Intrinsic value – what a week!
Well I kid you not – it’s been a crazy week, ending up with me preoccupying myself as I do with uncommon stuff such as ‘intrinsic value’ (again). I was in London, and I do not wish to be stalked about where in London I might have been – thank you very much! It doesn’t matter where exactly I was or what I was doing!
In this last week:
- I almost got diagnosed by a ‘hotel manager’ as suffering with ‘sleep walking’ (a medical condition). Just checking – did I say ‘hotel manager’? Yes I did! WTF! ?
- Then I had to deal with some fool in a Subway (food outlet) who could speak English but could not understand plain English. Go figure! ?
- Then some weird guy claiming he was “LGBT” approached me at a train station, to beg for £17.50 cuz he was kicked out of his home by parents. ??
I dunno.. why stuff and strange people follow me around. Call me paranoid – I’ve been called worse! I may blog the above at some point in the future. To avoid wasting your time skim through this post quickly and if it’s not your thing take off! ?
Air and Water?
But then I end the week exploring the meaning of ‘intrinsic value’. Errrh.. sorry.. nothing as exciting as the above – which are for other blog posts. Tough – you who reads this will have to wait!
So – I ask a few close others two simple questions:
- Does air have ‘intrinsic value’?
- Does water have ‘intrinsic value’?
I prohibit the usual nonsense to avoid them escaping the generality of the question, and attempting to give me yarn such as, ‘It depends on which air or which water‘. Come on – after 30 years of experience dealing with humans at a ‘different level’ I can pretty much know where they’re gonna go! Well after, The Spoon in the Bottle scenario, some of them learned their lesson – which is to give me a straight answer – minus the bull!
So – I get answers pretty early on, that air and water have ‘intrinsic value’ – not any ‘old’ value. In other words I got the required ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer after minor teeth-tugging! I did not define ‘intrinsic value’ for them, so they were free to decide based on their conceptualisation of the concept.
What is intrinsic value?
Some will be reaching for Google, to find out what ‘intrinsic value‘ means. I simply assert that nothing has intrinsic value save where a thing is of primary importance to survival of the human race. How dare I when gurus aplenty in high powered places have said differently. Just to be 200% clear the words are ‘intrinsic value’ and nothing else such as ‘value’.
To cut a longer story short, the term ‘intrinsic value‘ is often thrown around on the internet in relation to Gold, Silver and other precious metals or substances. The people who claim ‘intrinsic value‘ are grossly unaware of what the term means. But I dug deeper into the nature of ‘value’ and how the humans attach value to things.
The whole ‘palaver’ started off with Bitcoin. Loadsah people actually still don’t know what Bitcoin is! They just breakout with episodes of chewing on their finger nails at the word ‘Bitcoin‘. Thankfully I didn’t invent the human race – I’d be ashamed if I did. Others are anti-cryptocurrency cuz they know or believe it’s too volatile and therefore very risky in terms of investment. I’ll avoid analysis of this for the while as the issue in question is ‘intrinsic value‘ not Bitcoin just yet!!! Shall I repeat myself? Ok – “I’ll avoid analysis of this for the while as the issue in question is ‘intrinsic value’ not Bitcoin just yet!!!” – done it! Did I say ‘for the while’ and ‘just yet’ – just checking – yes I did!
So some need to go back to the dictionary meaning. In essence ‘intrinsic’ is about some fundamental or basic quality. What is ‘value’? Normally this is considered to be some sort of ‘worth’. But the problem is measuring worth – so people usually attach money value to objects to represent their worth. Did I say ‘everything’ can have value represented in terms of money? I did NOT! But then this leads us to ‘What is worth?‘. It then becomes very difficult to say what value and worth are? I cut through the tangled web by reducing ‘value’ to human effort and time. So – if something is of value or worth, then it means people in general will have spent much time and effort pursuing it in various ways. Diamonds and Gold for example have been pursued by humans with great effort. Religion, love, so-called freindships, food, music and so on – have attracted much human time and effort. ‘Effort’ includes labour or service of some kind.
People are generally presumed to be conscious, and self-aware – so they can apply value as an idea. How? If I choke (throttle) your ass (arse if you’re English), you become more aware of the value of your life! If I cut off your air, by whatever means – you become aware of the value of air! Jeez… is this so complicated? If you think so kindly depart now. No..no..nooooh.. it doesn’t ‘depend’ – leave now! [Errrh… what the hell.. I’m wrestling to keep a certain ‘idiot’ out of this.. keeps nagging me as I write!]
