Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Penny for your thoughts? They better be worth it!

As always, it started quite innocently with a conversation with a friend, commentary on a situation and then it moved to a discussion on a trend in modern human demeanor that both the friend and I have noticed to be growing. A clan of dismissive intellectuals has been dominating the social scene, very vocal, very articulate and almost all the time….completely useless! And before anyone draws their rifles at us, useless in the sense that despite the prolific supply of intellectual thoughts exchanged during debates and discussions, the impact on pressing current issues is slim to nil.

So the question was raised…… why are those extremely smart, extremely educated people with enormous potential so petty?

Well, here is what *I* think….

I think its human ego , man is a narcissistic species, most human beings believe that mankind is the pentacle of creation and that they are capable of anything. A colleague of mine told me just this morning: “I find it astonishing that humans think they are the most evolved species on earth”.

My theory is as follows though, the people who refrain from engaging and discussing current pressing problems and rather focus on things that THEY KNOW are already obsolete and can’t be (for the lack of a better term) changed , have an inner struggle in the sense that they want to live up to the title of the “most evolved” , be worthy of the brain they have but they see that this very brain is failing to solve immediate problems (Poverty, Hunger, Disease, Racism, Sexism, Human Rights violations…to name a few) . In order to retain a sense of intellectual superiority the shortage is made up for by acquiring more knowledge (through reading, traveling, debating even meditating!) which is excellent! But then here is the strange part this valuable knowledge is for some reason applied to theorizing on issues that are no longer…well… issues!!
And here is why in my humble opinion this happens ; I think because there is no way to test these theories the possibility that they could have worked remains and then that false sense of achievement is there.

Yesterday, I was with a friend at a meeting and we pitched an idea to the chair, to our surprise she found our very “simple” idea brilliant and was very impressed by it. Now before I proceed with this story, its noteworthy to mention that both the friend and I are unemployed and do not work for this person. Ok back to the story, so the lady is impressed and mentioned that it has never been done before we were both shocked:

Are you serious??? It’s not rocket science; it’s very straightforward, why hasn’t it been done? we thought we’d pitch it to you so you can give us archives on how it was done so we can develop it !!

Her response was: All the solutions that work are never rocket science, it’s just people like to come up with complicated solutions to validate themselves and justify their big salaries, you guys don’t get paid to think, so naturally you will come up with easy solutions.

And she is absolutely spot on, simple solutions, if they work they work, if they don’t, no one can guilt trip you saying “ We don’t pay you to come up with these WikiHow solutions”

And then TADA! It just all linked to my theory which I now have a name for “Thought pricing”.

My good friend who inspired this rant , said “the more you get paid the more entitled you feel and the more "special" you feel but also the more pressure you feel to come up with something that weighs as much as the money you're being paid” , and I add to it that the “payment” need not be in money, for I have observed that praise, social status and even acceptance by fellow “intellectuals” creates the same incentives to always live up to the image or expectation.

I wish this was a profound kind of rant that goes into the specifics of how “Thought Pricing” originated and the pros and cons of it and its real impact (with numbers and charts and stuff) , but it’s not, it’s just my own meandering analysis, and to drive this rant home, I wish everyone would just …you know… CHILL!

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