idiots - June 22, 2023

We are fachidiots

It was a beautiful Sunday when I realized something shocking about myself. I came across an article that was criticizing Angela Merkel. At that time, Merkel was still the chancellor of Germany. According to the author, Angela Merkel was not a total disaster, but as a natural scientist lacked empathy and was thus limited in her judgements.

Wait! What?

I was appalled. How can somebody write something like that?

But it is true, my friend. Many of my colleagues studied natural sciences. Me included. Well, it was mathematics, but that’s pretty much the same thing, right? You simply lack empathy if you’ve studied such (un)natural things.

And yes. Not only do we lack empathy, but we are also dead boring. There is almost no topic you can discuss with us. Or worse still, we are unable to develop anything resembling a proper conversation even among ourselves. Some of my friends have doctoral degrees which makes things even more dreadful. You cannot play sports with them. You cannot drink beer with them. You cannot talk with them. All you can do is play chess.

Even our wives say we are dead boring. They married us just because we have decent jobs. Actually, they say even our heads have somehow transformed throughout the years. They probably reflect our thoughts and have become somehow more rectangle-shaped. Or perhaps they’ve always been that way, they are not totally sure.

Can you imagine! Our wives cannot remember what we looked like when we were young! That is the reality of us, fachidiots. Perhaps we should just stay in our offices and develop those damn engines, cars, and computers all day long. Yes, I think we should!

So, when we, a bunch of friends, a bunch of fachidiots, read the article about this poor chancellor of Germany who was not capable of empathy, we knew it. We are guilty too. We knew immediately we needed to change something. We needed to convert the monsters that we were back to humans. Or at least to half-humans.

Our regular get-togethers had to become enlightening. We needed to cultivate ourselves. Instead of playing chess, we needed to study art, languages, history. Whatever, just not math or physics or chemistry or electrical engineering. We needed to develop empathy.

"What! Really?" said Norton. "We are to stop playing chess?"

"Yeah, Norton," I said. "There are more important things than chess."

"Really? You really think there are more important things than chess?" Norton asked, totally appalled.

But eventually, even Norton agreed it was critically important to make us human again. We agreed to be proactive. We agreed our weekly chess meetings would be radically different from then on. Each time one of us would present a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with natural sciences. It could be literature, it could be music, it could be paintings. It could even be politics. But no, Norton, not the history of chess.

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