Are you a seeker?

by Suw on October 14, 2008

There are clues, if you can find them. And there are things to be found, if you can puzzle through the clues. And there are three Nokia phones to be won if you do well.

Are you a seeker?

Yahya Abdal-Aziz October 14, 2008 at 10:34 am

“Are you a seeker?” What a dangerous question! For a moment, I had horrible visions of a recruitment site for Mme Blavatsky’s kind of Theosophy; or the Collingwood Football Club; or Scientology; or worse (if there is anything worse).

Thirty-some years ago, I answered an employment ad: “Are you a problem-solver?” Green as I was, I thought, “Aha! Here’s some kind of business that actually values, and recognises its need for, a polymath!” Would you be surprised if …? No, guess not. That’s right, you guessed it, they actually wanted a life insurance salesperson. (Not sorry, but no apology to life insurance salespersons will be forthcoming.) What had actually penetrated the deep, dark corners of the area manager’s tiny mind was this: “We’re trying to sell people something they can only collect on if they’re dead, and for some unfathomable reason, they don’t want to part with their money … Strange. Maybe someone out there has a clue we’re lacking?”

The site that you linked to is looking for a “seeker” – defined by the rules of the game as some individual with so much time on their hands (and no idea of how to put it to good use) they can explore dozens of different places in and around London, snapping photos on their latest must-have accessory, because they’re really, really keen on a chance to win the, um, latest must-have accessory. Not real attractive from over here in the Antipodes (Melbourne, Oz) when I’ve already got a perfectly serviceable, fully-paid-for, handheld mobile communication-and-picture-snapping device using (blush) six-year-old technology – that I only turn on when I leave the house, maybe once a fortnight.

No, really, when I read your headline, I was hoping you’d decided to organise Philopolymaths Anonymous, and sagely thought to uncover prospective members by tapping into the legendary curiosity of the polymath (aka philomath). And lord knows, we polymaths need a few lovers-of-polymaths to put up with us, and to help us through the healing twelve-step programme! It’s so hard making friends with people who want to spend sixty percent of your valuable face time discussing football, little Johnny’s sniffles or the latest improbable high-school scandal in Summer Bay. I’ve met, in person, three people in my entire life (nearly six decades) who might be capable of inventing a new science. And yes, I am counting myself. Clearly, I need to get over my crazy interest in everything, and get a life; maybe stop collecting esoteric and exotic musical instruments, inventing languages and designing quines, and pay a little attention to something worthwhile, like who won the latest Formula One Grand Prix, or which designer shoes are being promoted through product placement on “Sex And The City”.

Friends, please do consider this seriously, as a cri de coeur – um, a cry from the heart from an incurable bore! Come and drop by my place at and leave me a note to cheer me up. Pretty please?

Will October 14, 2008 at 10:37 am

Hi Suw, your clues were complicated but I think I’m there now 🙂

Suw October 14, 2008 at 10:45 am

Yahya, you really are grumpy, aren’t you? What’s wrong with a little fun and games once in a while?

Will, well done! Do let me know how you get on when you’ve discovered where to go, and been there. 🙂

Will October 14, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Fortunately it’s about five minutes from my office 🙂

Didn’t find anything, although my phone battery ran out. May have to try again with GPS live…

Yahya Abdal-Aziz October 14, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Sorry, Suw! Must be turning into an old grouch 😉 I’ll try to do better …

You know I stumbled across your blog after googling “polymath”, and found your penetrating article on being a polymath in an age of specialisation – wonderful writing! You’ve surely realised by now that your blog does indeed have a well- defined target market segment: polymaths. That means that almost anything will sell to at least some of your readers … the advertisers should be beating down your door!


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