Michael D. Moberly
What is it that collectively makes us us, e.g., our personality and potential? Through these lens, both are the epitome of intangibles. Either can, and do become human’s often quite individualized intangible assets. Personality and/or potential can be variously complicated characteristics of human behavior and destiny insofar as identifying, isolating, and measuring them, said NPR’s (National Public Radio’s) Shankar Vedantam in a recent episode of his NPR program ‘Hidden Brain’.
For one, Vedantam’s program examined personality testing and what such tests can and don’t reveal about our personalities. Vedantam then asks, can the way humans come to be categorized purposefully or inadvertently affect (a.) who they are now, and (b.) who they will likely become at some point in the future?
To address the issue further Vedantam describes a story originating in China’s Anhui Province in 1987 where a young Chinese couple announced their readiness to start a family. For them, the timing was right because the coming year, 1988 was significant in the Chinese zodiac, i.e., the year of the dragon.
According to Chinese (zodiac) tradition and belief, Verdantum says, there is no better year for a child to be born, i.e., a ‘dragon child’ who are destined for greatness. So, when the couple’s son was born ‘in the year of the dragon’ they already had great aspirations for his future achievements. Among other things, the boy’s father, a doctor himself, wanted his son to be even more educated than he, ideally at a top-ranked university in the United States. In other words, great things were already being expected of and from this still baby boy.
The son did not disappoint, not unexpectedly. He completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in China, then enrolled in an economics Ph.D. program at Louisiana State University, where he met the economist and a mentor, Naci Mocan.
Han Yu’s (the son) eventually discussed his life in China as a ‘dragon child’ with Mocan. This prompted further discussion and thought, largely through Mocan’s economistic lens as to whether being born a ‘dragon child’ could manifest as actual advantages?
Verdantum asserts that throughout most of our lives, as adults, we are inclined to evaluate (assess, appraise) children, students, friends, and colleagues, etc. An element to such evaluations which is not consistently clear, is the influence – power of imposing expectations on children and others, and whether they actually have-an-effect on and/or transform people’s lives, be they zodiac – folkloric based, or otherwise.
Of course, as some assume, the imposition of (life) expectations on people may manifest favorably or unfavorably, i.e., function as lead weights that diminish the probability that aspirations will come to fruition, while for others, aspirations-beliefs can lift people up, influence them to run harder and reach higher.
Initially, Han Yu (the son) and Mocan (the LSU economist) assumed distinctions experienced by ‘dragon children’ could be explained by preferential assumptions – treatment granted to children by parents and teachers, etc. who believed in the Chinese zodiac as it applies to the so-called ‘dragon children’. But, further research Han Yu and Mocan engaged, literally-burst each of those assumptions.
So, is there any one particular or collection of intangibles which make us us? To be sure. And, why this is important to more fully dissect? One reason is it’s going to have a bearing on the inevitable and formidable changes that are no longer horizonal, rather already present in various ways, that is, the effects of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning on employee work and expectations.
Michael D. Moberly December 22, 2017 St. Louis firstname.lastname@example.org ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters’!