I’m so technologically advanced that I only just realised 2 hours after awakening this morning that the time-keeping devices I usually use (wrist watch, bedside clock and computer) had gone back (end of BST that is). This only occurred to me when I spotted the clock on the wall which isn’t synchronised by radio to MSF. Now when I say that, I’ll be thought of as arrogant among all the other usual round of nasty similar adjectives.
I mean if you happen to be actually ‘technologically advanced’ well above the average person you meet on the street, and you know it – or advanced in anything else over the rest of the population – you ought to STFU – because to say so is to be boastful, arrogant and self-important etc. I know how people think and I know how you think.
It’s like being pretty – a woman who is pretty dare not say so! Am I right, yet again? Sure I am.
However, if it’s your CV (resume if you’re American), its okay to say that you are technologically advanced and give a whole list of your skills. Some people display their CVs on public websites etc. Strangely that’s not arrogant or boastful, cuz you’ll be seen as simply telling people about your skills. Sure enough if you’re a nuclear physicist, your knowledge, skill and technological advancement are well above ninety-something percent of the population.
But the moment you declare some superior ability or skill – even if widely acknowledged by others, compare yourself to others and then declare you are factually better than other people in a certain department, oooouu….noooooh… that’s terribly arrogant!
So stating the facts tends not to matter. It’s the fact that you state it in the particular context i.e. to declare yourself better than others at something, which is seen as wrong. However, if you’re on a talk show on TV and somebody asks you a question about your superior abilities and you then declare it, that’s okay – cuz you did not of your own initiate a comparison with others. So, in that situation, you’re unlikely to be seen as ‘self-important’. Of course everybody is very important to themselves. I hope few ill argue with that. But the word ‘self-important’ is used to mean arrogance or conceit.
What’s my take on this phenomenon? I think it’s really about people individually and collectively knowing that they are deficient in their standards of operation – they then detest somebody who shows them up. it’s a tinge of jealousy and self-recognition, brought on by the other’s declaration. People in general don’t like to be shown up as weak, deficient, ugly, stupid etc. So the contrast of somebody with the exact opposite characteristics, makes the deficient person feel low. The reaction is to tear the offender down – with words of course.
On a related note, I type at between 60 – 120 wpm depending on what the topic is. This is actually much faster than most people. This causes me to attract abuse, when I interact with my peers in online forums because I do not need to spare words i.e. I am not limited as they by word generation in text form – and time to output. So they get a bashing when they come with rubbish, and they find it difficult to make a robust response. What they then do is quite predictable; they go for the ad hominem which is quite efficient for them. I mean abusing someone doesn’t take much effort really. Just a few four letter words will do. But it doesn’t take a discussion and learning forward. And because I appear wordy relative to the rest, I get gibed at with words such as pedantic, arrogant and self-important.
As an immigrant to England, I attracted critical comment from day one because I used words which few others understood. Oh hold on – I was speaking English – my only language but with a vocabulary that was above most plebs in managerial positions that I met. It’s the sort of “What are you on about?!” with the usual insulting facial movements, that delivered the message. [‘Pleb’ that’s another word that invites accusation of arrogance – remember Andrew Mitchell.] You see, in England if you appear to be an immigrant by appearance or accent, you can’t really be better at English than the average Brit at their language – unless your name is Vidya Naipual perhaps. Well, I actually was and am better at English than the English. There was/is no way I could help it. My education in another land was of a high standard and we were drilled in the use of English and vocabulary. I mean these days I break the rules of grammar with impunity in informal settings such as this. But once in a formal setting my English is actually well structured.
Well – here’s the news: I’m not changing! I don’t declare any superior ability with a mind to belittling anybody. If a person feels belittled because they actually cannot keep up, cannot understand, and suffer with bradyphrenia from whatever cause, then it’s nothing to do with me. I might accommodate the other, to a certain extent by slowing down and making my words more simple – that’s only natural. But I cannot cater for everybody’s inferiority complexes.
So tough! I am actually more technologically advanced than most. My life is made much easier for that. I’ll shout it from the roof tops. You – whoever reads this – should consider why you pre-occupy yourself with my person, instead of spending time improving yourself.