Open Thread: Money in your Ears

(Submitted by Silver Tyger, title by chris the cynic)

You’ve just won a ton of money. What frivolous thing do you spend some on?

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21 thoughts on “Open Thread: Money in your Ears

  1. elliemurasaki September 7, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Define ‘frivolous’.

  2. christhecynic September 7, 2013 at 7:57 am

    My guess is that it means not curing polio or starting an advertising campaign to make the voters of your nation well informed on the issues.

    So, for example (I’ve got enough of these to make a recurring regularly scheduled post at my blog) starting a TV news network where the rule is “Fact Check Everything,” so that, preferably by the end of the interview it can be closed by saying, “[Politician] said [these things] which are true, [these things] which are sort of true, and [these things] which are flat out lies,” would not fit because it would (hopefully) be of real benefit. As would plan of giving Fred Clark a newspaper or newspaper chain.

    On the other hand my plan of building a Firefly class transport* I can use as a second home would be frivolous because it’s not really going to help anyone but me (and anyone who sleeps over) and I don’t need it.

    That is, however, just a guess.

    * Sure we presumably lack the technology to make it fly, but if you just want to live in it on the ground we should be able to do that much.

  3. Lonespark September 7, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I’m going to define frivolous as “done because it pleases me.” So therefore my plan of making awesome movies out of my favorite awesome SFF books counts. It would create lots of jobs and improve representations of POC and… stuff. But mostly it would make me happy.

    Maybe someone can figure out a way to build a scaled-down version of Sky and Shadow (from N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy, which I think should be called the Kingdoms Trilogy, but nobody asked me, and specifically from The Broken Kingdoms…) and then I could live on and in and under the World Tree with all my friends.

    I think I would like that better than a hobbit hole. Although I would also enjoy a hobbit hole. And an underground stronghold like Erebor, but with more attention paid to health and safety (including railings.)

    I guess I’ve been thinking about homes and places to live recently, and am inspired by Chris’s Firefly idea.

    Transporter technology is probably not frivolous, but I want it to exist in part so I can use it for frivolous reasons. Like sending the kids to visit their dad so I don’t have to drive, and having people come over from other states to help me wash my dishes, and popping off to New Mexico for fresh green chile, and so forth.

  4. Lonespark September 7, 2013 at 10:16 am

    …and going around the world to have all the best holiday celebrations, and food.

    Spending Songkran and Loy Kratong in Thailand, and Yule in…Iceland, maybe? And Halloween in Salem with the inimitable Jessica and friends…

    Plus it would be SO GOOD for school field trips.

  5. Lonespark September 7, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Also roadtrips. Lots of roadtrips. I guess if we had transporter tech they wouldn’t have to be roadtrips. But basically, if we’re friends on the internet, I want to come visit you. That takes money and time and babysitters, so, when I have all the money in the world and stick it in my ears, I shall spend a bunch of time visiting you all.

  6. Firedrake September 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Transporter technology seems likely to have the side effect of destroying civilisation. (There are no more prime locations. Or good neighbourhoods.)

    For me: more computers. A deep bore for a ground-source heat pump.

  7. Lonespark September 7, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I don’t see why it would. Reordering civilization, sure. But so do other transportation and communication advances.

  8. elliemurasaki September 7, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Oh okay. The problem is, economy working how it does, it’s real hard to do something of personal benefit alone while using money. I buy all the music I want to buy and haven’t? I support the artists. I’m thinking of SJ Tucker and Bekah Kelso and other indie musicians, where there’s no cut going to the RIAA.

  9. Firedrake September 7, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Hmm, let’s say it’s unlikely to be recognisable afterwards. The end of any notional of a national border seems likely to be a factor in this.

  10. elliemurasaki September 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

    (I would buy so much jewelry on Etsy.)

  11. froborr September 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I buy the e-book version of every book I own* that has a DRM-free e-book, pay to have all the others converted to e-book, and then donate all the physical copies to libraries. I use the space freed up by getting rid of almost all my bookshelves to finally get a real computer table/desk.

    If it’s enough money, I set up a large scholarship fund for low-income African-Americans to go to art school. That sounds generous, but really it’s just to get my roommate out of my hair.

    Also I buy a mating pair of house centipedes and release them in my apartment to get rid of the bedbugs.

    *Except for comics, books with color illustrations, and House of Leaves. (None of which work well in an e-reader IMO.)

  12. depizan September 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Restore my old car. Also visit online friends.

  13. christhecynic September 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Certainly getting the Sharktopus & Mershock movie sequence made (and made excellently because if one has a ton of money why not have it have great acting, writing, lighting, -iting, directing, and effects?) would employ a lot of people, so there is something to be said for the non-frivolous positive effects of frivolous ideas.

