Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Erwin Schrödinger are all people we might have heard about. They are a select few, in this cataclysmic ensemble we define as reality, to have branded their existences into the eternal bull of history.
Today, I wish to discuss how the concept of great ideas has been snatched away in the last 30 years by the “startup scene”.
I have no inclination to mince my words, I am utterly disgusted by the love the populace has formed for these pseudo-intellectual billionaires and their fanboys.
Jeff Bezos, for instance, is often grandiosely exclaimed as a genius who had superhuman insight into the world of business. Yet, if anyone dares to ask how exactly his idea of developing an internet marketplace is genius, said person will be barraged with insults questioning his/her socio-economic background. As if to say, only the “ingroup” may question the “ingroup”.
This pernicious prophetizing of these pseudointellectuals has induced a brain drain of young bright students into fields that bring forth little or no direct intellectual inquiry.
whereby, can we ever live up to the dreams of our intellectual forefathers if we are busy implementing narrow-minded, profit-seeking ideas?
I say no, Centering a “div” or building “gui’s” for 20 years will never leap us into the world of science fiction. Nor will it satiate the deeper meaning a thinking man yearns for.
For those readers who might retort with “Look at Elon” etc. I reply that even his managerial efforts play little in the grand scheme of things. The refinement of the theoretical models in electric batteries does not flourish in the halls of companies in which wealth is lauded as God. But rather in the messy office of a disgruntled professor, or a Ph.D. student’s coffee-stained creaky desk, or even in a bright-eyed undergrad's messy bedroom.
We must attempt to fight against this redefining of “great”. Uber, Instagram, Facebook, or Amazon aren’t “great ideas” in the historic sense. Rather they are simply a logical progression of the internet, which was a truly great idea.
That said, the true academic world is not luxurious, it pays little and it leaves a bitter taste in most people’s mouths. Its outputs are drowned by criticisms around the application of its theoretical musings.
Furthermore, the common man will not hesitate to ask why a bright person would not enter the buzz fields like Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, FAANG startups, etc.
These questions have been born out of the current ongoing societal manipulation. Successful applications, however minimal, are worshipped as great while pure ideas abhorred and useless.
Nobody supports this hate for theoretical ideas more than the billionaire group. For instance, Jeff has stated
“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution that’s hard”.
No, Jeff, your idea was easy not all ideas.
I will continue this piece hopefully in the future.
What is execution?
The concept of execution over ideas is, at least in my eyes, is defined only through an economic lens. Execution implies the development of a system that has some form of production capacity. It can be understood as the application of theoretical information to garner economic value.
For instance, Jeff’s idea initially begun with “selling books on the internet is profitable” and then the eventual development of amazons which has economic value.
Under this definition, I wouldn’t classify Einstein’s theory on General relativity as execution as it holds no real monetary value. You cannot buy this theory of general relativity although it may lead to economic value.
Now the implementation of GPS can only work if we take into account gravitation time dilation and thus we have garnered economic value from the model developed by Einstein. The model is the idea while GPS is a possible execution of the idea.
What I am attempting to convey is that society, primarily in the last 30–50 years, has morphed from being enchanted with ideas to hating the concept of unexecutable ideas. Now, this isn’t to say execution is bad, far from it, however, it’s only through ignoring application can we truly move forward in any field.
For instance, the idea of escaping earth was theorized mathematically by Newton’s Cannonball experiment. Such an idea is by unexecutable in his time and seen as economically useless, yet provide information for future executeers to use as a basis.
Executions are the result of models built with great ideas. I fear, however, that our young bright minds are being forced to abandon ideas for the mentally barren lucrative fields.
This piece was inspired by the difficulty I had in choosing a PHD..
I have found an inner giant has cursed me to ignore the individually rational goal of money and chase the theoretical musings of humanity.
This is Sarinle, a member of the millennium-old academic industry.