Re: Taking the billion? Re: Gedankenexperiments

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From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Thu Aug 17 2000 - 02:25:42 PDT

Dave Winer wrote:

> Another thing. Above a certain, relatively low level, there's absolutely no
> point in having more money.

Au contraire. For the purposes of argument, let's say I'm hardwired to be
perpetually fearful of single points of failure for humanity, in particular
let's say asteroid strikes. (I'm riffing off Flynt's near-future sci fi series
[1] etc. here, not painting a picture of myself. But anyway.)

Let's say that I'm frustrated by the lack of progress, indeed concern, in this
matter by existing governments and agencies. What does it take for me,
personally, to construct a reasonable planetary defense against asteroid
strikes, thereby defusing my own fearful obsession? Well, lots of bucks enable
building the keiretsu, buying the political influence, forging the
relationships, etc.

Dollars don't just translate into things like bedrooms or cars. Dollars can
translate into desired change of just about any imaginable kind.

Dave's point might be true for most people. I would suggest that it's true for
those people because they perhaps don't have the capacity to understand what to
do with large amounts of money, or needs / goals that are unattainable without
that kind of money.

> Something to ponder, if it's so great being a billionaire why are there so
> many miserable billionaires?

I only know two billionaires personally, and while I'm not like drinking buddies
with either of them or anything I'd have to observe from a distance that they
both seem pretty happy. Hell, one of them was even able to use their swing to
change the smoking ordinance that prevented him from lighting up his stogies in
this top floor office suite in downtown Houston. :shrug --- maybe your
experience is different, Dave, but I suspect the unhappy billionaire is more a
figment of media and popular culture than a common syndrome.

Next time you talk to your buddies, Dave, ask 'em whether there's anything that
they want that they haven't been able to buy.


[1] Firestar by Michael Flynn

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