The two ‘missed points’ in previous item combine neatly to inspire a reprint from last year.
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Normal people correctly associate heft with value. This makes sense in most real products. A car or house built with thicker materials and bigger beams WILL last longer, and WILL be more resistant to rust and rot and fire.
The correlation continued in analog electronics and mechanical appliances. Heavier chassis, bigger transformers, larger shafts, more shielding. All contribute to better performance, longer life, better cooling, and less unwanted noise and vibration.
A contrary movement started in the 1880s with minimalist art, which has expanded into all areas of products and food.
Rich assholes want less heft and less material. The movement penetrated ordinary life around 1950 with Loewy, bikinis and martinis.
Loewy’s slogan was “Weight is the enemy.” Bikinis gained value as they lost material and became more like dental floss. Martinis were allegedly best when the vermouth was reduced to exactly one molecule.
Nouvelle cuisine reduces food to a random splash of dots on a plate.
Now rich assholes buy only supersuperabstract 10th derivatives of reality like NFTs, which are a weightless digital package representing some kind of art, gaining “value” by a meaningless association with Holy Bitcoin.
As a formula:
Real value varies linearly with heft, up to an asymptotic limit where the heft becomes impractical for its purpose. Tanh as always.
Asshole value is the reciprocal of real value. As real heft goes to zero, asshole value increases (as always) exponentially.