Now, my grandchildren probably won't be a lot like me. They only have a quarter of my genes, after all. By the time they have grandchildren 50 or so years later no one out there is more than 10% me! As they say, it only takes one generation to erase a man.
So, the question is: How do you become wealthy but still have the time left to enjoy and to use that wealth?
One time-honored way to be wealthy and young is to inherit. Certainly, enough time can do that. If Abraham Lincoln had been my great-great-great grandfather, and if he'd left me $10,000 at 8% back in 1865, I'd have more than $300 million. In one more generation, it would be a billion dollars. Three generations after that, and I'd be the richest man in the world.
Which leads me to the subject of this Fribble: genetic engineering and inheritance. It may be too late for me to be young and rich, but it isn't for my eighth-generation descendant.
Suppose I endow all my worldly goods to that person, born within two years of July 8, 2250, who is genetically most like me.
If I start with investing half a million dollars, set aside half of it for administrative costs and legal challenges over the years, the remaining $250,000 at a piddling 5% would grow to almost $50 billion by that date.
How would this inheritor be chosen? By the eighth generation, with the random assortment of genes we've all become used to over the last half a million years, my natural descendants will, on average, be 0.3% more like me than someone picked at random from the population. That's a small difference to hang $50 billion on.
Still, forget the charities leave the money to your own, personal, unique DNA. If the sociobiologists are right that our greatest goal is to pass along our genes then to expect all people to continue to allow themselves to be inexorably diluted into oblivion, and to ignore this new technology, is naive.
I think it will take legislation. As I'm the first to have pointed it out, I feel that the least you could do is name it after me.
Call it Sutton's Law.