Numbers and US

Story that numbers tell us

Is Job designation an intelligence Pill (a placebo)

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A year back while wasting time on Netflix, I discovered  “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’. I watched couple of episodes, and was hooked on it. Though, I kept thinking that this show has low-class humor, and I wondered why did I like it?

I recommended the show to my friends. Without fail I pointed out to them that it has low-class jokes, and I don’t like the fact that I like it so much. After a week or two, I ended up reading about the show in Wikipedia, and discovered it was getting compared to Seinfeld. I liked Seinfeld, the moment I laid my eyes on it, and I liked the fact that I liked it. After all, it was a show about nothing! I thought again about “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, and collected feedback from friends about it, and decided that it’s a good show, and I don’t have to dislike myself for liking it.

So, now the 9th season is on, and there is an episode, “Flowers for Charlie“. In that episode two scientist who had developed an intelligence pill, selects Charlie as a lab rat considering the fact that he has intelligence of a rat. After taking intelligence pill, Charlie starts reading Tolstoy and Shakespeare and Hawking, denies doing any menial work in the pub, and realizes his friends are utterly stupid.  He was able to look at the real waitress too. An inane and crackpot girl, who he can’t understand why thought as love of his life for last eight seasons.

After taking all those intelligence pills, Charlie  presents the research that he claims is going to revolutionize the human society; everyone in the room is dumbfounded.

As an explanation of his stupid, Charlie-like research, the two scientists unravel that Charlie was getting placebo not the intelligence pill.

While explaining their findings both scientists show below chart. I am wondering, does that apply to corporate world?

Notice, how his arrogance increases even without increase in intelligence or knowledge.

Charlie's Arrogance

Since, now it’s a widely accepted fact that ‘It’s always Sunny in Philadelphia’ is like Seinfeld – a show about nothing, we can extract any intelligent insight we want to get out of it. I wonder whether designations or promotions in corporate world, in reality,  turns out to be placebo of  intelligence pill for most of the folks.

Of course, not everyone follows the path shown in the chart. In fact, like what analytic professionals are  striving to  apply in all walks of business, every individual might have different path. One chart like below exists for everyone at every moment of one’s professional life. Please notice the line item for ‘political awareness’ also, it means that ‘real’ knowledge might not increase significantly as we go in hierarchy, but ‘political  awareness’ certainly increases. Sometime we confound it with ‘real’ knowledge. Keeping Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ in context, ‘political awareness’ is what elite class flaunts as a sword over proletariat class, and proletariat class never realizes that the sword is made of  foam  that has color of iron throne.

Though, in general, lets also not discount that generally average intelligence increases as we go up the ladder. ‘A man rises up to the level of his incompetence’ is a nugget of wisdom I got from CEO of last company I worked for, and rings true to my ear the more I think about it.

Nonetheless, we have to agree that, some of us , some of the time ,are like Charlie.

its sunny 3


Written by SK

November 20, 2013 at 5:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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