  14. Lonespark September 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Froborr, what about the tomb to confuse future archaeologists?

  15. Lonespark September 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Also, SJ Tucker FTW.

  16. christhecynic September 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    So one of the things that I’d do if I had an infinite supply of money and yet did not need to worry about runaway inflation, is buy up the land around and more specifically under my university and build an ancient Roman town in the style of Pompeii or Herculaneum. It’s not cost effective to fly students to Italy whenever they want to learn about art and architecture and while reproductions in the US wouldn’t be as good as the real thing they’d probably be better than pictures in a textbook and slides on a screen alone. Even if they aren’t, it would be awesome, would employ all kinds of people (not just the ones in charge of excavating a suitable stable cavernish thing in which to place the reproduction, but people to build it and people to decorate it. Pompeii had no less than four distinct art styles in use when it died off and who knows how much variation in the mosaics.)

    Why underground instead of knocking down existing buildings to build a surface level site? Well first off, those buildings have uses. But second Pompeii is really the exception for being at the surface. Traditionally new cities are built on the ruins of the old so a lot of important archaeological sites are underground and it might give some feeling of verisimilitude if this site were like that using the same technology to keep the city above from falling in on it as a real underground archaeological site. Also things at the surface tend to weather a lot more than things underground.

    While this is a woefully inefficient use of funds, I don’t think it’s entirely frivolous. Being able to walk students through a (recreation) Roman house is probably going to be more effective than just showing them the floor plan on a projector. Some people can get everything from books and pictures, but others need more and they shouldn’t be screwed over just because they’re not in Italy. Also, since the whole thing would be recreation it means one of the most important rules of actual ancient things wouldn’t apply: you could touch all you want.

    I bring it up here mostly because of one thing: If such a thing were to ever happen, one wonders what future archaeologists would think of it.

    Then again, if The Great Train Robbery is to be believed building ruins on your land used to be a fad.

  17. froborr September 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    The tomb to confuse future archeologists is with whatever money is left when I’m dead. I can just imagine whatever leeches and parasites THINK they’re my heirs gather and the lawyer reads out my will, and it’s all “My entire estate shall be liquidated, and every penny dedicated to the construction of an elaborate tomb, the design of which has been specified in…”

  18. Silver Tyger (@SilvercatTyger) September 8, 2013 at 10:26 am

    (I specified ‘frivolous’ because generally when ‘what would you do if you won the lottery/whatever?’ threads come along, you get dozens of variations of ‘I’d pay off my debt and set up a fund for kids/cousins/best friends to go to college’. Which is fabulous and completely wise. But less than exciting. And I think most people would use at least some of the money for something less practical.)

    I’d buy a bunch of land, build a really cool house for myself with a basement to use as an art studio and a bunch of secret passages, build three or four cottages for friends to live in instead of whatever sucky situation they’re in now, and have a huge patch of land to do a RenFaire on every year. Maybe make it a permanent site because that never happens in California.

  19. Lonespark September 8, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Ah, yes, I had a professor make that mistake, asking us what we’d do with $100 the first day of class. He got 21 “Pay Bills” answers and one person also added something like upgrading a computer or buying a new sleeping bag or something.

  20. Silver Tyger (@SilvercatTyger) September 8, 2013 at 11:00 am

    It might be an interesting conversation to see where the cut-off line is for when you’d put some money towards fun things. I know anything under $6000 would all go towards paying off my credit card. Or it might end up really depressing.

  21. Lonespark September 24, 2013 at 7:44 am

    I just (re-)realized, one of the things I would definitely spend my money on would be magazine subscriptions.

    Witches and Pagans
    Native Peoples
    All the back issues of Idunna ever

    There are a bunch of very good education magazines to choose from. I already get a couple of National Science Teacher’s Association publications, but it would be great to afford all the ones I wanted.
    Same goes for science magazines in general and geology specifically.

    Maybe Bitch?
    Probably a cooking magazine of some sort…
    …and a fashion magazine?
    …and one about beer?

    And then, because money, I would devote as many days a month as necessary to actually reading them.

    Newspapers, too, I suppose. Indian Country Today. Various international newspapers maybe? Spanish ones and Thai ones for practice? Multiple papers in the same locality to sample a range of biases?

    And now that I’ve written all that, I realize maybe this would be a good open thread topic. We talk about books and tv shows fairly often, but maybe, “What magazines/newspapers/newsletters/etc. would you read if money and time were not relevant?” I suppose it could include internet magazines/newspapers. (Lots of those, too, and not enough time… Blackstonian…Persephone…various Pagan Newswire Collective efforts…)

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