A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world’s champions. -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., novelist (1922-2007) a word a day
Bob Lefsetz had this up as his quote of the day. Vonnegut is right and what is fun about it is that the moderately gifted are now given a means of demonstrating that many of the “world’s champions” are nothing of the sort.
The fact is that the moderately gifted are on both sides – they write the editorials, come up with the policies, teach in the universities; but they also have been given the means to respond.
Before the net, a paper writing some lame editorial would have a couple of letter to the editor (which it would edit); now it has 1029 comments, many of which are pointing out just how lame the editorial was. One or two moderately gifted people are beaten down by a thousand equally gifted people.
Authority per se is a dead letter. The technology Vonnergut describes is profoundly egalitarian and, dare I say it, democratic.
The smartest people in a thousand communities can, and do, tell the metropolis what’s what. Change is afoot.