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Rubbish Theory: The Creation and Destruction of Value
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Rubbish Theory: The Creation and Destruction of Value

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  13 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 13th 1979 by Oxford University Press, USA
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This started off far more promisingly than it concluded. It's grand theory on a number of scales but also far more interdisciplinary that most books of such a nature, that is it uses both math and social science theory to come up with ideas regarding value, its predictability, and its fluctuation. Perhaps I disliked the latter portion of the book because I didn't understand the math, but I actually think it was because Thompson seemed to want to do too much: to give an understanding of how value ...more
Interesting theory about the way 'stuff' behaves. Thompson distinguishes between three types of things: durables, transients and rubbish. A durable is something like a Monet painting or other valuable stuff, that doesn't loose it's value over time and isn't destroyed over time (at least not in the easily forseeable future). A transient is an ordinary everyday object - and rubbish is, well, rubbish, junk. A transient can only transcend into the durable category by first becoming rubbish and then ...more
Almost too weird to review. The author has a silly sense of humour, which I found first irritating, then endearing. He also has the most illogical, ragbag mind. If he can draw similar diagrams about 2 things, then they must be fundamentally related. The best sections were in the earlier parts, when they drew on his experiences. The stuff about how 'rubbish' items, things that have no market value, can sometimes acquire market value was insightful. The (under-explained) jump to societies where po ...more
If someone has a copy of this that doesn't cost one hundred dollars, I'd be very grateful to know.

Otherwise, this book is fantastic if you are at all interested in mathematical ideas pertaining to the fluctuating value of everyday objects. As someone who used to spend a goodly amount of time in landfills, I found this book to be fascinating.
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