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Wealth Abandonment Options · View
1ball
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:10:21 PM

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The Scenario

The wealthiest person in the world, who this time could be a woman but I'm going to refer to as a man (and if you have a problem with that, take it up with Felix), decided to have some fun with his wealth. He consulted his legal advisors and other sources until he had a pretty good understanding of the salvage laws of the high seas and the rights of people who live in rational societies. He also took a look at Google Earth and found 100 seamounts in international waters. Seamounts are mountains based on the sea floor that peak below sea level. From these 100, he chose 10. He then decimated his wealth. That means he took away 1/10th of it, by converting it to precious metals, wrapping them in a nice tidy package and dropping it onto the deepest of the 10 sea mounts, along with a sonar transmitter that helped him log the depth and coordinates of the cache precisely but stopped transmitting soon after.

Then he repeated the decimation and dispersal process on the remainder of his wealth again, and again, and again for a total of 10 decimations. For those who are challenged by this much arithmetic, that means the following decreasing percentages of his original fortune were left on seamounts with decreasing depth below sea level. First it was 10% of the original, then 9%, then 8.1%, then 7.29%, then 6.561%, then 5.9049%, then 5.31441%, then 4.782969%, then 4.3046721%, and finally 3.87420489%. This left him with a paltry 34.86784401% (minus interim expenses and plus interim gains) of his original net worth.

He thought it was a great way to become a former wealthiest person in the world and he threw a big party when he returned from the last of his journeys. All his media friends were invited and there he told everyone what he had done, but not which sub-surface peaks he had chosen. He announced that these sums were abandoned as nearly as possible on the peaks of the seamounts and that he would wait 10 years and claim by right of salvage any of the caches that remained unclaimed. He asked only that those who recovered any of the caches drop him a note with the coordinates of the find and photos to prove recovery. He also posted his challenge on Facebook and blogged about it, listing the coordinates of the 100 seamounts he had chosen his 10 from.

His greedy heirs tried to sue him and have him declared mentally incompetent, but he fought their attempts and they were unsuccessful. Hundreds of expeditions were mounted and seaborne salvage equipment from around the world was diverted, postponing many undersea salvage jobs, increasing the cost of undersea salvage and producing a brief boom in the retrofitting of ships for undersea salvage. Several people died as a result of ill-organized unsafe attempts. Several others were murdered as a result of greed. Numerous other effects of the searches and recoveries occurred.

Five of the caches were discovered and recovered with great fanfare, some innovative recovery techniques and no fatalities. He didn't bother going out to the 10 sites after his 10 year wait. He had received 9 "Thank You" notes that included the requested coordinates and photos. Four of the notes were unsigned. He had also received a single gold bar via UPS with the words "Thank You" and the 10th set of coordinates engraved on it. He displayed the bar with the 9 notes on a bulkhead of his yacht.

The Question

From the facts supplied, what are the moral implications of his actions and of those of the 10 successful crews?


My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:27:07 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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If it was his wealth, he could do what he wanted with it. From your scenario, he did not force anyone to go on those voyages. It just seems like Russian roulette taken to a new level.
Wilful
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:50:54 PM

Rank: Devil's Advocate
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I have to ask, are you some super rich billionaire who wants to throw your money into the ocean, and need validation from a bunch of amateur erotica writers?

Dude, give it to charity! I mean, if you want to slip a couple mill my way, that'd be nice, but...

In answer to your question, it's a massive waste of resources and the guy in your scenario is a complete fucking cocksucker.

As for the crews...meh, whatever. There's something valuable out there, and they're going to get it. Good for them. However, the dishonesty and murder that occurs is, you know, bad.

Please check out my latest story, Kibeho
sprite
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:55:30 PM

Rank: Her Royal Spriteness
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thank you notes are always nice. i like the crews. unless they were involved in the murders. then, not so much. still, they DID write thank you notes. that was thoughtful of them.

Live, love, laugh.
Dani
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 11:58:29 PM

Rank: Big-Haired Bitch
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Duuuuuuuuuuuude. This is like this movie called Ghost Ship that I saw when I was like 12 years old. Scared the shit out of me. Damn...now I gotta sleep with my lamp on.



