Recently, while aimlessly flipping through cable TV, I happened upon a special on the History Channel that was discussing one of the ancient Roman emperors. (I'm sorry to say I'm not 100% sure which emperor it was. Nero?) I only stopped for a moment, but the narrator was in the midst of describing how the ancient Roman leader spared no expenses when it came to his personal sailing vessel. The ship was as luxurious as perhaps even his palace, and it had all the amenities that a person living in that day and age could possibly desire. For some reason it astonished me that even thousands of years ago, some people could live so lavishly. I couldn't prevent the naive thought from flashing through my mind, "But to be rich back then didn't mean anything like being rich today. It's amazing how good the emperor had it, considering it was the age of antiquity."
I then had what might be considered a mini-epiphany. This may strike others as obvious, but I've found it endlessly fascinating to realize that absolutely nothing in this world--literally nothing, from space shuttles and satellites to iPhones and surround sound--really requires money. In theory, we could have all the technological and scientific toys and gadgets of our day without one cent being spent. In theory. Money is just the motivator, but if the right people were willing to put forth the effort, we could have all of this stuff for nothing.
Okay, I can see a lot of people thinking this post is relatively pointless. I guess it is. But I couldn't help finding it an amazing thought that money isn't really necessary, no matter how luxurious or scientifically advanced the world may become. It's so easy to associate the almighty dollar with technology that it's almost shocking to realize that, financially speaking, the fanciest Ferrari or most posh of Manhattan penthouses inherently cost no more than a paper plate. We say time is money, but in reality, money is time, and only because we value it as such. In reality, money is a fabrication. Its worth is imaginary, and yet we covet it, kill for it, rage against it, lament it, debase ourselves for it, and so on.
Things that make you go "hmmmm....."