computerless musings in six parts.

Part one, an explanation of several things at once: My computer is broken, so blogging doesn’t happen very frequently, but my phone is functional so I’ve been watching vlogbrothers and I like their use of parts, and also I’ve got scraps of drafts saved from since my computer broke, so I’ll just do a short expansion on all of those now that I’ve finally got a free hour.

Part two, the perpetuation of bullshit also known as the devaluation of education.

Sadly, the beginner’s level courses I’ve been taking in Sweden are kind of more rigorous than anything I took in my first two years of university education at home in the US, in the sense that I am in fact forced to know what I’m talking about. However, it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that business education is largely a synthesis of common sense and bullshit. (Sam summed it up well when he said, “Management and HR are just how to relate good parenting to a business setting,” and I have long believed that marketing is little more than an attempt to create a science out of human nature, which according to its very nature – ha – is unquantifiable, unpredictable and uncategorizable, which is what gives us literature and art.) I’ve learned to use some buzzwords correctly. For instance, I know what is (technically) meant by global markets and global integration now, and I can theoretically talk intelligently about cross-cultural risk and segmentation of consumers for effective marketing.

However, I don’t think that means much.

Not because these terms mean nothing. They do. But because I’ve used them before. (Well, not these exact terms, but something similar.) I used these terms before I knew what they meant.

And, especially since the Internet, everybody does that.

I worry slightly about what making information completely public does to its value. If everybody can get at something, its uniqueness decreases dramatically. Don’t get me wrong, some information is kind of vital to everyone. But – and this is kind of related to another soapbox I have about making college degrees worthless by insisting that everyone has one in order to succeed in the workplace – I dislike the idea that an education will begin to mean nothing because everyone is now capable of using these buzzwords incorrectly. Yes, we have a great wealth of knowledge as a species, but it should be respected. And frankly, the more I read the more I discover I need to read, the more I know the more there seems to be to know. The Internet’s stamp of YOU READ A SINGLE THING YOU ARE NOW AN EXPERT needs to go. It’s not helping anything.

Part three, anomalies. My professor said that entrepreneurs and people who succeed are those people who embrace the anomalies, face them, make something out of them. As someone who likes routine, I thought it was a cool perspective.

Part four, why I hate the social justice movement.

You what? You hate the social justice movement.

Yes. On a very deep level.

Here’s the thing (and I wrote about this to an extent when I talked about the Bill Cosby scandals here). I’ll use a specific example that I saw more recently on Tumblr about Luke Conrad, a YouTube person who has been accused of multiple rapes and of being very manipulative to his girlfriends. Anyway, somebody was talking about hating a different YouTuber, one who was not involved romantically with Conrad, because she had ‘defended’ him. Another person said the defending YouTuber simply asked people to stop judging Conrad without facts. Somewhere farther down this comment thread came the one that made me want to write about it: “Luke Conrad is a rapist. He doesn’t deserve to be left alone.”

Everybody slow down.

He doesn’t deserve to be left alone.

Who said this? Some Tumblr user.

Some Tumblr user.

There’s no guarantee this person has a law degree. There’s no guarantee this person has a respected opinion on truth, fairness or, ironically, justice. None of that is guaranteed.

So why does this Tumblr user get to say what Luke Conrad deserves and doesn’t?

Here’s my problem with the social justice movement: it makes gods out of ordinary people.

(To be clear, the idea is not that those people who are being fought for become gods. The people who are fighting become gods.)

Listen here, anonymous Tumblr user. What Luke Conrad deserves is not up to you unless you were a direct victim of it. His punishment is between him, the deities he feels responsible to, and the people he hurt. Being vindictive towards people who have messed up doesn’t make you a good person. It makes you vindictive. It makes you unmerciful. It makes you look hungry to see people hurt. It perpetuates the cycle you are so interested in ending.

I don’t disagree that crimes deserve punishment. But in most cases, it is not my job to punish the perpetrator. I saw a video long ago that really hit me, and it was about how the thirst for revenge shows that you don’t trust God to do his job. And whether you like God or not, what goes around comes around. By trying to punish Luke Conrad or anyone else, you are only inviting punishment yourself. Trust the universe, it’ll take care of what people deserve better than you can. Take some steps back, a few deep breaths, a long bath.  You do not rule the world, and you don’t want to anyway.

Part five, an artist’s soul.

I remember a while back there was a Humans of New York post about a girl who was an artist (a painter?). She showed one of her paintings to her mother, who asked what it meant. The girl tried to explain a little of the thought behind it. Her mother looked at her and said, “Did we not love you enough?”

I wondered about that, as someone who is trying to turn words into art, and it’s already begun. By wondering if love stops in the middle when you’re angry only to pick back up when you forgive someone, I hurt my boyfriend. In fairness to me, I’ve since articulated that love is the undercurrent during the argument where you know that no matter how many times it occurs to you that it’d be easier just to quit, you won’t do it. But when I write about the questions I have about love, will that look to my loved people as though I am questioning their love for me or mine for them? I’m not (usually). It’s a deeper universe question. How do I express that? I don’t know.

Part six, that’s it.

 

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