[[[Re: Garage sale?
Posted by: "Lenny Flank" lflank@...
Date: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:23 am ((PST))
I think most of the appeal for rich people paying absurd prices for
useless things like expensive cars, mansions or art, is the "snob
factor"--its simply to brag to the world "ha ha, I can afford to waste
my money on this, and you can't."
That's the only reason I can think for buying a sports car that does
180mph--buit in which you get arrested if you go over 70.
Silly waste of resources.]]]
---Yes, that is the impression I also get: such things are, to some
extent, a sort of peacock's tail. Not that I would reject the notion
of spoiling oneself with any luxuries at all, including some fairly
expensive ones. You after all spend considerable amounts of money on
making SF fan flics, and you are hardly a rich prick trying to show
off. Similarly, I don't think there is anything wrong with paying,
say, several thousand dollars for an original painting, or a similar
amount on a telescope or a musical instrument.
Such luxuries are inevitably not cheap. If artists are to make a
living at all, they HAVE to get a month's worth of salary for a
painting that took a month to complete (as is the case with highly
realistically rendered works.) Presumably, other such things that cost
several thousand dollars also cost that much because that simply is
what they cost; I don't think an amateur astronomer will any time soon
get a decent telescope for less, or an aspiring pianist a piano (or
But as you say, it gets a bit sick when it becomes clear that the only
point of the exercise is not to enrich one's intellectual or spiritual
life, but literally simply to show off. Thus the world's best amateur
telescopes tend to be in the homes of people who have never used them
more than once or twice, until they got bored with the new toy, the
most expensive paintings are housed in vaults where no one ever sees
them, and the fastest cars may not be driven at that speed anyway. In
short, as you pointed out, a silly waste of resources.