The Four Minute Mile

Roger Bannister was the first person on record to break the 4-minute mile. It became a psychological breakthrough, demonstrating to all that the feat was possible. The very next year three runners broke the 4-minute mile in a single race. Knowing that it was humanly possible to run a mile in under 4 minutes, people began to train more intelligently to join the club. Now it’s common.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is today’s political Bannister. Under 30 years old, and she’s breaking barriers. AOC shows that maturity matters in politics…not age. The amount of information and social activity we’re engaged in is exponentially greater than previous generations. AOC has 2.5 million followers on Instagram. She’s entered her political career with far greater influence than any freshman politician prior. We’re training differently.

Amazing. Ain’t about her politics. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shows focus.

Bill Gates. Warren Buffett. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

[article] Warren Buffett and Bill Gates’s Top Secret to Success

Role models can have different views…but they all have the same disposition.

Emotional Intelligence

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was getting everyone to believe in “emotional intelligence.” You don’t have it. It doesn’t exist. Only in a self-aggrandizing society which glorifies charisma over character does a notion of intelligence quotients to emotion become a thing.

“Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.” (Psychology Today). And, it’s a corporate concept for “I won’t be myself and I’ll help you not be also.”

Identifying emotions is simple. There’s 7 – surprise, fear, disgust, anger, happiness, sadness, and contempt.

You win a million dollars. Surprise. Are you intelligent now?

You jump out of an airplane. Fear. How intelligent is the parachute?

This dog…

Definitely a good boy…but emotionally intelligent or merely responsive?

The expression of these 7 base emotions are an innate universal human behavior. All humans show the same facial expressions for surprise, fear, disgust, anger, happiness, sadness, and contempt. It’s so core to our being that we literally see emotion everywhere:

You see and know emotion at a physiological level. Instinct does not denote intelligence. And there’s no “managing” emotions, neither for oneself or others. We experience. We reflect. We move on.

The major message behind the concept of emotional intelligence should be to incite each other to pay attention again. Learn each other’s stories. Look at each other and experience each other’s happiness. Reflect on each other’s sadness, not your own. Note a moment of contempt and move on. We’re not to manage…we’re to be aware.

I loathe the thought of “emotional intelligence.” It gives false self-confidence and pressures us to hide our emotions as well as manipulate the emotions of others. It makes us unauthentic.

[Assume Witty Title]

Looks like I didn’t publish here at all in 2018.

Anyway…wtf WordPress?! Your word editor is shit. NEVER spackle over the canvas. This platform is supposed to be for writing. When writing, we want to see the entire text and sprawling layout. I appreciate your helpful intent. You’re in the way.

For example…

turrible.

Your palette buttons are hovering over the sentences.

I need to see all my text at all times. Always. Every word is a stroke on the canvas. I monitor every past word as I plot the next stroke. If you and I were actors playing out a scene, you’z talkin over my lines!

My Dear WordPress, I say this as old friends. Get off the field! There’s a game playing in the middle, so keep your craft services at the sidelines. I also lost tremendously in fantasy football. Sorry to take it out on you. We cool bro. But fix your shit. And, we cool.

The Correct Words

what you meant to say…

We’re bonded by a common language.  So here are a few words you’ve been using wrong:

Anti-social

What you meant to say is “asocial”.  Anti-social is sociopathy; it’s a mental condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong, and ignores the feelings of others.  Asocial means lacking motivation for social interaction.  George McFly was asocial.  Biff Tannen was anti-social.

Prolific

You probably meant to say “prominent.”  Prolific means plentiful…as in large numbers or quantities.  Prominent means important, famous, or widely and popularly known.  Bunnies are prolific.  Bugs Bunny is prominent.

Nice

Ladies, what you meant to say is “Thanks.  You seem like a good person, and I hope in no uncertain terms you misconstrue my gratitude and acknowledgement of your overall decency as any minute sexual attraction in you or even the most minuscule desire to closen our passerby interaction beyond mere cordial strangers.”  Nice is characterized by great accuracy, precision, skill, or delicacy.  A Michelin star assortment of sushi is nice.  I am a good person.

