I would have with ease chosen the word competence over incompetence, but this one is all about Incompetence and if 2020 was nightmare owing to a pandemic, the next one 2021- will be another pandemic, a pandemic of failing leaders and faltering competence! Join me here as we take a quick look around this bit and try to understand the what is likely to unfold and what is that we can do or not do about it. So here we go!
No matter where you stay and what you do, chances are that either you have been at the receiving end of the societal incompetence issues or you have unwittingly contributed to manifest and accelerate them- only to come back to bite you! Whether it is the problems that you are facing with the meaningless barrage of rules through the pandemic- some of them being absolutely stupid and dumb! or it is about the new found and ever increasing challenges of engaging with more and more dumb people reporting into you and you reporting into- all of this is nothing more but the curtain raiser to the new age of human incompetence that all of us are going to end up embracing in the times ahead! For a few of us that will be a choice to deal with,but for the majority of human kind this is going to be an inescapable nightmare to deal with day in and day out and well, I have not yet added that incompetence creeping into your inner circle of family and friends for as and when that manifests- you will really have no place to hide or run! The only blessing being at least you have a choice to decide on your inner circle and if you end up making the insane choices- it will only go on to speak more about you rather then the people that you have ended up adding to your life!
The plain and simple fact remains that human incompetence is neither rare nor uncommon, in fact it is perhaps the singular trait that binds humanity like none other! Surprised? Well don’t have to be! Each one of us is always working at our levels of acquired incompetence, sure enough none of that is static and levels of incompetence will keep altering based on the dumbness and intelligence that people garner along the way! So how does it all begins and where does this all start? Well read on!
Incompetence is a societal phenomenon- for the simple reason that incompetence doesn’t work or show up in isolation! It is only when there are some agreed and given metrics to which things don’t measure up, is that the whole concept begins to get noticed!Societies too on their part don’t necessarily promote incompetence, but the established norms and agreed way of life and work contribute to a great extent in ensuring that there is a systemic replacement of intelligence with dumbness over a period of time and this is what really acts as a fuel to the fodder of incompetence and believe it or not all of this begins in our homes and schools!
Incompetence is systematically drilled down through schooling and parenting and later on through the so-called work culture to ensure that every valid bit of sanity and intelligence is done away with and people learn to settle for mediocre experiences in all that they get to do! This is why, people settle for the whole “ok” and “will work” or “will do for now” maxim even as they end up paying for a service which is supposed to be “best in class” each and every time! remember the last time you picked up your favorite handset and as it crashed when you rushed to the service centre what that experience was like? Well, chances are you would have received a far different learning about humanity and the whole concept of “smart marketing” would have left you wonder-struck!
You see, the incompetence that you get to witness play out all around you is not a factor of the dumbness of the individual or the collective group think (which again resides on the individual dumbness of people in the group), but rather is a factor of the success rate to which the minds of these people have been numbed to such a point that for everything in the world- they have to and need to only reach out for their favorite web browser and whatever garbage that throws up is the divine gospel of their life! But why does this happen, aren’t people with working minds suppose to be suave and wise? Well, certainly they are supposed to be, but when these very minds are systematically hacked and programmed to think and relate in a templated pattern of recurring and recycled thought patterns, they are never able to see anything original and every attempt to present these blinded minds with meaningful context goes for a toss, simply because these blinded minds are simply unable to latch onto anything original and they are automatically driven towards templated patterns and programmed thoughts. This goes on and on, and over a period of time our very potent minds, ends up just being an execution device rather than being a thinking powerhouse with a substantial loss of the ability to discern ,debate and think the way they should!
As societies strive to create more and more artificial intelligence, the natural intelligence is all but going to be surely wasted and that wasting intelligence often manifests and plays out as incompetence. Competent Leaders often struggle as they get incompetent team members to work along with and often competent workers get walked over when they have incompetent bosses to deal with, and if you are among those lucky yet unfortunate mid-level souls and should be sandwiched between two layers of incompetence above and below- well your life soon enough starts to look like a lunatic asylum from the Hollywood movies and that nightmare is strong enough to shake up even the most resolute and determined people around! Incompetence, as I said earlier need not necessarily mean the absence of intelligence or wit, it simply means the presence of overwhelming inertia to take that effort to do away with the cobwebs of the mind, stand up and question what is being presented and seek alternative pathways! The human mind- being the ardent follower of conservation of energy- relishes on the idea of rest- as long as it does not threaten your existence in the world and that innate hardwired animal brain- has a front row seat to the dumbness and stupidity of your life! This is one reason, why once you grow incrementally wiser, and as you look back at your poor life- you at some point will really stop and wonder- “wtf”, “how could I really do that”, “did I really do that” and so on and so forth!
Incompetence, if you ask me is a lifestyle disease- a dis-ease emerging out of the compelling need of not wanting to use one’s brain and rely on what an online search throws up or what the neighbor’s cat whispers! It is within these alleys that humanity is ending up doing great dis-service to it’s potential- both the individual and collective potential and as the equilibrium of the society keeps moving further and further into the space of being incompetent from being sporadically incompetent to consistently incompetent- societies begin to witness the exodus of the few remaining wise people around- for they realise there’s no medicine to this illness and the only remedy resides in the ability to safeguard their remaining intelligence and wit and apply it in societies and contexts where that would be welcome and rewarded the way to should be!
Societies the world over are progressive or regressive in proportion to their incompetence! As long as societies are able to check the growth and pace of incompetence by staying valid and competent, things are fine and these societies are needless to say innovative and leaders, if and when the equilibrium is altered and incompetence takes a grip, societies begin to experience regression and before that a puzzling stall as far as its directions and aspiration is concerned! So what’s the way forward?
The plain truth remains that the story of human incompetence is a social problem and it is something that we have allowed (willingly/ unwillingly) to grow and manifest both individually or collectively in different areas and spheres of our lives and needless to say this very incompetence then comes back to bite back at us through accidents, mishaps, errors, mistakes and what you have and then there are these two words to describe that space, “human error”. Incompetence is not a factor of someone being un-intelligent or dumb, rather it is a telling sign of intelligence not being used or rather being abused – using what you must for reasons other then what you must use for! You see, technically you can make a potato pickle, but we don’t do that!
To conclude for now, the only thing that we need to always remember is that Incompetence is not the absence of intelligence or with but rather the non-application of it for reasons that could be intrinsic or external. The way to defeat this, is to compel people to think and force thinking to arrive at alternative routes, innovative solutions and only when this approach becomes a new pattern, is that people will be able to stall the onward march of incompetence and ensure that solutions and approaches delivered and applied are always a product of applied intelligence and wit and not artificial intelligence driven by the inertia of incompetence! Sure enough, the times ahead will be more and more cluttered with examples and manifestations of incompetence all around, the only reassuring fact that will prevail within that space will be the beacons of intellect and wisdom shining in between those dim lit areas of humanity where incompetence seems to rule the minds!
I leave you here with these thoughts, urging you to think for a moment, what is that is driving you- is it your inertial incompetence or is it your directed intellect and wit!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article, until then stay wise and stay safe!