Right now we’re in the same old American rivalry between brains and brawn. We admire the brainy, but still covet the brawny. At least according to recent college campus polls. More specifically, most guys were still impressed with athleticism while most gals claim they prefer men with wit more than whack.
Polls aside, lets look at what the smart people are doing these days with all their smarts.
Many, like our astrophysicists and geneticists, are taking great leaps into the future. On the other side of the ledger, most technicians seem to be investing their time simply refining the leaps. My favorites are the guys who came up with heated seats, surround sound, and now self-braking for our pricier cars. [Nice, but hardly leap-sized stuff.]
Then there are the flashy creators in Silicon Valley. Having taken giant leaps with their smartphones and iPads, now they’re busy trying to convince us what we really really need are brighter screens, screens that can fold like the newspapers they told us were outmoded, data that is available 10 seconds faster than the last edition, oh and chips that can someday fit into our skulls so we can contemplate our world with our eyes closed [Tibetan gurus have been doing that for centuries].
Lets not forget all the brainy technicians in the R & D departments of our biggest corporations. Not many giant-leaps-for-mankind here, as instead they keep coming up with such glossy glitter as apps for our phones, creams for our jowls, and another dozen concocted colors and fragrances for our bodies [TV’s popular home shopping networks hustle this stuff night after night as if every woman’s dream can be found in a bottle for $49.99 + shipping].
Sounds cynical…? Well, yeah, when what the world really needs now are meds to cure the common cold …. treatments to stop cancer…enough food to keep one-third of the planet’s population fed at night…. programming really worth watching on those screens….and some of the world’s swords at last turned into those plowshares the Bible dreamed about!
The world had a few smart guys like that over the centuries. Only we killed most of them. Which means the smartest person you know hasn’t been born yet.
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