[ExI] millionaires and billionaires

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Wed Sep 21 15:48:38 UTC 2011

Understanding the dynamics of millionaires and billionaires is, I
think, quite relevant to the future, and here is why... In the future
ALL of us will have what billionaires have today, except in greater
quantity and variety. We will some day in the not too distant future,
be able to produce custom yachts for a single use, not even
billionaires do that today! We will be able to create our own custom
planets in virtual reality... with creatures even the super rich would
not be able to create today!

So what is the psychology of the super rich?

I have met a number of people worth in excess of $500 million, and
quite a number with over $25 million, and consider some of them to be
much more than mere acquaintances. At one time, briefly, I myself was
technically a multimillionaire (barely). When I talk to them, here is
what I observe... having more money makes you more of what you were
before. If you were eccentric, money makes you more eccentric. (That's
what it did to me). If you are kind, money makes you more kind. If you
are selfish, money makes you more selfish, and so forth. Bill Gates is
more "Bill Gates" than he would be without money... what is that?
Insufferable, smart, generous? All of the above? Nathan Myrvold is
more curious. Alan Ashton is more kind and religious. Bruce Bastion is
more openly gay. My neighbor Nedra ($50 million) is more eccentric,
with 4 foot long orange hair, driving a pink Mercedes Benz, adopting
children with special needs, buying houses without looking at them,
and donating things to causes she believes in. John Pestana is more
interested in cars and collecting, pursues his passion for model
trains to a degree none of us could, helps budding entrepreneurs,
invests in small businesses, and is an all around great guy to spend
an afternoon with. Larry Miller collected very rare coins, and took
great joy in it, he bought the Jazz basketball team, he built a race
track, he was a great guy to just hang with. Steven Covey works harder
on his books, pays to recover important artifacts and restore them,
works on his church work, and lives a very balanced life of business
and family.

Ray Noorda drove his old beat up pickup truck to work every day, years
after it should have been junked, in fact... he spent a lot of time
with his child, who had mental deficiencies. He never moved out of his
modest house in his modest neighborhood. Of everyone, money seemed to
affect Ray less than anyone. He became more humble, because he was
humble to begin with.

One acquaintance who was arrogant, became more so... Those that feel
confident, feel more confident with money... Those that are insecure,
are still insecure and even fearful, even with loads of money... now
they fear kidnapping and that sort of thing.

One of the richest people I know is among the most unhappy and
paranoid people I have ever met. I won't tell his name because he made
me sign a non-disclosure agreement that said I would never reveal that
I worked for him... what I did... would NEVER work for a competitor...
and would never reveal the location of his work space, which has an
entrance that looks like something from a bad B movie. I couldn't
leave a scrap of paper on my desk at night... and none of his machines
had a floppy disk drive (tells you something about WHEN this
happened... oops, maybe I let too much slip out there just now.)

All of these people became more of what they were before. I had the
absolute joy of knowing Alan Ashton before he was super rich, as well
as after... He just became more of what he was before... just like the
rest of them.

So the take home question for each of us is "what are we?" And when we
become more of what we are, will that be a good thing or a bad thing?

We will all be rich... indeed in 15th century terms, the vast majority
of humanity is very rich today.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list