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The Almighty Buck

If You Didn't Need Money, What Would You Do? 201

Posted by Cliff
from the trade-and-barter dept.
permaculture had this simple but philosophical query to run by you all, today: "I was once asked this question: 'If you didn't have to work for money, what would you do with your time?' I've put that question to many people since I first heard it, and got a lot of different answers. It seems to me that the answer to this question is what you should be aiming for even though you do have to spend most of your time earning a crust."
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If You Didn't Need Money, What Would You Do?

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  • Easy (Score:3, Funny)

    by quintessent (197518) <my usr name on toofgiB [tod] moc> on Thursday September 05, 2002 @04:32PM (#4202361) Journal
    Slashdot 24x7, baby!
  • Work. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jdclucidly (520630)
    I would continue to work to satisfy the basic human need to feel worth something.
    • The need to WORK in order to satisfy that need, if not the need itself, is most certainly CULTURAL (and probably a product of Puritan-thinking America), not a basic characteristic of human instinct.

      • Of course its a basic characteristic of humanity. Its not a cultural product.

        The idea that work is bad-- that's a cultural idea. It goes with the idea that people are bad, money is bad, and all that other puritan thinking.

        IF you're not creating, you're doing nothing worthwhile.

        • Have you read Pekka Himanen's The Hacker Ethic ?

          He talks extensively about the "work ethic".

          You seem to have strong opinions about the topic. I predict you'll either really enjoy the book or else totally hate it :)

          • If it was written recently, I haven't read it. I read a bunch of books like that awhile back, but I suspect that was not one of them.

            Can you give me a short summation as to what he means by the work ethic?

            While this work is what I would choose, other work, say for a non-profit, or purely for the sake of art-- fits my ethic as well. As long as you are striving the be the most excellent person you can be... which is a standard that will naturally will be different for everyone.

            • If it was written recently, I haven't read it. I read a bunch of books like that awhile back, but I suspect that was not one of them.

              Fairly new, first out in hardcover Jan 2001.

              Can you give me a short summation as to what he means by the work ethic?

              Urk. It's a fairly deep book by a Ph.D. in philosophy...

              He talks a lot about Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, and compares the "Protestant Work Ethic" to the "Hacker Work Ethic".

              Protestant Ethic
              • I identify strongly with my work (Hi, I'm Bob, I'm a sysadmin). Work is a duty, not just a job.
              • Life rotates around work, and everything else is stuffed into evenings and weekends
              • If I'm not working (get laid off etc), I feel lost, uprooted, useless
              Hacker ethic:
              • sort of like the above, but one takes more joy in one's work, to the point where the line between work and play blur.

              I'm afraid the above is not a very good summary. I hope it's enough to pique your curiousity and get you to read the book :)

              BTW, here [slashdot.org]'s a Slashdot book review and discussion.


              • Ah, I think I've already got it.

                I'll keep an eye out for the book, but as I said in another post, some of my most productive work time occured north of the arctic circle in isolation while on "vacation". No bells or schedules and the ever-present sun throwing my clock off so much that I never slept the same time s two days in a row. The entire purpose of that trip was to escape work, and not think about it at all, but by the time I crossed the circle, I was working on a new product idea... its natural.

              • Hacker ethic:

                • sort of like the above, but one takes more joy in one's work, to the point where the line between work and play blur.


                Well, I never really considered myself a hacker, but it seems that I am... I just happen to be employed as a sysadmin.
        • Of course its a basic characteristic of humanity. Its not a cultural product. The idea that work is bad-- that's a cultural idea

          Two sides of the same coin--if thinking that work is bad is a cultural idea, then thinking it is good must be as well. I don't think it's bad either--I just don't think it's a goal in and of itself. You might enjoy your work, if so, go to it. You might need to work to do what you enjoy, if so, again, go to it.

          But to believe that life wouldn't be worthwhile without work--to not see the value of life and existance outside of work, even outside of creation--well, I feel very sorry for anyone who could put such a simplistic worldview into practice.


