Early thoughts on value and cost
The news that a piece of “digital art”, or electronic art, has been sold at auction for USD $69 million was puzzling. Apparently, such art can be copied for free, without any cost at all.
In other words, the $69,000,000 art can be replicated and used effectively without cost. This is not quite the same, or goes beyond, having a paper or other copy of, say, the Mona Lisa. Any copy of the Mona Lisa is probably subtly different from the real one, whereas (according to BBC Today Programme) the copy of the piece of “digital art” will be exactly the same as the original.
It seems that what is auctioned is not the digital art alone but the art plus an electronic key to the original, which allows the owner of that original to access the blockchain for it, blockchain being defined as follows:
“Blockchain is most simply defined as a decentralized, distributed ledger technology that records the provenance of a digital asset“; or
“In the simplest terms, Blockchain can be described as a data structure that holds transactional records and while ensuring security, transparency, and decentralization. You can also think of it as a chain or records stored in the forms of blocks which are controlled by no single authority” [and see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain].
In other words, what the purchaser has bought for his $69 million US dollars is the right to change the electronic artwork, just as the owner of the Mona Lisa or other material art has the legal right to add a moustache to the subject, or to take up an axe and chop it to pieces.
In fact, thinking about it, presumably the artwork, if copied by a third party for free, can also be changed for free (though not the accepted “original”). That means that the $69 million US dollars is buying only the notional ownership and nothing else.
The auction of of the $69 million artwork challenges our concept of value. To me, buying “digital art” for more than pennies is completely stupid, but I concede, if it is a concession, that paying out 69 million dollars for any artwork is absurd, even if that artwork were the (original) Mona Lisa or, say (a favourite of mine), Man in Armour by Rembrandt (believed by some to be a representation of Christian Rosenkreutz, said to have been modelled by Titus, son of Rembrandt).
We have recently seen Bitcoin jump (and fluctuate) wildly, having reached the height (today, as I write) of over £41,000 (USD $57,000), having been valued initially in pennies. I have written previously about Bitcoin: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2017/12/10/thoughts-about-bitcoin/; https://ianrobertmillard.org/2021/02/20/diary-blog-20-february-2021/.
Bitcoin can be sold back, i.e. cashed in, though its real world use is limited. “Digital art” can be sold on as well, if the owner of the art, i.e. holder of the blockchain key, can find a purchaser (in my opinion, mug) willing to take it on.
In my first blog post about Bitcoin, I examined money. Why do we value tokens of monetary value such as banknotes? It all comes down to confidence.
In the end, does Bitcoin have less “legitimacy” or “value” than paper banknotes, or electronic entries on the ledgers of known banks? Maybe not, but that is perhaps less a validation of Bitcoin than a criticism of what we call “money value”.
Has capitalism reached, with the auction of digital art (and, arguende, with the sale of “real” art for sometimes hundreds of millions), a stage of decadent absurdity which may be a predictor of worldwide economic and social collapse? For me, the crazed heights at auction (of both types of art) are a sign of poor judgment as much as anything.
It does make me wonder what kind of person would rather have a piece of digital art than USD $69 million! Does that make me a Philistine, or just not a mug?
Is there a case for artworks of designated importance, of more than a certain age (100 years plus?), and valued at more than a designated level, being held and owned only by specified museums and galleries around the world? It’s a idea (of my own), anyway, though of course that would not stop speculation in artworks of younger age (and we have seen works by many quite recent artists, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, even Damien Hirst, go for huge amounts). Neither, of course, would such regulation stop speculation in digital art, not for decades to come, anyway.
For me, this latest art speculation is a societal warning flag.
The odd logic of tweeter “@MenziesBj” reminds me of the similar thinking of not a few instructing solicitors when I was at the practising Bar. There is a phrase in use among barristers, “solicitors go elsewhere“, reflective of the fact that instructing solicitors often stop instructing particular Counsel for no obvious reason.
