There’s some fucking guy, scientist or something. Real sick bastard. Says he measured out the remains, the cremated remains of a dead man. Measured out the, uh, minerals left behind, you know? The iron phosphates, the … whatever it is we’re made up of. Says he added it all up to the cost of $4.40.

$4.40. Burnt down man’s worth less than a fucking Big Mac.

Michael Grey played by Liam Cunningham in The Numbers Station

I caught The Numbers Station over the weekend, and that is the opening dialogue. It resonated. I know nought of the truth – but it does seem about right.

After last week’s newsletter, and the responses, I have thought about it more and more. How we as a society spend so much … too much … time reducing anything … everything … to a value based on the component parts.

We know that the click bait mongers of the internet write stuff like this – to save you the click through it’s all about adding together the cost of the sum of the parts of an iPhone – and thus by extrapolation conclude that Apple is – as we might say in England … ‘Aving A Larf’. Total BS and nonsense but there are still people who argue that SApple are riping us off.

No – this is not a defence of Apple – but to ask a question.

Isn’t this exactly what businesses do every day week, month and year to people. You earn a salary or wage based on what they consider is your worth to them while they rent you for the 40, 50, 60 hours each week that you are in their service?

But it’s worse. The value is not just for the sum of your component parts, but actually for the sum of your component parts that they think they need, and everything else is ignored. Your component parts are what they have defined are needed to do the job that they have defined needs to be done. Everything else is of zero value.

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