          • You misunderstand. Whatever form your highest ideal takes it will take *work* to get there... even if its is *work* to make a sculpture, or help cure a disease, or build a bridge somewhere, or remodel your house, or raise your kids.

            For me, its the act of creating software for profit.
            • I submit that one need not and should not consult the highest ideal and form a goal of the ideal universe, then dedicate your entire life to making it so. The world is a beautiful place, and should be enjoyed as it is, rather than shaped into a warped reflection of human desire. Watch the world carefully, and it will probably present you a world even better than your highest ideal.

              • The irony is thick since my philosophy is grounded in direct observation of the world around you, and yours in the denial of it existence-- Yet you tell me to watch the world carefully. Maybe I should ask you to at least open your eyes. (Oh, and if you hate being human so much, the exit door is easily found.)
            • BZZZZZZT!

              Thanks for playing. But it takes endeavour to get there. If you consider it work, you are a slave, otherwise, you are free.

              • Sure, if you choose to redefine work to suit your agenda (whatever that is.)

                The first definition of work from dictionary.com fits my usage of it:
                "Physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something."

                Therefore, to say I'm wrong in my usage is stupid.

                Endeavor, used as a verb means: "To work with a set or specified goal or purpose"

                So your distinction is only in your mind.

                Good day.

    • by PD (9577)
      I'd do a lot of open source software. Work isn't really good unless it's fun.
  • by roachmotel3 (543872) <paul@nospAM.isaroach.com> on Thursday September 05, 2002 @04:36PM (#4202390)
    If I had functionally endless money, I'd do the following:

    I'd give lots and lots to charity -- I don't want to leave any money to my kids -- they need to earn whatever they get in the world

    I'd buy a farm -- 1000 acres or more, build a sweet house, build barns and outbuildings, raise horses, and grow and harvest my own hay.

    Yeah, that's about it.
  • by smalloy (600866) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @04:44PM (#4202456)
    Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
  • ... which is something I guess many people can't say. Of course, I'll eventually grow out of the student phase, but I'm hoping that I'll have my tenure by then ;-)
    • Gah -- I hated being a student that last year at college -- I couldn't wait to get out and be a productive member of society, pay taxes and whatnot, blah blah blah

      Now, I'm married, own a house, have a stable 9-5 job, and am compensated handsomely. And I want to go back to school ;) The grass is always greener on the other side!
  • by Satai (111172) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @04:49PM (#4202484)
    Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
    Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man, two chicks at the same time, man.
    Peter Gibbons: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
    Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I had a million dollars I could hook that up, cause chicks dig a dude with money.
    Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.
    Lawrence: Well the kind of chicks that'd double up on me do.
    Peter Gibbons: Good point.
    Lawrence: What about you, what would you do?
    Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
    Lawrence: Well yeah.
    Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
    Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
    Peter Gibbons: I'd relax, sit on my ass all day, I would do nothing.
    Lawrence: Well you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Just take a look at my cousin, he's broke, don't do shit.
    • by rastos1 (601318)
      Guy: Hey, I'm watching you for two hours already and you just sit there with one fishing line ... can't you think of something better?
      Fisherman: What do you mean?
      Guy: Well, if you had 2 or 3 fishing lines you could get more fishes...
      Fisherman: And than?
      Guy: You could go to the market and sell them!
      Fisherman: And than?
      Guy: You could earn some money!
      Fisherman: What would I do with that?
      Guy: You could by a small boat and a net and fish more!
      Fisherman: And than?
      Guy: You sell the fishes and earn even more!
      Fisherman: And than?
      Guy: You could by a big boat and hire a crew and they could fish for you! You could be a milionare, you could just sit here all day and ... oh wait ...
  • Perhaps, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by psicE (126646) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @04:50PM (#4202485) Homepage
    We should rephrase the question a tad bit.

    The question is not (or at least, should not be), what would you do with infinite money? Rather, it's, if you could earn your current salary doing anything at all, what would it be? What would you rather be doing from 9 to 5 (or before, or after)?

