Billionaire values

MIT teaches the risks of courting the very rich.

The car pulled up to the vacation house my dad had rented. 1980s Oregon was delightfully ramshackle; the coast even more so. But this house was part of some development with a golf course. From the car, things looked pretty modern, which meant: gadgets and fancy things.

Soon, my dad was taking a nap as my sister and I—unsupervised children of divorce—investigated every corner looking for fun. We made crushed ice. We found a stash of outdoor games, like bocce. We did a lap to make sure there wasn’t a jacuzzi. Eventually, I curled up on the couch with a remote control that … well I couldn’t figure out what it did. Maybe for the gas fireplace? I pushed the buttons with purpose, aiming it different ways. Then I decided it did nothing, and absentmindedly pushed the buttons hundreds more times, as a way to do a thing we couldn’t do at our house (which had no remote controls at all).

At some point, my dad staggered downstairs. We told him the house was awesome because it had an ice machine and…

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