June 22, 2015

The Retrospective Introspection Challenge

In this day and age, it is common to see various character traits dovetailing together, giving entire swathes of people perceivably positive tendencies that run in synchronous tandem with negative tendencies -- as if they came paired by default.

Consider the following pairings wisely, and see if you can spot any individuals that fit into these generalised (yet very nuanced categorisations) and their opposites:

Arrogant & Competent ßà Modest & Incompetent
Unpunctual & Creative ßà Punctual & Unimaginative
Impolite & Successful ßà Polite & Unsuccessful
Ugly & Intelligent ßà Beautiful & Stupid
Lazy & Talented ßà Hardworking & Untalented
Objective & Pragmatic ßà Relative & Emotional

Arrogance and competence; very often seen together, just ask Cristiano Ronaldo or many other high-profile people that get things done, but alas, seem to want to make sure everyone knows about it.

Unpunctuality and creativity are famously linked. Every famous painter, sculptor, musician, author or artist (and pretty much everything in between) have always seen time as a bit of a very flexible guideline and never the guide.

Impoliteness and success are often seen together. The high-powered worlds of Finance, Business, Sport and Media can all provide many examples of individuals who were very successful in their chosen field but treated others around them with disdain and contempt.

Most, if not all, large companies and multinational corporations are run by successful businessmen who are very impolite and inconsiderate of their peers. This has been evidenced by many posthumous autobiographies, biographies and historical accounts.

Without going overboard on the names, I’ll name a few: the Walt Disney empire, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, but the list could go on.

Beauty and brains in one package are famously rare. Physical attractiveness and mental capacity are seemingly inversely correlated, with exceptions in rare cases. This one is easy to see and noticeable on any street corner and down every country lane.

Much like creativity and unpunctuality being common allies, so too are laziness and talent. Talented individuals from all walks of life are often seen to be lazy and slow to get going. This has nothing to do with actual reality but is merely a perception of time. 

Talent in conjunction with a willingness to work hard are rare, and when seen together can lead to success, and consequently, a tendency to become impolite.

Last, but certainly not least, we come to objectivity and pragmatism. Objective thought and pragmatism come hand-in-hand.

Individuals with a propensity for objective thought immediately discover an ability to be pragmatic in all their activities. On the flip side, the opposite side of this is Relativity and Emotionality.

The individuals who are inclined to think relatively, and consider what is 'right' and 'wrong' on the basis of their arbitrary emotionally-driven preferences — instead of objective and pragmatic thought — are predisposed to behave in such a fashion in all aspects of life.

This tendency can be seen very often and is usually bundled with statements such as: “that’s your truth, and I’m allowed mine”, or, “that seems right, but I choose not to see it like that”, and one rebuttal that's becoming increasingly common: “It’s my right to decide what the truth of this matter is, according to my feelings and what I'm comfortable with”.

Individuals who utter such nonsense are clearly objectivity-challenged and cannot decipher the difference between 'subjectivity' and 'objectivity' in all things. They are also the types to cling onto obvious fallacies, regardless of the facts being presented. 

For such types of people, if a piece of information doesn't feel right or make them feel good, it cannot be true. If information is coming from a disputed source, it cannot be true. If information is not widely believed and widely known as part of an authoritative consensus, it also cannot be true. 

Be wary of such people as they will persist in attempting to sculpt their nonsensical illusions into reality, but failing on a regular basis and whining about how unfair the world is.

These folks are convinced that everything is relative and nothing can truly be known in an absolute sense, including the physical laws of nature, as well as, metaphysical concepts such as the soul and morality.