    In my mind, that's a very important distinction. I don't care if you'd buy a Beowulf cluster of Xserves. I don't care if you'd buy enough food to feed the world. I don't care if you'd buy Australia. All I care about is, if you received the same amount of money you do now, but you didn't have to work for it, what would you do?
    • Re:Perhaps, (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ip_vjl (410654)
      I think the honest answer for a lot of us would be "... the same thing I do now, just less of it."

      I think a lot of us like what we do (otherwise we'd be in a different profession already.) What gets to be a drag about any job is the fact you do it whether or not you feel like doing it on any given day.

      There are things I do on the side that I do for enjoyment, but if I switched careers to do those things full-time, then they would become tedious too. Doing things when you WANT to do them is fun ... doing things when you HAVE to do them is work.

      • Re:Perhaps, (Score:4, Insightful)

        by psicE (126646) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @05:20PM (#4202720) Homepage
        You and Dashua are on the right track. It would be great if everyone could say the same as you, that the thing they're doing now is what they'd most like to do for 8 hours a day.

        Sadly, not everyone can say that. Many people are forced into doing a job that they dislike, or truly hate, just because they need the money and they have no options. Maybe no one's hiring in their field, or they don't like the particular job they have though they like the field, or maybe their field just doesn't lead to a specific line of work. Either way, it happens, and those people are who the question's directed at.
  • School. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AnalogBoy (51094) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @04:50PM (#4202491) Journal
    I'd go and take classes in whatever interested me. Possibly become a doctor of something. Then dedicate my life to helping others*.

    (Note: Getting revenge on those that bother me, such as religous fundies, classifies under "helping others".)


    • I'd go and take classes in whatever interested me. Possibly become a doctor of something. Then dedicate my life to helping others.


      That's exactly what I'm doing. I've spent too long as a commercial programmer, so in my "retirement" I'm going to university for the first time in my life, and I'm working on a science degree which I hope to steer towards nanotechnology.

      I don't have the free money as yet, so I'm doing the university part time while working full time, and at some point I'll cut the work hours and increase the university hours. In the meantime, it's the learning which keeps me sane.
  • by GregWebb (26123) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @04:56PM (#4202526)
    Last I recall, two musicians and a fisherman.

    Speaking personally, I love performing. I love jamming music, I love writing music, I love listening to music. I even enjoy the physical act of playing (I'm a trumpeter). The idea of being able to dedicate myself to that properly is immensely tempting. Heck, when writing music I've got many challenges similar to writing software.

    I'll probably always write a little software for personal amusement but it's not exactly a relaxing discipline, as I'm showing by posting this from the office in the UK and I've been here at or around this time for most of the last week.

    If I wasn't a musician, I'd teach. Infant or lower primary, so probably the under 8-9s. I do a bit of voluntary work with that age group in my spare time and it's immensely rewarding, but quite frustrating in that you just don't get to see that much of the kids' development.

    Equally, I know that there's a strong theory going round in the UK now that says part of the reason we have significantly lower educational attainment in boys than girls is that most primary school teachers are female. The girls have teachers to look up to - the boys have footballers, TV presenters, parents (who, statistically speaking, aren't likely to be models of educational attainment) ... and so tend to gravitate towards a culture of success in sport being good and in class being bad, almost social death. Not good. If I could help turn that around for just a few kids...

    (Yes, I know teaching's hard work and it wouldn't be an easy ride after software!)
  • Maybe I wouldn't need to watch Fight Club at least once a day to keep my sanity. Well, since I was beaten to the mandatory "Nothing. I would do absolutley nothing" post, I guess I better fess up a real answer. I, as would most of you, probably get around to the million projects I have on my to-do list. *Weekly streamed radio show *Free, open, project of some sort *Create a game with some close friends *Read (for pleasure) more *That thing called "sleep" I hear so much about *Get to know my elders *Attend cons *Fish *Smile once in awhile *Contribute more to things I believe in We would all probably live a lot longer.
  • I would... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RedWolves2 (84305)
    Aquire a Sail boat and sail around the carribiean island hopping.

    Aquire a small plane and fly around the world.

