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Meet The Man Selling Influence Over His Personal Life Decisions | Outliers Ep. 4

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In an age of constant connectivity, it’s not uncommon to crowdsource a decision, asking friends, family and strangers on the internet for advice on mundane choices. But Mike Merrill has taken this idea to its logical extreme.

In 2008, Merrill launched KMikeyM, a corporate-alter-ego-slash-trading-platform, where investors can purchase stock that gives them voting power over Merrill’s life choices. Anyone can buy or sell their shares in KMikeyM, and the more shares you own, the more votes you get in deciding what Merrill does with his time. The votes themselves range from whether Merrill should grow a beard, to whether he should get a vasectomy.

Merrill’s project occupies a strange space between art, self-promotion and self-improvement. But the application of stock market logic to one’s own life raises interesting questions about power and money in a capitalist society.

VICE visited Merrill in Los Angeles to see how this experiment actually works and why he wants to keep it going.

This series is supported by GEICO.

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24 thoughts on “Meet The Man Selling Influence Over His Personal Life Decisions | Outliers Ep. 4

  1. The hate here is unfortunate. Bizarre, maybe, but this is a spark of brilliant curiosity. First, let's all agree he's monetizing this (but that's a totally fair motive in addition to curiosity). He has created an experiment which combines multiple streams of consciousness into one existential being – furthermore, by literally humanizing his "company", his general course of existence represents a composite fractal of the human race. Even if Mike isn't aware of what he's doing, examine this from afar, as a species. As a system of beings our evolutionary advantages always hinged on our highly refined social capacities; this behavior as a species is representing the compression of psyches; in other words, the most powerful views on ways of existing literally shape the course of this creature. And by participating, shareholders are groupthinking in a process of existential pruning. the implications are fascinating.

    lol jk im just high af, wtf

    Or am I?

  2. Wasn't there a movie kind of like the idea in this where people could get paid to be an avatar or pay to play as an avatar and these people would go somewhere and whoever paid for them to be there after I would get to control them.

  3. There was an episode in drop dead diva just like this except in the end he had to go to court with his stockholders because he wanted to marry some girl they didnt want him to marry

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