Re: virus: Re: shaman

Tim Rhodes (
Wed, 20 Aug 1997 23:59:01 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 20 Aug 1997, Wade T.Smith wrote:

> >I'll give you a hint. It's very similar to the reason why Brodie won't
> >give away his books for free.
> No it's not. I can _find_ his stuff if I want to....

Yes it is, Wade!!! (You've come so far, don't give up now!)

You *can* find out a Shaman's secrets too. If you *want* to. Only the
price is much, much higher. I guess I have to spell it out. (sigh)

Brodie doesn't give his insights (books) away because by putting a price
on them he creates and defines a *value* for them. If you go and pay $22
for it, then poof! Suddenly it's worth 22 bucks to you! A moment earlier
it was just another book on the shelf, but now it's as important as 22
beers or a really good dinner out. Creating value, that's what pricing is
all about (a lesson learned from the world of Art, BTW).

Now let's look at the Shaman. He has something. He won't tell you what
it is, but everyone seems to think it's important. You can't by it from
him for $22. He won't even sell it to you for $100. You offer him $1000,
$10,000 and he just laughs in your face. No, it's worth *more* than all
that. But you can have it if you want it. It'll take a while, though.
You might have to study for ten years, but if you *really* want it...

(This is the point, Wade, where the scientificly trained white
anthropologist throws up his hands and, declaring it all a sham, goes back
home to his safe, simple suburban home.)

The Shaman is in the business of *creating* value.

But /value/ exists on it's own, you say. It's not created or
manufactured. A thing either has value or it doesn't, right? Depending
on it's characteristics.

No. Look at the stock market. Is the value of a stock a reflection of
the worth of the company issuing it? No. If that was the case, the Dow
Jones would still be at 1000. (Are Wall Street traders Shaman? That's a
loaded question!)

The marketplace discovered 200 years ago that *value* could be generated.
Created from thin air, with only the most dubious link to "real" worth.

The Shaman learned the same thing about humans and human culture, only
they did it 20,000 or more years ago. They learned that *value* is a
thing that exists outside of the material world. It is something we
impose over the top of reality.

And if you know the secrets you can create it out of thin air.

What are you doing for the next ten years, anyway?

-Prof. Tim