The Value of Value
“And all of them were pickers. … Constantly finding things. Value in rubbish.“
Value and rubbish, two words I don’t normally associate with each other and yet this line suggests there is potential value in rubbish. The question is, what is value? What makes something valuable? The sophistication of the object? Its beauty? Its functionality? Sure those characteristics apply sometimes but going back to the line, I think we can safely disregard those options as “rubbish” is not sophisticated, has no functionality, and no beauty. So what is “‘valuable? What is true worth?'” (270)
As human beings we like to believe we are creatures of free will. In fact we highly prize this freedom (more than you might imagine), so much so when something threatens to restrict this freedom in anyway, we’re quick to act. This is hardwired into all of us, and is known as the scarcity principle. Its a big part of everyday life and is what drives businesses and companies. They tap into our inner primal instincts, to act before our options are restricted, before that choice is no long one we can make. This creates value, gives objects significance and makes them desirable.
Thinking about that I guess it makes sense that the designer of Gabriel Hounds made the company as secretive as it is. It became elusive and renowned only to a select handful, adding value to the product. Being known only to a few individuals gave those individuals an illusion of being part of a special, elite group, known only to a small minority, which leads to increased value. Its all in the mind. After all we’re only talking about a pair of jeans.