Edmund Gordon · Bye-bye Firefly: Carnival of the Insects · LRB 12 May 2022
Almost a million species of insect have been identified – around 90 per cent of all known types of animal – but it’s thought there may be up to nine million more. The Smithsonian Institution puts the total number of individual insects at around ten quintillion, or ten million million million, almost 1.3 billion of them for every human. Ants alone outnumber us by something like a million to one, and if you squashed them all into a gigantic ant-ball, they would equal us in mass.
The value of wine exchanged yearly between consumers, connoisseurs and collectors—the secondary market—has quadrupled to $4bn since 2000, says Justin Gibbs of Liv-ex, a wine-trading platform. He reckons that just 15% of those buying wine on his website are doing so to drink it. The rest see it as a store of value.
Amateur buyers of fine Burgundy fear a speculative bubble – Smoking barrels
Annoying, isn’t it? But we all tend to a naive idea of value. Especially when we think about pricing drugs.