21 January 2010

Too much data leads to not enough belief

by Seth Godin
Business plans with too much detail, books with too much proof, politicians with too much granularity... it seems as though more data is a good thing, because data proves the case.

In my experience, data crowds out faith. And without faith, it's hard to believe in the data enough to make a leap. Big mergers, big VC investments, big political movements, large congregations... they don't usually turn out for a spreadsheet.

The problem is this: no spreadsheet, no bibliography and no list of resources is sufficient proof to someone who chooses not to believe. The skeptic will always find a reason, even if it's one the rest of us don't think is a good one. Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission--which is emotional connection.

What we value is really valueless

I happen to be an artistic photography fan (I don't really understand nothing about it, but I appreciate the beauty of well taken shots) and I follow this blog called The Big Picture. They happen to have some amazing pictures, whatever, that's not what I want to talk about.

In this Big Picture blog, by coincidence I assume, there are very close together 2 series of pictures: one about gold and the other about all the mess that is on Haiti right now.

This made me think how stupid can we be to value such thing as a metal so highly. Why people pay so much for a damn rock? Yeah, scarcity rules the market, but, if shit would be scarce, would you still pay money for it? Why? Would you say "wow, this guy is damn cool, his bed is 100% pure shit, he must be super rich". Come on, how idiot. Get any metal, paint it gold (the color, not the metal) and, ta-da, same thing. I am simplistic, yes, there are some medical usage of gold and so on, but, forget this, I am talking about gold for its intrinsic value - for me, more or less on the value of scarce stinky shit.

What if - and there's a big if - some celebraty/charity/saints/media hot shots would start valuing people who make the world better (like these dudes helping out in Haiti)? I don't know exactly how, but some sort of status coming out from helping others. Yeah, that's more or less the whole principle of charity, but taken to another level.

Maybe what I say doesn't make any sense, I didn't think much about it, but, hey, helping others should be a huge value making operation. No?

14 January 2010