More than the distribution of wealth, it's the distribution of power that depresses me. Wealth is nothing but a lagging measure of power, and it's not always accurate. There's ways to fudge it, sustain it as long as possible, until one day crash.
But this reality of power is one I hope the world keeps hidden for as long as possible. I'm grateful that we are still sort of in that phase where people blame all their problems on money, they are fighting over money, they are fighting over the score, the trophy, the symbol rather than the meaning.
The reason why I like this phase, is because I think it would be too depressing to reveal to everyone, that hey it's not about having money, it's about having power and why would this be depressing? Because transferring, distributing, sharing wealth is much easier than it is to share power. Sharing wealth is easy now due to technology. Just transfer bits over the wire... sure someone takes a cut off that, but it's not that much, and if you do think it is too much, then well you can just wait for cryptocurrencies to become ubiquitous.
But even though wealth is so easy to share, we still struggle to share it. You can point out to people like Bill Gates and Dan Shook of course who've pledged to give over 99 percent of their wealth away.... but that's because they know deep down that wealth isn't what really matters. It's power. They're pledging their wealth away, after realizing it's the least they can do.
We all know deep down this story. It's as ingrained in us as the moral of whether it's better to teach a person how to fish or to give that person fish. Power is the ability to fish whereas wealth is just the literal protein attached to fish bones. Eat up.
Nobody in power -- i'm not speaking of politicians -- will admit this inconvenient truth. Power is the only thing that matters. Strip someone powerful of all their wealth and they'll figure out a way to earn wealth back. Why? Because they are powerful. And likewise, give the unempowered all the wealth in the world. And watch it dissolve.
That's what attracted me to Jackie. And that's what attracted me to Mr. Ball. What I saw in him was a man with power. Not the facade of power. Not an office at the capitol and coverage by media analysts. But true power, the ability to turn the things inside his head into reality.
But I knew nothing about him. How could I know he was so powerful then? Was it the non-descript business card that barely had any information on it? Or the fact that the business card was made of a material that was paper but no paper I've ever encountered? Or was it the vibe he gave off? The vibe of someone who isn't chained to time. Who isn't chained to obligations. I don't know how much you can discern out of a 1 hour lunch, but this is what my gut told me.
So this is how I decided to go visit Mr. Ball. He had given me his business card and told me to visit him, hadn't he? So why not?