24 February 2016

While we're at it, I want a unicorn.

This showed up in my feed on Facebook.

Have you ever imagined?
The question is not "Is it possible?". The question is "Do we really want it?"
Posted by What If Money Didn't Exist? on Wednesday, 27 January 2016

This is a lovely sentiment, but at heart it's hogwash. 'Brilliant' and 'creative' are not synonymous with 'benevolent' or 'good' or even 'nice'. There are some nice geniuses, there have been benefactors to the race, but there have also been a bunch of complete and total jerks. Read a real history of Galileo vs the Pigeon League vs Kepler vs Brahe, or of the bitter and infantile name calling conflicts of Michelangelo and Leonardo. I have spent my adult life among geniuses, self proclaimed and otherwise. They are among some of the worst people I have ever met. And it's not merely money that is the driving force, but also intellectual arrogance and pride that transcends mere hubris. If we were to gather all the screaming geniuses into one place, -say, I don't know, at a university- rather than suddenly creating utopia, they would start fighting amongst each other over whose project was more important, and what should come first. Even without money, time and resources will be limited.  Before long, they would break down into cliques of similar minded people, and start working to sabotage the careers and work of everyone else. Should one clique prove triumphant, before long it would have its own variation of a Catholic inquisition or a Stalinesque purge, where people are ostracized and punished and even destroyed not for disagreeing with the clique, but for not agreeing enough.  Let the geniuses cram themselves into the increasingly irrelevant universities where they preach to their own private, insulated echo chambers. The rest of us will be better off.

No comments: