14 September 2008

Another collision

In Friday's "Collisions", I wondered whether the cultural value of the Large Hadron Collider was at least partly down to the billions of [choose your currency unit]s spent on it.

Yesterday, under the title "Expensive Undertakings", Unreal Nature linked to The Onion's "National Endowment For The Arts Funds Construction Of $1.3 Billion Poem" item. Whether or not this was a direct reply (I don't know – Ms Heyward can be very subtle), it certainly had the humorous effect and thoughtful impact of one.

Perhaps the answer to all my cloud of questions about relative cultural value lies right there ... the idea of spending billions on a scientific experiment is reality; the idea of spending a third of the same amount on a poem is the territory of satire.

2 comments:

Julie Heyward said...

Are you go to make me go all economics on you?

I know you've heard the diamond/water thing on value. Also known as the paradox of value.

Felix Grant said...

I'm unconvinced that this has much to do with economics.

The diamond/water thing, of course, would make poems more culturally valuable than diamonds ... a proposition with which I would have no quarrel :-)