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The paradox of value

What makes something valuable?

lundi 2 oct., Il y a 3 semaines
 5 min

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The video explores the paradox of value, illustrated by a choice between a diamond and a bottle of water.

Initially, the diamond appears more valuable, but in a desert scenario, the bottle of water becomes more valuable due to its immediate use. This paradox challenges the definition of value.

Modern economists use the concept of utility to measure value based on how well something satisfies wants or needs. Utility varies for individuals and circumstances. The law of diminishing marginal utility explains that as you acquire more of something, its additional value decreases. This applies not only to buying items but also to all decisions. To maximize utility, one should invest in choices that are useful or enjoyable.

Ultimately, value comes from our needs, enjoyments, and choices.


• Dehydrated: Lacking enough water in the body.

• Exchange value: The value of something in terms of what you can get for it later.

• Utility: How well something satisfies wants or needs.

• Marginal: Additional or extra.

• Nauseated: Feeling like you're going to vomit.

• Diminishing: Becoming less.

• Investment: Putting money, time, or resources into something.

Source: Ted-Ed

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