the way we got out of the caves (winners and losers)
“The way we got out of the caves and into modern civilisation is through the process of understanding and thinking. Those things were not done by gut instinct.
Being an expert does not mean that you are someone with a vested interest in something; it means you spend your life studying something.
You’re not necessarily right – but you’re more likely to be right than someone who’s not spent their life studying it.”
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Martin Luther King
I seem to find myself in more arguments and debates and discussions with regard to common sense, gut instinct and actual “learning” <knowledge> than is most likely healthy for me.
My sense is that I am not the only one.
To be clear.
For those who care to research it, in general, our instincts suck.
For those who care to research it, in general, common sense is most typically not that common <or representative of reality & truth> nor does it make sense <unless you are looking back at what has been done and not forward thinking about what could be done>.
For those who care to research it, in general, learned people <either formal knowledge gathering or informal incessant curiosity knowledge seekers> tend to be more right more often and less right less often.
For those who care to research it, in general, sincere ignorance has reached plague proportions.
I sometimes feel like we, in America, mistakenly wandered back into a cave. And in that cave we can find shelves filled with sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity available for anyone to take.
Now. We do not lack for excuses for not knowing shit we should know or investing some energy to gain some well needed knowledge. The conventional excuses are time, distractions, overwork, hectic lives, alternative facts, “I already know”, etc.
The list is fairly long and quite accessible to the everyday schmuck.
So while they may be representative of sincere actions they are also representative of sincere purposeful excuses from the strenuous job of thinking.
From an intellectual standpoint this means we remain in a continuous doom loop of Hegelian Dialectic, in fact, never leaving the loop which means ignorance is always at hand and reality is always out of reach.
From my perspective this doom loop encourages us to stay in the cave we are in and just believe what we believe and use our energy for anything other than thinking because we need energy for anything other than thinking.
What you believe to be true, is it true?
Or do you just believe that it is true because you were taught that it was true and you never looked any further?
This is sad. It is sad because we seem to have lost the ability to think. It may be even sadder that we have purposefully decided to abstain from thinking. And, overall, it’s sad because where we should see thinking and thoughtfulness we only see faux intellectualism and random absurd theories. It is sad because all of this suggests our mental limits are some simplistic tripe soundbites and clever labels <which I would suggest are poorly understood heuristic propaganda tools>.
We seem to have forgotten that what most likely got us out of the cave was, well, enlightened conflict. And when I say conflict I mean ‘what you think versus what I think’ & ‘what you know versus what you could know’ because all the rest is simply trappings and ego/identity/power crap.
For it was within the conflict of ideas and debate in which the people in the cave learned, and unlearned, which inevitably got all of us people to leave the frickin’ cave.
As I have written before there is certainly a battle going on with regard to being an expert <and believed> and certainly anything associated with ‘intellectual’ is poisoned in everyday households.
“An intellectual? Yes.
And never deny it.
An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.”
I could argue we stay in the cave for a variety of reasons, but today I will suggest that true thinking has taken a back seat to greed and self-interest <which is less about thinking and more about outcomes>.
The effect of this is that a shitload of people really have no knowledge of their own. And that leads to a mind & thought process almost solely grounded in common opinion.
Well. If thought is a commodity, than from that point on the objective of greed & self-interest isn’t about thinking it is simply about playing the game well <and winning>. The problem with this is that in any game there are winners and there are losers <even though everyone hopes to win>.
Games are for winners and losers.
Thinking is not a game.
Life is not a game.
Using popular numbers in today’s rhetoric t make my point, in a winner-take-all game, the top 0.1% win, the winners share some of their winnings with the 2nd and 3rd place winners <let’s call them the remaining people of the top 1%> and 99% are losers.
I imagine what I am suggesting is that a system that rewards only the top 1% winners ensures that everyone else loses which creates a sense that 99% of people just cannot think effectively <I am not sure how that is good for the emotional well-being of a society>..
Well. I purposefully highlighted the Hegelian doom loop earlier because in that scenario we can think about how to break this doom loop cycle.
And, yes, this takes some <gulp> thinking.
In my simplistic mind I focus on benefits. What I mean by that is in today’s world no one sees benefits in thinking and only seeing benefits in not thinking and playing some game.
We need to reprogram that which has conditioned us into this fixed and, frankly, limiting mindset.
Here is the simplest thing I can point to – reality.
Reality 1: If everyone, 100%, thinks and debates and creates new ideas and adapt status quo to new realities … well … 100% has a chance to win. And even the 99% who don’t really “win” tangibly will win by being part of the progress <this is not conceptual mumbo jumbo … this is what any business leader with half a brain knows and does with their employee base>.
Reality 2: If everyone, 100%, doesn’t think and maintains the way we do things now … well … 1% truly has a chance to win.
Oh. And once you enter the winners’ circle you actually increase the odds you will win again.
Oh. And once you become a 99% loser you actually increase the odds you will lose again.
I have to tell ya.
Lay this out like that to people and I am not so sure a shitload of people are gonna like option number 2.
Let’s face it. We have become a “non-thinking” society as we have become, as a society, less people and more & more labels of some objectified economic relationship like producers and consumers, buyers and sellers, service providers and service users.
In fact. If you do not have one of those labels, you are an outcast.
Now. In America that ‘outcast’ group is relatively small. Almost all of America participates in consumerism. Globally only a relatively small percentage of global population is participating in consumerism. The majority of population is struggling to meet the very basic requirements of life such as proper food, shelter and healthcare. That said. We have significantly increased intellectual poverty – in America and globally.
Mentally we are now back in a cave.
Mentally we are living in a state of denial and a sincere ignorance towards the fact that we have created a system where thinkers & thinking have little value and even less of a perceived potential reward to the majority of people. The result of that is the majority of the world then competes in a winner take all game in which those in power <past winners> tend create money out of thin air while owning as much as they want.
What this really means is that thinking is unnecessary to become rich.
It only requires a person to be lucky to be born into a past winner family. Which means if you are in the 99% you can be a frickin’ genius and getting rich is still more like a game of chance where the odds of ‘winning’, becoming rich, through talent are very rare.
That is fucked up.
What we need to understand is that self-interest, competition and gaining profit at the expense of others, and thinking, is not particularly fair to the 100%, but it is also not particularly helpful for any meaningful progress as a society.
What we need to understand is that we are all huddled in a cave – the 99 & the 1. Together.
We must stop following blindly the ideas of what we know but rather open our eyes to what we do not know.
Here is what I know.
If everyone is thinking, everyone is debating, everyone is questioning ‘gut instinct’ and common sense, 100% has a chance of winning and 100% will get better in some form or fashion.
In the world we live in today the thinkers are more likely to lose than some idiots who simply know how to play the game better. Think about that. Yeah. Think. That is fucked up. I want a world with smarter idiots, less sincere ignorance and thinkers to have a chance of winning on occasion.
I actually want a world where no one lives in a cave.
originally published July 2017