If you read my Mad Genius book, you’ll probably fondly remember the chapter about The MYSTERIOUS PEOPLE in charge of THE SECRET SYSTEM THAT RUNS THE WORLD. I’m still fascinated by the topic of cultural craziness and devoted a recent Friday Filosophy newsletter to it. Nietzsche famously said, “Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.” And that my friend, is stone cold truth. Perfectly sane people gather in a group and things go crazy. Here’s the thing you must understand…
Collectively we are all more intelligent than we are individually. And collectively, we are more delusional and insane than we are individually. Take the 15 brightest people at your company and put them in a committee. The group IQ goes down 15 points. Take 100 of the brightest minds on the planet. Put them in a Facebook group and you’ll see interactions you’d expect from 5th graders.
Organized religion is bat shit crazy. You couldn’t make our education system crazier if you tried. Look at the self-destructive, anti-people actions of the political parties in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Europe. Look at how easily sophisticated, intelligent journalists are manipulated and trolled. How many dynamic startup founders build something brilliant, and then fall into conventional, play-it-safe dogma and lose their edge.
So before you change yourself to fit in, be normal, or seek acceptance from the herd, you might want to rethink that. Don’t let anyone drive you crazy when you can walk there anyway.