My father was caught in the logic trap of religion and so everything that came out of his mouth was directed at generating guilt. Eventually, guilt became my father’s only tool and weapon. Whenever I would mention leaving his cult, he would attempt to install more guilt through reminding me of scriptural passages such as Proverbs 16:18 which explains that pride comes before the fall. The implication being that I would fall (or fail to survive) without him (and his cult) and so my oppositional thoughts were indications of pride to him. It took me a lot of years to realize that my father actually did not truly care about me, instead, it was what I could offer his cult that he was interested in. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn because leaving my father meant turning my back on all the things he claimed possessed value about his cult as well. However, if you were to ask my father, he’d insist he was a saint, and his cult will save you.
Isn’t it funny how we define ourselves differently than others would? Also, isn’t it an interesting fact that logic does not authorize a thing to define itself? For example, a man accused of murder cannot testify on his own behalf, as that would be a thing attempting to define itself, an action for which there is no sustainable logic.
Self-defining people fundamentally lack the ability to see themselves from another’s perspective. With time, self-definers reenforce to themselves that they are part of a group that is inside something great, and also that those who are outside of this group are differently abled and lesser in value. Finally, confidence is increased to a puffy frenzy so it is inconceivable that those inside the group could do any wrong, which is what Proverbs 16:18 was actually warning about. The takeaway from this lesson for me is when you’re the big guy, turn and help the little guy.
Speaking of big guys, it is so difficult to get a job at Microsoft. I’ve tried numerous times over the years only to be turned away. It always came down to not been able to check off enough boxes on their application to work inside their box they could put me in. It took me a long time to work through the rejection from big companies like Microsoft until I was able to understand what was really happening. Big tech companies want someone who works, lives, and thinks inside the box. Furthermore, they do not want creative thinking individuals or people with unique backgrounds because those individuals live different lives than those who can check boxes. This “box” mentality restricts the big guy to certain types of thinkers because an employee who can check their boxes will only be able to think and operate in certain ways. Their “perfect employee” has lived a life so patterned to exist inside boxes and in controlled environments this employee will possess the same collective blind spot as everyone else in your IT department. When you have a gaggle of humans all checking boxes the same way, you do not increase intelligence, you only increase the size of a group that thinks the same.
The issue of self-defining, at organizations such as Microsoft, is that it fosters a culture of like-mindedness. This means, to think outside of the boxes would be discouraged because one is only rewarded for thinking thoughts that lead to the checking of more boxes. Therefore, box thinkers become lazy as their thoughts are centered around box-related ideas. The laziness comes because the “box” is a place where the limits have already been established. In order for there to be a box, someone already explored that territory, they put it there. The one checking the box accomplishes nothing clever; instead, they have simply caught up to someone else’s previous record. When you live a life inside the box, you are living a life that has already been explored and defined; it means you are predictable. In the IT world, being predictable means you stumble, as in the passage from Proverbs.
So, when I read articles such as Ben Lovejoy’s article titled “LinkedIn breach reportedly exposes data of 92% of users, including inferred salaries [U]” I am not surprised. Instead, it is a disappointing, self-fulfilling prophecy, that is so old and obvious, its lesson may be found in the actual Bible. Instead of feeding the ego of my father or these deplorable IT companies, I am turning away from these box-thinkers. And so, without further ado, as I have done with Facebook (following their deplorable behavior), I am cancelling my LinkedIn account as well. Unfortunately, I never experienced the value that Microsoft claims is in LinkedIn. Perhaps it’s because I’m not someone who lives, works, or thinks inside the box.