The power of ideas.....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Saturday, October 16, 2010 1:46 AM
One way of imagining the future is that you and I, the so-called current generation, will selfishly party until we die, leaving to our children nothing but crushing debt, a boiling turd of a planet, and various Apple products.

The problem with this analysis is that young adults have most of the guns and muscles. So isn't the younger generation complicit in stealing from itself? Think about it......

Imagine a 20-something, muscular thug on the street, with a loaded gun in his waistband. A 60-year old banker with a bad back waddles up to him and says, "Give me your wallet!" The thug reaches past his gun and hands over his wallet. That's how our society is organized. I'm not complaining, since I have more in common with the banker than the thug.

In theory, the young soldiers in any country could collectively decide that they deserve most of the national wealth and then simply take it. If you think that sounds like a crime, assume that the first thing the soldiers could do is force lawmakers to rewrite the laws.

If you think that sounds unethical, I would argue that the people who take the most physical and mental risks for the benefit of society should get the most pay. That seems perfectly reasonable and moral to me. And let's assume the soldiers are smart enough to leave enough money in the capitalist system that it still works.

Perhaps the CEO of a major corporation would only earn $250K per year. If he wants more, he can surely join the Navy.

I only bring this up because I'm fascinated by the degree to which brains have evolved to become more powerful than guns. Society's founding geniuses engineered a social system that encourages the young people who have guns to shoot at each other instead of robbing old people.

Forgive me for calling that awesome.

Arguably, the most important function of human language is to protect the smart from the strong. Humans use words to create sentences, and sentences to create concepts, such as our notions of duty and honor.

Powerful concepts control behavior. Without our language and concepts, the strong would kill the smart, and humans wouldn't evolve to be any smarter. I think you could say that human evolution is being guided at least partly by the power of ideas.

I can't remember if I had a point.

2 Response to "The power of ideas....."

  1. shivani Says:

    Brilliant! and boy you are modest too.i think i get your point about brain vs brawn Sir jee.
    And if i haven't then do enlighten me with more.
    Loved your introductory words...which forces you to realise something like... we have not inherited the world from our forefathers but borrowed it from our children.
    It's a competitive world where an idea sells but i was just thinking some ideas were best if they lay dormant and never surfaced.
    These ideas lead to a whole gamut of unnecessary complications.A new suppy of avoidables creating a new demand for keeping up with the joneses.
    What do you say??
    And before i forget wish you and family a VERY HAPPY VIJAYA DASHAMI :)

  2. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Thanks Shivani! Here's wishing you and your family a very happy Vijaya Dashami too. I am 100% sure you got my point and that's all that counts. And I do agree that some ideas just remain dormant.

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