Inspired by RiverRunner’s comment in this thread. RR makes the comment that watching the battleships Bismarck and Yamato battle it out would have been something to see, I read that and thought, “Now there’s something for Bill Gates to spend his money on!”
So let’s say you had a nearly limitless supply of cash, and that after spending an appropriate amount on doing charitable things and the like, you decide for the sheer joy of it, you’re going to blow it on massive, pointless things for the sheer spectacle of it. What would you do? Build giant mechs to battle one another? Put plastic wrap around the entire coast of the US?
Me? I’d build a space station in orbit around the Earth, just so I could hurl things into the atmosphere and watch them burn up!
I would hire the world’s navies to end the whale question once and for all by hunting down and killing every last one of them. Orca and Porpus, too. Can’t stand having a fish and a mammal both named dolphin. The fish was probably here first, right? So, he gets to keep the dolphin name.
I would fund a space shuttle mission that wouls spread some particles that would dift down into the upper atmosphere to make a spectacular fireworks show.
I would buy two KC-135s (Air Force tanker planes), fill 'em up, install remote controls, and smash 'em head on over the desest.
Fund a huge space program, and rearrange the features on the moon to make a huge smiley face visible with the naked eye from earth.
My personal vehicle would be a chauffer-driven M1 Abrams tank.
Have a Nimitz-class carrier built in Lake Michigan.
Figure out a way to crash two planets together, if research showed the Earth would survive it.
Buy a cheese hat for every person on earth, and give every person on earth 50 grand if they would wear it 24 hours every day for 5 years. Offer everyone a one-time 10K payoff if they can prove someone else isn’t wearing theirs.
Offer every head of state $5 mil if they would jerk off on CNN. Pay someone else to actually watch and keep track.
Offer survivalist groups huge subsidies to build underground bunkers, and stay underground for a year. During that year, hire every heavy equipmeny operator on earth to bury the bunker entrances.
1st- launch a private space program and create a large orbiting habitat. Huge. We’re talking the size of an aircraft carrier. And no pussy footing around, I want Sci-Fi folks and artists in on the design.
2nd- Hire a massive mercenary army.
3- From orbit, in my safely defended (did I mention the military equipment?) orbital home, direct the large scale conquering of Africa. I’m talking huge, I want to wipe out all opposition and create one united nation that I am in charge of. Wipe out any and all opposition.
4- Stabilize the economy, standardize money, language, measurements and schooling. Build infrastructure. Wipe out those that oppose me.
5- Begin funding the development of Martian terra-forming. Land a private industry craft on mars that proclaims the land in a 200 mile radius to be owned by me. Prepare children to take on that challenge.
6- For fun, destroy economies of countries that denounce my actions in Africa.
I’d buy large amounts of land in the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. Then I’d build for myself massive underground bunkers with secret plans and multiple contractors who don’t interact with each other at all. They’d work in shifts from plans that leave gaps in places other contractors are working on. It would contain enough `creative architecture’ to make the Winchester Mansion look like a Modern, rational abode. The bunkers would contain a massive, redundant Beowulf cluster of machines ranging from Crays to beefed-up desktop machines.
The whole complex would be radiation and blast hardened. It would contain provisions for indefinite survival fully sealed off, including hydroponics tanks, water and air filtration systems, and nuclear power augmented by fuel cells.
Then I’d write for myself a massively parallel Linux, capable of handling that Beowulf cluster. It would be able to control bizarre peripherals, like robot arms and automated guided missile batteries. It would be controlled from different places, ranging from simple teletypes to full-immersion VR systems, scattered throughout my complex. The computer system would have full communications access in parts, but be cut off completely in others.
I’d build myself a Palace. Not a crappy Taj Mahal or Westminster Palace kind of place but a huuuuuuge monument to the greatness of me. The entrance hall would look like the room with all the columns in the Mines of Moria but much bigger. It would finally put an end to the question of what man-made objects are visible from space, cause the WolfmanSchloss would dwarf them all.
What is it? This is a method of breaking up with a significant other or a severe type of revenge. This is where, the couple have one last night of outstanding sex. As the significant other falls asleep the guilty party proceeds to very gently leave a massive pile of excrement (shit to you less educated soles) on the significant other’s chest.So we don’t all hammer the poor guy’s site, and because I don’t know the policies we have for linking to offensive material (that’s commercial, no less).
You know those “Play Places” for kids at fast food restaurants? I’d buy a small country and fill the entire place with a play place so big that people can live there and go camping in the ‘play wilderness’. It would be strong enough for adults of course.
I’d like to do that, too. I’d also like to save copies of various medieval works that scholars say once existed but are now lost. One of these is Chretien de Troyes’ version of the Tristan and Isolde story. The scholars know that Chretien wrote a Tristan romance because he refers to it in his other works, but no copies of it survive. Chretien also started to write a Holy Grail romance, but he never completed it. It would be interesting to see how it would have ended.
I’d also like to see how Dickens would have ended his last novel, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”