advertise the incredibly inaccurate explanation of each. The general rule of thumb being to take the information they provide you, multiply it by negative one, and you are left with the reality. But I am digressing, I am not posting this time to talk about any of those things but instead about the idea of worth and the worth of all things; As far as sentient human’s are concerned.
All things from the edge of the Universe to it’s opposite (assuming such places exist) have value based off of two, and only two, variables. The emotional nature attached to the item, and the functional nature of the item. That is to say there are two ranges for each that designate in the end of the overall worth of an item to Humans. It is important to note firstly that no item universally holds the same worth on either scale, different humans value all things at different levels on both scales. Even Life is not valued equally on either scale by every living Human.
Things such as baby blankets and money hold very high emotional values, they provide high levels of emotional comfort to human beings that relate to them (US dollars hold little value to tribes in the Amazon who have never met civilization for example), These things have low functional value (in terms of what they can do on their own). You can use a rolled up dollar to snort various substances, or in a bind it can be used as kindling, a blanket can provide fairly reasonable levels of warmth and can be a fun impromptu whip.
On the other side you have items with very high functional values and low emotional values. Personally (as I must with all items since these values are only 100% correct to and for me), I would put a power drill or automobile in this category. Neither of these things emotionally moves me, but functionally they are very helpful. One can help me penetrate wood and other surfaces that I might otherwise not be able to for mounting shelves or building some structure.
Digital goods too fall under this law of everything. They have value no different than anything non-digital, I would argue that their values lie largely in the emotional since the functional nature of their use degenerates extremely fast. Then again so does visible light and I’d not be fond of losing that entirely.
So if you are ever caught with someone telling you that something you own or enjoy is “Worthless” remind them that nothing is without value and that the overall value of all things is entirely personal and non-universal, those things that excite deep psychological traits (such as things that reflect or produce light trigger comfort in most humans likely since that’s one of our primary senses for escaping predation) have a much smaller overall range globally but they are still personal.
The economy for one fluctuates more on the emotion of those involved in the economy than of any real world change (other than the just mentioned emotions of people).
But I’ll stop there, this could easily devolve into rambling about every small facet of human existence and how we judge value, I think the shorter the better. Very apropos.