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On the Absurdity of Stamp Collecting

 

If you are a stamp collector you may have wondered about how peculiar a hobby it is. Well.... so have I.

If you step back and take a look at it stamp collecting is rather absurd. I am spending life energy (money) on these tiny pieces of paper with pictures and designs on them.

 

I paid eight dollars for this stamp.

 

Look at this stack of printed paper. I got all this for free in the mail.

 

So it definitely isn't a matter of quantity. And if you look at that stamp I paid eight dollars for you are wondering how quality is defined when I paid eight dollars for a smudged little picture.

So, why do I do it? Why do we do it?

I see these things and read these things about all the little subtleties of the stamp. Does it have thins? Does it have pin holes? Are the perforations perfect? Stains? A hinge remnant? Is it perfectly centered?

These things are all well... ridiculous.

So, why do we do it Why does it take up this space in my mind? Why do I follow these same things just as others do and just as others have taught me?

This is a micro example of what we as human beings do. We assign values, spend time, exert energy onto things in our universe. And these things run in channels that we share and cultivate.

The law of scarcity and value.

One big thing in stamp collecting is scarcity. Almost universally, the fewer of a stamp there are the more "valuable" it is. Scarcity is a human thing and we understand it very well. It is all about resources. And this translates into stamps.

So, I have a, idea that springs from this.

I have made a series of stamps.

This stamp, I made a hundred of them. You can buy one for a dollar.

 

Of this stamp I have made twenty five of them. You can buy one for twenty five dollars.

 

Of this stamp I have made ten of them. You can buy one for a hundred dollars.

 

 

And of this stamp I have made only one. You can buy it for a million dollars. It is the only one in the world. There will never be another.

 

Don't get me wrong about all this. I love stamp collecting, absolutely love it. I am a rabid fan, a member of the APA and of my local stamp club. I also go to every show I possibly can go to.

Also, It is kind of like this other series of thing in the world like diamonds or gold. Scarcity and the value is defined by human desire not so much by human effort.

There is a whole other series of things that are assigned differently in value. For example an automobile. It takes a lot of human effort to design and build one. So... it is easy to see the cost and expense of them. More expensive cars? More work, higher craftsmanship, more engineering etc. Stamps? They pretty much cost the same to make, almost nothing, regardless of the stamp!

So! Why is it that we collect stamps?

I am really not sure but here are a couple of things. First off, humans need to exert control over the world. We need to hammer things into some kind of understandable shape. Things have to be a certain way. And stamp collecting is a microcosm of this. We line up all the stamps in neat rows on neat pages in a very distinct order.

And secondly we are like crows, we love shiny little things. And stamps are definitely shiny little things.

If you want to buy one of the stamps I have made you can email me here. But quantities are limited just as I said. And do me a favor, buy the million dollar one :) It is one of a kind.

 


 

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