Currency, money, music, people, etc.
Is it based on human standards?
Is validation done on the individual basis, or by mass appeal/approval?
Sales =/= quality
If one invention/idea/piece of art effects someone so profoundly that it changes their life forever, but another invention/idea/piece of art changes millions of lives but in a small way, nowhere near the same scale as the other invention/idea/piece of art, which has the greater value?
I don't have the answer to any of these questions, but I like to think I know how to add value to your own life.
It's all about how you perceive yourself. Are you a person of importance, and unique, or are you just like everybody else? Originals are always more valuable than copies, everyone knows that. That's standard across the board.
Many of you know by now that I'm a fan of the Matrix. There's a theory that Agent Smith is "The One", and not Neo, but in either case, the indisputable truth is that "The One" is more valuable than any other character depicted in the movie. But what makes Neo or Agent Smith "The One"? Neither of them explicitly say. They only accepted their roles because they were convinced that had to be that way. If Neo died in the alley, someone would have had to assume his position, or their destruction would be inevitable. He didn't start off flying and dodging bullets, it was learned because he believed he could. And the same thing is true with us. The expert at anything was once a beginner at something. You decide your level of involvement, and how deep the rabbit hole goes...