Money and Value

Money controls a lot of things today and with good reason. It is the unit of valuation, the metric of utility value of many things in our world. However recent decades have cast a shadow on its virtues. Today Money is sometimes considered more important that the value of the thing it is supposed to measure. True value is being lost. Everything is measured in money which originally was just a kind of representation of how dear something was to people.

Now we measure the worth of a company in the millions it garnered in investment or funding and not how well cared its employees are or how well satisfied its customers are. We look at success as the amount of money someone makes in a year and not how content he is with his life. The worth of a man is measured in money and not by what he value gives to the world.

Is this true value? Is money really worth more than the things it pretends to buy? Is making money more important than creating value? Is selling more admirable than creating? Is marketing more worthy than innovating? Why is it that people who innovate are struggling while people who make money out of the innovation are thriving? Is it a wonder that we are hardly seeing anything radically creative come out in the world. Innovators have everything to lose and nothing to gain if they can’t “Sell”. The more important an invention, the more the risk the innovator has to face. So in the end everyone wants to be mediocre, play the safe game, don’t make anything radical. Everything is a rehash of something that was “valued” at “something” and therefore the best way forward. Culling all human creativity to further divide that crater that appears between people when money drives its wedge through.

Is the money real? We see so many companies thriving today on “valuation” created on piled up numbers which have no real basis. Value has been virtualized so that money can be used to increase its own worth. There is no real meaning it seems in the various convoluted ways we have found of “accounting” for our “commercial” endeavors. Every year we seem to be adding more acronyms to our financial vocabulary in order to tack on “zeroes” to our numbers. We squabble over how much someone’s work is worth, overestimating it if it is our own or underestimating the same if it is others. We fight over who owns “ideas” giving it the dubious title of “Intellectual Property” which is neither an intellectual approach nor is it really a property that can be owned. Human beings were fundamentally built to be creative and this is why they thrived. We were all built to be similarly creative and iteratively clever. So is it surprising that many people can come up with the same ideas or that people can build on top of other’s ideas even thought they could never have initiated the original idea themselves. We were built like this. So what is the point of trying to prevent someone else from building on existing ideas or taking away the value of what someone else has created.

We are a creatively defunct society created out of corporate dictatorships. Innovate what “Sells” is the Mantra. “Sell” what “Shines” is the Tantra. No one wants things that last anymore, they just want flashy new things that do the same old tasks. “New” is “Good”, “Old” is “Obsolete” are the precepts of a new religion. As one of the most significant examples of this is that in the last 2 decades, we have not changed the majority of work we do on a computer by much, we still make documents, spreadsheets and presentations and send emails and search for information on the internet. The computers themselves have grown multifold in the power they carry. Today’s computers are no less than a few hundred times more powerful and capable than 2 decades ago but still manage to do the common tasks at slightly slower speed than their ancestors. The machines of old used to boot in minutes and allow us to do work quickly while today the new ones boot in as many minutes and allows us to indulge in mindless clicks and visual treatises that delay the work we need to get done.

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