Re: FUM was Re: Ellison on Loserhood

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From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Wed Aug 16 2000 - 14:09:37 PDT

Karl Anderson wrote:

> Jeff Bone <> writes:
> > Let's debug those thoughts. BTW, I'm not expounding a personal philosophy,
> > here, I'm just pointing some stuff out, 'k?
> 'k, but the problem is that you're saying that "money will buy
> happiness", not "money will buy happiness for some, but not for
> others".

I'm just suggesting that having more money probably doesn't suck. That's all.

> Heck, I could be on my way to FUM - I'm a bright kid with strong tech
> skills - but I'd probably have to move to the Valley (my idea of Hell)
> & spend lots of time in an automobile. Instead I'm working hard, but
> not insanely hard, making great money, but not FUM, working in an
> important field, but not an earthshattering one, and being happy. Why
> put it off to get rich? Besides, there's still odds to play. Money
> is not a sure thing for happiness.

Scroll back. We've already acknowledged that there's two issues / questions,
here. First, is it or is it not the case that *having / applying* (not pursuing)
more money enhances one's prospects for happiness? My contention is, well, duh!
Of course! Second issue: is *doing what it takes to get that kind of dough*
worthwhile for most people? On that front, I have no way to argue any position;
it's an entirely personal choice.

> If I thought that pushing the importance of money in my life would
> make me happier, I'd do it. But on the contrary, I think that
> pushing other things in a balance with pushing money are better for my
> happiness quotient.

Whatever works. I'm not in any way suggesting that people prioritize the pursuit
of money. Perhaps surprisingly given what people appear to think I'm saying in
all this, many of my own choices in life, especially lately, have been in the
direction of deprioritizing money in favor of other qualities.

> Since it's not your personal philosophy, I'll remark that all of your
> examples are a little shallow. If you *need* FUM to get friends,
> lovers, & experiences, you're not very creative. Mail-order brides
> are a lot cheaper, anyway.

Okay, let's examine the "nonshallow" side of the equation. Joe Q. Eleemosynary
takes his billions and plunks them into "meaningful" endeavors such as hunger
programs, Habitat for Humanity, whatever. He's *still* buying happiness; it
gives him a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to fund these things. (BTW,
I'm not dissing charity here; in fact, I build houses for HfH from time to

Good point on the mail-order bride, though. Ahem. Doesn't the hookup service
cost $$$? How about legal fees, etc.

> I don't disrespect people just because they have a lot of money, or
> are money-oriented above other things, but to tell me that I'd be
> happier if I was more money-oriented is to tell me that I don't know
> what I should be doing with my life. So excuse me, Dad, nice talking
> with you, but my lunch break is over, gotta get back to work!

Whoah, buddy. I *never* said that. I'm *certainly* not telling you or anybody
else that you'd be happier if you were more money-oriented. Hell, I'm not even
sure what the appropriate level of money-orientedness is for myself, much less
anyone else. I've just been pointing out that, contrary to the popular romantic
assertion, perhaps *money can buy happiness.* Just *having* the money probably
doesn't get it, but appropriately applied it's hard to consider a case where
money can't improve QoL.


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