Song Analysis – Billionaire

Song Analysis

Song : Billionaire

Singer : Bruno Mars and Travis McCoy

Writer : Travis McCoy

Record Label :

Music Clip


[Bruno Mars]
I wanna be a billionaire so fricking bad
Buy all of the things I never had
Uh, I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine
Smiling next to Oprah and the Queen
Oh every time I close my eyes
I see my name in shining lights
A different city every night oh
I swear the world better prepare
For when I’m a billionaire
[Travis “Travie” McCoy]
Yeah I would have a show like Oprah
I would be the host of, everyday Christmas
Give Travie a wish list
I’d probably pull an Angelina and Brad Pitt
And adopt a bunch of babies that ain’t never had sh-t
Give away a few Mercedes like here lady have this
And last but not least grant somebody their last wish
Its been a couple months since I’ve single so
You can call me Travie Claus minus the Ho Ho
Get it, hehe, I’d probably visit where Katrina hit
And damn sure do a lot more than FEMA did
Yeah can’t forget about me stupid
Everywhere I go Imma have my own theme music
Oh every time I close my eyesI see my name in shining lights
A different city every night ohI swear the world better prepare
For when I’m a billionaire
Oh oooh oh oooh for when I’m a Billionaire
Oh oooh oh oooh for when I’m a Billionaire

[Travis “Travie” McCoy]
I’ll be playing basketball with the President
Dunking on his delegates
Then I’ll compliment him on his political etiquette
Toss a couple milli in the air just for the heck of it
But keep the fives, twentys (?) completely separate
And yeah I’ll be in a whole new tax bracket
We in recession but let me take a crack at it
I’ll probably take whatevers left and just split it up
So everybody that I love can have a couple bucks
And not a single tummy around me would know what hungry was
Eating good sleeping soundly
I know we all have a similar dream
Go in your pocket pull out your wallet
And put it in the air and sing

[Bruno Mars]
I wanna be a billionaire so fricking bad
Buy all of the things I never had
Uh, I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine
Smiling next to Oprah and the Queen

I wanna be a billionaire so frickin bad!
Travie Mccoy Billionaire lyrics found on


The lyrics above are great if you are a monetary driven capitalist. However not all goals are the same. As Dan Pink talks about in his book “Drive : The Surprising Science of Motivation“, there are two main types of goals. Learning goals and achievement goals. Wanting to learn about Macro Economics is different from wanting to get an A in your Macro Economics class.

Our current Consumerist culture has driven us towards loving Stuff and Money.

Alternative Lyrics

Resources and References — Lyrics – – — Some actual Billionaires.

Innovation (and the Monetary system)

There are a number of types of Innovation.
Incremental innovation, Incremental Innovation with Side Effects and Transformational Innovation.
  • Incremental innovation — Small changes which have small outcomes. Moving things closer, making things a little bit faster.
  • Incremental Innovation with Side Effects — Small changes which have a dramatic effect. e.g growing of opposable thumbs, or the internet being made fast enough to view videos.
  • Transformational Innovation — Completely re-designing the way things are done. e.g Changing from Hunter/Gathers into Farmers (agriculture and eventually civilisation), or organisms evolving out of the water and breathing air.
There will usually be a transformational change, followed by a period of incremental innovation (progressive enhancement), and eventually another transformational Innovation, and so on.
A video explaining this concept in far more detail is Douglas Merril’s talk on Innovation at Google [50mins] (unfortunately not a very high quality recording, let me know if you find a better one).

What is important to note about this is how it relates to the Monetary system. Read more

Ahead of their time

This post was originally from : by Mihaela Schneiders

I’m willing to bet that most of the people who fight so desperately to discredit the VENUS PROJECT are well familiar with all of these examples, but somehow or another, they think that their own time and age is so very much more advanced in it’s thinking than any of those examples, when really, it’s anything but:

Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction“. –Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

Various cultures have had conceptions of a flat Earth, such as Babylon, Ancient Egypt, pre-Classical Greece, pre-Classical India and pre-17th century China.

