Science: Unit of Measurement
World Ransom Index   (+18, -1)  [vote for, against]
How much can the world afford to pay you?

It occurred to me yesterday, while contemplating my copy of Mad Scientist Magazine (which at the moment is just an excuse to play around with New Scientist covers in Photoshop), that your average evil genius, working late in his underground lab, can find himself a little out of touch with world financial affairs. Let's face it, it's a long haul from setting up your first lair (probably an industrial unit downtown somewhere) to actually being able to patch into the World Leader's Exclusive Telephone Service and dictate terms. So I propose an economic index which would take care of this by being an up-to-date estimate of the exact amount for which the world can be held to ransom.

This should be unnecessarily complicated, and with several obvious flaws - that way it should attract evil genii like catnip. Obviously it will have to take into account the various stock market indices, world gold reserves, etc., but also the number of people at any one time able to threaten the world (i.e. how scarce the product is), how close we all are to mutual destruction through (for example) global warming, how long it is since the Russian Army were last paid, the price of a Big Mac in Bengal, and the current price of spandex on the open market.
(no reason really - I just like to say 'spandex', it's such a great word).

Stick all this on a constantly-updating website, and then evil geniuses can log in at their leisure and demand just enough to persuade the World to cough up, and to avoid having some idiot with good hair rushing in at the last minute and blowing up their extremely expensive hideout, ruining a lifetime's painstaking work.

(Closely related to Neal Stephenson's 'f*ck you money' - and Dr. Evil's Dilemma, obviously)

edit: just thought - this would also be very useful in allocating funds to global projects - for example if it is more expensive to save the world from global warming than to just forget it and buy a new one.
-- moomintroll, Sep 01 2005

Non exploding hideout design Volcanic_20Lair_20Scheme
For when you just can't get rid of all that spare "magma" [zen_tom, Sep 02 2005]

Evil Overlord Top 100 http://www.evilover...lists/overlord.html
1st thing's 1st - Evil List [gorjabuble, Sep 05 2005]

Could we mortgage this world and use the capital to buy another one in the area? We could let it to another species until the mortgage was repaid, then evict them and move in to escape our now flooded home.
-- wagster, Sep 01 2005


The price of spandex is influenced by the number of superheroes using it, and so would be a leading indicator towards success or failure.
-- RayfordSteele, Sep 01 2005


Do you have a current estimate?
-- sleeka, Sep 01 2005


depends if you want want off the shelf or custom made.
-- benfrost, Sep 02 2005


Great idea - the index would become a mark of how far humanity has evolved, along with doctors-per-pop. and GDP-per-capita.

"And in other news, the World Ransom Index has risen over £3bn in the last year, a sure sign that the world's economy is getting stronger every day..."
-- Mr Phase, Sep 02 2005


One *million* dollars!...

Mwuh-hah-hah-hah!
-- Jinbish, Sep 02 2005


This would also be useful to set a starting point when one or more evil genii are in a bidding war.
-- bungston, Sep 02 2005


//a sure sign that the world's economy is getting stronger every day// Or that world inflation has set in.
-- wagster, Sep 02 2005


Measure it in Megawatt-hours, then.
-- 5th Earth, Sep 02 2005


Everyone knows that evil "genii" live in secret under-water volcano lairs in Antarctica. Well, at least the good ones. Some can only afford a private island, or a space station, and by the time you get to old abandoned warehouses, you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
-- discontinuuity, Sep 03 2005


[+] for brightening up my morning, and also for Mr. Phases inspired post.
-- Germanicus, Sep 03 2005


Zhee odd thing, that to get the $40 billion USD ransom from the US, the US would have to borrow yet more from China. Subsequently, the ransom that China could pay should drop $40 billion. Or, they could all float it...
-- sophocles, Sep 05 2005


I'd quite like a Personal Ransom Index. Just to know what I would be worth kidnapped. However this would work against me if I was actually kidnapped as I wouldn't be able to pretend to be worth nothing.

(Who am I kidding, pretend?)
-- hidden truths, Sep 06 2005


//I'd quite like a Personal Random Index// 317
-- coprocephalous, Sep 06 2005


Cheers for that :)
-- hidden truths, Sep 06 2005


Your Personal World Ransom Index would tell you your appraised ransom value in different parts of the world. After all, your ransom value changes depending on where your President / PM / Dictator-for-life is or is not fighting a war. You might be worth quite a lot in South America, while proving to be nearly worthless in the Middle East. Might influence your dangerous-vacation destination choice.
-- gardnertoo, May 18 2006



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