Release the Inner Academic

There are no magic tricks: learning takes effort.

There are no magic tricks: learning takes effort.

It’s a commonplace of advertisements. Cookery books proclaim that they will enable us to ‘release the inner chef’. Beauty products are supposed to allow that true inner essence to shine through.

In marketing, the absurdity is very apparent. A cookery book requires its readers to follow instructions meticulously. If they decided to cook based on their inner genius, why would they need to buy the book at all? The artificial, external nature of cosmetics and beauty products is, of course, apparent to anyone who thinks for more than a couple of seconds.

If it’s so obviously nonsense, why do the advertisers persist in using the language of inner essence, and why are people willing to listen to it?

Perhaps it’s something to do with the education people have received. All through their formative years, professionals who supposedly knew what they were talking about served up a ‘product’ which was supposed to release their inner poet, or historian, or scientist, with very little effort on their part. They just had to let the edutainment wash over them, and without arduous repeated practice or the slog of learning key facts, they would somehow release the inner academic.

Of course, it didn’t make them into poets, or historians, or scientists. But it did make them rather good consumers, always looking for the magic trick in a box which was going to save them from putting in any effort.

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2 thoughts on “Release the Inner Academic

  1. The other day at work two colleagues made fun of me for studying. I’m in the same graduate program they took. At first I felt down, then I realized that both of them were rejected the first time they applied for my program and had to upgrade. I got in on my first try.

    There is no substitute for hard work. And I am so glad I worked, and continue to work, hard.

    Like

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