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” –Western Union internal memo, 1876

Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” –H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927
Read more

The Secret Powers of Time

Professor Philip Zimbardo conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world.

The 6 main types of time perspectives are :

  1. Past Positive – Remembering the good old times.
  2. Past Negative – Remembering the bad times.
  3. Present Hedonistic – Wanting to satisfy your immediate urges. Addictions.
  4. Present Deterministic – Thinking that there’s no reason to do anything because it’s fate. Everything is pre-determined.
  5. Future Oriented – Knowing that planning and the things you do now will help in the future.
  6. Life begins after death – Thinking that your current life is only a transitionary state and that your ‘real’ life is what starts after you die.

As you can tell, the Zeitgeist Movement is mainly composed of and interested in Future Oriented people. The people who want to make a difference to the current and future world in which we all live in.

Dr Robert Sapolsky’s lectures available on

Whilst playing with the RSS feed listing page I found out via the Arizona state chapter that the amazing lectures by Dr Robert Sapolsky are available for free on

Check out :

For those not aware, the lectures are about the Neurobiology of Human behaviour and explain how the environment, genes, brain and hormones work to affect peoples environment. It explains everything from how individual neurons work through to how the brain creates small amounts of hormones which can have dramatic effects on people. How genes give people a propensity for a certain trait but most are only triggered under environmental conditions. It has a very important focus on aggression and explains how people can reduce violence by thinking of all of humanity as their family.

If you aren’t sure about human behaviour then these lectures are probably the best scientific explanation you’ll come across, and will be the best 24x30min lectures you’ll see in quite some time.

Read more

The Pattern Behind Self Deception

An interesting TED talk:

A TED talk on how our pattern seeking minds are prone to self deception and are most likely why we have concepts of God or larger controllers and beings. Also goes into conspiracy theorists.

Also, some interesting articles on Egalitarianism in Hunter-Gatherer societies:

As usual, these links have been updated into the suggested Zeitgeist Resources Doc.

Decentralised Oraganisations (The Starfish and the Spider)

I thought this was a really interesting article on the differences between centralised and decentralised organisations.

Personally I think that The Zeitgeist Movement is decentralised. Sure Peter Joseph is the main leader but as everyone can be empowered with knowledge of the movement there’s other people that can take take over his role.
If you watch Zeitgeist related content and contribute to the Zeitgeist Movement, Media project, or other projects, then you yourself are a part of the movement.

Each chapter is somewhat independent but regular International Team Speak (VoIP) meetups, mailing lists and other forms of direct communication mean that we can be decentralised without being disorganised. Sites like and allow for centralised hubs of information.
We’ve already seen splinter cells form such as the RBEF. A group of people who were banned from the International Zeitgeist Movement website and went off to create their own group, the ‘Resource Based Economy Foundation’. This shows how cutting off a limb (or at least a group of people) can cause the movement to turn into an offshoot.

Whilst this might mean the movement becomes somewhat splintered, it also means that like the magic broomstick in Fantasia, it’s almost unstoppable.

Power Law and scarcity

I came across some interesting articles on the Power Law of distribution.

For those not aware, a power law distribution looks like the image below :


If you can’t see the image then look at the associated Wikipedia article.
A power law is also sometimes called the 80/20 rule and is known in the media industry for the long tail effect that online video has allowed.
The power law can be used to model the number of words used in a text, the energy of earthquakes, links to a websites and much more.

As Matt Webb posits power laws arise due to scarcity.

Read more

Ethics In Science

Pure science vs Applied Technology

Pure science is the research done to determine how things work. Things like e=mc2, double helix structure of DNA, Newtons laws of physics, calculus and even things like what the Large Hadron Collider will hopefully uncover.

Applied science involves taking those findings and using them to create technology.
In the case of e=mc2 it brought about the nuclear era, with both Nuclear Bombs and Nuclear Power.
If you take Newtons work on prisms and light, then that enabled a whole range of things, from cameras to being able to tell a suns composition due to the specific frequencies that it doesn’t emit (ok that last one isn’t directly a technology but more of an analytical tool).

