When the ‘poor little rich kid’ is right

The guy who invented Minecraft (it’s some kind of game, apparently) sold his company and became a billionaire. Good for him. He’s not happy about it.

Here are some of his comments on Twitter

richboyThe comments on the article are all ‘My heart bleeds – not’ and ‘Why not give it all away and be a poor struggling worker drone again?’.

That second tweet is right though. Dead right. Money is not, or should not be, the ultimate goal of life. For the article commenters it seems that’s what their life is all about.

Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Too much of it is the same as too much of anything else. It will destroy you.

I’ve been running along the breadline for years and you know what? It’s great. Really. If I want something I can save for it or work for it but if I had billions, what would I do? I really would have no more reason to do anything. This guy bought a big house in Beverley Hills where he can live among people who care passionately about money even though he doesn’t. That was a bad move.

If I ever won the lottery, which is unlikely as I never buy a ticket, sure, I’d take the money. I’d still have a little job somewhere so I could be among real people and I certainly would not be partying with shallow, vacuous ‘celebs’. I’d be down the pub with those considered to be the dregs.

One thing I learned while homeless is that the real people are mostly down there among the ‘dregs’. Those who say what they think, not what they are taught to think. Those who fight to survive every day. They are not stupid (there are some) because the stupid don’t usually survive long in that part of society.

Unless they have strength or some other quality they can sell, they don’t last long.

Take the challenge out of life and it becomes boring and unbearable. There has to be something to deal with. Something to fix. Something to keep that brain working and the body active. Otherwise, what’s the point of having either?

It’s true there have been times when spontaneous donations to this blog have been all that have kept me from the gutter. It’s true that I’ve had to sell things I made that I will never be able to make again just to pay the latest bills. I’ll never see those things again but I made them and they still exist. They are out there somewhere. They are part of this world and I did that. That is a really good feeling.

So much more of a good feeling than looking at a bank statement. I don’t usually get any kind of good feeling looking at mine.

Where is the sense of achievement in looking at some printed numbers? Markus Persson has just found the truth in ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’. Yes, you have to have some in order to pay the taxes but when it goes into overload, what do you do then?

Well first of all you pay more taxes. Then you get calls from new ‘friends’ who just need a teeny loan of maybe a few thousand. You cannot tell friend from freeloader any more and you don’t have to do a damn thing to pay your next bill or find your next meal.

It does sound good to be able to sit beside your own swimming pool every day, sipping tequila sunrise and scratching your arse. I could do that for a few weeks – but forever? No.

If I was a millionaire now I would not trust any approach from any woman. As it is, I have nothing so I know it’s me she wants. There isn’t anything else 😉

And that’s a good feeling too. I can make the money later.

Not having to ever worry how you’re going to pay the next bill would be nice. That’s undeniable. And yet, take it too far and all the challenge is gone from life. With it goes the value.

If I want something I have to work and save to get it. When I do, I treasure it. I put some of my life into getting it. If I could just go out and buy it straight away then it won’t mean anything, really. It’s just a thing I bought. It might be very expensive but it has no value.

So what should Markus do? Anything he damn well pleases. If it were me I’d opt for a little cottage somewhere quiet and write crazy books whether anyone wanted to read them or not. I’d have a little job in a local shop to get me out of the house once in a while. I’d make things with no sense of urgency and sell or give them to other people because I don’t have room for them all.

But I would stay away from those who think life is all about making as much money as possible. That kind of thinking leads to no real life at all.

It’s not the money that’s making Markus miserable. It’s how he’s using it.

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35 thoughts on “When the ‘poor little rich kid’ is right

  1. Harold Lloyd barely survived the first decade of talkies (1930s) while remaining a star then fizzled out, however he had amassed a vast fortune due to earning over $1 million a picture in the 20s and investing wisely.

    Rather than feeling down because he had so much money and a huge house (in which, sadly, a fire claimed some of his early pictures), he immersed himself in his hobbies for decades, which included cars and a vast number of 3D pictures (mainly nudes).

    Ahem, anyway, he also enjoyed going around giving talks about the silent film age.

    I don’t know anything about ‘Minecraft’ either – the last computer game I was in to was Tetris and before that, Jet Set Willy (nothing to do with 3D pictures) for the Sinclair Spectrum.

    I don’t know what Minecraft Man’s problem is, but I’d be happy to help him by swapping bank accounts. I have so many ambitions which involve money, it would quickly dwindle. All it takes is imagination and a will to improve others’ lives.

    The fake friends would be an issue, but isn’t it an issue even when you’re skint?

    And I agree, I would much rather spend time with those on the fringes of society who don’t have pretensions. He could do what Mel Brooks did in “Life Stinks”.

    It reminds me of something else from my youth: the character in ‘Viz’ called “Spoiled B******”.

    Comics for ‘adults’. Then came cartoons for adults. Then onesies, by way of the ‘big slipper’.

    Infantilised much? How can the big Minecraft kid be expected to cope with so much pocket money?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always find it strange that those who come into vast sums of money,such as lottery winners,say that it won’t change their life,so why do it then? Surely by dint of the fact,that it is such a vast sum of money ,it changes everything.

