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author: niplav, created: 2022-07-20, modified: 2023-12-16, language: english, status: in progress, importance: 3, confidence: other

What I might do if I magically got hold of a very large amount of money, and couldn't spend it maximally altruistically.

If I Was An Eccentric Trillionaire

I sometimes like to engage in idle speculation. One of those speculations is: "If someone came up to me and told me that they would give me a lot of money, but only under the condition that I would spend most of it on unconventional and interesting projects, and I was forbidden to give it to Effective Altruist organizations narrowly defined, what would I do? Not disallowing the projects from having positive consequences accidentally, of course."

The following is a result of this speculation. Many of the ideas might be of questionable morality; I hope it's clear I would think a bit more about them if I were to actually put them into practice (which I won't, since I don't have that type of money, nor am I likely to get hold of it myself anytime soon).

Lots of these ideas aren't mine, and I have tried to attribute them wherever I could find the source. If guess that if they were implemented (not sure whether that's possible: legality & all that) I'd very likely become very unpopular in polite society. But the resulting discourse would absolutely be worth it.

Intervention Cost
Snowball fights ?
Buy a small island nation \$5 bio.
Personal futarchy on steroids \$100 mio.
Save dying languages \$2 bio.
Raise native speakers of an engineered conlang \$30.8 mio.
Philosophically solve language \$10 mio.
SCP series \$1 bio.
Antimemetics Division spinoff \$200 mio.
Discontinuous & fast AI takeoff movie \$500 mio.
Double Crux podcast \$2 mio.
Fictional ethnography of native Antarcticans \$100k
Studying foreveraloners \$900 mio.
Really Out There Stuff Institute \$60 mio.
Sum \$ 9.81 bio.

Culture

Language

Art

Science

Metascience

Other

Discussions

Appendix A: Markets from a Personal Futarchy Experiment by Tetraspace


  1. It's not clear that Nauru is the best choice here. While it probably is the smallest nation state that can conceivably be bought (I don't think there is any realistic (or unrealistic) amount of money for which Vatican City could be acquired), it is not very fertile, and has only limited freshwater reserves, relying mostly on rainwater. The highest point is only 71 metres above sea level, which means that a large part of the island might be at risk of going under water with rising sea levels. 

  2. "Yes, I want housing costs to be AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE! MWAHAHAHAHAH!" 

  3. Rest in peace

  4. Indeed, there is some evidence that Auckland island was settled briefly by Polynesians 600-700 years ago. 

  5. Maybe I'm lacking in imagination, but this implies both that polynesians can survive for weeks on the open ocean, can reliably find their way back home if need be, and are adventurous enough to just sail out to the open ocean in the hopes of finding new islands. This seems extremely wild to me. 

  6. Another method of finding and moving to Antarctica would be from the Tierra del Fuego to the Siffrey point, which is much closer (~1030km). I'm not sure whether this is more or less likely: the Yahgan people have lived in the Tierra del Fuego for ~8k years, which would give far more time for for extensive exploration, and the Prime Head is likely warmer and more hospitable than the rest of Antarctica, but I believe that the Polynesians were much better at spending long durations of time at sea, and at finding far away land from subtle cues. 

  7. Since the experiment would solely involve prostitution, my best guess80% is that it would be significantly more difficult to find a similar number of female participants. 

  8. I'd like to hear feedback on what people believe the right amounts of money for indifference between membership of the two groups+participation would be.