Monocle
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:50:11 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 301
No laws broken, no misery intentionally inflicted. No moral questions or implications here. He's eccentric, nothing more or less.
Milik_the_Red
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 5:29:53 AM

Rank: Internet Philosopher
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His stupidity is not responsible for the idiocy of others. Personal responsibility still applies to those who sought his discarded wealth.

That said, some court somewhere would probably find against him. There is often a bitter gap between laws enforced and justice carried out.

LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 8:02:56 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart
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I don't see how anyone in the scenario is acting immorally. I'd argue that the wealth abandoner is practicing an eccentric form of philanthropy; a willing transfer of wealth to others. Not that he made it easy, but so what? He created the world's most lucrative scavenger hunt, and the most effective hunters became fantastically wealthy.
1ball
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:17:04 AM

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Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
Wilful wrote:
I have to ask, are you some super rich billionaire who wants to throw your money into the ocean, and need validation from a bunch of amateur erotica writers?


No.

Quote:
Dude, give it to charity! I mean, if you want to slip a couple mill my way, that'd be nice, but...

In answer to your question, it's a massive waste of resources and the guy in your scenario is a complete fucking cocksucker.


Why?


My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
1ball
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:25:41 AM

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Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
I don't see how anyone in the scenario is acting immorally. I'd argue that the wealth abandoner is practicing an eccentric form of philanthropy; a willing transfer of wealth to others. Not that he made it easy, but so what? He created the world's most lucrative scavenger hunt, and the most effective hunters became fantastically wealthy.


The part in bold is impressive.

But what about the crews that remained anonymous? Did they have an obligation to disclose to somebody?



My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:45:31 AM

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1ball wrote:


The part in bold is impressive.

But what about the crews that remained anonymous? Did they have an obligation to disclose to somebody?



A moral obligation? Beyond the obligation (which doubles as a legal one) to report the assets to the government in order to be properly taxed, I (so far) can't think of a moral obligation to disclose their newfound wealth.
Wilful
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 3:36:01 PM

Rank: Devil's Advocate
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1ball wrote...well, actually, I did:
In answer to your question, it's a massive waste of resources and the guy in your scenario is a complete fucking cocksucker.

Then you asked:
Why?

At the risk of poking the bear, "it's a massive waste of resources", taking all that wealth out there, dumping it, and having others expend even more resources to go and get it. And yes, by dumping it, he has a reasonable expectation that people will go out and get it, particularly when he issues a challenge.

I think there's something obscene with one person/entity having that much wealth, particularly if they are going to be so frivolous with it. With great power, comes great responsibility.

Your guy is a cocksucker.

Please check out my latest story, Kibeho
Monocle
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:07:40 PM

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Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 301
1ball wrote:


The part in bold is impressive.

But what about the crews that remained anonymous? Did they have an obligation to disclose to somebody?



Any obligation would depend on the rules of their respective ports of call/countries of residence. That'd be a legal question, though, not a moral one. There is no moral obligation for the non-disclosers that they didn't discharge by informing the eccentric.

1ball
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:39:34 PM

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LadyX wrote:


A moral obligation? Beyond the obligation (which doubles as a legal one) to report the assets to the government in order to be properly taxed, I (so far) can't think of a moral obligation to disclose their newfound wealth.


So the knowledge they gained, the innovations they may have come up with, etc. are not something they have a moral obligation to make available to <whomever>?

And as for reporting to "the government", they found the treasure in international waters. The law of finds (aka finders keepers) is one of the oldest recognized laws of humanity. How would a government claim a share?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
1ball
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:40:47 PM

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Joined: 9/13/2011
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Location: United States
Wilful wrote:
1ball wrote...well, actually, I did:
In answer to your question, it's a massive waste of resources and the guy in your scenario is a complete fucking cocksucker.

Then you asked:
Why?

At the risk of poking the bear, "it's a massive waste of resources", taking all that wealth out there, dumping it, and having others expend even more resources to go and get it. And yes, by dumping it, he has a reasonable expectation that people will go out and get it, particularly when he issues a challenge.

