What is a rock worth? 2021-01-18 16:35:33

At what point does a rock become worth over 200 times more than another one[1,2]?

Maybe one is more attractive than the other, though as Washington University’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences will note, ‘both visually and computationally’ the rocks look the same[3].

Maybe, then, the stark increase in value can be understood through unique differences in mineral composition: one rock is made mostly of plagioclase, feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, and ilmenite. The other rock is primarily made of calcite. If you still can’t tell which rock you would pay more for, though, then the price difference probably isn’t about mineral composition either.

Maybe, and perhaps more likely the case, the 200x jump in valuation has to do with the unique back story of one of the rocks: the fact that it came all the way from the moon and not your local home depot or construction site.

Value does not exist solely in the looks or spec sheets of what you create but also in the stories that your work invites people to experience and share.


[1] https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/30/world/moon-meteorite-sale-scn-trnd/index.html

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Eisco-Limestone-Specimen-Sedimentary-Approx/dp/B01J47ZUQI

[3] https://sites.wustl.edu/meteoritesite/items/how-do-we-know-that-its-a-rock-from-the-moon/

William Liao

hidden in plain sight It's okay and here is why
story. I was chanting story story story  in my head until you finally wrote it! ha. 

But yeah I was thinking about the significance of story and relateability the other day on my daily walk after reading 
's post about AI and creativity. 

Like take 50 Cent the rapper for example. He got shot nine times. And survived. And became a rapper. then a film producer. Etc. All of this stuff is interesting. Why? Because it actually happened to a human. A human that bleeds and feels pain and could've given up and died. We relate to it and admire it and still can't believe it's possible.

If an AI were to write that same story or let's say up the ante and write a story about some guy who got shot 99 times and became the president of the world and took over the moon and lived to 3 billion years of age? Would we give a shit? No. Because even though on metrics all of that stuff is 'better' than 50's story, it's not something we consider real.

This is why I think that AI type things will be great for superficial human touch transactions. Like getting a coffee or customer support. But when it comes to the actual meaningful stories of others -- the type we think about while in our car or walking around -- it matters that the other person bleeds red like we do, and feels desires like we do. 
2021-01-19 01:03:05
haha, glad I was able to deliver on the story part! I tend to agree with your comments on the relative differences between human-generated vs. ai-generated stories & how peoples' evaluation of value change accordingly. But I think there is an interesting twist here to explore w.r.t. to some of the surprising ways in which technological outputs are able to match that of a human. The first example that comes to mind is the idea of the "Welcome" text in login screens - there have been studies taking survey/physiological measures of arousal (excitement, not the sexual kind) and as a matter of subjective & objective experience we respond to such screens in a manner similar to if a human had said 'Welcome' to us. The thesis that I walked away with from my telecom degree was this: media = real life. Which is to say that if a computer laughs, we find ourselves laughing even though we know the laugher is coming from a computer. If a computer says "you look awesome", we are flattered - even though we know the message is coming from a computer. Etc. 

I'm really glad we have our call on Wednesday, there is much we could unpack from our exchanges on here so far - live chat will enable us to cover a good amount haha. 
2021-01-19 02:33:21