Thursday, September 12, 2013

What are we Talking about...?

I have heard it said that a common thinker talks about people,  that's called "gossip".  An elevated thinker talks about events, that's called "discussion".  The great thinkers talk about ideas, that's called "intelligence".
This does not mean that a common thinker is less intelligent than a great thinker, it is just a matter of what subject he chooses to voice.  Once again it is individual choice not genes, degrees or IQ.
Here is the way it appears to me.  Gossip is just a matter of telling tales about others, mostly things that make a judgement for or against their actions.  Discussions are two ways of looking at some event that took place. There is still an element of judgment to that way of thinking.  Intelligence talks about ideas that can change or elevate the human mind and condition. It is not a judgment of what was, just an attempt to find a better way.
This is not a political blog but what is the level of our conversations right now about Syria?  There is plenty of conversation about "what to do" by media personalities.  They range between "gossip" and
Some want to talk about the evil dictator of Syria.  Some have compared him to Hitler, although I find that metaphor way over used, it is being expressed.  A lot of the media conversation wants to simply judge him as evil and destroy his power.  That is gossip.
Other pundits talk on and on about the events taking place, the armed resistance, the use of force and what group is fighting which group. If you listen carefully this supposed "red line" on the use of chemical weapons doesn't make much sense.  It appears to be a technical issue on the method of killing, not killing in general. In fact many more people (including children) have been killed with conventional weapons during this conflict than for the use of chemical weapons.  Some think a strong military action is a good plan, others think it is not.  Same event, different judgments about what it means. That is "discussion".
What I don't hear too much is "Intelligent" talk. I don't mean what our spies know or think tank facts about the complicated relationships of the world. I don't hear people talking about ideas that could raise the human mind and human condition.  Where are the ideas that would make the world a better place not just in Syria but everywhere for everyone. Syria is only the next conflict that occupies our attention. Solving Syria is not the answer, that  is short term thinking.  What can we do to make the entire world a better place in the long run.  Try to float that idea to your peers and it is met with gossip and discussion.
People are just more comfortable with a quick action of force to temporarily solve a problem rather finding ways of ending gossip and discussion to find an intelligent solution.  Intelligence is inclusive and involves long term thinking, gossip and discussion are exclusive, judgmental and very short term thinking.
I have no intellectual solutions to offer but I know they are out there. The only way we can find them is to elevate the discourse of what we are talking about to the level of "ideas" not "infantry".
As you were,

1 comment:

Pete Biro said...