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English / 27.05.2020 / 642

How are the coolest among us being controlled?

Nikolay Mokhov, author from the Dark Side of Business

School teachers remind me of elephants on a rope. Do you remember this urban myth? In Africa, a small elephant was tied to a tree with a rope, so that he couldn’t run away. The elephant grew up, but he got used to the rope’s power, which he could now easily tear off. Nevertheless, the habit was stronger than common sense. At the same time, the latter isn’t something they lack. Elephants are highly intelligent animals. They could teach some humans a lesson…

Let’s go back to school teachers. Some of them would tear off the rope and run to freedom, away from the classrooms stinking of children’s sweat. All the way into business. Ever seen people like them? I’ve got to tell you, it’s one hell of a view. I’ve been on principals’ meetings with an ex English teacher. Back in her days she was in charge of an exemplary school, but the yearning for power and big money led her into big business.

Being able to give out grades is the greatest management skill one could acquire

Under her management, construction bosses turned into obedient children. Her orders were treated like homework — they would often forget to do it, and when they did, they’d blush as if they were young girls being told off. So, I was sitting down and contemplating:

— How? How can this woman make forty-year-old men turn into small boys and explain themselves, as if they were C students standing by the classroom board? What is the deal with that? Maybe she had some kind of a special voice? A posture? The most advanced hypnotizers would not be able place themselves that way… What is her secret?

Destiny, as if it was some kind of a mockery, always made me bump into other teachers.
Some were in control of millionaires, other hypnotized bigger audiences, and if gentlemen in suits were raising their hands to ask questions… then they were simply laughed at.



The roads of childhood

— I remember myself from the age of three...

— But I have memories since I was two.

Friends were arguing about who had the earliest memories. And I realized that I don’t remember myself in childhood... Not that I don’t remember anything at all. I don’t remember winter. I only remember summer and the moment when that summer of my childhood ended.

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Leonardo’s Notes

“The problem is, Nikolai, that you never finish anything you start. You don’t even have a degree,” my girlfriend scolded me. We were on the subway.
She had just received some money to make a website, where she would eventually put up some boring local news. The site had dramatically less subscribers than even her Facebook page. In a couple years, the project went bankrupt. But she never lost her faith in the magical formula:

“You need closure. Every beginning has an end…”

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Babylonian Squabbles

Once again I wondered: why is it so difficult to understand other people? Recently, we had a heated discussion in our chat. One of our readers pondered: what motivates young people these days to join power structures where there is “no place for individualism”? Someone suggested they could be compared to Batman: “Being afraid of bats, he decided to become one of them. So did these people: being afraid of the authorities, they decided to become them.” Someone else had a counter question, “How successful would they be had they not decided to join these structures?”

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The thought of eternal life

Neuroscientists say that the bigger the brain, the longer a mammal lives. And there is also a commonplace observation: people who are engaged in research, teaching, and theoretical science live long. You can count straight from Plato, who died at the age of eighty. His colleague Newton at 84, Mendeleev at 72, Einstein at 76, physicist Niels Bohr at 77, and so on. And the other day I was walking around Cyprus with a PhD, so she told me:

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