    Play Hockey alot more.

    Those are just a few of my dreams for when I retire so I guess I could get a head start on them.

    • Start now... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Da VinMan (7669)
      You may not (probably will not) be able to do those things when you retire. If your body isn't shot by then, you'll be among the lucky few. I bet you could get a very serious start on all of those items, except for maybe the first item.

      If you wait to do these things, you may never get to do them. Besides, when you retire, do you think you'll still be interested in those things?

      We're all here for a very limited period of time, so chop chop!

      Oh, and stop stressing out about death. You don't remember the time before you were born do you? I didn't think so. So don't sweat it. What will be, will be.

      So just be.
    • Re:I would... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BitGeek (19506)
      Aquire a Sail boat

      IF you live near water, I say, start now. I've gone down this path. This is my retirement dream.

      You can get a small old sailboat for $2,000 to learn on and get used to sailing, and then get a bigger better one when you retire.

      The years of sailing on the weekends will come in handy when you're island hopping and will make you happier in the interim than you would be otherwise.

      Sailing isn't somethign you stop work one day and go do the next... so start early.

      There are those who say "if your dream is to sail around the world, just do it. You don't need money, you don't need nothing. I did it, I get by on odd jobs". And they are right. I'm not "just doing it" in part because I want more sailing experience and to get my lovers up to speed so that they can sail well too... but if you want to sail around, mostly hitting third world countries to dock (Say the pacific, the carribian, south america, etc.) you can do it very cheaply.

      Say, $5,000 a year. And a little work getting a skill can make it free-- one couple knows how to repair sails and goes to antigua for regatta week-- spends the whole week repairing blown out sails working 24x7 and then has enough money to fund the rest of their year!

      Don't dream it, be it. :-)

  • A few simple things (Score:2, Informative)

    by tdelaney (458893)
    1. Get a personal trainer who will help me lose weight.

    2. Build a house with all the stuff I want in it.

    3. Take the time to see my friends and meet other people.

    4. Open source development - probably starting with Python.
  • Books books books! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by matzim (468452)

    Anybody else have about umpteen thousand books on their to-be-read list?

    First thing - read until my eyes hurt!

    (And then go to the optometrist.)

  • As a biologist, I have spent a lot of time reverse engineering life. If I had the time and funding, I would pursue my hobby of forward engineering life. A lot of subsumptive architecture theory in the field of robotics focuses on emulating insects. I figured I just use insects as the platform to begin with. I am experimenting with bees right now, but would like to start working with other insects. It would be heaven to hack at it full time.
  • by j-turkey (187775) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @05:52PM (#4202921) Homepage

    If I didn't have to show up at work, and I still got paid, I would do the following

    • Sleep later
    • Get a part time job (or contract) to supplement my income
    • Probably smoke alot more pot
    • Get serious about my music...learn to play better and put a real band together
    • Read
    • Chill with my friends
    • Devote more time to amateur auto racing
    • Watch more TV & movies
    • Do more fun computer stuff (ie, not the stuff I do all day at work)
    • More sex
    • Masturbate
    • Ski
    • Write angry letters to politicians
    • Excercise more
    • Work on old cars
    • Possibly experiment with some new (to me) psychoactive/hallucinogenic drugs -- such as DMT and peyote
    • Cook better food
    • Start a business
    • Maybe get married and start making babies
    • Basically, do all of the shit that I fantasize about while I'm at work all day

    Why are you asking? Are you looking for the best answer and then giving that person a stipend to quite their job? If you are...I can come up with fifty other things I'd rather do.

    --Turkey
  • I'd make a beeline for henan and start a group home
    for the orphaned children of AIDS victims.
  • Go outside (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aoteoroa (596031)

    There are 196 lakes within 2 hours north, and east of my home. Getting out into nature is my idea fun. Rafting, camping, hiking, kyaking, even just rollerblading 'round the neighbourhood.

    Sketching with graphite, charcoal, and chalk pastel is another good way to relax and loose track of time.

