You can read all about his experiment in playing the market on his blog.
I guess it is satire. Is he taking the money? I guess he is. I would, if people were willing to pay. He sold all his shares in less than five days.
Why is he doing this? Because he is depressed and poor:
I think this is another thing people can talk about in terms of me and will "in itself" "increase sales" in the long term. If anyone buys shares they will have concrete motivation to promote me and that also will increase sales. If people buy shares I will probably (55-65%), I think, make even more money than if I had not sold shares of my royalties; and if I do, in the long-term, lose $50,000 or something, after factoring in increased sales from this as a "publicity thing," I feel like I will "definitely feel that it has been worth it, for the experience of being in part a corporation, or 'publicly-owned company.'" I also feel that it will help "fight depression" if I become in some way a corporation instead of a person. I also feel it is "funny" "just to do this offer" which makes me view it like any other "funny" thing I might do in that I feel that something "has already been accomplished" just by making this offer, even if no one buys shares and people "think I'm retarded."
I don't know how I feel about this. I cannot react to it in a meaningful way, because it IS funny, but I don't know that is is funny for the right reasons. It reminds me of the kid in elementary school who used to mix all of his condiments together with his milk and then drink it, and everybody would stare and laugh and point at him. And he would bask in the attention and get all puffed up like an adder.
"LOOK HOW POPULAR I AM" this kid would say, pushing up his glasses. Hugging himself, spilling muck on the nice collared shirt that his Grandma made him wear so that the kids would not make fun.
And the people who were raised right would turn away from this kid and hope that somehow he could make it come true. That somehow he could find a way to turn this nauseating thing into fame.
Of course, that kid didn't have a novel to sell. But he did have lots of stories about his girlfriend in Canada, and you could listen to them if your name came next to his in the alphabet.
Yo, world: Tao Lin is a man who is often too depressed to hit the shift key. Often, often, he types with one hand, and maybe one eye. Slowly, slowly, his hand hits the buttons -- and now that his hand is owned by six strangers -- or maybe five strangers and his Grandma -- those people will want to see results, those people who just bought a man and his future and sanity.
Maybe it will all work out, and maybe it won't.
Posted by miracle on Tue, 05 Aug 2008 16:27:10 -0400 -- permanent link