The cost of knowledge
S. V. Subrahmanian
svsubrahmanian at YAHOO.COM
Sun Feb 10 09:29:49 CST 2002
Being interested in economics as a science, I have the following to add to your
observation. Economics is more of a behavioural science rather than an
objective science like physics or chemistry. It takes into consideration the
psychology of the human beings. There is something called the water-diamond
Water is most essential for human survival. Whereas one need not know what a
diamond looks like and yet live happily all his/her life. Yet we see that
water is free, but diamond is very expensive. People waste water, but never
throw diamonds away.
In economics, they have always avered that "scarcity" increases the value of
the commodity. If anything is made available very easily its value is known to
get depleted in the minds of people. Time is available free to people, they
didn't work for time. But they worked for money. So when they want to
dispense with only time, they are careless, but when they want to dispense with
money they are very careful and cautious. In the expenditure of time (freely
available commodity), there is no opportunity cost. Whereas when one is asked
to pay a fee, there is an opportunity cost for it, a certain sacrifice involved
and hence they try to get the maximum out of it.
Their perceptions would be different if they knew that time was more valuable
than money, even if freely available.
Just a quirk of human mind !!
A mahAtmA once said: "Spirituality should be taught only to one who asks for
it, not otherwise".
--- Anand Hudli <anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Having just completed a course on prANAyAma and meditation, I was struck
> by a comment that the teacher made: "I could have taught all this free of
> cost. But if I did, then no one would take it seriously."
> Is it not usually the case that we tend to ignore things that are
> given out free of cost but make some commitment to things that require
> us to pay? Yet we criticize those institutions that sell books on
> advaita, etc. We say they are trying make a profit.
> Imagine what would happen if all of Shankara's works were delivered
> to your doorstep at no cost. Would you make an attempt to read them?
> Or, imagine you were paying for subscription to a list such as this
> one? Would you not then take the time to read each or most messages
> and respond whenever necessary?
> It is ironical. The best things in life are free. Yet, when they
> are presented to us free of cost, we do not value them.
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