The Twenty-Five Million Dollar Man

by on October 14, 2005

Having spent three days writing one of the most rigorous and boring five-page documents of my life this week (a “Summary of Business Rules”), I decided that nobody was going to read the thing unless I could promise it to contain hidden Jane Austen references. This, I thought, would endear me to my classically-minded colleagues while turning them on to the finest points of whether hiding a shared Page transfers medico-legal responsibility to the Pathway. So I spent another few hours working in references to Sense and Sensibility while pretending to work on wireframes.

Flush with having achieved my aim, but exhausted at all the covert effort, I sent out a triumphant email to the said colleagues before leaving my desk and walking into the night – only to realise I’d spelt the name of the most famous female English novelist “Jane Austin.”

So perhaps I meant a sister of Steve, the Six Million Dollar Man.

If I had, then it’s interesting to note that when the first episode of that TV series was broadcast in 1973, $6,000,000 was worth the following in 2003:

$24,865,988.70 using the Consumer Price Index
$20,026,833.11 using the GDP deflator
$24,171,043.39 using the unskilled wage
$34,768,273.33 using the GDP per capita
$47,607,724.02 using the relative share of GDP

(Source www.eh.net/hmit/compare)

This I think gives a better idea of the impact of the title at the time, and lends more weight my earlier point about the meaning of words.

“In spite of the answer, therefore, she ordered the carriage, and drove to Mrs Bates’s, in the hope that Jane would be induced to join her — but it would not do; — Miss Bates came to the carriage door, all gratitude, and agreeing with her most earnestly in thinking an airing might be of the greatest service — and every thing that message could do was tried — but all in vain.

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