Welcome to the Future

Welcome to the Future

we wish to ... negotiate


#1: Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman once maintained that there are four kinds of spending. P. J. O'Rourke described them thusly:
  1. You spend your money on yourself. You're motivated to get the thing you want most at the best price. This is the way middle-aged men haggle with Porsche dealers.
  2. You spend your money on other people. You still want a bargain, but you're less interested in pleasing the recipient of your largesse. This is why children get underwear at Christmas.
  3. You spend other people's money on yourself. You get what you want but price no longer matters. The second wives who ride around with the middle-aged men in the Porsches do this kind of spending at Neiman Marcus.
  4. You spend other people's money on other people. And in this case, who gives a shit?
#2: from George R. R. Martin:

“The original estimate of fifty million standards was excessive,” Tuf said, “obviously an inflated figure intended solely to force me to sell you my ship. I suggest we settle on a sum of twenty million standards as the basis for this agreement.”

“Ridiculous,” she snapped. “My [workers] couldn’t even paint your goddamned ship for twenty million standards. But I’ll go down to forty-five.”

“Twenty-five million,” Tuf suggested. “As I am alone aboard the Ark, it is not strictly necessary that all decks and systems be restored to full optimal function..."

“Fair enough,” she said. “I’ll go to forty million.”

“Thirty,” Tuf insisted, “would seem more than enough.”

“Let’s not quibble over a few million standards,” said Tolly Mune. ...

“I have a somewhat different viewpoint. Thirty million.”

“Thirty-seven,” she said.

“‘Thirty-two,” Tuf replied.

“Obviously, we’re going to settle on thirty-five, right? Done!” She stuck out her hand.

Tuf looked at it. “Thirty-four,” he said calmly.

Tolly Mune laughed, withdrew her hand, and said, “What does it matter? Thirty-four.”

#3: from Carl Sagan:

"Now, I'm not bringing this up so I can boast. I'm bringing it up for a practical reason. If we're figuring out ways to extend our lifespans, think of what those creatures on Vega must have done. They probably are immortal, or close enough. I'm a practical person, and I've thought a lot now about immortality. I've probably thought longer and more seriously about it than anybody else. And I can tell you one thing for sure about immortals: They're very careful. They don't leave things to chance. They've invested too much effort in becoming immortal. I don't know what they look like, I don't know what they want from you, but if you ever get to see them, this is the only piece of practical advice I have for you: Something you think is dead cinch safe, they'll consider an unacceptable risk. If there's any negotiating you get to do up there, don't forget what I'm telling you."