    Now that you have brought up the topic I have to ask myself, "why I am sitting in a dark room posting platitudes to slashdot while the sun is shining outside?" I'm logging off, see y'all tommorow.

  • Raising a family (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trentfoley (226635) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @05:54PM (#4202934) Homepage Journal
    I'm not certain that I would have necessarily chosen this path, but it happened. And, I really like it. About two years ago, I got fed up with cubicle life. After 20+ years of "hacking for the man", I was burned out. Fortunately, my wife's law practice was doing well, so I quit my job and began to look for a career change. I have two (4 and 7 yrs old) boys. I ended up pulling my kids out of day care and have not looked back. I have had one of my best summers ever. My 7 yr old just stated back to school (2nd grade) and I've been teaching my youngest his letters and numbers in preparation for Kindergarten next year.

    But, the number one reason I enjoy it so much: I get to play with Lego's every day!


    • Hey- and there's nothing to stop you from working while you take care of the kids.

      Become a freelance programmer.

      Make a product you like and sell it.

      you have the perfect opportunity-- what you save in daycare will more than cover the costs of funding a one man software development house.

      And in my experience, when you go this route you find there are others who are doing similar things who can use the business to help you out in areas you're not good at (designing the icons for your application, maybe?)

      Taking a couple years and just spending them on the kids-- no problem. But when you start wanting more challenge for yourself-- at least try going into business for yourself.

      There's nothing like being a self employed programmer-- my boss works me hard, never forces bad technology decisions on me, does put a lot of pressure on me, but I do get all the financial rewards. ITs a great life.

      While my previous company was a wonderful one to work for, a team of engineers is always going to involve compromise. With modern tools, I've found that one person can get an amazing amount of development done and a one-person product done in a couple months that is worth paying for is totally possible.

      • Taking a couple years and just spending them on the kids-- no problem

        Actually I would recomend against doing *nothing* but caring for the kids. Be sure to do some community service or volunteer work that will count as "experience" to a future employer. My father did this for 10 years after my brother and I were born, he spent almost 5 years after reentering the workplace to get a reasonable job, and the first 2 years were actually as a telemarketer because he couldn't find a better job.

        If nothing else, offer to be a jr. coder for a larger non-profit group (volunteer). Explain your situation clearly, and say that your family currently comes first in your life. You will find in the long run it's far more productive to volunteer 15hr/week (or whatever) than to play catch up in a few years.
      • I've been thinking about just that. Since I haven't been "working" on computers for a while, the joy has returned.

        Here's my dilema:

        Good: I have a good idea for a web application

        Bad: I don't like the business model for web services. I don't see a way to measure your sales pipeline to be able to accurately forcast.

        Good: I have a marketable idea for a business automation application.

        Bad: I'm not a salesman and don't know how to sell it.

        Bad: If I became successful, I'd be too busy to play with Lego's everyday.

        ...actually, CyberKnex have been a lot of fun lately


        • Yeah, I have some web business ideas too. One with a bad business model, one with a good one... but it was inferior to the idea I eventually went with.

          You don't have to sell software one at a time. you can sell the application wholesale to a company that then sells it to its customers. Don't forget that.

          This type of sales is more like an interview combined wiht a demo than the typical salesman's selling on the road bit (I've actually done that and learned a lot.)

          You have a leg up in that you know a lawyer too.

          But the other thing I've found is that learning the technology and doign the work in creating this stuff is rewarding, but also gives new ideas for new products, and eventually one of them will be right. I spent about a year working down paths of ideas that ended up being non-workable (Bad business models, for instance) Before I hit something that I think is really workable...

          Good luck...

    • Consider home-schooling them. It's what you've been doing so far!
      -russ
  • R1 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BigBir3d (454486) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:00PM (#4202977) Journal
    that is too easy. buy an R1, and big chunk of land in a semi-hilly region, build a F1 spec race course, and ride ride ride. then, when i get bored, promote as many races as possible, of all types (car, truck, bike, go-cart, tank, snowmobile, lawnmower etc), on that very track.

    likelihood: zero

    *sigh*

    Here [yamaha-motor.com] is what I want...
    • by BitGeek (19506)


      Now that's an excellent example of turning the dream into a business.

