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What new and exotic variation of a known thing looks vaguely like a crown, and changes people’s lives? If this was the 17th century, the answer would be the pineapple.

A single piece would cost a literal fortune just to rent out for a party, where it would just be displayed and constantly under guard, like a sweet-smelling, slowly rotting jewel. It was included in portraits of royalty, integrated into architectural flourishes and silverware motifs. Buying one piece of fruit meant coughing up about 15.000$ in today’s money.

So what happened? Some guy managed to produce them using a clever system, and suddenly many more people could afford them, and figure out they are nice but nothing special. Today their price is nothing to write home about. Canned pineapple is now so cheap it gets shipped to refugee camps.

Did something horrible happen to its biochemistry, size, shape, or even taste? No, as far as I know, no one cares enough about pineapples to make a proper, bland GMO version.

So why does it now cost a literal fraction of its former price? Scientifically, “no real reason” is the correct answer. Math, physics, chemistry, or biology can detect no changes in the fruit. Sociology might have something to say about availability and _status symbols,_ but you have to mix psychology and economics to get an answer: in the buyer’s mind, value is entirely subjective.

Let that sink in.

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