Build a smarter planet?

When I was watching the recent 1st and 2nd round March Madness games, this comercial came on,

It was IBM claiming they are building a smarter planet.  At first glance I said yeah, that sounds good, but then I caught myself.  What is this saying?  Why a smarter planet? Do we really want a smarter planet?  I thought we wanted a simpler planet, thus the inventions of so many things like dishwashers, microwaves, fridges with water dispensers and the like.   Why do I have a problem with this advertising?  I read their website and although they talk about why “smarter” is better I don’t think they have the right framework. I guess it may not be a big problem, but it just rubs me the wrong way.  To assume that we can build a better planet than the we already have, says a lot.  Maybe semantics is just where I like to fight?  I don’t know.

I do know that one thing I think IBM may be trying to do has very little to do with being a smarter planet.  I think they stopped short, they could have gone all the way.  For some reason they chose to stop at smarter planet.  I think they should have gone all the way and suggested we build a “wiser” planet.  You see, I know a bunch of ‘smart’ people but they are far from “WISE.”  Take the guys at Enron for example, they were smart guys, but lacked wisdom.  There is a big distinction from being smart and being wise.  You see, wisdom will not always profit a company in the short-term, but being smart pays now.  We want to be the smartest because we think it is the same as being “WISE.” I don’t think it is.

Look at Proverbs 4.  Take a look at proverbs 3:19, “By WISDOM the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place.”   Not by being smarter…  The great thing about wisdom is that one of the byproducts happens to be ‘smartness.’  But IBM doesn’t think about that.

So I guess my main problem is that I get what IBM means, but I think it lacks something, MORE, something transcendent, something IBM can’t quantify.  What do you think?

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