From wisdom of one to wisdom of many

My first sport club at age 7 was a chess club. It was almost 40 years ago and provide me many life lessons. These two were most important – chess game teach me to plan few steps ahead and respect person that play against you. These lessons helped  literally everywhere – when I served in Russian and in Israeli army, visited criminal quarters of Atlanta, New Orleans and Capetown, talked with Russian gangsters or when simply made strategic steps that changed my whole life. It always paid back. I felt pretty satisfied with my intellectual capabilities surrounded by smart and nice hi tech people. Thus two things change my understanding on what’s going on. First one was new position when often I was need to communicate news with mass of people around the world. It was big surprise for me that almost each one understand simple written text on its own way and it was first hint how people see thing differently. The second one was my habit to read comments to articles in different web sites. Sometime i was shocked how people see same fact not just differently but often totally opposite. i started to think whether it good that we -human beign think on so different ways? What make me so angry when people come to different from me conclusions when getting same set of  facts? At this moment management of complex international projects already get me a clue that not always all truth located in my hands. Anyway deeply inside I believed (like many of us) that I know/understand better than average person. That is was changed again.

I’d like to stop there, next post will be about Collective Wisdom in people society and animal tribes that totally changed my understanding what people can do when connect their brains together.

Tell me what you think about  yourself – are smarter than average person you meet in othe office or on the street?

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5 responses to “From wisdom of one to wisdom of many

  1. Gennady, you are raising an interesting issue that points to both your strength(s) as well as your confusion. Thinking a few steps ahead is certainly an advantageous quality to have. Same goes to your realization of possibly having not all answers. Knowing you a bit these are not the only of admirable strengths you have.

    The confusion is evident in your claim, “Anyway deeply inside I believed (like many of us) that I know/understand better than average person. That is was changed again.”

    “Believe” is not a rational arbiter. And the issue is, How do you know that you are right and the other person is wrong? What is the criteria/basis?

    I.e. I love when people disagree with me. This is one of a few ways to challenge/polish my thinking. When a person comes with facts and logic, we can figure who is correct rationally and thus both benefit. As Ayn Rand pointed out in Atlas Shrugged, “When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will benefit.”

    On the other hand, when a person comes with an argument of type, as I often hear lately: 2+2= 27 or “2+2=whatever makes me feel good …” it’s time to look for another challenge to my arguments ;).

    In the end, what resolves the confusion is simple: “prove to me that you are correct” If you can, you are right. If you cannot, you still may be, unless your opponent proved that (s)he is right ;). It’s that simple!

    • Dear Well Informed Optimist – the problem that we all as human being are not rational and full of different non rational believes. Just economic science (science? :)) uses basic postulate that human are rational in their behavior and decisions thus every day we proof that is not right. Take as example powerful advertising industry ($450 billion annual turnover) – all what they do is help us to make emotional and often not rational decisions. And if they would not be successful to do it how this industry became so strong in less than 100 year?

  2. Gennady, the issue you raised is indeed thrilling. I do hope I got it right… This is such and important phase in mankind evolution. Potentially, has many aspects to evaluate and many testing points. Where do you start ? I’ll talk about me, unwilling to admit I consider my self wise. Since I turned 40 (almost 20 years ago) I strongly believe that our brain changes and acts differently. Our personality and thus our perspective changes. Our filters are different, our views are measured accordingly. I find them more sensitive yet balanced. This allows a fresh look on our surroundings, which was differently viewed and judged by us not very long ago. How do you compare yourself ? What would be your reference point ?
    I must say – yes, there are people pissing me off. People who are so Self-centered, who like to hear their own voice and therefore, are not open to anything. This is while there are others supper-sensitive human beings that see and feel all the little minute details that make life and the world so special. Are they considered smart ? Where does their emotional intelligence put them ?

    • Dear Orit, so many important questions in your comment, I even do not try to answer all them now, each one deserve separate discussion. I’ll continue to describe my way to wisdom of many in my next blog and hope you will became part of this interest journey. Just one note – unlike others I like to talk with self-centric people because at these moments I feel myself a Western Wall 🙂

  3. Very interesting post, i even recommend to start teaching strategic thinking and people communication at school

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