You would imagine that, if as a barrister you do well in a case, then the solicitor who instructed you would instruct you again, and if you did not do well, would not instruct you again. In fact, while that sometimes does happen, often the reverse is true. No-one knows why.
Barristers are, especially when not in the very top sets, very dependent on their own relationship with solicitors. I was once slightly acquainted with one barrister, in a friend’s chambers, who had a very good practice despite (my impression) being not particularly intelligent. 90% of his work (25 years ago) came from one solicitor (not even one firm, but one individual solicitor in one firm).
One fine day, as Kafka put it in The Trial, that solicitor stopped instructing him; according to that barrister, for no obvious reason. Result? A serious problem for the barrister, obviously. 90% of work gone means about 90% of income gone.
That (nameless) barrister was one of those men who combine a relentlessly politically-correct attitude with a certain amount of sex-pestery, as my friend in his then chambers had mentioned to me. Many years later, one of his pupils, a young woman, made an official complaint about him. I do not know all the details, but he was fined £4,000, and may have been lucky not to have been dealt with more severely.
A personal nexus between a solicitor and a barrister, though inherently precarious, can work in favour of a barrister. I knew another barrister, though not well, who was a member of another friend’s chambers. The former had a friend from university who had become a salaried lawyer in a large organization. That employed lawyer directed work to the barrister. In one year, such work totalled, in fees, some £600,000! That was nearly 30 years ago!
Not quite as good as winning the lottery (or being born into a fortune), but almost.
I remember seeing that pub in the 1980s, when travelling down the Old Kent Road in Southwark. So now it is apparently a restaurant?Vietnamese, not Chinese, according to the Internet. Sign of the times.
That Forest Hill (South London) street scene from ?1900 looks far better than the same scene today (or when I last saw it, about 35 years ago).
Another place that I used to know. I visited that museum [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horniman_Museum] a number of times in the 1980s. The Horniman was founded by, I think, Annie Horniman, the heiress to a tea fortune. She was a member of the Golden Dawn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Order_of_the_Golden_Dawn; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Horniman, but I see just now that I am mistaken as to its founding…it was her father who actually founded the museum: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_John_Horniman
It may be a Muslim “Scottish” Pakistani who is fronting the new Scottish free speech repression, but I would be prepared to bet that those really behind it are (((something else))).
Jews who go from the UK to Israel to learn how to use weapons and explosives are latent terrorists and must be treated as such.
More official snooping online…
“Heather Burns, policy manager for the digital rights organisation Open Rights Group, said: ‘It’s needles in haystacks, and this is collecting the entire haystack.
‘We should have the right to not have every single click of what we do online hoovered up into a surveillance net on the assumption that there might be criminal activity taking place.’
Privacy International’s advocacy director, Edin Omanovic, echoed a similar sentiment and said: ‘Make no mistake, as warned, the Investigatory Powers Act (2016) gives authorities across the UK some of the most far-reaching and draconian surveillance powers found anywhere in the world.
‘When the Bill was proposed, we were promised the most transparent surveillance regime in the world. Yet, here we have a secret experiment where two secret internet companies have reportedly been collecting internet browsing data about individuals’ online activities.” [Daily Mail]
I missed this latest piece of crazed nonsense, which was being reported upon yesterday, it seems.
“Jenny Jones”, aka “Baroness” Jones [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_Jones,_Baroness_Jones_of_Moulsecoomb].
“A Green Party peer has suggested a 6pm curfew should be introduced for men in the wake of Sarah Everard’s disappearance.
Baroness Jones of Moulescoomb told the House of Lords that such a move would “make women a lot safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened”.” [Sky News]
What a total loony, even for the Green Party!
Who is she? “Before entering politics, Jones worked as a financial controller in London. She attended the Institute of Archaeology at University College London as a mature student, studying for an MA in archaeology. She spent approximately 10 years as an archaeologist in the Middle East, studying carbonised plant remains, before embarking on a career in politics.” [Wikipedia].
