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New and old treasures

Virtual currencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), shares in companies that are essentially immaterial, these oddities remind us how volatile the notion of value is. In the desert, one may be willing to give anything for a little water. On a battlefield, a king wished to trade his kingdom for a horse to satisfy his revenge; so why not an NFT on a work of a few bits?

The value of owning the Mona Lisa painting in one's living room would hardly justify its acquisition price. A quality reproduction would do just as well. The value of the Mona Lisa is due to several factors, including the fame of its author and of the work itself. It has passed to the collective level. That an individual could own it seems incongruous. The treasure is public.

In education, in a world in full transformation and upheaval, acquiring useful skills, which will be in demand, can make all the difference in the future. A real treasure for the one who will be in the right place, at the right time. Aspiring to a better balance, to more confidence in our peers and to a better future seems more attractive than a constant struggle for privileges or just normal rights to live decently. The countries that enjoy such balance are the most attractive. The treasure is in the hands of each of their citizens. It is to be hoped that the faculties of philosophy, sociology and politics will re-establish their importance in a world which seems to value power more than truth. There are undoubtedly consciences to be awakened. Theological values are outdated, human values are the only ones left.

In this edition, our editors have analyzed the question of values from different aspects, especially in education. In the end, it is always we who assign value. We might as well give it to what is best for our future.

Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]

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