How to get exactly what you want
8 August 2002
Mostly, one thing is between you and exactly what you want: someone else.
Either they have it or they have to give something up for you to have it. (For example. In the case that exactly what you want is sexual release, they might have to give up their pride and dignity. And disease-free status.)
This is the conundrum to solve. This is the resource allocation problem that has tested generations of great thinkers. This is the great barrier for humanity between the here and now and the glorious post scarcity tomorrow.
Naturally, it is I who have the solution.
But first, to warm up, to flex the brain, some simpler situations.
You want to speak French. The answer. Learn French!
You desire lasagna for dinner. The answer. Cook, and eat, lasagna!
You want to have a lie-in. The answer. Stay in bed!
In general, that someone else between you and the exact thing you want is just: yourself. Perhaps you're wanting the wrong thing. Perhaps you don't realise you want it. But setting your ambitions such that everything you want is easily obtainable and requires minimal effort (preferably even inaction) means you'll never be denied.
Some more examples, to illustrate this for the feeble-minded:
You want to shoot lightning from your fingertips. The answer, in two steps. One! Persuade yourself that what you actually want is a cheese sandwich. Two! Make, and eat, a cheese sandwich.
(Possible step One B: You'll have to go to the shops and buy more cheese if you don't have any left over from your lasagna earlier.)
Another example. You're depressed, and have confined yourself to a dark room. You wish you could face the world again. Answer. Convince yourself that what you really need is a pair of sunglasses. You don't have them, true, but no matter, it's already dark! You win!
But what if you want something that by its very definition involves another person? What if they're sitting on your chest? What if they're not sitting on your chest, but you want them to? What if they'be got all the best mucus membranes, and they won't let you borrow them, use them, not for just a minute, just one little minute, that's all it'll take you won't feel a thing please please let me I'm on my knees here go on nobody's touched me for ages oh I feel alone, so very alone?
What if. They're the one. With. All. The. Cheese? What then?
Two paths you can take. Choose one.
Numero uno. Persuasion. They've got something you want. It might be something they own, it might be some of their time (and possibly their mouth too, go on go on, you know you want to). Bully, cajole, and otherwise harrass them until they give whatever it is up.
The trick with this form of persuasion is to threaten something so ludicrously out of proportion that they'd be a fool not to comply. Don't you think they'll change the channel sharpish if the alternative is you setting light to the sofa? Is hanging on to a half pound of cheese really worth losing a mouthful of teeth?
It's not just physical violence either. The constrant drone of your whining voice, day after day of your wheedling nasal whimper, pathetically chanting "pleeeeease" over and over, don't you think that they'll surely let you squeeze their tits just to shut you up? And if you keep it up for another week, probably come in their mouth too. Their gummy, toothless mouth.
Path The Second. Which is actually a variation on Path The First.
Why should persuasion always be unpleasant? Disproportion goes both ways. Grant them a small empire of their own if they'll get off your chest. Bring the dead to life if they let you watch the football. It'll work. I promise you.
Okay, and I see your objection. What if you don't have a small empire? The power to bring the dead to life? You'd like to, but you simply don't.
That's you in the way again. You wanting the wrong thing. Just find a thing that they want more than you want it, and give it to them. In return, they'll give you back what you originally wanted.
Example. You have flowers and a randy disposition. They, on the other hand, have just the hole you're looking for. You could plead for hours (days, weeks). You could build a cathedral dedicated to them. But what you already have is flowers, and what good are flowers doing you? You don't want them. They want them more. And so the match is found -- throw in dinner, and magic: target orifice obtained.
Sometimes of course you don't already have what they want. They want a house, you don't have a spare one to hand, you know how it is. But what you do have is time, and lots of it. So you give your time to some other third party, in return for which you get a house. Which you give. And then it's done.
But this is where we started. A house? For how much time? Just by sorting that out you're losing time. And more time lost is more time without your erogenous zones being sternly eroged. Which is where we arrive at my proposal.
Instead of swapping things for other things, in order to swap those things for yet other things, and so on and so forth, until ultimately you get a thing you can swap for two minutes grope and fumble, instead of that: I propose an intermediate system of exchange. Some abstracted thing that instead of being the thing itself represents it in some way.
So instead of me having to figure out how to get a house in order to get into your pants and whip away your dignity before you blink, instead I could give you some of this intermediate, generic stuff, and then you could go and obtain a house yourself. And if we all swapped this stuff instead of the objects themselves, we'd all get exactly what we wanted because different objects are worth different amounts of stuff to different people, and the resource allocation problem would be solved. Ta da. Everyone has exactly what they want.
Deciding how to set stuff values to everything in order that everyone has enough to get what they want, I leave as an exercise to the reader.