I think there's something obscene with one person/entity having that much wealth, particularly if they are going to be so frivolous with it. With great power, comes great responsibility.

Your guy is a cocksucker.


So, if you threw a coin in a wishing well, would that make you a cocksucker?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
1ball
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:43:33 PM

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Posts: 970
Location: United States
Monocle wrote:


Any obligation would depend on the rules of their respective ports of call/countries of residence. That'd be a legal question, though, not a moral one. There is no moral obligation for the non-disclosers that they didn't discharge by informing the eccentric.



So it's not immoral to disobey the laws of the societies they either come from or import the treasure to?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
Guest
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 12:39:18 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,292
Since everybody is not going to give you a sufficient answer, at least by your standards, why don't you just cut out all the b.s. and tell us YOUR answer. Regaeman Man
Monocle
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 4:50:53 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 301
1ball wrote:


So it's not immoral to disobey the laws of the societies they either come from or import the treasure to?


No. It's illegal. Your question was do they have a moral obligation to disclose. The answer is no. They may have a _legal_ obligation, however, but that is not a question of morality, it's a question of rule of law.
Wilful
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 6:56:38 AM

Rank: Devil's Advocate
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Location: Digging a hole on the beach, Australia
I'm starting to get a sense of how you lost that ball.

1ball wrote:
So, if you threw a coin in a wishing well, would that make you a cocksucker?

No, because the charities that usually collect the proceeds from wishing wells simply lean over and pick up the coins. It doesn't cost life and limb, and fortune, to clean out a wishing well, as opposed to a couple of billion at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Please check out my latest story, Kibeho
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:39:17 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart
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Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,804
1ball wrote:


So the knowledge they gained, the innovations they may have come up with, etc. are not something they have a moral obligation to make available to <whomever>?


I suppose they do, in a "societal gain" sort of way, but with some exceptions (all of which predate modern times, I'm pretty sure), innovation and newfound technology doesn't just fail to be passed on. Patents and copyrights are established, or the information is published in academic journals, etc.

1ball wrote:

And as for reporting to "the government", they found the treasure in international waters. The law of finds (aka finders keepers) is one of the oldest recognized laws of humanity. How would a government claim a share?


Ah, true. So then it's just a matter of abiding by whatever laws and taxes apply where the discoverers live or store/invest their wealth.
1ball
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:24:02 PM

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Wilful wrote:
I'm starting to get a sense of how you lost that ball.

1ball wrote:
So, if you threw a coin in a wishing well, would that make you a cocksucker?

No, because the charities that usually collect the proceeds from wishing wells simply lean over and pick up the coins. It doesn't cost life and limb, and fortune, to clean out a wishing well, as opposed to a couple of billion at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.


Isn't it all just a matter of degree? Whoever cleans out the fountains expends very little effort and takes a very small risk for a very small gain. The wealthy guy did something that some people voluntarily poured a lot of effort into and took big risks with and some of them got a big gain. So why wouldn't that make the wealthy guy a very big cocksucker and you a very small cocksucker?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
1ball
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:27:58 PM

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Kristind wrote:
Since everybody is not going to give you a sufficient answer, at least by your standards, why don't you just cut out all the b.s. and tell us YOUR answer. Regaeman Man


What makes you think I'm not getting sufficient answers? I'm just asking follow up questions to make sure I understand the limits of the answers. Did you struggle in that Critical Thinking class?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
1ball
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:29:43 PM

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Monocle wrote:


No. It's illegal. Your question was do they have a moral obligation to disclose. The answer is no. They may have a _legal_ obligation, however, but that is not a question of morality, it's a question of rule of law.


So morality really isn't relative to the society that imposes it on its people through law?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
Monocle
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 4:43:46 PM

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Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 301
1ball wrote:

So morality really isn't relative to the society that imposes it on its people through law?


No. It is by definition relative to the society that imposes it on its people through law.

