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Author Topic: The intrinsic fallacy  (Read 100 times)
SirArthur
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February 07, 2018, 04:37:22 PM
 #1

There's nothing more annoying than keep listening to some idiots, and idiots that are supposed to know what they are talking about, speaking about "intrinsic value".
Let's put this straight once and for all:

There's no such thing as intrinsic value!

Intrinsic means something a thing has on its own, regardless of human intervention. What things have is intrinsic properties; gold has the intrinsic property of resisting erosion, copper has the intrinsic property of conduct electricity, and so on. But none has value on its own.

Value is always attributed, never intrinsic!
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February 07, 2018, 04:54:07 PM
 #2

What they mean by intrinsic value is that something has demand outside of speculation. For example, precious metals and real estate have demand even outside the financial world. Stocks, bonds provide income in form of dividends and interest rates, and are legal form of ownership or lending.
While cryptos don't generate income like companies, don't have industrial use, nor give you legal rights, it's just mostly speculation right now. You're gamlbing on a fact somebody's gonna be willing to buy it later, but 99% of price and transactions are purely speculative without any real world use.
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February 07, 2018, 04:58:42 PM
 #3

What they mean by intrinsic value is that something has demand outside of speculation. For example, precious metals and real estate have demand even outside the financial world. Stocks, bonds provide income in form of dividends and interest rates, and are legal form of ownership or lending.
While cryptos don't generate income like companies, don't have industrial use, nor give you legal rights, it's just mostly speculation right now. You're gamlbing on a fact somebody's gonna be willing to buy it later, but 99% of price and transactions are purely speculative without any real world use.

But usability doesn't provide value on its own, nothing does. Value is always relative to how much one wants to pay and the other to receive. Be it crypto, gold or potatoes.
For an instance, gold has very little industrial application, less by day on jewelry and yet its value goes up, because usability is unrelated to value.

The belief on "intrinsic value" was part of the problem at 2008 crisis. Real estate, like anything else, depends on supply and demand rules for its value and it eventually came down.
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February 07, 2018, 05:11:33 PM
 #4

Value is always attributed, never intrinsic!
From the top of my head:
House, livestock(cow etc), human life and I bet there will be much more stuff that can have some/any "value" on its own.
So I think your logic i a bit flawed there. However its not the point, you are considering this expression as literal meaning, where this is an actual terminology taken from economics and I'm not blaming you for being somewhat angry, fundamental value is the secondary name for it and it is a lot better/ more suiting. You can't blame people for using this name, just because some mathematician gave it awkward name.
It would be like being angry because of Hindu not being called Indians etc. It just is this way.

SirArthur
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February 07, 2018, 05:15:37 PM
 #5

But you still can't express that value, don't know how much it is or can be. It's just something > 0, but nothing specific.
Same rules would apply to so many things, Facebook, Twitter, 90%+ of NASDAQ have absolutely no intrinsic or fundamental value whatsoever, yet you don't see a guy coming out everyday speaking of its "intrinsic value", do you?
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February 07, 2018, 06:10:58 PM
 #6

There's no such thing as intrinsic value!

I think the error made with intrinsic value is its painted into a corner of polar opposites where the only purported options are #1 intrinsic value and #2 lacking intrinsic value. Its inaccurate to conclude: anything lacking intrinsic value, has no value. To be fair, we should acknowledge there are many different types of value. The term intrinsic value only defines one type, the lack of which does not exclude other forms of value.

Credit cards and crypto currencies having added utility in the form of easier convenience of use and electronic transactions could serve as an example of value existing outside of the "intrinsic". Decentralization could be yet another example of value other than "intrinsic". We might also say that HODL long term stores of value is another positive which "intrinsic value" does not cover.

It might be ok for crypto to lack "intrinsic value". The term doesn't define the only form of value and there could be other types which are more important or relevent depending on current events and current political climates.

SirArthur
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February 07, 2018, 07:12:00 PM
 #7

But it remains: There's no intrinsic value! Not on gold, not on livestock, not in a house, nowhere.

Intrinsic is something that doesn't rely on any third party to exist and therefore can't be changed by any third party as well.
Take the copper conductivity, it 's 58,5x10^6 Siemens, and it is as so now as it was 10.000 years or 1.000.000 years ago and it will remain so 10.000 or 1.000.000 years from now. Because that's intrinsic, what you do or don't doesn't and can't change it. You may add graphene oxide to it or other metal to change it, but then it's not copper, is a new material or league, copper itself will never change.

