Sunday, February 08, 2015

Precious

What would happen if we all won the lottery? If a machine was discovered that could make a limitless amount of everything including itself. Prices would then be meaningless since they are only set by having a limited supply and something to compare it to. A price is a way of comparing X many massages to Y nights in a fancy hotel. The flip side of jealousy is the feeling you get from having something that others don't. The closest word I can think of to this is Schadenfreude although that is pleasure at someone else's misfortune. The Germans have some cool words so they probably have one for this too. We would have to let that pleasure go.

Who would be the 'wealthy' people? They would be the ones who had the things that couldn't be replicated. In order to get them, they wouldn't be able to pay with money though. They would need to have a deep sense of empathy to discover what the owners of these pieces of art or performance or time really wanted. Presumably even this ability wouldn't matter unless other people also desperately wanted that precious thing, and couldn't get something else that could compensate for that unmet desire from their machine. They may even want precious so much they forget they have a machine of their own. Does it matter that someone else has more than you if you have everything you want?


Exclusivity is the thing that really makes something's price explode. Possibly the number one lesson in managing your finances is 'Never be a forced buyer or a forced seller'. You can certainly extend this beyond finances to other life lessons. I know that I personally am at my very least attractive when I find a lady incredibly attractive in every possible way. It may be just a slight taste of desperation, but it can be like just a drop or two of crude oil in a bottle of fine wine.

In a way, most of us, and certainly most of the people reading this blog have won the lottery. I spoke in 'Global Citizen' of just how big a factor where you are born is in determining your happiness. Another factor is when you were born. Forget stories of 'The Good Old Days'. Perhaps get some perspective from your Gran. The best time to have ever been alive is now. Take a look at 'Our world in data' or read The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker. We need to be careful that we are choosing what we want. Winning the lottery isn't enough, you have to realise it.


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