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Diamonds Are Bullshit

Happy Monday Apexians! I hope you had a great weekend, I took a quick trip to Boston to surprise my sister for her birthday and I forget how much fun short quick trips are. The packing is easy (it’s one night!), the kids are at home, and we get to be kid-free adults for a few hours. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Today’s theme will be stuff that’s way more expensive than it should be… and of course diamonds take center stage.

This first one is an oldie but goodie:
Diamonds Are Bullshit [Priceonomics] – “American males enter adulthood through a peculiar rite of passage โ€“ they spend most of their savings on a shiny piece of rock. They could invest the money in assets that will compound over time and someday provide a nest egg. Instead, they trade that money for a diamond ring, which isnโ€™t much of an asset at all. As soon as you leave the jeweler with a diamond, it loses over 50% of its value.”

Remember the story of the $600 hammer or how NASA paid millions to design a pen that could write in space (and the Russians just used a pencil)? Turns out one is true and the other is less true.

The myth of the $600 hammer [Government Executive] – “One problem: ‘There never was a $600 hammer,’ said Steven Kelman, public policy professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. It was, he said, ‘an accounting artifact.'”

Fact or Fiction?: NASA Spent Millions to Develop a Pen that Would Write in Space, whereas the Soviet Cosmonauts Used a Pencil [Scientific American] – “The problem of weightless writing was not solved by either Soviet central planning or good old American sub-contracting, but by a private investor and a good idea.”