Friday, March 28, 2008

No ROI (Return on Intelligence)

One of the most difficult aspects of living in this current era is the debasement of intelligent thinking. As I have indicated, below, we are deeply entrenched in the DISINFORMATION age, which brings with it all manner of deception, dishonesty, and anti-intellectualism. As the financial crisis unfolds, the public's desire for "simple" answers will only increase, and intelligent "grey area" debate will give way to "black or white" George Bush-style uninformed posturing. Further exacerbating the problem will be the mass media's relentless decline into the abyss of ignorance e.g. "Reality TV", "Fox (Faux) News"; a race for the bottom with the ever-descending lowest common denominator. As people's optimism for the future fades, they will "tune in" and "tune out" in ever-increasing numbers.

Due to the triumph of the marketing-based pseudo-economy over the engineering-based economy, the premium on intelligence has basically disappeared. Not too long ago being intelligent and increasing one's knowledge was an edge in work and in private life. Reading books other than those written by Danielle Steele and Michael (pseudo-scientist) Crichton, was considered a worthwhile use of time. Under the "marketing based" economy however, those rules have changed, and intelligence is now deeply discounted to the point of having a negative return on investment. What edge can intelligence have, when there is no one around to understand what the hell you are saying? Actually, I think there are plenty of smart people still around, but how can meaningful discourse compete with Britney Spears' latest escapades? I may sound like a snob to say all of these things, but I for one miss the kind of straight talking, critical thinking that made the United States a strong nation in the first place.

It begs the critical question: What will come back first - a strong economy based on sustainable fundamentals OR the premium on intelligence that promotes R&D, and enables competition with the rest of the world? I submit that it will be impossible to achieve the former, without the latter.

Return on Intelligence (ROI), Rest in Peace...