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  3. The trick is not to let the money change you. It helps if you have a settled life before you get money – a good circle of friends, hobbies you enjoy etc. Then the money just takes care of the boring bills part of life, allowing you to enjoy the other bits. But its crucial to keep working. The Devil makes work for idle hands as they say, and its true. It doesn’t have to be paid employment, you could run your own hobby business at a loss if you liked, but you need deadlines, things that must be done, otherwise procrastination would just eat time, and you would have far too much temptation to get into trouble. Its also good to achieve stuff, it gives a great sense of satisfaction, that money can’t buy.

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  4. I just want my own wee second hand/antique, book shop, and enough money to keep it running, and to live comfortably, even if the book shop does not make a single Pfennig.

    Just sitting there all day snarling at those customers who are idiots, and smokey drinkys with those that are not. And traveling the world visiting all the best book sales, to add to the collection.

    Get the place kitted out/furnished by the worlds best Gothic set builders. (Dark Gothik, not all this ‘orrible white stuff! Enough to put you off your bloody Marys, so it is.)

    Great!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of the most uplifting programmes I’ve watched featured lottery winners who’d used money to help others – they seemed happy unlike those who blow the money on status symbols.

    When I’ve daydreamed about the lottery I’ve got to a point when I’ve started to worry (will investing £300k be enough?) :> Just as well I don’t do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • One thing I get asked during lottery conversations is what car I’d buy. I wouldn’t have a car. If you have that much money you can take taxis everywhere and let someone else worry about parking the damn thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Minecraft is like a virtual Lego set cum train layout; it is the computing equivalent of crack. Some of the stuff done in it (scale model of the Starship Enterprise, a 3D tour of Middle Earth, working computers and pinball games) boggles the mind. More work has been done on the game by the modding community than by Marcus Persson and his merry band.

    As for having more money than you can ever spend. Well, that’s the measure of a man, ain’t it? Do you blow it all on drugs like the Tetrapak couple, or do you use it to build the future you want to see, like Andrew Carnegie (art galleries, theatres, libraries, scholarships, etc.) or Elon Musk (of Tesla and Space-X fame)?

    What’s the point of immense wealth just rotting in a vault? Use it to cultivate yourself and improve the lives of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, but you gotta watch out for those good intentions…

      And hell can linger longer than you can (so difficult to fix):

      https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/the-rising-power-of-the-american-dead/

      I am in the lottery syndicate at work because if it won big, everyone would fuck off. It’s insurance 😉

      Thoughtful man and I have an agreement about the lottery (because he does it;I have no choice) – everything paid off, apportion the rest off to family and friends to share the misery… really, no good intentions there at all.

      We would have a equal sum each to spend how we want without the other moaning. His would be on cars; mine would go toward fighting the smoking ban because I do actually have a real bet on with my boss that we can break the ban. Actually wiping the smug look off Scruffy Oik’s face would be worth it, so the drinks would be on me 😉

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  7. When my husband died I had quite a lot in insurance and a secure pension. Not in lottery terms but a good amount. I bought a house near my son and spent a lot modernising it but other than that my life is not really any different though it’s nice to have no financial worries. I liked being able to help my son a his family and contribute to them having a better life. Since I was already retired there isn’t really anything I need, I do one lottery line, it’s done online or I would probably stop it but I don’t know what I would do if I ever won! I expect I would give most of it away and add to the small memorial prize I set up at university in my husband’s name.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I do the local lottery occasionally – maybe three times a year when I think to do it. I don’t expect to win anything; I never win raffles or anything like that. It’s probably as well that gambling has never really grabbed me.

    I always had a flutter on the Grand National and the Derby, but only a tenner or so, and never won. Although having said that, when I lived in Melbourne in the 70s, I once put a few bob on a rank outsider (I think its name was ‘Think Big’) in the Melbourne Cup, and to my astonishment it won at about 60:1! Hey hey! It then sank back into obscurity, but resurfaced for the next Melbourne Cup, this time at somewhat shortened odds of about 33:1, so I put some money on it again. Bugger me if it didn’t win again! Ha! I think that’s the only winning streak (albeit a year apart) that I ever had.

    I don’t really need to win the lottery. Sure, it would be great to have loadsamoney, but I actually love my life as it is. Despite my age (66), as well as working in my (carpentry) business to earn a crust to pay the bills, I have a few projects on the go, and they keep me on my toes. I’m currently doing up a couple of apartments I bought really cheaply in Patras (a bit of an oik from where I live – 2 hrs ferry then 4 hrs drive), but which should make me a tidy profit because I’m a multi-skilled carpenter and will do most of the renovation work myself. I’ve also got a project going in Thailand where I have some land in a heaving city and will be building a home and a couple of bungalows for holiday rental. The end plan is to spend 6 months (European winter) in Thailand, and then 6 months (European summer) in Greece.

    That’s the plan, anyway! 🙂

    This is all being done on a shoestring, and I drive a really old car and a really old van, and a really old motorbike (although my wife’s scooter we bought new a couple of years ago), but I live comfortably enough, and don’t really want for anything. If I came into money, I expect my first thoughts would be to buy houses for my kids and make sure they were set up. After that, I don’t know. Apart from flying business class always. I’ve been upgraded a couple of times, and after you’ve flown business, it’s kinda hard to go back to self-loading freight class. So that would be my extravagance. And a new(er) van. And I’d probably spend a fair bit on really nice red wines, which I love. I wouldn’t drink any more than I do now, just better quality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t gamble because I’m no damn good at it. I did once win a bottle of vodka in a pub raffle but it was so crap I used it to clean the varnish off an old table before revarnishing. Other than that, nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

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