What you're saying when you imply something will have some value on the future, is the concept os store-value. Store value doesn't imply that thing will worth the same, more or less than now, it just implies it will worth something. You can do it with anything that doesn't decay: Bitcoin, gold, empty soda cans collection, rocks found at the river... out of 7 billion people you surely will find someone to buy something, so everything has some value.
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February 07, 2018, 07:21:28 PM
Last edit: February 07, 2018, 07:39:29 PM by Hell-raiser
 #8

There's nothing more annoying than keep listening to some idiots, and idiots that are supposed to know what they are talking about, speaking about "intrinsic value".
Let's put this straight once and for all:

There's no such thing as intrinsic value!

Intrinsic means something a thing has on its own, regardless of human intervention. What things have is intrinsic properties; gold has the intrinsic property of resisting erosion, copper has the intrinsic property of conduct electricity, and so on. But none has value on its own.

Value is always attributed, never intrinsic!

And so what? Did you just read about the subjective theory of value or something and it was an aha moment to you? For most intents and purposes, it doesn't really make any difference whether you think of, for example, gold's value as intrinsic or subjective. It may make a difference when you consider an individual and his "value system", but when considering many people at once, masses of people, it is just easier to talk about inherent or intrinsic value. Otherwise, it would be an unnecessary complication of the matters. After all, it is properties and qualities of gold that give it value.
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February 07, 2018, 07:23:22 PM
 #9

I was discussing this recently at a dinner party with family and friends and time and time again the skeptics said 'well bitcoin doesn't have intrinsic value like gold does' my normally quite quiet uncle who doesn't get too involved came out with this and it pretty much shut everyone up 'try give a gold bar to a man dying of thirst in the desert, let's see if it has any value to him then'.

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SirArthur
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February 07, 2018, 07:27:08 PM
 #10

And so what? Did just read about the subjective theory of value or something?

Not about that, but lately every time a jackboot tries to jump on Bitcoin will always come with that "intrinsic value" thing...  Roll Eyes
Hell-raiser
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February 07, 2018, 07:35:26 PM
 #11

And so what? Did just read about the subjective theory of value or something?

Not about that, but lately every time a jackboot tries to jump on Bitcoin will always come with that "intrinsic value" thing...  Roll Eyes

Yes, Bitcoin is different but you were talking about gold, right? So what's the point, really? If most people around the world and back love gold for its qualities, we could just make things a lot easier to discuss and understand when we use the idea of intrinsic value. The properties of gold are always there, just like its appeal to almost everyone in the world. They are not going anywhere, they are sort of set in stone, which means "intrinsic".
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February 07, 2018, 09:41:01 PM
 #12

There's nothing more annoying than keep listening to some idiots, and idiots that are supposed to know what they are talking about, speaking about "intrinsic value".
Let's put this straight once and for all:

There's no such thing as intrinsic value!

Intrinsic means something a thing has on its own, regardless of human intervention. What things have is intrinsic properties; gold has the intrinsic property of resisting erosion, copper has the intrinsic property of conduct electricity, and so on. But none has value on its own.

Value is always attributed, never intrinsic!

I think to argue that nothing has an intrinsic value is incorrect. Take water for example, that definitely has intrinsic value to us as humans as without it we would not survive.

The specific value we assign to things is where the confusion comes in, water could be worth 1c or 1 million depending on who you were offering it to and their circumstances. Nothing has a set value and that value is always defined by our perceptions and our needs.

SirArthur
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February 07, 2018, 10:48:15 PM
 #13

There's nothing more annoying than keep listening to some idiots, and idiots that are supposed to know what they are talking about, speaking about "intrinsic value".
Let's put this straight once and for all:

There's no such thing as intrinsic value!

Intrinsic means something a thing has on its own, regardless of human intervention. What things have is intrinsic properties; gold has the intrinsic property of resisting erosion, copper has the intrinsic property of conduct electricity, and so on. But none has value on its own.

Value is always attributed, never intrinsic!

I think to argue that nothing has an intrinsic value is incorrect. Take water for example, that definitely has intrinsic value to us as humans as without it we would not survive.

The specific value we assign to things is where the confusion comes in, water could be worth 1c or 1 million depending on who you were offering it to and their circumstances. Nothing has a set value and that value is always defined by our perceptions and our needs.

Water itself has no intrinsic value, but the intrinsic property of satisfy thirst. It may worth a million at a desert but nothing during a flood.
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February 08, 2018, 09:06:38 AM
 #14

Water itself has no intrinsic value, but the intrinsic property of satisfy thirst. It may worth a million at a desert but nothing during a flood.

I would argue that it would still have value because humans will still need to consume it, regardless of the abundancy of its supply. That means its intrinsic property to satisfy thirst gives it intrinsic value. Would you pay for it at such an instance though, assuming that all the water brought about by flood is potable? I'm guessing no, because it has zero market value at that point, considering external factors such as the abundancy of supply and the ease of access to it.