      If you built your track in a wise location, you could end up making more from it than you did working.

  • If I earned the money I have now, without working, I'd chase my hobbies full time: I'd read all the books in my "read pending" list; I'd dedicate mornings to photography; I'd listen to the music I like. I'd code. I'd play Civilization II/Freeciv all the time and



    Oh, my... my last wish has just blown up my time. I'd play Civ II/Freeciv all the time, do nothing else and THEN I'd complain of lack of time.



    OTOH, if I had infinite money to spend, I'd mount my own FM radio and play the music I like (which you can't hear on radio anymore), free of commercials, free of "radio friendly format" and all that.

  • Learning stuff (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chrismear (535657)

    I've never really understood people who say "But what would you do if you won the lottery; wouldn't you be really bored?" Perhaps it's because I don't automatically come from the perspective that says 'work is my life, and anything I do outside of that is frivolous entertainment'. I find it's more like 'work is something I do to survive, and unfortunately it takes up a lot of time that I would rather spend doing things I enjoy'.

    I would love to have all the time in the world to study and learn about all the subjects I'm really interested in, but don't have time to get deeply into because of real life. I'd read into academic subjects, like genetics, neuroscience, philosophy, pure maths; I'd spend much more time practising the piano, improving my technique and increasing my repertoire; I'd read lots of novels; I'd learn all the programming languages and other techie stuff that I never have time to devote to.

    Basically, without the pressure of having to focus my attention on skills that will make me attractive in the job market (or at least in the able-to-make-money market), then I don't think I'd ever run out of interesting things with which to occupy my mind!

  • Probably work on my farm, tinker with various electronics projects, read more, and generally spend time enjoying my family and life and the outdoors. Rather then being an Engineer cooped up in a 60 degree datacenter all the time ;)
  • I wrote an essay on this a while back. never had much time to update it after it was written...

    see my sig

  • That's what I would do--real photography, film. As if I don't do a lot of it already. I would do what I have always wanted to do: No computers, no phones, no gatgets, just a dark room and some chemistry. I would travel the world and take pictures.
  • Start A business. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BitGeek (19506) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:32PM (#4203199) Homepage

    I'd start another business.

    Somehow people got this idea that working was dirty and only necessary for money. But if I had a million bucks (About twice the amount necessary to retire and never work again) I'd start a business.

    Sure, I'd spend a couple years travelling the world, but that would be the early, formative years where I was working out the idea, methods and execution of the business plan. There's nothing, for getting creative juices flowing that I've found better than being in an extremely remote place, chile, north of the arctic circle in alaska, ... yeah, travel. But I'd be working on a business.

    Working isn't what we have to do rather than what we really want to do-- that's the recipe for an unhappy life and its no suprise so many are unhappy. Working is the expression of our highest human self. The most noble and heroic thing any person can do is start a business. Not only is it the most fun, but it brings to your core the challenges, self realization and self understanding necessary.

    I know there are lots of people who will say self indulgent things like "I'd go feed poor people" or "two chicks at once" --- hey if that's all your life is worth, fine. (BTW, two chicks at once is a lot of fun, I do recommend it.) But these things will only entertain you for awhile.

    Eventually, you'll be at a crossroads and you'll have to choose between two courses- on one hand you can be a lazy person just doing nothing but spending money (this goes for both the "feed the poor" and the "party every night" types) and on the other hand you can pursue a challenge that brings out the best in you.

    Challenge isn't hardship-- its opportunity to excel. Butsiness isn't about money, its about personal expression. Sure, money is involved.. but if you're only interested in money you won't get much of it and you won't be happy. If, instead, you're pursuing your personal best, both money and happiness are easy to come by.

    Its unfortunate, though, that there are so many who tell you that you don't have a right to be happy, and they give you the recipe for unhappiness to insure it. Don't fall for it.