So she was an office bod for a number of years, became a mature student and then studied carbonized plant remains for a decade…oh, and she was a member of the pathetic London Assembly for 4 years, and failed to become an MP twice (in different London constituencies, coming 4th in both elections, getting 6.5% of the vote in one, then 2.9% in the other). She also tried to become Mayor of London, but only received about 4% of the overall vote.
Not a stellar political record, but hey!…this is the UK, where serial failure is rewarded so long as the idiot is “anti-racist” and/or (stand up, Boris-idiot!) pro-Israel. So she was elevated to the House of Lords!
Sometimes, I think that this country is terminally screwed.
Her previous utterances? Let’s see…”She was outspoken about numerous issues including what she called mayor Boris Johnson‘s demonisation of youth through the use of “baseless” rhetoric on “soaring gang-membership and rising knife-crime”, suggesting the mayor created an unhelpful climate of fear. ” [Wikipedia].
As for her curfew idea…look at her!
Jesus H. Christ! If I saw that walking towards me after dark, I would go home at once, lock and bolt my door, and impose a curfew on myself!
Late tweets seen
A nice-seeming young woman having her dreams crushed by the usual Jew-Zionist “claque” and clique, aided and abetted by their “antifa” idiot-serfs.
British social-national revolution! We know in our hearts what has to happen.
Novichuk would be cheaper.
“Feminazis” is a silly term, but his main point is right.
…and speaking of Cabaret…
14 thoughts on “Diary Blog, 12 March 2021, including some thoughts about value”
Hello Ian: How dare you! Posting such a horrendous photo of Jenny Jones! God, what an awful creature! Had I met her I would run for cover too and bolt my door! LOL
Regarding your country, I would say that sadly is terminally screwed. Not so much for what the Establishment and the MSM are doing but for the lack of reaction, the lack of guts of the vast majority of people.
This is the consequence of the “education” British people, and all White countries (Western Europe, Canada, the USA, Australia and NZ) have received since 1945. Cleverly (((they))) increased the poison and filth very slowly so we did not notice it. The result is a population of gutless, brainless cowards that would put up with anything. We are in a fine mess, but we will sort ourselves out, or not…. The coming years will be exciting my friend. I am looking forward to 2023!
As you once said, you *are* a hothead! I wish that we had a million like you…
The UK has a massive pest-control problem.
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https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/welbys-church-england-2021-%C2%A3trillions-gaia-greed-peanuts-parish-paupers. Speaking of money: It seems the C.of.E serves both Mammon and God!
Indeed. That is one reason why the C of E is so weak in every way. Compromise.
Hello Ian: Yes, you are right. I am a bloody hothead. (LOL) I am your archetypical Italian, impulsive and choleric. No wonder they kicked me out of JewTube. To be precise, they “suspended” me indefinitely, obviously for my comments who were extremely incorrect, to say the least. (LOL). They simply prevented me to access my channel/account.
The hypocrites told me that they would be glad to review my case, I only had to fill in some kind of form, asking why I had been suspended. If I considered their reasons to be unfair I could appeal. I knew very well that it was all crap. Like in the Soviet Union I had already been found guilty and the whole process was a sham. I would NEVER give them the pleasure to see me humiliating myself, like so many idiots have done, begging to have my channel back, only to be kicked in the teeth. They can keep it!
So many white people whine about how they are discriminated against by reverse “racism”. It’s true, but my word to those people is: don’t whine…just do something *concrete* about it. Punish the malefactors.
