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Man Spends $27.95, Gets Building Named After Him

A MarketWatch interview with computer scientist John Wainwright, the first person ever to buy something on Amazon (he spent $27.95 on "Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought" by Douglas Hofstadter), includes the interesting little fact that Amazon named a building at their Seattle headquarters after him in honor of his inaugural purchase. In human history, that has to be the cheapest donation that anyone has ever made to get their name on a building—even in ancient Roman times, ones imagines, you'd probably have to cough up at least 40 or 50 sestertii to get your name etched into a dome. And in modern times, the rest of us chumps are forced to shell out millions just to get a plaque on some measly college library. The cheapest option these days is probably to build a time machine, scrounge up another $30, and go back to 1995 and steal John Wainwright's building.
· Meet Amazon's first customer [MarketWatch, via NYDN]