Marketing guru Seth Godin wrote an eloquent (as usual) piece on the race to the bottom. His arguments were in the context of business. There is another race to the bottom that is becoming alarmingly prevalent. That of the intellectual kind
Deep thinking has been banished for a while now. It is all about intelligence in one forty characters or less. “Dumb it down so I can get it quickly”. “Dumb it down so the audience can get it instantly” (Seriously? You are speaking to a dumb audience? Then why do you even bother?). Intellectually stimulating conversations do not find an audience – leave alone participation. In the era of flippant Facebook updates and comments there is only that much google-supported brains can take. The rest is ignored. Or dumbed down
Now pause for a moment. What happens when things cannot be dumbed down anymore and all of us are in the basement of intellectual capabilities? Beam me up Scotty – that is what is going to happen then. First principles will again become relevant because those are the only ladder steps to climb out of the basement
Expand the canvas of conversations, bring in more variables, import an adjacent market (maybe not even a market – maybe physics) framework and discuss how it applies – raise the bar. That’s what athletes do. They challenge their physical capabilities. They don’t dumb things down for their bodies. Then why do that for your mind?