"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Sunday, December 13, 2009


In recent months, Dilip Mukerjea & I have unwittingly entangled ourselves with episodes of stupidity, involving seemingly intelligent professional individuals.

Interestingly, in the process, I have discovered a new term, "agnoiology", which is the study of human ignorance, & more specifically, human stupidity.

Amusingly & appropriately, Dilip likes to use the analogy of thermostat settings to describe the behavioural patterns of those foolish individuals.

According to him, when one has a low thermostat setting, his worldview is often narrow & restricted. He owns what Harvard psychologist Carol Dweck calls a "fixed mindset".

I would even venture to add that such an individual holds a truncated perspective about the world around him. He is more focused on his past failures, & is more likely to peg his challenges as "problems".

In contrast, when one has a higher thermostat setting, his perspective window is often large & wide. He owns what Carol Dweck calls a "growth mindset".

He is more focused on what's possible, & is more likely to peg his challenges as "opportunities".

As a movie buff, I am quickly reminded of a hilarious parody of the great David vs Goliath story to drive home my point:

When Goliath came against the Israelites, the soldiers all thought, "He's so huge, we can never kill him."

Pint-sized David, slingshot in hand, looked at the same giant, & grinned: "He's so huge, how can I miss?"

Nonetheless, Dilip has also concurred with me with regard to observable patterns of people who have low thermostat settings.

You can tell immediately from their functional physiology & language patterns. I will write about these in a separate post. Please stay tuned!

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