So I’ve been catching up with a pile of podcasts that I have been accumulating, including the BBC Radio 4 documentary series the Digital Human presented by Aleks Kotoski (twitter:@aleksk). In series 4 (Autumn 2013 – yes I’m ashamed to say I’ve got that far behind) Alex presented an episode called Value, which was rather special, in a series that is already fascinating.
Why special, well in under 30 minutes the programme explained brilliantly a couple of ideas that I have periodically tried to answer. As a music fan, I’ve often gotten involved with the arguments about which format is better, MP3s, CDs and vinyl. This argument has raged for a longtime and will continue for a long time (long passed when the music industry has collapsed through its inability to understand the end user). But, through trying to describe how our perception of value and its manifestation is affected (and perhaps changed) as result of the ease of access and gratification the internet offers us (no more finding specialist record stores, routing through piles of vinyl or CDs to find that 1 jem – see Vinyl Junkies). At the essence of the idea idea is that the investment of physical effort or emotion results in us imbuing the item with value. In the programme the idea of the effort to find something (hunting through stores etc) or the importance of a piece of music as it says something to us or about us.
But rather than me trying to repeat what the programme brilliantly explained – go invest 30 minutes of listening time.