The Ultimate Cost

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Right off the bat, conclusion: the ultimate cost of everything is human time.

Does everyone realize how profound it actually is?

The Ultimate Resource

Go through the cost composition of anything valuable…

Every resource/service in existence accumulates the cost of human time spent delivering it.

Costly stones.

Take honey, for example, - it is produced by bees alone. If humans are not involved, why does it cost anything? Because (last time I checked) bees do not simply give it up to humans, let alone packaging and shipping the honey to a local store.

Humans will use bees as long as dealing with bees takes less human time to produce acceptable honey than any other method.

Gold is freely available in many locations (ultimately, abundant in space) - just spend an abundant amount of time to extract it.

The price of gold is balanced by supply and demand, but it could be disrupted by supply alone which is limited by human time cost only.

The price of air is completely disrupted by its immediate availability (zero human time to get) at any habitable point on this planet.

Saving human time is the only value a resource/service gives.

Omnipresent Energy

There are attempts to evaluate the cost of everything in energy spent.

Scientifically cute, but it does not make much sense because:

  • Everything is already made of pure energy (E=mc²).

  • The portion of energy we actually control is proportionally negligible.

Space stuff took billions of years to uncontrollably evolve into itself - waiting time we cannot afford. Instead, we use little controllable energy to save time by obtaining “pre-cooked” resources like gold or honey.

Again, the cost of energy we control is only incurred by human time. If we did not spend time to produce, maintain, monitor equipment and materials to harness this energy, it would cost nothing.

Time Is Not Money

We emphasize the importance of human time by phrase “time is money”, but we only value money because of our limited time.

Just in case someone questions that - remember that even infinitely small profit can be used to save infinite amount of money with unlimited time.

Moreover, money can buy anything except time because:

  • Time is the only resource which cannot be stored.

    And the only option we have is to store other resources now to save human time to retrieve them later.

  • Time can only be exchanged one way.

    There is no way to buy own time for other resources - we can only save time by using other resources.

Money is merely a resource with the highest liquidity - exchange through any other resource (gold or honey) would simply require more human time (physical movement, storage maintenance, value decay).

The value of liquidity (money) is essentially the value of human time.


Technology should simply be defined as methods to save human time.

Shouldn’t technology be the prime investment strategy then?

There is a limit of how low anyone rates its own time in terms of other resources (gold or honey). And this limit constantly climbs higher.

Sooner or later the group of humans around better technology will win in the trade with another group because (ultimately) only human time is limited.