Answer on @Quora by Brandon Lee to How can we create a global epidemic of increased intelligence, altruism, and bene…
Answer by Brandon Lee:
I think Auren made a great observation about in-sourcing core beliefs. But that seems like a huge uphill climb. Getting the vast majority of people to wake up and think for themselves is a HUGE challenge that I've pondered for the last 5 years and I'm not sure that's a viable solution (it's difficult to sustain that effort in the long run, IMO). I fully agree with the premise and would love to see it happen, but perhaps there's an alternative…
There's actually already another strategy that has already been in play for years, albeit in the opposite direction.
Leveraging the outsourcing of core beliefs to our advantage.
There's a reason why so many commercials are filled with famous athletes, musicians, cultural icons, actors, and other prominent figures.
The advertising giants leverage these people to convey to the average person that XYZ product, ABC service, and ZYX activities are OK and normal.
Girls are conditioned to believe very early on that skinny = beautiful.
Boys are conditioned to believe early on that athleticism is celebrated and engineering is… what? What's engineering?
Wearing Beats by Dre is required if you want to be part of the cool kids club, excessive money and being surrounded hot, young women is the epitome of success, and to address this question, getting to the top requires you to be selfish, requires you to cheat, and requires you to only look out for yourself.
It's the people that are in our faces and ears the most who define, for the average person, what is socially accepted and therefore what is socially expected.
Left and right, we hear about scandal, corruption, scams, crackdowns, fines, and controversy.
We expect celebrities to not have lasting relationships.
We expect teenage stars to get corrupted.
We expect corporate greed.
We expect the rich guy to get the hot girl.
We expect that having excessive money will finally mean happiness.
We expect that it's a dog eat dog world and if you don't look out for yourself, no one will.
These things are so expected that no one seems to question whether it makes sense or not or whether it's a sustainable way to approach life.
These things are also what's constantly reported in the media so it seems like that's the current condition of the everything, everywhere — the world at large.
According to the media, bad things are happening everywhere, the world is about to end, we're at the cusp of destroying our planet if nothing changes, and we rarely hear about the good and the advancements that humankind is making.
If the role models that are put in front of us are perpetuating poor core beliefs, then it shouldn't be a surprise when the average person's core belief is just as poor.
If we want an epidemic of increased intelligence, altruism, and benevolence, then I propose that we need to somehow leverage the voices of the media outlets to focus on role models that are living out those core beliefs.
The day that the likes of Elon Musk or Nikola Tesla continually make headlines of world news — that our future is becoming brighter because of extraordinary acts of altruism, radical corporate responsibility and sustainability, and intelligence becoming a driving force for positive social change — is the day that I can see a global epidemic of intelligence, altruism, and benevolence happening.
But as long as we're bombarded with the idea that:
- To become rich, we must screw the other guy (Wall Street, Corporate Controversy)
- Intelligence has little to do with external success (Music and Sports Industry)
- That charity and altruism is merely the step for after you've made your wealth as opposed to a means to create wealth (Millionaire/Billionaire philanthropy)
- Benevolence/kindness is for the weak and that greed is for the strong
… I am not sure that the said epidemic can happen.
For a new epidemic, the media must be hijacked in a new direction. The spotlight needs to be on people who are examples of the core beliefs we wish to perpetuate.
The advertising industry has known this for ages and uses it to lull the average person to mindlessly consume, consume, and consume.
If the right people can be put into strategic places, they can help turn the ship around and lull the average person to mindlessly create, give, serve, and help create a better future for everyone.
How can we create a global epidemic of increased intelligence, altruism, and benevolence?