From Wired 13.02: Revenge of the Right Brain

Wired 13.02: Revenge of the Right Brain

Daniel H. Pink is quick to reach the conclusion that "In a world upended by outsourcing, deluged with data, and choked with choices, the abilities that matter most are now closer in spirit to the specialties of the right hemisphere - artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing the transcendent. [...] "The causes: Asia, automation, and abundance."

Trying to add a historical dimension of unavoidability to his argument, the author then goes on to identify similarities between his announced transformation of coveted abilities and other(s) in the past--i.e. from physical strength or manual skill to the so called left-brain knowledge workers'.

Mr. Pink, let me acknowledge that the current Western society has incorporated so much intelligence in everything that surrounds its members that even an average-skilled person can operate more than satisfactorily in this society. The problem, you see, is relative to the sustainability of the status-qvo. On one hand, one gets less and less schooled in those left-brain competencies--due to personal-, and systemic-choices. On the other, the type of problems that take most effort to solve require left-brain type of competencies. If we in the US, and elsewhere in the Western world, decide to cultivate the right-brain abilities, at the expense of the left-brain ones, we may hope to achieve a more harmonious society indeed. It is unsure though we'll manage to keep it away from bankruptcy--financial and otherwise.

Just because knowledge may be cheaper elsewhere doesn't mean one has to abandon it for knowledge is power. And it was precisely the power of knowledge that took civilizations up and down, and on, and on. As well, today's value of the green buck is no guarantee in and of itself for its future performance. I think today's value has more to do with those who built it yesterday, and global accounting idiosyncrasies, than with the strength of a society as prophesized by Mr. Pink. Luckily, Grove, Gates, Immelt, and even Orin Hatch, see the future otherwise...

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