There are two main models when it comes to research and ethics. The Linear model and the Social model.

Linear Model

This model dates back to Francis Bacon and is about the search for knowledge. It uses the line of Pure Science -> Applied Science and Technology -> Products.
It’s the more classical model and is highlighted by the thought that “science progresses best when scientists are given free reign in what to research”.
The main points are that HOW they research is still done in an ethical and caring manner, and that while the raw science shouldn’t be restricted, the technology can certainly be governed by social and ethical norms.

Social Model

The social model says that society should have a role in deciding what research is undertaken. It also doesn’t make the distinction between pure and applied science.
This model is common when talking about techno-science.

Example 1 : AI

Under a linear model research would be done in Artifical Intelligence. Datasets would be created, experiments done, and the results would be algorithms and white papers on neural networking, evolving systems, and ultimately the ability of programs to learn, adapt and change (usually with certain restrictions and limitations).
These could be used for good, such as more advanced search, computers that are more personalised and easier to use, to control vast traffic networks and reduce or eliminate congestion, or even the central Venus Project computer system Venux, allowing the replacement of government.
Alternatively they could be used by marketers to try more targeted advertising, increasing cyclical consumption and materialism. Alternatively they could be used by the military to help create autonomous robots, and other killing machines.

Under a social model the research and development would be moderated and restricted.

In the current system the military are more likely to push for AI research specifically dealing with flying aircraft and targetting detection. Whilst that research could be used to make aircraft autopilots more safer and better than actual humans, it can also be used to create UAV’s that will automatically bomb ‘enemy threats’.

Example 2 : Nuclear research

Under a Linear model researchers would be able to research Nuclear fusion and fission technology, to the point their research could be used for zero radiological waste Nuclear power plants, or even handheld cold fusion powerpacks.

Under a social model such research would likely require heavy debate amongst the public before being rejected because of it’s affiliations with nuclear weapons, and the potential military applications.

There are 3 main types of ethics when dealing with science :
1. Those relating to internal research (e.g harm to the humans and animals involved, or the intellectual property rights).
2. What research should be undertaken (especial under the social model), and with what priorities?
3. The scientific responsibility (this is harder if there is no distinction between pure and applied research).

For all the emphasis on the material benefits of science, we should not prevent recognition of it as an essential part of human culture, just like painting, literature, and music are“ – Sir Ian Wark

Tension points in Ethics include :

  • The scientists sphere of responsibility. E.g How responsible is Albert Einstein for the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
  • Risk – What are acceptable levels of risk? Who is at risk? Why are people willing to accept that risk? Do they have a choice? (E.g are they being coerced by monetary or health reasons)
  • IP rights and restrictions – This is especially an advantage for developing countries.
  • Industry funding of research – A company is much more likely to fund applied sciences which has obvious monetary reward, whilst government research is much more likely to fund fundamental pure science.
  • Criteria for selecting research projects – A lot of the selection process in regarding research projects is determined by which ones will be funded. Currently 90% of research funding is done in the 1st world, not 3rd world countries, which are the ones that actually need it.
  • Risk vs Benefit – In a number of cases the people at risk aren’t the ones who benefit, which can add extra strain to maintaining ethics.

One saying mentioned was that ‘I don’t care what you do, as long as you worry about it.

Zeitgeist Movement Specific

Personally I think that the best approach for the Zeitgeist Movement regarding ethics in science is a hybrid approach. Using mainly a linear model, but with priorities set by Venux.
Hopefully there would be very little restrictions on pure research (except maybe in the types of experiments, and possibly the amount of resources available for super large projects).

Thank you for reading. If you have any ideas, comments or concerns, feel free to post them into the comments, or email

NB : This essay was initially posted by Michael Kubler to the South Australian ZM mailing list on Sun, 22nd Nov – 2009