The Beauty Premium

Markus M. Mobius and Tanya S. Rosenblat researched the effect of an employee’s physical attractiveness to their wage – simply coined, “the beauty premium.”  Here’s their abstract:

     We decompose the beauty premium in an experimental labor market where ‘employers’ determine wages of ‘workers’ who perform a maze-solving task. This task requires a true skill which we show to be unaffected by physical attractiveness.  We find a sizable beauty premium and can identify three transmission channels.  (1) Physically-attractive workers are more confident and higher confidence increase wages.  (2) For a given level of confidence, physically-attractive workers are (wrongly) considered more able by employers.  (3) Controlling for worker confidence, physically-attractive workers have oral skills (such as communication and social skills) that raise their wages when they interact with employers.  Our methodology can be adopted to study the sources of discriminatory pay differentials in other settings.

To establish a common understanding, “what makes someone beautiful?”  The most common and simplistic objective definition of beauty is facial symmetry.  A centered and straight vertical line down one’s forehead to chin should evenly intersect the mid-point between the eyes, tip of nose, and lips.  And with the left and right halves of the face divided, each half should be an exact mirrored copy of the other half.  A beautiful face is symmetrical – centered and mirrored.

Mobius & Rosenblat differed in their approach to measuring or scaling for facial beauty.  Rather than quantify and baseline against rulered ratios for a person’s facial symmetry, they had 50 evaluators rate a person’s headshot on a scale from 1 to 5 (plain to above average beautiful).  This qualitative method for rating a person’s “hot or not-ness” is vulnerable to cultural bias and preference.  Since their baseline is an unreliable measure for the common and objective definition of facial beauty, what did they actually study if it wasn’t beauty?

Attractiveness.

Beauty is a flower to a human.  It’s neat even at a distance.  Attractiveness is a flower to a bee.  It’s inviting and draws one in.  Mobius & Rosenblat’s “beauty premium” only determines that attractiveness is synonymous with confidence; and high degrees of confidence can lead to increased wages.

We have a confidence premium…with a problem.

David Dunning and Justin Kruger’s Nobel Prize winning research on confidence discovered a strong correlation between overconfidence and incompetence.  People who are not skilled in a particular area tend to overestimate their competence, whereas people with developed skill and training tend to underestimate their level of competence.  Quoting Charles Darwin, “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

An ignoramus is ignorant of their ignorance.  Dunning & Kruger argue that “when people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it.”

As we sensualize and empower confidence, we also erode empathy.  Jeremy Hogeveen, Michael Inzlicht, and Sukhvinder S. Obhi studied how people primed to be powerful demonstrate lowered activation in the human mirror system.  The powerful show reduced levels of even mentally mirroring other people’s actions, a key indication of empathy.  They lose the ability to imagine life in another person’s shoes.  Powerful individuals ignore “peripheral” information in social settings, thereby diminishing the ability to empathize as well as deteriorating social intelligence.

We think confidence is attractive.  Yet, confidence is led by incompetence.  We enrich and empower confident individuals.  And this power reduces their empathy and social intelligence.

Here in lies our cultural slide.

Confidence is not a virtue or principle.  Confidence is conceit.  The magnetic virtue in us is courage – acting in principle despite fear, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.  We mistake confidence for courage and end ourselves seduced by those who are destined to grow unaware of their own incompetence, base their socialization on shallow stereotyping of groups rather than seek individuating information about new partners, and lack the ability to take the visual, cognitive, and emotional perspectives of others.

 

References:
Why Beauty Matters – Markus M. Mobius and Tanya S. Rosenblat (2005)

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments – Justin Kruger and David Dunning (1999)

Power Changes How the Brain Responds to Others – Jeremy Hogeveen, Michael Inzlicht, and Sukhvinder S. Obhi (2014)