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Question #36

When you think about it, the concepts that keep society moving are pretty fragile. Take value for example. I can take a piece of paper, (nice paper, to be sure,) and print a 1 on each corner, and put a picture of a dead guy on it, and convince people that this is a one jablonky bill. Then if I can convince people to accept one jablonky for something, I have made that bill worth something. Then I make one with a different guy and a 5000 on each corner and now that we have established the value of one jablonky, it is a small leap to what a 5000 jablonky bill is worth. Or I can write on another, less nice paper that my bank gave me that I can give you 100 jablonkies from my bank account. But if you lose that paper, you have nothing. So you hustle over to your bank and deposit it and then they call the other bank, and say "Hey, I just got this note from one of your customers that says they are giving my customer 100 jablonkies, can you send that over? Thanks, buh-bye."

It works basically the same for a lot of things, as in somebody paying $2.8 million for a baseball card that is actually only an even smaller piece of paper that some people have decided is worth that much instead of the 3 cents that it took to make, or someone having arranged paint on canvas in a way that suddenly makes that $32 worth of supplies worth $82 million. And don't get me started on services and salaries and what they are really worth. Just compare a teacher and a Fortune 500 CEO. Granted, the CEO affects more people, but are they worth up to ten thousand times more than a teacher? Imagine in one hand, you have a one jablonky bill, and you can buy a candy bar with it. Then in the other you have a ten thousand jablonky bill (the one with Bob Marley on it,) and you take that and buy a late model Toyota Corolla. Is the CEO car valuable, while the teacher is candy bar valuable?

So the question is: We accept this state of affairs and we all apparently agree on it enough so that society hums along, but it doesn't really make much sense, and it only works because we agree.

Is that scary?

Just askin'


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