Captain’s log, stardate 20211106

Proof Of Subjectivity

The subjectivity of value is what allows trade to take place.

That trade occurs at all is proof that value is not objective.

Why?

Because if everything was worth the same to everyone, nobody would ever trade anything.

For example...

IF a 1 cubic foot bundle of kiln dried firewood was objectively worth the same to everyone (say, $10)...

AND a 6 pack of IPA was objectively worth the same to everyone (say, $8)...

THEN it would NEVER make sense to trade the firewood for the beer because that would be EXACTLY like trading $10 for $8. Therefore, you’d never get both parties to agree to the trade.

BUT!

People sometimes DO trade $10 of firewood for $8 of beer.

Why?

Because everybody places a DIFFERENT value on everything all the time.

This is what I mean when I say that value is SUBJECTIVE.

What something is worth is NOT an OBJECTIVE truth about or property of a thing.

What something is worth is a perception in the mind of an observer.

Here’s the thing...

Trade can only happen when two observers have mismatched perceptions of value.

In other words, both parties value the thing the other person has more than the thing they have.

When a trade happens in this scenario, both parties profit because they both got something that they value more than the thing they gave away.

Without mutual profit, it would be impossible to imagine a trade that would be accepted by both parties.

So...

As long as people continue to trade stuff for things (including money), then we have proof that value is mismatched and therefore subjective.

Yours,

—J

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