We are all special - Beautiful Delusions

in #philosophy4 years ago (edited)
I keep on reading about people who are concerned of the fact that "steem" seems to be a popularity contest. I totally get it, I mean, most of us have a collection of experiences dating back to school days, and the negative hot cognition no doubt comes from those days. I submit to you however the outrageous possibility that the thing we are reactionary to reject, might actually be a good thing.

We are all special

The beautiful idea that every single human is special, powerful, valuable is an amazing goal to strive for and a spiritual compass to always keep in mind. I say all this knowing full well that defining the lines, attempting to add nuance to this conversation seems to always trigger the the most self righteous among us.

It's my personal belief that no one who has spent considerable time thinking about this subject with a lens of honesty can or at least should hold this idea to be immutable truth. The concept itself crumbles before the sentence is over, thus making the logical impossibility blatantly apparent. To have some fun with this conversation and to drive my point home, allow me to present some statements using the same logic:

  • "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." - George Orwell
  • "It will always be the same, except when its not" - Unknown author
  • "I distinctly remember forgetting that." - Clara Barton

I hope my silly point is becoming a little more clear. We all believe we can detect and avoid contradictions, oxymorons as we know them to be called, yet most of us struggle to function without adopting one or two into our very own moral fabric. The idea that we are all special, that we all deserve special recognition, etc is both beautiful and completely illogical.

My buddy Pareto

Proposes the idea that most things in life are not distributed equally. It's also important to point out that the Pareto Principle is not a law, but a rule and like many other things in the observable nature, it has exceptions to it. It seems however to be mostly true, or at least this has also been my observable experience.

  • 20% of the input creates 80% of the result
  • 20% of the workers produce 80% of the result
  • 20% of the customers create 80% of the revenue
  • 20% of the software bugs cause 80% of the crashes
  • 20% of the features cause 80% of the usage

And the list can continue like this until we are all blue in the face. In very beginning however, the Pareto Principle referred to the observation that 80% of Italy’s wealth belonged to only 20% of the population. Upon reading further into the matter, it seems obvious to me that the numbers are not absolutes, but more like guidelines that manage to bring needed attention to observable phenomena.

In conclusion

Most of us won't be that remarkable, and that observation does not mean we should give up or be depressed about it. I know it seems a bit out of place for me to talk about the "reasons why not to try" but If that is what you got out of this post, I must apologize and try to do a better job at explaining myself next time.

The main point I'm trying to make is that only things that are difficult to accomplish can be valuable to us sapiens, that nothing easy is truly appreciated or at least not in more permanent way. So when we read/hear other people say, this is hard, this is too difficult, nobody can do it, its rigged, we are given a choice, a powerful choice. We have to ask ourselves one question:

Am I willing pay the cost to be in the 20%?

Other posts by yours truly

• At this time?
• First pit stop
• On our way to St Pete, look at them beaches..
• Do you need a niche? - Thoughts on "making it" on Steem
• In the name of the Benjamis - Audio version


20% of this post made 80% of the sense. :P

hahahahah I'm sure it did... btw the other day I ran into this conversation.

I think by steemian standards, its vintage.

I remember that conversation. I was actually going to write a little bit about a similar topic last week but didn't get around to it. Sorry for only being able to give you 6 cents, I will make up for it now :)

Equality is one of the great lies of our time. Ideally we strive for equality under the law, but we, obviously, are not equal in talents, skills, abilities, looks, physical traits, character, etc. And thank God we are not equal. Think what a boring homogenized lump of mediocrity we'd be. Unfortunately, the 90% who come to Steemit and bail out have largely reduced themselves to a pretty low level of mediocrity. Or, so it seems to me. Of course, not all but many. Enjoyed your post. Look forward to more.

Some people take offense to this level of honesty... I find it refreshing... We should never argue for the equality of outcome, only for equal opportunity. If there is something that needs constant adjusting, constant vigilance would be the systems we operate in. if at anytime they don't promote equal opportunity then we must change them.

Yes, I guess that's one of the things that irks me about the behavior of some of those who abuse the Steemit system... apparently they believe they are above the rest of us. They create an inequality of opportunity. Hope that made sense.

It makes perfect sense... I have high expectations for the updates to come, I think that SMT's and Oracles might fix a few of these issues. I don't think it will ever be perfect, but certainly better than it is today.

Dang! I hate revealing my ignorance, but what or who are the Oracles? Not Witnesses, correct?

An oversimplified explanation would be that Oracles would be leaders of the communities running on SMT's. They would be elected by the community, very much in the way witnesses are.

They would have the ability to set parameters, for the community. Remove the ability for abusers to make any income, modifying the way upvotes work, etc.

Ok. Gotcha. @eco-alex comes to mind. He has done exactly that. Makes good sense, but there is the danger that those wanting to be part of the community will conform in what they post and even present themselves to be. Humans! What a messy existence we create!

Interesting ! I feel that the same thing happens in Steemit . I resteemed this article. Are you photographer ?

I'm a musician who enjoys playing with a camera from time to time, but not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination.

I see. I like music, but there are times when I feel musicians like philosophers.

