Is Intelligence a Burden?

Recently I’ve been getting annoyed.

At people.

I seem to be having a lot of conversations recently in which people just don’t think. It’s not that they aren’t capable of intelligent thought, they just aren’t willing to suffer the pain of a bit of mental effort.

Without trying to sound like I’m bragging, I’m someone who’s not only smart (I have a pretty high IQ and also rate fairly highly in some of the other intelligences) but I’m also willing to suffer the pain of mental effort.

What does that mean? Well, this week I’ve been dealing with intellectual property and I wrote a letter of amendment for a work contract I have. I spent an hour writing one paragraph just to make sure that it was exactly right. There were no ‘yeah, buts’, ‘how ’bouts’ or ‘what ifs’ when I was done with it. It was clear. It said exactly (yes, that is underlined bold italics) what it needed to say, nothing more, nothing less.

I spent an hour writing that one paragraph.

And the response I got was: “X & I have read through the letter and we’re slightly confused with the paragraph that you’ve written.”

Now, it was a slightly wordy paragraph, I admit that. But it doesn’t take a genius to understand it (my dad read it once and got it straight away) – only the willingness to read, re-read, consider and think about what it said. That’s mental effort.

And it pisses me off when people don’t think.

A Circus Quandary

Recently I’ve been in a quandary.

I’ve been working on a couple of developmental circus projects at work and I’ve found myself holding back. Why? Because anything I say or write or create isn’t mine.

My employment contract states that anything I create or develop will be the exclusive property of my employer. That’s standard enough, and when I agreed to it it wasn’t an issue. However, with these two new projects, I feel I have a certain background and certain experiences that the rest of the development team do not. I want to give myself fully – my thoughts, my ideas, my designs, my opinions – and I want to create something exceptional – and I definitely do not want to delivery something that is rubbish – but I don’t want to give away ideas and designs that could potentially be my future.

Intellectual Property is an interesting thing. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, but you can own it and you can give it away. In fact, unless you say it or write it down it doesn’t even exist.

Today, I had a conversation with someone that has a lot of experience with dealing with intellectual property. It turns out that my current quandary is actually very simple.

I need to have a conversation.

I need to have a conversation about my intellectual property and the rights to my intellectual property. Because the fact of the matter is that I’m not going to give away what could potentially be a future business venture for me. I could be creating what I’m going to do over the next 20 or 30 years and I’m not going to hand it over without retaining the rights to what I create.

I need to have a conversation.

Thankfully, the people I need to have the conversation with are very open and willing to have this kind of conversation. And I expect that if I approach them we will be able to agree some kind of ‘royalty-free license’ so that we can both benefit from our work together.

So it turns out that my quandary is not a quandary after all. It was just a concern that I can resolve in a conversation.

Everything can be resolved in communication.