    Since many people will probably post in response to this that they'll do something that involves sacrificing their lives so that others can be better, I've got a little quote for you. I'll leave out for now the proof that this activity actually damages the people you try to help, more often than not... but I provide rebuttal for the many voices insisting that EVERYONE should be sacrificing themselves:

    "...just listen to anyprophet and if you hear him speak of sacrifice-- run. Run faster than from the plague. It stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where' there's service, there's someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master. But if ever you hear a man telling you that you must be happy, that its your natural right, that your first duty is to yourself-- that will be the man who's not after your soul. That will be the man who has nothing to gain from you. But let him come and you'll scream your empty heads off, howling that he's a selfish monster. So the racket is safe for many, many centuries."

    I know some people who are amazon wealthy, and do a person they are not out challenging themselves. They are being lazy, pointless people. And they are not happy.

    If you find yourself in this position-- rise to your highest, most noble calling. Start a company, or pursue an invention. Create.
  • Seriously I would enjoy eternal school and spending time with the wife and kids. I am still working on my BSCE but i could see myslef in school for a lot more, then maybe become a seeminly absent minded prof and confuse students all day long and then go and play with my "LASER" (in a dr. evil voice). yes i know that my subject line has been used but i couldnt pass it up
  • I'd want to help run a minor league team. Do everything from serve hot dogs to marketing to raking the infield between innings. That's my idea of heaven.

    That, and own a pinball shop.
  • (I'm being a hypocrite, as I criticized somebody else for giving a politicized rant, whereas that's exactly what I'm about to do. This one's different, though, but I apologize in advance.)

    Right now, the government uses welfare and other means-tested programs. They very strongly encourage people to get to work. They also make it very hard for anyone without hordes of money to be an entrepreneur.

    Now, suppose that the government eliminated welfare and all other means-tested programs, and replaced them with a single program, providing every citizen a guaranteed income; say also that that guaranteed income was the same as the federal poverty limit.

    I personally think that instituting such a plan would do wonders for... well, everything. Companies would be free to hire and fire workers at will, without notice or severance, because they wouldn't be denying anyone a livelihood; and likewise, employees would be free to leave a company at any time, because they wouldn't be leaving their family stranded. And many people might choose to eschew a proper job, or work part-time, and become an entrepreneur.

    As far as I'm concerned, the only thing missing is the money.
  • by ealar dlanvuli (523604) <froggie6@mchsi.com> on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:34PM (#4203564) Homepage
    It was a jump to conclusions mat. See, one would stand at one end, and there would be conclusions writen all over it. You would then jump, and land on a conclusion. Get it?

    Thats what I'd do if I didn't have to worry about money.
  • I'd probably do a master's degree in the liberal arts at St John's in Anapolis, before buying a farm in Iceland and raising ponies, from which I'd launch my campaign for high political office.

    Hell - I might just do those things anyway...

  • I just might then be able to afford to live in San Francisco. Probably need more than that though.
  • 1. I would program for fun whatever little thing I thought might be useful to the world....
    2. I would write books, scifi books, and since I don't need money who cares if anyone ever reads them I wrote them because I had Ideas and I wanted too.
    3. Travel, Lots of places I want to see....
    4. I would not donate my time to some worthy cause, honestly I see doing such as a way of gicving time to something I believe in as an escape from the things I have to do....If I have to do nothing then donating my time would feel like work instead....so I wouldn't want to do it...call it selfish if you like but thta my opinion....
  • I'm a network manager. I like the work, for the most part. If I had enough money to not care about working, I'd still work - but I'd probably cut back my hours a little and perhaps go off and do more fun stuff. I'd play a little more golf. Spend more time on my bicycle. I'd definitely spend a lot more time with my newborn son.

    My all-time favorite job was when I worked as a bicycle mechanic (about 16 years ago), though it did not exactly pay the bills. But it was a lot of fun, and I was pretty good at it. If that wasn't a concern, I might well give thought to going back into it. But maybe as a sideline.

