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Recently, I've been watching an antique dealer on yt go through people's collections & garages to find stuff for resale.

I enjoy the treasure hunt aspect, but the more I watch it, the more I notice how far we, as a society, have decoupled items' value and function: this metal can is worth $5, but it'd be $50 if it had a defunct gas station logo on it.

Same function, same quality, but people would value it 10x more because of a logo.

Such a perfect example of Baudrillard's Simulacra.

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@FredBednarski I often express that we have decoupled/mistaken/misplaced/etc the meaning(s) of value:

value (noun)
1. the amount of money for which something will find a buyer

value (noun)
2. a quality that gives something special worth
3. the relative usefulness or importance of something as judged by specific qualities

value (verb)
1. to hold dear

value (verb)
2. to make an approximate or tentative judgment regarding

unfortunately used interchangably, despite their antipodal qualities.

@FredBednarski despite what you're identifying here about function being absolutely aligned with my values ((verb) 1.), I suppose it is not unnatural for someone to value ((verb) 1.) something for its value ((noun) 1.), or for it's subjective values ((noun) 2, 3.) in their mind to be correlated with a particular print or colorway or special edition/etc as opposed to function, whether that may impact it's value ((noun) 1.) or not.

@deianeira Yep, English can get pretty convoluted..

...however, what I find the most strange, that we do give value to those prints and colorways, regardless of any aesthetic "function," but because of the brand associated with them.

The brand itself is what generates that value. That tin can I mentioned in the first post is no longer a can, just a vessel for the brand. A simulacrum of a simulacrum.

@deianeira ...and I can understand valuing, even collecting things because of nostalgia or aesthetic. Those for me are a kind of intangible function.

But I don't think that's the case here. Those things are valued 10x what their function would indicate, because there *might* be someone out there who would pay that because of the "brand."

Then it gets sold *not* to someone who actually enjoys the brand, but who thinks it's OK to pay the 10x price because of the perceived value of that brand.

@deianeira It's hard to explain, especially split into short posts.

But after seeing those things valued more and more because of this implied brand value, something clicked in my brain and I feel like I understood Baudrillard's ideas more.

Kinda like saying spoon over and over so it loses its meaning and you see it for what it is - a collection of letters, and a funny sound.

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Merveilles

Revel in the marvels of the universe. We are a collective of forward-thinking individuals who strive to better ourselves and our surroundings through constant creation. We express ourselves through music, art, games, and writing. We also put great value in play. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.