Sounding Smart is Easy
I’m personally vulnerable to coming off as a smart individual. Whenever people see me talk, they do think I’ve my priorities sorted out and know what I’m doing.
Honestly, I’m just as confused as every other 22 year old out there trying to figure out where to channel all that ambition they harbor. A good anchor that helps me in carrying my present circumstances with me when I’m day dreaming is the habit of reading diverse content that varies across a huge time span(I don’t do fiction).
Consuming only recently authored content is a mistake that many who want to stay in the know make. I personally have a distaste for current affairs because of all the misinterpretation that goes into it: you never know what is really happening and can only react based on someone else portraying what someone else might be experiencing. That’s a little too many points of failures for effective communication.
Reading ancient texts is something that does help one see the bigger picture but they can pull you out of the present and make you somewhat of an outcast. Again, if you do wish to build good stuff, you’ll need to meet competent people that are alive and not just documented accounts of great people.
Podcasts are a great way to fit in content whenever one’s on the move but they can never compete with the depth that a good book provides. One’s the result of careful thought over a much longer duration and the other is an over the top skim of something potentially much deeper than it is being portrayed right now.
The human brain, at least mine, does catch on to the domain specific jargon being employed pretty quickly and it makes it much easier for me to throw words around that I don’t grasp with credible depth.
This is why I throw around disclaimers about being inexperienced in a particular domain whenever engaging in a conversation beyond what I’ve read; It’s always good to be safe rather than ashamed in terms of what you claim to know.
The problem is that most people look for direct orders rather than appropriate reasoning to go along with it whenever they make decisions regarding a domain they haven’t explored personally. Now, in the short term, you may be saving up on time, but in the long term, you sacrifice your intellectual independence - you may be forced to fill in a trust vacuum later on for your sources of information.
Given that it is scarce to find a source that doesn’t work for symbolic profit, one can always fall prey to the lexical halo effect.
The human mind is socially-engineerable into thinking an idea/entity is worth significantly more than it’s approximately real value by marketing tricks and leveraging one’s not so cognizant affinity towards things that look good.
A principle reason for this is the unconscious malicious use of one of the core principles of rhetoric : repetition.
Given any creation can be propagated easily via social media these days, it’s quite possible that one could misuse such platforms to forcefully align the sentiments of the masses to create movements that might be based on very superficial assumptions.
Immunizing myself from these sentiment cycles is a priority for me because they range from the trends that are a distraction from getting some real work done, investment advice that could be a big pump and dump under the hood, movements that you can’t do much about to help forward but only nod in agreement and share an unnecessary stress, hype about some new symbolic progress in a domain that you had nothing to do with and won’t affect your life in any way whatsoever, and on and on…
This is why I’m choosing to cut down my sources of information and definitely avoiding any current affairs stuff. I anyway will only be participating in some fundamental investments and don’t need to follow the market. While selecting these sources, I go for wisdom adapted to modern times instead of some research backed but untested idea that doesn’t have an effect on my life for the moment being.
At last, it’s the execution and follow-through of an idea that matters more than the conception itself. In my pursuit of being creative, I am comparatively lazier when it comes to the execution and consuming content that is carefully crafted for incentives beyond my scope of comprehension doesn’t quite help.