    I think, ultimately, work should be fun, at least to a degree. If you enjoy what you do, there's no reason to not work even if you don't need to. In fact, it might be more fun then because all the financial pressure is off.
  • Seriously. I think someone else said this, but I'd probably work on writing a book. I've always wanted to do that. ^_^
  • I have ideas. Lots of good ideas. I have no interest in actualy following through with them though, I'd rather come up with the next idea. Therefore I would hire a lot of things. I would have 10 artists (mostly stone carvers) on my payroll at any time, carving statues, plaques (thoughtful sayings), and sculptures. I would turn my yard (and my neighbor's yard after I bought their house) into a large sculpture garden. Romantic areas, thoughtful areas, concert areas, maybe a zoo... I don't know exactly. Essentially a large park that is all mine, but you are welcome to visit.

    I'd also spend a lot of time exploring nature. Alaska has always interested me, I'd go. Utah has the most amazing geography, I'd have to spend a lot of time there. Fishing, hiking, hunting, camping. I like living in tents for short times. Watch lions kill, visit the pryamids (Egyption and Myan), explore castles.

    And as a rich person I would also have a few less useful things. The world's longest brige, streching 100 miles in the ocean, and then ending, with the plan from the start to never cross. Or maybe a life size replica of flood control dam #3. (underground of course)

  • I've thought about this lots. :) I imagine I'd spend six months out of each year backpacking (AT again, PCT, ADT, CDT, JMT, LT...there are so many!) and the remaining six months divided into six one-month projects. One month to start a new voter-registration project in Charlottesville, one month to volunteer full-time on the city's free bicycle program, one month to work on a free software project... And then I could clear my head from April - October backpacking. Repeat as necessary. :)

    -Waldo Jaquith
  • Lots of Everquest. ;-)
  • ...but it's already there under "URL".

    actually, that's not all that informative. I think you can look at old_index.html to get to the underlying ideas.

  • * Schedule annual months of hallucinogen intake
    * Finally get that electronic music thing together
    * Polish up my languages (foreign and computer)
    * Get some land and learn -- very slowly -- how to farm it
    * Go to university again (See no. 2)

    er, that's it for now....
  • I would be working on research projects that I found interesting. I've got a degree in astrophysics, but there are many other interesting things to do as well, in any science. Then I would work on scientific publishing, there are huge potentials there.

    Also, I would be spending more time travelling around the world, and spending more time doing expeditions in strange places.

  • I think I have to post to Slashdot for ideas on how to use all this free time I seem to have on my hands.
  • And put Triple H through a table.
  • I work as a computer consultant dude on large scale projects in public sector, defense, policing, and telco/dotcomm stuff. Pretty darn fun. I have money so I can pretty much do most of what I want now. Seems to me the things I'm a bit short for:

    • Spending time with friends (but I'd need to be able to "hire" them so they too had the free time and some have families so even then I wouldn't get full time presence)
    • Travel - lots yet to see and visit and only finite money and more finite time while working
    • Read - can't keep up with the great books of the past few thousand years... so more time would be nice
    • Ponder - sit on my ass in a hammock, on a white sandy beach, in 27C, thinking or just plain being - something modern life makes tough as any amount of unalloted time seems like a "waste" - whereas in fact time to ponder would probably lead to wonderful discoveries about the self, friends, the world at large, or just the insides of the eyelids as one fell asleep... but that's the risk of just being... :)
    • Do something relatively meaningful for others - already do charity organizing/work, just like to do more

    And, of course, I'd like to hang out with wonderful women (met lots, many more yet to meet, and more appearing every day!) and carouse.
  • Like everyone I'd invest in a nice home and more computer equipment. I'd continue doing web development work for some of my small clients, quit my day job, and continue taking classes. I'd start sinking money into the campaigns of my favorite Libertarian candidates and organizations such as the EFF. I'd learn to be a better sailor. I'd fund the animal shelter for the rescue group I currently volunteer for. I'd travel wherever and whenever I wanted to and perhaps have a second home in Scotland. I'd further develop my language skills - both types. I'd support the whims and habits of my husband, and in general try to develop a life where I am much less stressed.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion

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