Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The value of intellectual property

Priceless asset
Property prices are plummeting or worse still, stagnant. Everyone bemoans the depreciation of their bricks and mortar though I've not seen a lack of enthusiasm in the race to update, renovate and extend.

The property market is an artificial mechanism to distract us from the most valuable property that we own - our minds. Sadly this too is in a state of decline. We have to (or think we have to) digest a vast amount of useless information in order to keep up with current trends. Ignorance is not bliss but a luxury. Choosing to be clueless about social networking, the vast worldwide web makes us pariahs. However, we never stop to think about the cost to our intellects to drink in so much trivia.

Teaching is a profession that requires lateral thinking and use of the imagination. Intellectual property in this sense is a priceless tool to impart to young minds the importance of creative endeavour. Teaching requires dedication and inspiration. It is the true meeting of  ageless minds. So how do we reward the professionals that we nominate to cultivate the next generation? By paying them badly....by making them work ungodly hours and then sending them on a guilt trip for all the holidays they "enjoy".

Anyone associated with teaching knows that the burn out rate is high. Those in power makes beasts of burden of teachers. They place upon them a yoke of responsibility for nurturing young minds in impossible conditions and for little financial gain.

Good brain care is essential
Intellectual property has never been so devalued. I went after a web writing job recently and was offered the princely sum of £2.50 per 350 words. It felt like exploitation.

Sotheby's may not value intellectual property so the challenge lies with the individual - each and everyone of us. We must not sell ourselves short. We need to constantly refresh and protect our minds to maintain optimum levels of thought. Solitude, healthy reading, soft music and open wide spaces foster original thinking. Clarity of thought is our true inheritance. We must feed our minds well and keep them in good company.

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