Ideas are not offered for slow consideration anymore so much as they are offered for quick sale.
That thought came to me this morning while watching a documentary. I don’t really think it matters what the film series was… this was something that had been building for a while and it came out because it could no longer abide on the margins of my consciousness.
I have been surrounded by sales pitch narratives at every turn for years. Even in the academy or among the best craftsman where I would expect careful thinking, in retrospect I see that I have been given a slew of sales pitches.
I see a very important distinction to be drawn between proposing an idea for consideration and giving someone a sales pitch. The former calls for sobriety because something important might just be their for discovery. And at the very least, it helps in learning to formulate concepts as well as to keep the full mind exercised. All thinking should be a full engagement–reason, passion, curiosity, doubt, judgment, imagination, etc. This fullness makes thinking serious, it lends gravitas to how ideas occur. Even a passing fancy, through such a struggle of mind, can show something worthy of full attention.
But the sales pitch, relying more on somber performance–even when silly–implies that something important may slip out of our hands. Get the attention, but full engagement is to be avoided. The sales pitch plays on an emotive character drawing you in and getting you interested in buying into the narrative. Constraining thought to one faculty allows for a notion to have a manipulative affect on our being. Thoughtful consideration of an idea takes something up but remains ready to let it go and return to it later when complete attention can be granted. The sales pitch wants to get your mind wrapped around something so you will to take it with you now.
The surface narrative becomes just as important–if not more so–than the inner substance. Such a narrative behaves as an advertisement. If you don’t buy now, it keeps tickling your desires to come back. If you do buy, it provides a ready-made script for saying the notion down the line.
Rather than grasping the lineage of an occurrent notion that could prove worthwhile, you have given your worth to a pyramid scheme.
Maybe this is how it has always been. i suspect that the intersection of Westernizing globalism and consumer capitalism play a big role in how even the most educated have developed the habit.
For what it is worth, this scheme is something we should work against in educating both ourselves and our fellows. That being said, I don’t want this notion to be a sales pitch itself. I very much welcome doubt and correction.