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Comments on Saturday 16 October 2004:
And now, a corollary to yesterday's medieval question - but not about being dropped in future-world because that would be a silly question. Instead, how would your daily life be different if you were infinitely rich?

I feel quite Buddhist in my contentment, in that my answer is "not very much". There are some differences, but they're mostly differences of quality rather than of activity. I'd still eat toast and watch A-Team episodes, but it would be more varied toast and on a bigger, faster, stronger television. I'd still play computer games, but with a bigger screen, better speakers, faster computer, thicker bandwidth. I'd still stay in the house and never go anywhere, but it would be a more bionic house.

The big difference for me is not really things that I would do, but things that I wouldn't do. Grocery shopping, dishwashing, cooking, cleaning. I'd still make computer games, but as an infinitely rich person making games means "explaining to other people what the drudge work they must do is" rather than doing all that drudge work yourself. Also slapping them when they do it wrong. All the fun, none of the drudgery.

But there isn't really anything I want to do that I don't already do. I suppose I'd quite like to play games on trampolines and assault courses, and would do so if infinitely rich because I'd have one somewhere in my crazy house of games, but it's not like I'd actually go out of my way to trampoline. If I could do so now at the cost of just a twenty-minute walk, I might do it once or twice but it's not like a craving I have. There is no "if I were rich I'd do all these fun things". I like what I do already.

So, other than replacing time-consuming boring things with more of the things I already enjoy, and minor enhancements to the things that I already enjoy, the only other things that I'd change would be situational. I'd put myself somewhere closer to good friends or vice-versa. I'd put myself somewhere that has congenial weather. Sure, I'd throw money at things I approve of, too, like research into space travel, but that wouldn't change how I live at all. In the end, if I were infinitely rich my life would still consist of eating, sleeping, playing games, watching movies, reading books and thinking thoughts, same as it already does. And that's the way I like it.

Recapping the original question - how perpetually dissatisfied with your life are you? Or you can go with how I phrased it the first time if you'd rather.

(Sideline: actually being infinitely rich would be amusing because you'd destroy economies by your very existence. You'd earn infinite moneys in interest on your infinite balance, and then you'd pay infinite moneys in taxes on your infinite interest, causing instant infinite inflation, rendering all currency worthless.) [06:33]

Anet
An interesting question, many ask it, few seem to have given it as much thought as you have.
I too would continue on much as I am now... oddly enough financing space travel... I have a brother who was at the first SS1 launch in the Mohave. Other then helping family members and buying large tracts of forest... I will have to think on this more...

James
Ya know, right until I read your tailing codicil, I was going to put a smart-ass comment about how infinitely rich is a fallacy, and if it weren't, it would simply render currency meaningless. Fortuantely, you did it for me.

If I were effectively rich enough that money would never ever be a concern for me, I would put a bunch aside in trust money for my kids, to give them the same kind of jump start I got, and then spend a bunch frivolously, and then give 90% of it away. Being "really really rich" is IMHO probably a pain in the ass and a serious barrier to being anything that resembles actually happy.

Sadie
You question is one that i have thought about myself many a times...but i do not think that I myself woulf do the same as you or any of your other commentors have said...I believe i would change my entire life, even name, to start over anew. Then spend all of my money on crap! sounds like fun to me!

CCopperpot
Buy a walrus.

Anet
'Buy a walrus'

~Adds to shopping list~

;-)

Nameless
1-invest into eco friendly ventures.

2-Travel more internationally.

3-Start a monopoly to cause haliburton to collapse (see 1)

Kilikina
How could one change their lifestyle? Sure, mabey posession wise, but unless they are already secure with themselves, as obviously you are, they would still be ranting about trying to make their lives even better. which, if they are this kind of person, they already do. Me, I would probably give it to someone who needs it: I don't want it or need it. Besides, there's no chalenge if you didn't somehow earn it, so in my opinion, it wouldn't be any fun to spend it.

RavenBlack
Some people would use it to travelling and such, which is a proper non-possessions change of lifestyle.

Kilikina
Yes, I agree somewhat, but you fell short of the idea. There is no where in the dictionary that says possesions are material only; and that is what you are refering to. Possessions are also the state of being dominated by an idea or an emotion. In which case, the reason one travels is for the ideas they have of that place and that is a *possession*. You might also want to think about what said riches would do to that persons travels; it would make them more *materially* comfortable, luxurious(that has to do with possessions). There are always ways to travel to see all the countries you want to see, whether you have a poor income or not, it's just many people don't put enough effort into finding them.

RavenBlack
Mm, I wasn't saying people couldn't do it with less money - just that they *would* do it if they had a lot more.

Kilikina
That is because money gives people a fasle sense of security, for some reason, it helps them feel more mentaly established I guess.
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