One for the Guys

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The world’s wealthiest man gathers his lawyers. “I have lived a good life,” he says, “and I want to give back. I want to fund an endowment for the most brilliant scientists, economists, and engineers. I offer unlimited financial support, on two conditions: 1) that the recipient works on a common and outstanding problem, and 2) that each year, the recipients meet with me to discuss their work.”

Applications pour in, funds are spent, and a year passes.

The benefactor gathers together the recipients of his charity and calls on a physicist. “Tell me about your research,” he says.

“I’m working on a theory of quantum gravity, sir.”

“Why?” the benefactor asks.

“It’s quite complicated,” the physicist says, “but the short story is that the Standard Model of quantum physics is broken, sir.”

He calls on an economist. “I’m working on a system that redistributes excess commodities from first- to third-world peoples, sir.”

“Why?” he asks.

“It’s also quite complicated. But, briefly, because late-stage capitalism is as broken as the Standard Model,” the economist says.

The benefactor calls on an engineer. “How about you?” he says.

“I’m working on fixing dating apps,” the engineer says.

“Is the problem as complicated as those of physics and economics,” the benefactor asks? “Are dating apps broken too?”

“Not completely broken,” the engineer says. “In theory, sir, it’s actually quite simple. Shall I explain further?”

“Yes! Please do! I’m very interested in learning how my money is helping people,” the benefactor says.

“Well, sir,” the engineer says, “the dating apps work flawlessly at first. I have matched with hundreds of beautiful women.”

“And the problem is…?”

“The problem, sir, is that every time I match with a woman, she tells me that she can’t see messages, and it would be easier to reach her on Only Fans.”

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