1941: "Dying Gift"

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Raidri
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1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Raidri » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:13 am UTC

Image

Title text: "And to you, I leave my life-sized ice sculpture replica of the Pietà which was blessed by the Pope. You must never let it melt! Now, remember, all gifts must be removed from my estate within 24 hours."

Friday comic is early ... and weird.
Old people are grumpy ... and weird.

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Wee Red Bird
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:19 am UTC

If you are going to stuff it into storage, you probably aren't going to worry about the wish that it doesn't stop swinging or (in the case of the sculpture) not melt.

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da Doctah
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:45 pm UTC

In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Catinthewall
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Catinthewall » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:58 pm UTC

Well this is a fun thought exercise. I guess I'll start with the obvious things?

To my nephew the nuclear engineer, I leave my collection of radioactive waste. I'm sure you know what to do with it already, right? He may also have my collection of radioactive isotopes, for as long as they live.

To the local meteorologist, I leave the tornado i hunted down in '09.

Take care of my pets, which are technically every animal in the local nature reserve, and the Roomba I programmed to have claustrophobia.

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GlassHouses
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby GlassHouses » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:20 pm UTC

While the inheritance-with-strings attached idea can lead to very amusing scenatios (Brewster's Millions!), how realistic are they? I have this idea that if someone leaves me something, I get it (minus applicable taxes), and that's that. In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable. This probably varies by country, though -- in the Netherlands, natural heirs have some pretty strong rights, which I think do not exist in the U.K. or U.S.

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cellocgw
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:34 pm UTC

It would seem unfair :mrgreen: to give someone the pendulum and not the associated pit.
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orthogon
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:42 pm UTC

Catinthewall wrote:Well this is a fun thought exercise. I guess I'll start with the obvious things?

To my nephew the nuclear engineer, I leave my collection of radioactive waste. I'm sure you know what to do with it already, right? He may also have my collection of radioactive isotopes, for as long as they live.

To the local meteorologist, I leave the tornado i hunted down in '09.

Take care of my pets, which are technically every animal in the local nature reserve, and the Roomba I programmed to have claustrophobia.


To my mathematics teacher, I leave my Klein Bottle and its contents.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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pkcommando
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby pkcommando » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:25 pm UTC

I leave my collection of daggers, all with uniquely-shaped blades. You must hold them in your bare hands at least once a day and claim they have always been yours. Also, post images of the blades to social media.
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Cougar Allen
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Cougar Allen » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:55 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote: In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable.

You write something like this:

"I leave one third of my fortune to you, provided you keep my 30-foot Foucalt pendulum swinging. If it ever stops the inheritance goes to the Home for Unwed Mothers."

That is enforced by the Home for Unwed Mothers -- if the pendulum ever stops and they become aware of it, they will go to court to collect their money.

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PinkShinyRose
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:09 pm UTC

Cougar Allen wrote:
GlassHouses wrote: In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable.

You write something like this:

"I leave one third of my fortune to you, provided you keep my 30-foot Foucalt pendulum swinging. If it ever stops the inheritance goes to the Home for Unwed Mothers."

That is enforced by the Home for Unwed Mothers -- if the pendulum ever stops and they become aware of it, they will go to court to collect their money.

Although in case of the comic, you can just claim you don't remember where the money came from :P.

rmsgrey
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:44 pm UTC

There certainly are precedents for conditional inheritance - one that's been around a while is "entailment" - where you "own" property in the sense that you have use of it, but don't own it in the sense that you cannot dispose of it - it passes to a specified individual instead.

Another variant is the "trust fund" - where something is "owned" by a trustee, but "in trust" for one or more beneficiaries.

And a bit of googling shows that, in the US, the general policy is that any conditions attached to bequests should be honoured by the courts except where they contradict public policy. If the conditions aren't upheld, then, if there's someone specified to get the bequest should the primary beneficiary not meet the conditions, then they get it; otherwise, it's treated as though the condition were met.

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yakkoTDI
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby yakkoTDI » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:10 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:While the inheritance-with-strings attached idea can lead to very amusing scenatios (Brewster's Millions!), how realistic are they?



Or the movie Scavenger Hunt.

Additionally, which version of Brewster's Millions?

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Steve the Pocket
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:47 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:While the inheritance-with-strings attached idea can lead to very amusing scenatios (Brewster's Millions!), how realistic are they? I have this idea that if someone leaves me something, I get it (minus applicable taxes), and that's that. In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable. This probably varies by country, though -- in the Netherlands, natural heirs have some pretty strong rights, which I think do not exist in the U.K. or U.S.

I wasn't even thinking of it in legal terms. There's a sentiment, or at least I've always gotten the impression that there is, that it's mean to disrespect a dying person's last wishes, whether it involves their heirlooms or what they want done with their body or whatever. Of course, that depends on how much you care about them in the first place... or how much you still care about them after they've left you with an unreasonable burden with emotional blackmail attached.
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:45 am UTC

orthogon wrote:To my mathematics teacher, I leave my Klein Bottle and its contents.

Here in Minnesota, we have the Klein Bank.

At first, I thought "that's a terrible place to deposit my money, anyone can just walk into their vault!"

Then I realized all my money was already in the Klein Bank. Well played, Minnesota bankers. Well played.

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Old Bruce
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Old Bruce » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:47 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out, because I may try it with one of my younger relations.
[winkey-face-emoticon]

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Cougar Allen
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Cougar Allen » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:17 am UTC

Old Bruce wrote:
da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out,

Um ...