Nick Griffin, try and engage one’s brain BEFORE one writes utter tosh on Twitter! It is far better for that child to be temporarily deprived of the opportunity to play on swings for a TEMPORARY period (though this is getting longer and longer due to idiots like you and Peter Hitchens inciting people to break the restrictions!🙄🙄🙄🙄🤬🤬😡😡😡) than to be possibly killed from COVID-19 or passing it onto his much loved mother/grandmother and killing her!🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
Wow, that Green Party woman is a total loon even by the usual low standards of the party!🙄 I am surprised she takes such a nakedly authoritarian attitude seeing as the Greens have, in general, a very non-authoritarian and liberal policy towards criminality and how best to tackle it!
Look-up the latest Green Party policy position on their website! I have and I have to say it is pretty idealistic and probably can’t be pursued if one wants to see markedly lower crime rates.
The London Assembly may be “pathetic” but at least the electoral system it uses ie that of the Additional Member System (AMS) of Proportional Representation (PR) is reasonably democratic and votes are translated into seats on the assembly without too much of a discrepancy between seats and votes unlike with the farcically undemocratic sick joke First Past The Post (FPTP) system the House of Commons still uses.🙄🙄🙄
Westminster is even in 2021 in the dark ages as far as REAL democracy is concerned.🙄😡🤬 So much for the crap that is Tory ‘Brexit’ enabling us mere, lowly plebs to “Take Back Control”!🙄🙄🙄🙄
M’Lord of Essex:
The problem with the London Assembly comes not from its voting rules but from London itself, which is such a demographic mess now, apart from anything else. In fact, in various ways London now pulls away from the rest of the country. It is not unique in that, looking at Moscow and perhaps Paris. Not very healthy, though.
I agree. It will be interesting to see how well the CONServative Party candidate does in the Mayor of London contest.
As there is only one person who can be Mayor at any one time the electoral system used CAN’T use any form of Proportional Representation (PR) so that position uses the Supplementary Vote system in which voters indicate a preference for two candidates in the first round and then if no candidate achieves 50% or more of the vote in that round and gets elected outright their second preference are redistributed to the two leading candidates left.
I won’t be too surprised if Sadiq Khan wins outright in the first round (he didn’t come too far from achieving it last time)
I have to say that I think it is very unlikely that Shaun Bailey will be elected the Mayor of London! To do so, he will have to either win 50% of the vote or more in the first round which is extremely unlikely or have well in excess of 30% of votes in that first round so he can credibly overtake the current mayor on the second round. The Lib Dem candidate is probably the only person who can possibly beat Sadiq Khan using second preferences but then she could only do that if Tory voters saw the futility of trying to elect Shawn and put the Lib Dem candidate in the second round with their votes.
Now, I wonder why Enoch Powell warned about the consequences of mass immigration in that famous speech in 1968? It couldn’t be that he did so not only because he was a British patriot but also because he foresaw future electoral dangers for his party? Shane the Tories didn’t listen to him much then!🙄🙄🙄🙄
For me, m’Lord of Essex, the key point to note is that hardly any of the candidates will be English in any real sense. Sadiq Khan (Pakistani), Shaun Bailey (Caribbean black), not sure now who the LibDem may be. London is majority non-white now (and if you took away the white European minorities,and the Jews, inhabiting London, the real English/British population would probably be only about 40%).
Considering that Westminster uses FPTP with its single-member ie one MP per seat and that to be elected you only have to have one more vote than your nearest opponent in them and WITHOUT necessarily obtaining 50% or more of the vote this Green Party woman performed quite well in terms of votes in those seats.
FPTP is a system that deliberately tries to exclude as many voters as possible from influencing the results of a general election thus leading supporters of minority parties such as the Greens thinking rightly their votes are going to be ‘wasted’ by the system and therefore having to vote ‘tactically’ for a bigger party that may share some of their viewpoints such as the Liberal Democrats or the Labour Party.
Stand alone FPTP tends to create ‘two major party’ systems with minority voices such as the Greens systematically shut-out and excluded. It is very definitely NOT an electoral system suited to elect MPS from more than two big parties unless they have strong regional support bases like the SNP now has and create a genuine multi-party environment in a country.