Re: Taking the billion? Re: Gedankenexperiments

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From: David G. Durand (
Date: Fri Aug 18 2000 - 12:09:32 PDT

At 12:27 AM -0500 8/17/00, Jeff Bone wrote:
>Ka-Ping Yee wrote:
>> Okay, Jeff. Now you're backpedaling.
>Ah, keeping it honest. Thanks, Ka-Ping: you're absolutely right.
>I'm was making my argument vaguer and more general.
>> The statements you have made can be roughly summarized as:
>> The opinion that "there's more to life than money" is
>> unsupportable because most (or all) people holding that
>> opinion don't know what they're talking about.
>This is an accurate summary.
>> This position is highly disputable.
>How so? Find me somebody that holds that opinion *and* has the net
>worth to speak from a position of nonignorance on the matter.

Well, I think the examples of the very rich who have committed
suicide are proof enough, that for some people, money isn't
everything. Or, perhaps it is, and those people opted out because
they'd "won the game" by reaching their personal financial goal.

I don't think arguments about mental illness will defeat this,
because then we know that mental health, at least, is more important
than money.

There have certainly been studies on lottery winners that show that
overall stress levels rise, and overall satisfaction levels decrease,
at least for many people. (Sorry, don't have citations in my pocket).
One issue that you don't consider is the one Kragen raised, which is
that more money may lead to the ability to engage in harmful
self-indulgence, that then reduces long-term happiness.

You see this with many entertainers in the 10-100's of megadollar net
worth. Now that's nor your "magic" $1Bn, but it's not 4 orders of
magnitude away, either.

   -- David

David Durand
Chief Technical Officer
Dynamic Diagrams

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