When you look up into the night sky and see all those stars and think about the infinite vastness of the universe, does it make you feel insignificant? Like thereâ€™s so much of space and so little of you?
Not me. It makes me feel rich.
I personally own billions of those stars that you see up there.
I own such wondrous objects as black holes and neutron stars and red giants and blue dwarfs andâ€¦
Indeed, I own whole galaxies and nebulae â€“ and probably a quasar or two.
My real estate holdings include entire planets that make our little Earth look like a puny pebble on a secluded beach in the middle of nowhere.
And I own all that by dint of the fortune that has allowed me to purchase property in a British Commonwealth country.
I may even own bits and pieces of the moon, from time to time. Iâ€™ve been thinking of charging NASA and the Russians storage fees for the equipment theyâ€™ve left on my property â€“ on a time-share basis whenever Luna passes through my â€œinfinite carrot.â€
You see, I donâ€™t own a huge chunk of earth â€“ just a few square metres â€“ a fairly average lot, by todayâ€™s standards. But thanks to the infinite carrot concept of property ownership in Canada and other products of British colonialism, my little plot is magnified exponentially as my boundary lines extend upwards into the â€œayre and skyes and into the heavens.â€
By the time my property line intersects the moonâ€™s orbital shell, my little suburban lot on 56th Avenue becomes something like five million square metres â€“ give or take.
Itâ€™s all based on the (admittedly rather pretentious) idea that property ownership extends downward to the centre of the earth, and upward from that point through the outer edges of the property lines, reaching and growing ever outwards through the aforementioned â€œayre and skyesâ€ and beyondâ€¦ forever.
The angle of increase is small, since my property is only a few dozen metres wide, and the centre of the earth is about 6,000 kilometres below my feet.
But the distances that constitute the essentially unconfined confines of my infinite carrot are so unimaginably immense that, by the time my little plot magnifies itself to the outer reaches of the solar system, I figure I own a few billion acres of the Oort Cloud.
Extend that through the 100,000 or so light years across our Milky Way Galaxyâ€¦ and when I say â€œour,â€ Iâ€™m including, of course, any other owners of their own infinite carrots â€“ if there are any aliens out there, I sincerely hope, for their sake, that they either have the back rent they owe us, or they have a secondary abode to which they are prepared to vacate.
Now take that further, to the outer reaches of the visible universe about 14 billion light years into the distance (Iâ€™m not about to quibble over a few measly hundreds of millions), and it shouldnâ€™t be hard to concede that I am a substantial land holder.
Youâ€™ll note that Iâ€™ve pointed to my wealth of property through the â€œayre and skyes and into the heavensâ€ at considerable length, even though the likelihood that I may actually be able to do anything substantial with those vast holdings is about as infinitely small as their expanse is infinitely large.
But Iâ€™ve barely mentioned the slice of the planet into which my property lines extend.
Thatâ€™s because I donâ€™t actually own that.
Most of that was given to the railroads 100 years ago or more, gifts from the infinitely wise Canadian government that included most of the habitable parts of Canada â€“ something that a bunch of unfortunate gardeners in Vancouver learned the hard way.