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Old Bruce
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Old Bruce » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:29 am UTC

Cougar Allen wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out,

Um ...

Sure I don't know either of them but it could be a story worth hearing.

RogueCynic
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby RogueCynic » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:10 am UTC

I think I'll leave my stuff to the relative who can prove the last non zero digit of pi is 4.
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StClair
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby StClair » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:39 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
GlassHouses wrote:While the inheritance-with-strings attached idea can lead to very amusing scenatios (Brewster's Millions!), how realistic are they? I have this idea that if someone leaves me something, I get it (minus applicable taxes), and that's that. In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable. This probably varies by country, though -- in the Netherlands, natural heirs have some pretty strong rights, which I think do not exist in the U.K. or U.S.

I wasn't even thinking of it in legal terms. There's a sentiment, or at least I've always gotten the impression that there is, that it's mean to disrespect a dying person's last wishes, whether it involves their heirlooms or what they want done with their body or whatever. Of course, that depends on how much you care about them in the first place... or how much you still care about them after they've left you with an unreasonable burden with emotional blackmail attached.


Presuming that the recipients are already aware of the (imminently) decedent's tendency to engage in trolling behavior of this kind, I would imagine that (1) the collective response to these "gifts" would be "yeah, **** you too, (grand)dad" and (2) those at the bedside are, probably against their better judgment, present to make sure that this whole "dying" thing isn't another stunt of the old man's and he's actually going to be out of their lives at last, halle-fuckin'-lujah.

(Of course, at this rate, he's probably got some other arrangements made so that he can continue to be an annoyance to his descendants for years if not decades to come. Like, spending the bulk of his estate on hiring someone to leave them a harassing message on a random day once per year.)

Really, what strips like this make me think of most strongly is John Scalzi's observation on how the failure mode of "clever" is "asshole."

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orthogon
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby orthogon » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:09 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:
orthogon wrote:To my mathematics teacher, I leave my Klein Bottle and its contents.

Here in Minnesota, we have the Klein Bank.

At first, I thought "that's a terrible place to deposit my money, anyone can just walk into their vault!"

Then I realized all my money was already in the Klein Bank. Well played, Minnesota bankers. Well played.

:D
That's right: anyone can walk in, but they can never leave.

TODO: Insert joke about Möbius banknotes

Ordinary banks have pretty strange properties anyway. Like, they can contain the same money more than once. That's some mind-bending topology right there.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

fluffysheap
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby fluffysheap » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:09 am UTC

orthogon wrote:That's right: anyone can walk in, but they can never leave.


Well, that song makes slightly more sense now.

Ordinary banks have pretty strange properties anyway. Like, they can contain the same money more than once. That's some mind-bending topology right there.


It's just an emergent property of a quantum system. They can contain the same money more than once as long as nobody observes that it's the same money. If the depositors decide to inspect their money, the bankfunction collapses and the contradiction is resolved.

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Cougar Allen
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Cougar Allen » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:02 pm UTC

Old Bruce wrote:
Cougar Allen wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out,

Um ...

Sure I don't know either of them but it could be a story worth hearing.

Um ... Do you have a Ouija board?

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Old Bruce
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Old Bruce » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:36 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
orthogon wrote:To my mathematics teacher, I leave my Klein Bottle and its contents.

Here in Minnesota, we have the Klein Bank.

At first, I thought "that's a terrible place to deposit my money, anyone can just walk into their vault!"

Then I realized all my money was already in the Klein Bank. Well played, Minnesota bankers. Well played.

:D
That's right: anyone can walk in, but they can never leave.

TODO: Insert joke about Möbius banknotes

Ordinary banks have pretty strange properties anyway. Like, they can contain the same money more than once. That's some mind-bending topology right there.

I have often wondered if there is enough real cash money available for all the various shareholders to cash out entirely from one of the major stock exchanges. My gut (uninformed in such matters) says No!

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Old Bruce
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Old Bruce » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:43 am UTC

Cougar Allen wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
Cougar Allen wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out,

Um ...

Sure I don't know either of them but it could be a story worth hearing.

Um ... Do you have a Ouija board?

No, but that is a mere bagatelle. [a-shrug-worthy-of-Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau-in-his-prime-head-and-sholders emoticon] (really wish I had one of those available, it would be useful)

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ucim
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby ucim » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:07 am UTC

No, but maybe yes. It depends on who owes whom.

My personal anecdote is that at some point our family had gathered together (for an unrelated purpose, such as to play a game), and one person paid $5 to another, saying "here's the money I owe you". The recipient used that $5 to pay another, who used that $5 to pay another.... in short, the $5 went around the entire family TWO TIMES (at some point combining into $10, and then being split again), and ended up in the original person's hands, all debts being paid off.

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Muzhik
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Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Postby Muzhik » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:02 pm UTC

I sent a link of this comic to my kids, telling them it was my goal to be rich enough to do this to them.

Then, after a little more of my morning whiskey-flavored-coffee (just enough to flavor the drink, I assure your. Enough coffee to flavor the whiskey, I mean) I emailed them this post-script:

(Although, to be honest, my Foucault Pendulum will be only 20 feet, because I'm Iowan and we don't like to brag, and also I don't NEED to boast about how much bigger and longer my Pendulum is. Just sayin...)

Love you all forever, I'll like you all for always,


I certainly hope they don't tell their mother I wrote this, because that would be SO embarrassing. :twisted:


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