Johnathan Balt

“Jonathan Balt: entrepreneurial genius, tech tycoon, CEO of Serion, and first trillionaire in history, joins us here at HCT Nightly for an exclusive interview. Welcome, Jonathan. How are you?”

“I am good, thank you. And please, feel free to call me John.”

“Very well. John, your success is unrivaled. What is your secret?”

“I don’t really consider it a secret, but I spend about 14 hours a day at the office, working. Sometimes I sleep there. I work hard. I think that is all there is too it.”

“So humble. But, surely you can be considered to be our generations greatest entrepreneurial genius! I am sure the hard work helps but, come on, 14 hours a day of basketball won’t turn a midget into a star in the NBA”

“I suppose you are right.”

“Right? Really, though, you can’t have much time for a social life, working as much as you do”

“No, I don’t have much of a social life at all…”

“Don’t you wish you could get out once in a while. Have a little fun?”

“I enjoy what I do. I have never gotten along with others. I really don’t enjoy company, or public spaces outside of work. Work is what fulfills me. It is natural for me to work. I don’t know anything else. Nothing else fulfills me. I once tried dating, but it was chaotic and only made me want to spend more time at work. If I were a father, I would be miserable at home, tending to a baby at 3am. No, thank you. The last thing this world needs is yet another absent, workaholic father.”

“A true entrepreneurial spirit! But I am sure any family would be lucky to have you as a father! Are you sure that a man such as yourself is not open to the family life? Women would line up to be with you.”

-Laughs calmly- “No, no, really. I am happy the way I am. Fatherhood is not for someone like me, so cold and detached. And, really, I don’t deserve any praise. Doing what I do comes naturally to me. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it. You do what you do, and I do what I do.”

“No, surely you are to be honored. I give interviews, mostly to people more fascinating than myself. People are fascinated by you! Nothing I will do in my life will compare to the empire you have built and the people’s lives you have helped.” -the interviewer accentuates “mostly” here, to boast jokingly

“People are fascinated by my wealth and success, yes. And yes, I have helped people. But my wealth and success are a natural outcome of who I am, who I just happen to be; my genes and education, or what-have-you. Other factors as well. Where I was born. The time. The place. None of these factors are of my choosing. I knew three languages at the age of 3. My parents made sure I was raised by educators of the highest esteem. I was always in school. In reality, I am no more rare or special than anyone else. Just lucky. Lucky to be born with my genes and to a wealthy family. I don’t deserve any praise or accolades for my accomplishments, I don’t think, any more than, say, a tree deserves praise or accolades for bearing flowers in the spring or shedding leaves in the fall.”

“I am afraid I don’t understand. I see no harm in celebrating you and your company’s success.”

“When your computer functions well, do you attribute praise to the computer?”

“Well, no. I attribute praise to the designers and engineers who made the computer. The company. Usually your company!” –interviewer laughs again, partly in an attempt to raise Mr. Balt’s somber mood, and partly on behalf of her pride in her own ability to improvise that last line on the spot-

“So why attribute praise to people, and not their designers, or let’s say, the forces that brought about the conditions that make one want to praise the individual in the first place? You want to praise me, but instead you ought to praise the technological boom of the last two centuries. You ought to praise my parent’s genes, and their success in school. You ought to praise all the conditions outside and prior to me that bring about me as a person to be admired. You think I am the tree and my work the flower. I am more the bud that precedes the flower, and my world-historical situation, all the factors outside of myself, in the universe, that at each moment contribute to my existence in the way that it is: that is the tree. The tree deserves the praise, if anything. Not the bud. A different society? Different genes? A different time? And I am not myself.”

“No, I think you are just being modest. You have that special something. Call it will, or spirit. Drive. It’s that special something that separates you from everyone else.”

“But even if I had such a thing, did I work to earn it? Did I choose it? Or was it just something I was born with? No, even if I had this special sauce, if you will, this drive and spirit, it is still the greater tree that would be responsible for bringing about the type of person who has such a trait. And so it is still not I who deserves praise.”

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