Let’s take a provocative example. A man (genetic male) transacts with a genetically female prostitute for sexual service. (Some are still not aware that prostitution is legal in the UK! This does not mean I support or promote prostitution!) I couldn’t be bothered about specifics, discounts or any special sort of service she might provide! Jeeez! What’s wrong with people? The moment you mention sex, imaginations run wild! Right – so he pays his money and gets whatever service he demands. Money is just a common representation of exchangeable value. Look, I don’t know the man, so I’m not interested in the quality of service he received! (Chrysst! You can see I’m fending of the ‘idiot’ in the background, who is figment of my imagination. It’s very difficult writing a blog when you’re being interrupted by stupidity in the back of your mind!) Okay – let’s say that the man has earned his money from other legitimate activities in his life such as employment. He has been paid for his labour in employment with currency – US Dollars, or Sterling , or whatever. His employer valued his services and have paid him. That’s simple enough. So – what’s the prostitute doing? Simple – providing a service he requires. So this guy may have spent the equivalent ‘value’ of a day’s labour at his workplace for say 15 mins of service by a prostitute. That’s his and her business – whatever they transact. For him the 15 mins is ‘worth’ his day’s labour at his workplace. If money did not exist as a means of transferring value or worth – then he might actually have to provide some other representation of value. Like? Food, or other valued items or paint her flat or whatever! Don’t start- I’m not into a debate about ‘domestic prostitution’!
In the above example we have both ‘intrinsic‘ and ‘value‘ coming together. How? Primary human needs (and some secondary ones) have a basic quality about them. So – people need the basics of food (and other biological sustenance), shelter, air, sleep and sex (this is not a complete list, so calm down). These are intrinsic. How much effort is required in satisfying those needs, is the ‘value‘. So man paying for sex with money (the unified common representation of value), is that exchange of effort for intrinsic value i.e. she’s got something that he values at a psycho-biological level.
The universe and value.
I unapologetically deviate from bedrooms or sheds to the vastness of the universe! It’s my blog and I’ll do as I please. I’m not writing this to please anybody!
The universe ‘values’ nothing! How? Because the universe is not presumed or assumed to be a conscious entity that defines how value is applied or conceptualised.
‘Value‘ is a construct of human nature. End off. I’m not explaining that again.You take it or you leave it! Value is about personal or group advantage howsoever that is assessed. But where does ‘intrinsic‘ fit in all this? It doesn’t. There is nothing ‘intrinsic’ of value for the universe. How? Because in the absence of humans, there is nothing – what remains, is a cold calculating chaotic universe, that doesn’t ‘care’ about anything. Nature – the universe’s tool – is designed to achieve maximum entropy (and you’d have to read up on that, cuz I’m not here to spoonfeed your ass!). But purpose is still a human construct i.e. we can’t really know what the purposes of the universe are! ‘You‘ – yes you – are a creation of the universe for maximising entropy – even if you don’t like the simplistic idea! But none of that means you are of special ‘value’ to the universe. How? Cuz the universe has a myriad of processes for achieving the supposed goal of maximum entropy. The universe has not communicated to any human its purposes. We infer the universe’s purposes, which is a different thing. The universe really doesn’t need you! It’ll get its jobs done very well without you.
‘Some’ are impatient and want to know what any of this has to do with Bitcoin. The point so far is that there is nothing ‘intrinsic’ of value to anything in the universe, and that value is only what humans create. Intrinsic – has to mean that there is something special or beyond human nature – and I assert that Gold is not special to the universe! How? Cuz the universe doesn’t ‘know’ Gold from Iron or Copper etc – it cannot ‘know’ because it is not sentient life as we know it. Did I say Gold or Iron or Copper was sentient life? I did not! I said that the universe is not sentient. How? Because there is no evidence that it is consciously aware of anything. The universe does not communicate messages to me – but for sure, some tree-huger somewhere will tell me otherwise.
Gold v Bitcoin – Air v Water
So – after all that – there is no value – intrinsic or otherwise – to anything in the absence of human awareness or interaction. And now we get to the big issue. Based on the above, everybody else is wrong! Gold and Bitcoin have no intrinsic value to the universe! The only value they have is relative to human existence. Neither Gold nor Bitcoin are intrinsic to human needs. The world will continue if they suddenly disappeared. But I’m not saying they are not important.
So think – why is Bitcoin now at 8 times the price of Gold? It’s only because people find value in (each) for storing the value of their efforts – which are normally represented in money.
But also think – air and water certainly have intrinsic human value as people had answered to my questions. Passing strange therefore, that bottles of air are not for sale in supermarkets but bottles of water – costing several times that of equally drinkable tap water – are on supermarket shelves. So what does all that mean? It means nobody sees air as marketable in the general economy. Did I say ‘in the general economy’? Yes I did – cuz I’m aware that compressed air for scuba diving and industrial purposes are sold for money. Bottled water has been marketable and has made loads of people rich, taking money from idiots who wanna appear fashionable. Did I say some bottled water not necessary for saving lives in some third world countries? I did NOT. Come off it! I’m obviously speaking in general about idiots in rich first world countries who in the vast majority do not need bottled water for their existence.
The point? Things that are truly of intrinsic value to humans may not attract monetary value in the way things which are not of true intrinsic value.
[Stupid has remained caged. Not having this post messed up!]
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