Re: Ellison on Loserhood

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From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Tue Aug 15 2000 - 11:59:31 PDT

Jeff Bone wrote:
> More Dave-n-Bustering:
> > Apparently, Dave sez:
> >
> > > > If so, there's more to life than having lots of money, Larry.
> ...yeah, there's all the wild-ass life experiences that having a loose billion or
> two can buy, that us normal mortals can't dream of, like:
> The man has enough money to buy a MiG, for crissakes. Those damn fussy bureaucrats
> at the BATF and assorted accomplice agencies wouldn't let him, but let's ponder
> that for a second: imagine nighttime flying, NATE over water, busting mach 2.
> Wow. *That's* life.
> If Larry wanted to take a week off and visit Mir, he could do it, no problem.
> *That's* life.
> Consider this: if Larry, Bill, the 3 Steves, and Ross were each to kitty in less
> than 5% of each's net worth, we could fund a private-sector manned mission to Mars
> in less than a decade. *That's* life.
> Consider this: Larry wants to land his private jet at San Jose after the 11pm
> curfew. Fine is $10k. He just goes ahead and does it, pays the fine. *That's*
> life.
> For that matter, I imagine that a paltry $1B can buy just about as much "music,
> mathematics, philosophy, theater, and sex, drugs and rock and roll" as one person
> can assimilate.
> There's a great apocryphal story about Elvis, who while not on the same scale of
> wealthy as, say, Larry, was still pretty wealthy in his own right. Elvis liked
> sandwiches. He and some buddies were sitting around Graceland one night, and one
> of the guys was describing this sandwich he'd had in Colorado somewhere, let's say
> Denver. Elvis says "That sounds pretty good. Let's go get some." So they hop in
> the jet, fly to Denver, and *don't even get out of the plane.* They have the
> sandwiches brought to them on the plane, and then they take off and eat their
> sandwiches on the way back. *That's* a kind of living I can only imagine and grin
> myself silly about.
> I dunno, 'cuz I clearly don't have that kind of cash, but I suspect that only
> people who don't have lots money say "there's more to life than having lots of
> money." One reasonably good definition of "life" in my book is, basically,
> "freedom." And having the dough gets you the goods in that respect.
> Just some thoughts about having lots of money,

Some completely /wrong/ thoughts about money. Take it from someone who
knows- wasting your time, hard-won money, and possibly life- remember Elvis
died young and what are the survival percentages of making a trip to Mir?
on pointless experiences like you describe is LAME (and I don't mean the
MP3 encoder).

The fact that there are so many rich people out there wasting their power
disgusts me. If you are going to go to the trouble of making the money, I
hope you consider along the way what you are going to do with it. Take 5%
of it, and fulfill your bodily desires, but please take the rest and do
something more important.

P.S. Money will not give you freedom from death. At least not yet. Think
about it, and consider donating big wads of cash to organizations that might
fix that little problem.

Brian Atkins
Director, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence (temp site)

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