In this light, crypto doesn't have intrinsic value, and neither does fiat. Nothing's wrong with that either, because many other factors, such as government backing, or limited supply give them market value.

The problem is that people are making too big a deal out of intrinsic values. You don't need intrinsic value to have market value. Look at people buying Rolexes or Rolls Royces paying several times more than what they're intrinsically worth and see if they're complaining about the concept.

SirArthur
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February 08, 2018, 09:57:11 AM
 #15

There you get a paradox: air and water.
You can imply it has always some value, so that value is intrinsic. But water and air are vital, and here comes the paradox: water and air aren't charged anywhere.
Yes, they are free, practically everywhere. What is charged is the service of treat and bring water to your tap or bottle it, not the content. It would be highly immoral to charge for water because those unable to pay it would simply die.

So paradoxically what holds more value, vital value, can't be charged at all.
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February 08, 2018, 11:29:41 AM
 #16

There's nothing more annoying than keep listening to some idiots, and idiots that are supposed to know what they are talking about, speaking about "intrinsic value".
Let's put this straight once and for all:

There's no such thing as intrinsic value!

Intrinsic means something a thing has on its own, regardless of human intervention. What things have is intrinsic properties; gold has the intrinsic property of resisting erosion, copper has the intrinsic property of conduct electricity, and so on. But none has value on its own.

Value is always attributed, never intrinsic!

Hey, fiat money is intrinsic paper. You are right on that if we only look for the semantic. There is a correlation of money and time. Dont forget that, intrinsic, a 100 cash note per hour is the same paper as a 5 cash note per hour. But the time and the quality of the time you get to spend with those two diferent papers is very different. And also, if you get a 100 and I get a 5, probably this is in recognition of our skills that we spend time polishing. And that's not all, your skills that grant you a 100 are now, probably, the standart of quality that I need to achieve in order to earn like you.

Money was never about paper, salt, copper, gold or anything.
SirArthur
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February 08, 2018, 11:51:51 AM
 #17

No argue there; fiat has the intrinsic properties of paper: means you can write on it and it burns quite easily. Still most of it is virtual and has no intrinsic anything.
However time is an absolute value, you live x years, not x dollars and they aren't correlated. You can take a longer time than me to do something or vice-versa, and this will just means you will earn/create less "value" per hour (or other time frame) than me. How hard it is or not to create also won't define value, the hardest thing to do if has no demand still has no value.

On the other hand you're mistaken value with money, money is just one way to express value, an abstract layer to quantify somehow the value, but value itself isn't money. You can choose to provide a service or goods of equal or equivalent "value" without express it on any currency.
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February 08, 2018, 11:51:59 AM
 #18

You get the word "intrinsic" out of context. Economists and other experts refer to the word "intrinsic" as its tradable value. Like a gold can be traded into a land or a property or others. Unlike bitcoin, it has no intrinsic value. Its value is merely derived from supply and demand and its foundation that pushes supply and demand to the right is pure speculation. You have to understand the words can mean differently in different disciplines and you should take words into context.

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SirArthur
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February 08, 2018, 11:59:31 AM
 #19

You get the word "intrinsic" out of context. Economists and other experts refer to the word "intrinsic" as its tradable value. Like a gold can be traded into a land or a property or others. Unlike bitcoin, it has no intrinsic value. Its value is merely derived from supply and demand and its foundation that pushes supply and demand to the right is pure speculation. You have to understand the words can mean differently in different disciplines and you should take words into context.


If the counterpart doesn't accept gold you get nothing.
Gold is just as tradable as Bitcoin and its value derives of supply and demand just like Bitcoin... most of people also does nothing with gold, just stores and holds it as bars in speculative hope of its value to go up.

What you're mistaken is physical existence, you're saying that "you can touch it so it has some value". Well... you never touched a single dollar or whatever currency you use, coins and notes are not physical money, they are just physical representations of it, yet you use it.
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February 08, 2018, 12:55:31 PM
 #20

But it remains: There's no intrinsic value! Not on gold, not on livestock, not in a house, nowhere.

I think its fair to say, intrinsic value is merely a type of value based on perceived utility. Its based on the idea gold carries real world application and utility based on it being used in jewelry, electronics and other assorted things. What complicates things is, there are other forms of utility which the term "intrinsic value" does not cover. Currencies carrying utility in the form of electronic payment is a term we desperately need but perhaps do not deserve.

Bitcoin also carries forms of utility not described by the term "intrinsic value". We have decentralization and many other forms of utility which could be as important or more valuable than "intrinsic value" which we lack important sounding buzzwords to describe. So yeah, to clarify: I agree with you. The term intrinsic value is something of a myth. Not only is its existence questionable, bordering on a philosophic debate, but also its relative value in comparison to similar forms of utility may be exaggerated.

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