can your optimism save global crises?

Work has gotten over-the-top and I really haven’t had time to come back here as regularly as I’d wished. But today something triggered a thought that bugged me in entirety for the past hours.

It really was an article from my usual history readings – albeit this post having nothing to do with history studies. 31 Jan 1917 marked the declaration of engaging the Unterseeboot in an unrestricted warfare during WWI. Nothing celebratory, and nothing more for criticisms. Instead, this sparked my memory of a wonderful time a year ago – a time of concentrated knowledge acquisition & intellectual stimulation, with experts on the topic.

I kind of wondered how it was possible that the world harboured such great geniuses that one could ever imagine meeting; yet when it comes to our “daily reality”, genius becomes so rare that we hardly even see them. It soon became such a luxury for one to interact with brilliantly intelligent characters. Of course this brings back to life the question I’ve been pondering over – does the world still value intelligence & capability, or has the facade of agreeableness & optimism clouded human judgement of what’s valuable & what’s not? This question doesn’t come unfounded. Much has happened recently in the macro-environment that demands more doubt than trust: why did we get Person X to head the organisation when Person X has no prior experience or expertise in this field? Because of this positive disposition? And how then, did this positive disposition solve the major chaos that resulted due to a lack of skills?
I am not advocating pessimism or discounting the fact that there may be great people who can hit the ground running & tide through tough times with their optimism even in the most adverse situations. I just wonder how we might be able to better judge so.

Maybe this is just an easier way out to justify human choices instead of comprehending the geniuses of the world.

Time to consider & learn: what really matters most? Intelligence, or Attitude?
Question posted: when did optimism become the panache that saved the global economic crises?

where are the real geniuses residing?

On a rare and fortunate occasion I’d met someone who’d once said: “there is nothing warm-blooded in this course” – this caught my attention right away. No need for the pretense of “rapport” or “likeability” – a man truly supportive of genuine knowledge, someone who distinguishes between real hard-work and that of a charlatan, a no-nonsense established character who recognises and appreciates those who work and try over those who pretend. I do not purport to know this person well but I am grateful for having met someone different, and in my opinion, true.

Rare, indeed. How many of such people do we know in life? As far as I’m concerned, way too few. How often do we see hypocrites pander and masquerade, and these seemingly-smart people valued? Compare them to the quiet character who does not engage but strives for perfection. And history repeats itself.

It almost seems like the top factor for success is pretence. How do people today “recognise talent”? By popularity, favouritism, pure preference? How much faith do we have in this process? Do we still rightfully reward those worthy of credit, or have we today given more emphasis to sly attention-seekers?

I bring us back to the beginning of this statement. I recall a humble genius who’d put up a front as an arrogant old-fashioned man. It was no surprise that many hated him, maybe for his guts, maybe for his shrewd mind. A man who could remember for an extended period, something he had seen once, and even personalise it! How amazing could this mind be, so full of knowledge that it almost held a library within? More than just an academic trove of information, this mind converted words into applicable life skills and conveyed them for others. All I had was respect – and re-emphasizing a biased opinion, I saw him as a humble man. Indeed – humble in exhibiting his real intellectual capacity. How did a man of such a great mind  patiently and open-mindedly accept arguments that even an average recluse like myself felt was absurd and had the urge of wringing the necks of the proposer? High IQ, even higher EQ. Yet not sufficiently appreciated – what could I say? The world loved those who appeared friendly, optimistic, warm… … And anything else was highly unacceptable. This apparently high-handed, cold and unwavering demeanor was more often than not criticised as negative.

So as my respect for this wonderful individual grows, it came to my realisation that the genius had spurred me to think critically and view the world with multi-perspectives. It made a cynic more cynical, but none of which was negative. Nothing could express my gratitude…

I am no Robert Koch, but I do still wish to meet the rare Professor Cohns of the world…
And the story of Koch deserves a full post to himself in the days ahead…

In the meantime…I continue to wonder how the world around us changes with a face so unfathomable…