The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Monday, September 15, 2008

Victoria Beckham's Haircut and the idiocy of the modern world.

We live in the Time of the Idiot. This is clear to see when one looks at what is considered news.

A couple of days ago, Yahoo News carried a story about Victoria Beckham's new haircut. Apparently, the fact that she has cut her hair short warrants global communication. It is something that the whole modern world must know. The question is: why?

Why is it important for us to know of a change of haircut of someone who long ago stopped contributing anything to the world (if one considers her initial claim to fame - pop songs - a worthy contribution in the first place)? What does it matter if her hair is long, short, pink or balding? In truth, it is of no importance whatsoever - or it would be in a world that had its priorities right.

In a reasonable world, a world of values and rationality, none of us would know what Victoria Beckham's haircut looked like - quite simply because no-one would consider it important enough to communicate it. Her hair would remain on her head - but it would not be in our faces. Yet, sadly, perhaps tragically for Mankind and its future, we do know about Victoria Beckham's haircut. We are forced to know because it is thrust to the front page of Yahoo News and appears on hundreds of millions of browsers around the world. We have no choice but to know: it is there, before our eyes, when we check our mail (for many have a Yahoo account and perhaps another like Gmail, too).

We don't live in a reasonable world. We don't live in sensible world. We don't live in a world of values or proportion. We live in a mad world in which a young woman's haircut is thought of such earth-shattering merit that it must be known to all. Well, it isn't. Victoria Beckham is not important enough to know about. She doesn't merit any real attention. Her haircut, therefore, being but a part of the wholeness of Victoria, is of even less consequence. Neither should consume our attention. Yet, they do.

We live in a world where nonsense is purveyed as information, where emptiness is presented as knowledge. Victoria Beckham is a young woman. That is all. She is married to someone who has merit as a sportsman. That is all. She herself doesn't have much individual importance. Her haircut, therefore, should have none.

Now, I don't wish to pick on Mrs. Beckham. No doubt she makes a great wife to a great footballer. She once entertained many people with her pop songs. Yet, she doesn't, in any real sense, embody anything that should place her on our front pages every time she changes her haircut. In reality, no-one, AT ALL, merits discussion because of their haircut. A haircut is not important enough to communicate around the world. Our minds should not be filled with images of haircuts, our attention taken away from more important matters (like anything else at all). Yet, so it is. We live in the Time of the Idiot. A time when a haircut is of world importance - and where a pop song sets one on the same footing as major historical figures of lasting import.

Victoria Beckham's every move receives more attention, it seems, sometimes, than that of world leaders. Yet, the most major decision Victoria makes is which handbag to buy. Her decisions do not affect the lives and livelihoods of why, then, does she receive the attention of those whose decisions do have such importance? It is bizarre. It is also a purely modern phenomenon. There was a time when only people of true merit were famous. Now, some people are of very great fame but of very little worth. I will leave it to you to decide for yourself whether Victoria Beckham's worth is as great as her fame.

I would like a world in which news was news; a world in which all the information conveyed to me over every news channel had some baseline of merit and substance. Once, there was such a world. However, the modern era of mass media has dispelled it. Now, what is conveyed is not so much news, as entertainment. Victoria Beckham's haircut is not news, but it may be entertainment. However, the problem is, that the entertaining snippet of her latest haircut is conveyed as if it is news. It is time to draw a distinction between the two categories of information. News should fill news channels. Entertainment should be found elsewhere...

I wonder if my children will ever live to see a world in which news becomes news again. I wonder if they will see a time in which haircuts are, once again, matters of no consequence, and no-one knows of the Victoria Beckhams of the world. It is a world we used to have. It is a world I would like to see again.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: Thanks.)

Labels: , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:59 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

An invitation to bloggers

Dear Bloggers:

If you publish opinion articles on current affairs in your blogs, be they of social, economic, or political nature, you are most welcome to repost them in our current affairs forum "Singapore Kopitiam" for discussion and exposure.

We have daily visitors in the order of a few thousands. The daily number of pages viewed has exceeded 20,000. Any article reposted in Singapore Kopitiam will gain you instant exposure to a few thousands more readers. You can get instant feedback to your opinions and views expressed. You can also join the debate and clarify your thoughts.

Since's Alfresco Coffee Shop was unplugged on 6 August 2008, Singapore Kopitiam has stepped in to replace it and to provide a cyber kopitiam for netizens (both Singaporeans and ex-Singaporeans) to meet, exchange ideas/opinions, and discuss any thing and every thing under the sun. It does provide an important link to the blogosphere community where public opinions are shaped and refined.

There is no waiting period for you to register an online moniker and to start posting your articles. In the spirit of free speech, there is no censorship or moderation.

Why don't you give it a try today? You would be surprised how effective it can be to reach out to your next few thousands readers, as many bloggers already discovered!

Singapore Kopitiam

7:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape