Thursday, December 09, 2010

Knowledge and Human Stupidity

I came across this article - The basic laws of human stupidity - many weeks ago via Twitter (apologies, but I forgot who had tweeted about it. I think it might have been @beastoftraal). It took me a while to find some time to read the entire article as it is a pretty longish one. But believe me, once I started reading it, I just couldn't stop till I was done. It engaged me as much as a ball of thread might engage a curious cat - the whole experience was playful, interesting and thought-provoking. It delighted me, excited me, made me think, reintroduced me to the element of fun in Economics, and had me grinning ear to ear for quite a while. The article has flavours of social economics, psychology, human behaviour and humor. Obviously, I also attempted to relate these laws to the field of knowledge management. More on that later ;-) 


I immediately wanted to share it on this blog but then I kept procrastinating on the pretext of writing something around it rather than just sharing the raw link (for which we anyway have Twitter and FB). But I think I overestimated my creative potential. The more I think of it, the more I am convinced that nothing I can ever say will add value to the brilliance, constructive sarcasm and the subtle joy that the article exudes. It is a perfect essay that leaves no point unexplored and, what's more, every bit of the exploration that the author -  Carlo M. Cipolla - engages in is a total delight to read and contemplate. Trying to interpret or comment on it would be like commenting on, say, the Himalayas. Not easy at all, uh? 


I've become as big a fan of Cipolla as of Wodehouse! :-) It's a pity Cipolla doesn't seem to have capitalized on his sense of humor and awesome thinking to write as many books or 'stories' as Plum did.


From the article link....


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I cannot, of course, avoid saying how I relate this to KM. No, you can't kill me! Shut your eyes if you don't want to read anything on KM. Here's the thing - I think knowledge management's objectives are (or should be) to get people to see the merit of remaining in or moving into the "intelligent" quadrant (you must read the article to understand what I mean) and looking for mutual benefits as both a taker and giver of knowledge.  I think it is a good example of the intention to exhibit human intelligence, as referred to in the article, because it is about yielding a gain to yourself while causing a gain to others as well and, as we know, KM revolves around the combination of sharing, learning and collaborating (working together to achieve something). 


At the risk of sounding somewhat obsessed, pursuing Knowledge Management in its truest sense, I believe, will put us all - in due course of time - in the I (Intelligent) block and help the organization and society as a whole (even though sometimes it may seem like we are in the Helpless block whenever we come across Bandits who only want to use our material but not share anything that they may have created or discovered). :-)

12 comments:

makeshiftconscience said...

Say: "What a small world!"

Nimmy said...

:-) hahahaa. Or "What a huge organization!" ?

Srikumar K said...

We cannot live without stupid people (or at least stupidness). They are the ones who light up our lives and the world. In front of them you forget all your worries. People invite them with both hands. Never mind the losses. If they make damage to our property we suddenly become serious and kick them out. Extreme intelligence has something in common with extreme foolishness. King Lear was accompanied by a fool on his jounney. When I see kathakali in temples I see a lot of improbable things. It takes Bhima 15 minutes to address Panchali by the words "Panchala Raja Thanaye" while sometimes he destroys a whole army in 15 seconds straight. People love it.
The chart which has been given is good and needs to be further studied with reference to different nations, societies etc.

Nimmy said...

That's true SK! The world would indeed be a dull place without its share of stupid people (including me I guess)! :-))

Oh, I just love the chart. I think it can lead to a lot more interesting thoughts, if studied by capable people!

makeshiftconscience said...

Yes. Would we even know if we ran into each other, by accident?

Nimmy said...

I guess not. :-))) Unless you decide to wear a fluorescent attire every day. :-P

makeshiftconscience said...

How bout anyone with a Yellow jacket?

[to self (aside): Fate don't fail me now]

Nimmy said...

:-) Yellow Jacket, ahoy!

makeshiftconscience said...

So, you work the night shift?

Nimmy said...

Oops. I am so sorry MSC! This comment had somehow gone into the SPAM folder! I just happened to be deleting messages in the SPAM folder and discovered this and many other blog comments in there! :-(

Nope. Me in the regular 9 to 5 slot! :-)

makeshiftconscience said...

Hmm.

So,your going to the Indiblogger-meet in Bangalore next sunday?

Nimmy said...

Nah...I rarely make it to such events. Takes a lot to get me out of the house during the weekends! :-P But I guess it will be fun if I can make it.....hmmmm