In the b-movie Moon Zero Two a criminal syndicate blackmails a space junk jockey into crashing an asteroid made entirely out of sapphire into the moon for later salvage. Yeah. The movie was such a stinker it was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, so some good came of it. I remember thinking when I first saw the movie, “Why would they want to flood the market with sapphires, you’ll just drive the price down to nothing?”
Some years later, I remember hearing about the diamond planet. It’s back in the news now for some reason, but if you’ve never heard of it, it’s a planet twice the size of Earth mostly comprised of diamond. My thoughts immediately went to those jerks at De Beers (not to be confused with Da Bears, but can and should be said in the same manner). They’re sitting on an absolutely MASSIVE quantity of diamonds but have kept the retails of diamonds unnaturally high through kickass marketing (if you or your spouse wear a diamond engagement ring you can thank De Beers; they invented it in the 19th century) and anti-competitive market practices.
Like I said, jerks.
Which in turn reminded me of the show Connections where the whole show was based on, well, connections. Connections of events, discoveries, inventions, science, etc… Or, as IMDB more accurately describes the show
“This series explores the various paths of how technological change happens and the social effects of these changes on Western society. To illustrate this, James Burke follows various timelines of how one innovation lead to something seemingly totally unrelated in the future such as how a 17th century Dutch cargo ship design lead to development of plastic in the 20th century.”