For Highly Educated, Highly Skilled, Highly Trained Experts the Curation Myth and the Employment Myth are Two Sides of the Same Coin

If someone is a highly educated, highly skilled, highly trained expert, then they do not really need other people to tell them what to do – they should be able to figure that out themselves. This is especially true in so-called „free market“ economies, where the workings of markets should match up both sides of the business / marketing equation of matching up buyers and sellers.

If you want some boss to decide what other people are supposed to do, then that is not a free market economy at work. It is authoritarianism. It is not much different if you want a curator to figure out what is good vs. what is bad. In the curation scenario, everyone is free to do as they please, then everything gets thrown on the curator’s desk, and the curator decides to throw 99% onto the garbage dump and to put 1% on display at the museum. This is also not a free market economy at work. It’s simply lazy. Nobody besides the curator needs to think about much of anything, and you can get curators fresh out of college for super cheap. This is just like hanging a plaque you found for a song on the wall behind your desk and hoping that no one will notice it doesn’t prove much of anything. The sad result in most cases is that most museums remain empty because people have better things to do than to spend time adoring stuff some museum curator happens to like best.

What would be better than either of these authoritarian systems?

Please note that what I am saying here applies to the case which occurs mostly in the First World – so-called „developed“ economies. One of the basic tenets of economic development – though it is rarely if ever mentioned – has to do with education. If a population is not educated, not skilled, trained or even literate – if the vast majority of a population simply lacks basic literacy skills – then you really do need to tell people what to do. You should not let kindergarden children exit the kindergarden right onto a multi-lane major speedway thoroughfare.

However, if we are talking about a population of college graduates and highly skilled experts – and especially: literate adults – the organizational overhead required to keep such a „developed“ economy running smoothly becomes much smaller. Why? Because people can quickly and easily find solutions to problems, answers to questions and similar task-oriented and market-clearing information with very little cost and no need for dictatorial government or authoritarian, overly hierarchical corporate power.

Ironically, though, in many developed economies today, quite authoritarian governments and hierarchical corporations are trying to force-feed their highly educated stakeholders via propaganda and advertising programs in an attempt to hypnotize very smart people into making choices based rather stupidly on so-called „big data“. The idea is that since machines cost so little to run, it might make more sense to let a machine decide how to run a kindergarden. If „irrational“ children simply run out into the street, can anyone blame the machine for their „irrational“ behavior?

Yes! Machines are technology built by humans. If humans are literate enough to understand the concept „kindergarden“, then they sort of have a social responsibility to engage with this concept. This is not a „corporate social responsibility“ in the sense of being a responsibility that only corporations need to care about. I feel quite the contrary is true: every member of a developed society needs to be held accountable for their share of that economy’s development. If someone were to say „an apple is an orange“, then there is a social responsibility for others to say „no, it isn’t“ – to help correct mistakes and improve the world we live in. If we let randomization dictate our language – which is essentially a type of social capital – then society would crumble into nothing more than a meaningless buzzword.

I would like to end this rather long essay with links to two further resources:

First, please view this great video by a great speaker (Chis Lema) on „How to Avoid Over-Shoot and Lost Profits“ … for an excellent discussion regarding some of the social responsibilities literate experts are expected to shoulder.

Second, for further discussion of what it means to be literate in a highly technologically developed society, please refer to the ongoing series of essays regarding „rational media“ I am currently publishing at remediary.

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