The New Million

To do an adult film? If you’re the newly crowned Miss Universe, that’s a million dollars. That doesn’t seem like a lot of money any more.

This particular story seems to highlight the fact that we’ve reached a tipping point in American culture where a million is now a mundane item. I suppose it speaks to a broader perspective we’re developing, but who knows?

Let’s throw out some scratch paper math. According to the US Debt Clock, the US National Debt is about $18.8 trillion USD. That’s almost nineteen million millions. That’s only fifty eight thousand per person. See? Perspective.

Gone are the days of the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes of $10 million back in the 90s. Now it’s Yahoo! Fantasy Pick’em offering $1 billion for picking a perfect bracket (ignore the fact that you could randomly pick a new bracket every day until the expected end of the universe and likely still not win).

Then there’s Adventure Capitalist, eager to teach you all the fun Greek prefixes for absurdly high numbers. Really, though. What are you going to do with 81 unnonagintillion dollars? There’s really no good context for 10²⁷⁶ of anything. See for yourself.

By the way, don’t stare at the debt clock too long. Your eyes will cross.

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