However, that's neither my argument nor my point.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 8:02:18 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,292
1ball wrote:


What makes you think I'm not getting sufficient answers? I'm just asking follow up questions to make sure I understand the limits of the answers. Did you struggle in that Critical Thinking class?


Follow the answers that YOU respond with in your own thread. Your come-backs are NOT enlightening. They are NOT educational. The do NOT lead any of the conversations to a focal point...other your own focal point. You offer No discussion. Your style reminds me of a sniper.

Your responses ARE condescending. Your responses ARE rude in many circumstances. Your management of your wealth thread is nothing more than an exercise in the on-going arrogance of a singular individual. That individual being...drum roll please - ta-da - 1 BALL. Because, 1 Ball, if you read YOUR responses with as open a mind as you can muster, and you DON'T recognize the patronizing, snobbish responses YOU have given...if you can't, or simply don't want to acknowledge the Universal Paralysis you have clearly demonstrated with the MANY individuals who have debated in your thread...then I'm not afraid to be the one to point it out to you.

I'm all for a good, constructive and fair debate/discussion. You have shown yourself to be unfair, nonconstructive and certainly not good in your efforts. Hence the flack you have received from more players than just myself.

Oh, in response to your snide, arrogant response to my suggestion...I got a low B- in Critical Thinking. Not my best subject but, oh well. However, that was achieved in a fair and constructive atmosphere conducted by a Professor who wanted to have a good, fair and constructive discussion.
Wilful
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 9:54:56 PM

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1ball wrote:
Isn't it all just a matter of degree? Whoever cleans out the fountains expends very little effort and takes a very small risk for a very small gain. The wealthy guy did something that some people voluntarily poured a lot of effort into and took big risks with and some of them got a big gain. So why wouldn't that make the wealthy guy a very big cocksucker and you a very small cocksucker?

So we're agreed, your wealthy guy is a very big cocksucker.

And yes, I suppose I do suck a little cock, in that I have more wealth than I need, and I don't give as much as I could to charity.

I take your point on risk vs reward.

But when I throw a coin into a wishing well, I know that coin is more than likely going to a good cause. For example, the money thrown into the Trevi Fountain in Rome subsidises a discount supermarket for the poor.

Your scenario merely creates an incentive for other incredibly, albeit less resourced cocksuckers to go and get it for them selves.

What you've described is an extremely inefficient form of wealth distribution (now that would be an interesting thread). But I'm afraid the super rich transferring wealth to the rich is still in cocksucker town.

And if I may get in ahead of your next question about minimum wage deck hands, I'm talking about people who don't have enough, as opposed to those who don't have a lot.

Please check out my latest story, Kibeho
1ball
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:08:10 PM

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Monocle wrote:


No. It is by definition relative to the society that imposes it on its people through law.


But it isn't immoral to break the laws?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
1ball
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:25:43 PM

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Location: United States
Wilful wrote:
So we're agreed, your wealthy guy is a very big cocksucker.


I don't subscribe to the philosophy that doing as you please with your wealth makes someone a cocksucker. That seems like nothing more than greedy and selfish desire to control what isn't yours.

Quote:
What you've described is an extremely inefficient form of wealth distribution (now that would be an interesting thread). But I'm afraid the super rich transferring wealth to the rich is still in cocksucker town.


You're welcome to start your own thread about efficient wealth distribution, but by what right is anybody entitled to efficient distribution of somebody else's money? Were these crews entitled to a simple handout or was requiring them to either strive for it (or do without) a better way of selecting who deserves it?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
Monocle
Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013 4:44:33 AM

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1ball wrote:

But it isn't immoral to break the laws?


Not automatically.

Laws in a given society may or may not be based on a specific morality.
Breaking certain laws may or may not be immoral in the society that has them, but it's certainly illegal.
1ball
Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013 10:10:34 AM

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Monocle wrote:


Not automatically.

Laws in a given society may or may not be based on a specific morality.
Breaking certain laws may or may not be immoral in the society that has them, but it's certainly illegal.


But aren't the societies laws the codification of their morality? What would be the point of making something illegal to do, if it was not considered immoral to do it?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
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