Music is a type of philosophy imo... at least in a practical sense it is... I certainly find value in songwriting as a way to channel my somewhat philosophical thoughts.

Found you via @saywha, love your writing and themes... big comic and comic original art collector here. Upvoted and followed!

The title is so interesting.
Even though I had no idea while reading the beginning of the text, at the end I was laughing so hard for accepting the whole idea.
This is terribly awesome writing.

Thank you for reading... I try to add humor to serious conversations, so the fact that you laughed must mean I did something right.


And sometimes I have a bad habit for laughing at serious moment. :D

The main point I try to make is that only things that are difficult to achieve can be valuable to us sapiens, that nothing easy is really appreciated or at least not more permanently. So, when we read/hear other people say, this is difficult, this is too difficult, no one can do it, it is rigged, we are given a choice, a powerful choice. We have to ask ourselves a question:
Am I willing to pay the cost of being at 20%?

While it is true that we are all equal and special, what would be the option to stand out? you always have to give a little more even if it costs, it's the way to get a distinction, it happens in school, at work, in steemit and even in love, the guy who dedicated himself to me, was the one who won my heart, that's why, leaving the comfort zone is a jump to success and there is no better reward than winning something you know you deserve for all the effort you put into it! nothing that falls on your feet, will have for you the value of something that you won with effort, good reflection, happy night.

I'm glad you enjoyed the read... you hit some key points there regarding merit & love.

That cartoon is hilarious! And the post is great, as always :-) The 80/20 rule is an observable phenomenon, and since it's a much repeated observation it classifies as "science". This had just given me the idea for one of my next posts!

And yes; there'll always be leaders and followers among any social creatures. And that's a good thing, as long as they don't become rulers and servants... The followers are the ones that grant the leaders their position and most best leaders are those who don't want to lead, but are "thrust upon the throne" by those who believe in her/him.

Great post, @meno!

The cartoon does bring the point home huh? hahahhah

Does that also mean that 20 % of the population have 80 % of the brain power? And 80 % have 20 % of the brain power? And the consensus is lead by those 80 % ?


Suddenly a lot makes sense ...

You know, I suspect you are half way joking, but you might be right on the money on this one...

Years ago I was worried about the existence of this law of which you speak in your post. Today I do not pay much attention to that, and I work hard to become someone "important", in terms of what impact I am creating in the world...

One of the things that I think everyone should be doing is to practice philosophy, I define philosophy as an appeal to knowledge, to be able to ask ourselves and others if our paradigms are correct.

Looking at philosophy from that point of view, we enter into the subjectivity field, and a few questions come to my mind.

  • Is it important to be special?
  • Special for who?
  • Is it more important to be special to others, or to myself?

I think the big problem is the lack of awareness about our own lives, many of us want to become important, special, but as you say, few are willing to pay the price ...

Since paying the price implies going through difficult situations and instability, leaving the comfort zone.

Maybe there is a law capable of measuring or conceiving how much time / work a person needs to go from the 80% to 20% ...

Excellent questions my friend, and definitely questions that I've asked myself as well... the answers are completely personal, no doubt.

Regarding work... 80/20 applies very much so to wealth building and from what I've gathered people who are highly successful on that field operate with it too.

Spend 80% of your time working on your needed on what pays the bills
spend 20% of your time building wealth.

I've been told that before as advice...

I like your idea of being philosophers or practicing philosophy. And, indeed, most (the 80% ?) do not ask penetrating questions of themselves or anyone else. They, largely, remain unaware... or could I even say, ignorant. Unfortunately, it is these who march off to war, who do as their masters tell them, who so enthusiastically adopt the language of political correctness, who become dependent upon a paternal government. One of the great challenges of the 20% is in how we view the 80% and how we view ourselves in comparison. Add to these two very general categories an additional 1-3% who are the "Alphas", the Elite, if you will, and then we have what we see in the world today. So, yes, we may ask questions, which is a very good thing, but hopefully we can answer them too. Blessings.

I am proudly unremarkable


Do you really feel that way? I don't think any of us would want to feel this way...

I’m being bit Facetious. We are all remarkable in some way, just found in life that those that think they are remarkable are usually not. I rate unobtrusive remarkableness if that makes sense

it does actually and the mere thought is mental candy to me for its apparent but not true contradiction.

Does it always stay at 20%? Does it mean the 20% is replaceable? What if there is an increase? Does that mean the 20% will become better to create a new 20%? Is it possible there is a decrease or increase in both percentages? Oh, I see. There are exceptions and the numbers are not absolute.

Why are there more questions? Do I know what I am even asking about? lol!

I think the goal of philosophy is not to arrive to absolute conclusions but to make us think outside the box in the search of perspective. So its a good think to have questions, its a great think to ask them and its a powerful thing to recognize that we don't know something.

It is comforting though to have something to hold on to and something to believe in. The unknown and unanswerable questions can be bothersome and creates fear and anxiety.

Yes of course, brilliant observation of the human condition.

It is not special to be special, but everyone is special. There, that fixes it!

that's comically and logically sound! ha!

your writing is alwayes awesome sir....

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