Top Five Things We Wish We Could Afford

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

This week, Things We Wish We Could Afford! If money were no object, what would we buy and spend our money on, and more importantly, why?


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  1. Society – I’d fund various TED Talk / Google X type initiatives beyond the talking phase… but having known my fair share of grant leeches, I’d have something as terrifying as the amalgam of the IRS, private military company, two-thousand attorney firm, and the Catholic Church police the thing for accountability. Assuming my power is actually money and not just reality warping, I’d also gather a bunch of economists to make sure my projects weren’t throwing the world economy out of whack (thus undoing my own fortune and ability to use it towards these ends).

    Shelter – Places to stay… everywhere (and the means to get to them quick). I love travel, nature, cities, isolation, urban bustle, historic locales, and space age metropolises. One of the reasons I’m so envious of The Flash. Traipsing God’s creation is likely to make one a more global citizen and mitigate one’s own inclinations towards evil given the power of unlimited funds.

    Sustenance – Allowed the eccentricity of my wealth, I’d chew… and spit out… all the best food in the world so I could enjoy it without the heart-stopping weight-gaining life-shortening effects. :P

    Soul – I’d create or put on retainer the talents needed to have my own holodeck, Imaginarium, Dreamatorium, etc. Someone like Q to make commercially unfeasible but technically possible personal gadgets and tech. Companies like Pixar (but likely more mercenary) to render creative projects at my whim. Basically, all things media and material if imaginable can be created, you just need the people on standby to do it when inspiration strikes (whether myself or people with intriguing pitches). And with creation tends to come sharing minus the need for a profit motive… so you can put that ultimate dream phone in the people’s hands at a loss, air your own desired TV content, provide wide release of films regardless of demographic or message, etc. (but probably need to check in with my economists again….) Especially in the realm of technology, one of the biggest barriers to the best possible end consumer product are patent portfolios which sit unused, except defensively or in IP cross-licensing horse trading between competitors. With unlimited funds, you could buy out the patents, or pay the impossible licensing fees, or just infringe on the patents and pay off the infringement (and/or manipulate the law through lobbying to avoid the consequences) meaning all the best possible tech (and not just the legally available / affordable tech) falls into a single product for the user. You could also imagine a ton of patents just sitting there that represent inventions which would make all our lives better but aren’t commercially viable (like much safety gear)… so you comb through them and start putting them into production gratis.

    Security – Assuming all this power and satisfaction you want the safety of a long life to enjoy it. So I’ve already got my black suited ninja litigation soldiers with religious devotion covering a ton of angles… in terms of focusing on health, I’m with Matthew, I think it would be interesting to reverse The Positronic Man’s journey and border on immortal (I have no interest in corporeal immortality, but the actual safe execution of all these designs requires an extended lifespan). Taking the obstacles of money or IP rights out of medicine (or at least shifting the way incentives work- raging boner pills being more profitable than staving off infant mortality, for example) and you can do so much more.

  2. George Lucas- Ending his screwball changes of everything, and owning Star Wars which I would give to Bioware for them to with as they pleased.

    NASA- I chose to go to Mars, not because it is easy but because I have the money.

    All the farms and shipping in the world- I don’t care what is currently worth the most, everyone gets adequate nutrition.

    A Castle- But not just any castle, the most mysterious, hidden door, secret room, Scooby Doo, maze, stairs leading nowhere castle ever imagined.

    VTOL- A vectored thrust aircraft caple of going anywhere, deep ocean, space, parking on a building, heck I already own NASA, why not.

  3. Boardgames
    A big house
    A nice car
    And number one support all the podcasts I listen to in appreciation of all the pleasure they have given me.

  4. I’d love to have a combination of Matthew’s #5 and Rodrigo’s #3. It would be a completely customized super-car . . . disguised as a 2000 Subaru Outback. It would have everything the Batmobile and Black Beauty had combined with all the safety features Rodrigo described (does anyone else think Rodrigo’s #3 sounds like a sequel to “Death Proof”). Anyway, it would be my “anywhere” car. If I want to go search for Bigfoot, no problem – it would even have night vision-equipped windshield. If I want to drive down the worst parts of the town, no problem – it would be completely bullet-proof.

    But on a more serious note, I had a similar Number One – to see Blue Yonder turn into a full time job. I’ve had quite a lot of similar experiences to Matthew with people judging me for “what I do” instead of “who I am”. It ranges from people thinking I can fix their computers (I can barely turn mine one) to people thinking I don’t like social interaction (okay, I can kinda see that one since I spend all day on this site).

  5. Thank goodness Rodrigo didn’t win the lottery, shooting rare paintings in to space.
    I think I could spend the money having Sara Michelle Giellar be my own personal Daphne
    and Gwyneth Paltrow as my own personal assistant ;-)

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