I am not too fond of writing random posts , but today has been a bad day. And I just wanted to write something, so I guess no harm there.
These kind nice folks back home gifted me the Kindle Paperwhite last week.So I registered with my Amazon account and was stunned to see the Kindle named as ‘Archana’s second Kindle’. It’s not anything extraordinary there, why even most people would not bother to notice this, but I loved how Amazon thought through a whole bunch of ways in which customers might start using the product. I guess all businesses ought to identify these small things that bring a smile to the face, and boost customer retention and loyalty. I have earlier used the Kindle to download the books from my wishlist just to cloud store them inorder to remember to buy a hardcopy later( I am your proverbial Pound foolish Pennywise person), but the night reading capability of the paperwhite pleases my nocturnal self no end.
I read Atlas Shrugged. Again. When I read Ayn rand way back in college, I went into this hermitic state of personal dissociation from anything living, quoted Objectivism left, right and centre and lived under the clout of ‘I don’t have to tell people how smart I am because it is an insult to my smartness’ tripe and alienated everyone who deserved my attention (Bragging rights if you may). Ofcourse it was a phase, but rereading Atlas Shrugged made me realise how much I am for Objectivism, and how much of what Ayn Rand says has been so applicable in my daily life and living. Mediocrity can be baffling. You would say I am judging from a high pedestal here, but it is insanely puzzling when you know people who ‘loot’ others’ ideas and condemn geniuses simply because they can never raise to that level of awesomeness.
I have come to believe in a few kinds of people. The average smart joe is smart. He thinks for himself, and has opinions. He works to make him feel smart, and he is pretty confident about his ‘average’ abilities. He may not exhibit sparks of genius but he recognises his averageness, and is very willing to learn. I respect these people, because they are quite honest about their abilities.
And then there are these geniuses. The combination of raw rustic passion and Holymotherawesomeness of talent. These are the guys who ‘produce’. These are the guys who innovate and experiment and never shy away from being arrogant. I respect these people too because I find this arrogance validated. Humility is bullcrap.
But hold on, it is the last types who get me.
The guys who are dumb but think they are part of the creme de la creme and stupefy fellow human beings with inane junk for ideas. Notwithstanding that, they loot. They loot ideas, and write long emails with plagiarised sentences from the agile development handbook. They ridicule passionate people, they try to make a mockery out of folks who consistently try to raise the bar and thereby breed mediocrity. I find the last category too much in common these days.
These people have an unwarranted air about them. What gives them the right? Social Media? Access to information? When did upvoting answers in Quora come to symbolify voracious reading ? What great insult to passionate voracious readers! When did owning a twitter handle come to indicate aristocracy? Jack Dorsey has been shamed. He built a platform to help people exchange interesting thoughts , and the so-called knowledgable have promptly romped it up with gossip, gangs and catfights, pleasurably masturbating on each other’s ego.
Write a stupid answer in quora and have your other stupid friends upvote it. Boom. Wow. And then there are a bunch of jokers who call you intelligent, because hey you are the local twitter celeb. If this doesn’t work, then use the humility shield. Call a genius arrogant because humility and non-violence are what what keeps humanity intact. Plagiarise characteristics, and walk around with a false air of intelligentsia. Thrive in mediocrity, dilute art, pollute workplaces, copulate and produce mediocre specimens and sell all the mediocrity to glory.
Maybe Ayn Rand was right. The Atlas should just shrug.
P.S: If you were smart enough to figure out I was talking about you here, I probably wasn’t