Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gullibility Of The Educated

Individuals educated in the scientific methods deviate from the crowd in thought process toward life’s problems and solutions in general. By means of higher knowledge, logic plays a more significant role instead of emotions.

Having spent years of studying mathematics, chemistry, physics, along with sociology, literature, etc., we understand more of the universe compared to the layman. Yet it still does not offer complete control over emotions. As result, we end up with mounting pride over time.

The above makes us vulnerable to a particular scheme of influence. Those in the sales industry coin it “the way to fool smart people...” (Paraphrased), and they attempt it on educated folks like you and me every single day.

Big, technical jargons.

The so-called sales experts demand credibility as they spew out random, nonsensical crap as the gist of this strategy. Pride prevents “smart” people from questioning unknown terms because doing so would risk being seen as slow or dim. As a consequence, the following sentiment emerges, “I’m very intelligent, and if I can’t understand him, he must be smarter than even me therefore he MUST be right!”

I have seen it happen in real time at a bank. An investment advisor lectured at a mid-aged, clean cut dressed couple. He wanted to recommend several funds, and he started talking very technical with words like “Sharpe Ratio”, “quantitative analysis”, “Dynamic hedging”, “Volatility Indexes” and etc. The couple just sat there staring at him wide eyed and never uttered a single word. They ended up “happy” customers, for that day.

Now the solution. Make the decision today, to deeply understand anything that could affect your life significantly, this includes finances. If an investment or business opportunity becomes offered, remind yourself that there is no need to rush into it that day. Take some time and learn the ropes. Work the numbers out, and see the opportunities and risks as they really exist. You will realize that many investment funds actually operate via negative expectancy, and they rely on clients as “suckers” to profit off the fees.

Becoming impervious to this tactic takes effort. Work becomes required in research and calculations. (Having profound understanding in mathematics had helped me greatly staying focused on logic rather than the emotion of pride.) One must let go of the ego, something built up over the years or even decades. Ask for clarifications, staying shy really hurts. When it comes down to it, losing a chunk of your time and wealth remains a dire consequence of staying quietly perplexed.

A difficult task, but that has never stopped you before has it? Nobody said life is supposed to be easy.

As Featured On Ezine Articles

1 Reflections:

Malice Blackheart said...

I agree with everything you said, because you used big words like “nonsensical” and “clarifications.” You must be smart.
Seriously though, I like that. I see far too many people nodding their head when its clear they’re completely out of their depth. And they make this face like they’re really interested, but you know they’re trying to cover it up, like when a cat runs away, and then sniffs some stupid thing as if to say, “I wasn’t scared. I’m just really intrigued by the scent of… what is that, borax?”