Yesterday, someone on Facebook posted a link to this blog post. It’s titled “10 Reasons Being Intelligent Is Difficult,” and outlines 10 reasons why the author has a hard time being intellergents. As I read thru the piece, I could not shed the feeling that 1) I did not agree with a single point, and 2) the author may be intelligent but is not smart — the entire thing reeks of being written by an angsty teenager or twenteenager.
I think everybody ((Generalizing here.)) in their teens felt self-conscious and isolated. That does not make you special. Being unable to be understood is not a trait of being intelligent but a trait of being an angsty dolt who cannot communicate properly. Let’s take the 10 reasons and pick them apart like the self-confidence of a fat 14-years old girl:
- 1) You will be misunderstood a lot.
- Really? We’re going with this first? Nobody understands me? Got any more EMO ((I suppose I could have linked to Wikipedia for this definition instead, but their description is not sufficiently derogatory for the contempt I feel about EMOs.)) bullshit? That’s either a trait of being a dolt teenager or being unable to communicate, not of you being intelligent.If you cannot communicate it is your fault, not that of the listener. When I talk about my work with colleagues I work closely with, I use a different language than when I communicate with colleagues working with other things, and a different language altogether when talking to people outside work. It says nothing about their intelligence only about their background. When I talk to people from my old university town, I talk a different language from when I talk to people where I live now. The two places being in different countries with different tongues is a more important factor here than intelligence.
- 2) You’ll likely always be frustrated about something.
- A frustrated (twen)teen ((Yup, twenteen is an annoying word; does not mean I’m going to stop using it, though — twenteens are annoying too.))? No, I’d never…! Being frustrated is no a trait of intelligence either, but of too high doses of hormones rushing thru your body. Revel in the old saying:
Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can’t accept, and wine to accept the things I can’t change.
– Some Famous Dude
- 3) Happiness will be a lot harder
- The author just refers to 2; I could to the same, but I’m not some lazy-ass kid. Happiness is what you make of it. Do things that make you happy. Some things are annoying and frustrating, but that does not mean you have to revel in them. If you have to “struggle to not give up on humanity,” you see yourself above the rest, isolating yourself and making yourself unhappy. Damn, I should be a psychologist.
- 4) You’ll have anti-social quirks or tendencies
- That’s probably more a sign you’re bonkers than intelligent. Just because you’re an anti-social twat doesn’t mean most intelligent people aren’t perfectly normal. If you have an annoying habit, just work to get rid of it; most habits can be unlearned.
- 5) Everyone will remember all the times that you get something wrong, and they will never let you forget it
- Bullshit. Most people will never meet you, most of the rest will never remember you. From the rest, you can separate them into people who remember your mistakes and those who do not. You can also separate them into friends and not-friends. Amusingly, there’s a big fucking overlap between friends and people who ignore your mistakes. And people who do not particularly like you will remember your mistakes whether you’re intelligent or not.
- 6) You’ll be hard on yourself when you don’t “get things”
- I don’t really think that’s isolated to intelligent people. When you’re young and self-conscious you always want to appear flawless, but reality is that there is always somebody who is better than you at their specialty; heck for most of us there’s also people who are better at your specialty than you are. It’s uncomfortable the first time that happens and I guess the more intelligent you are, the later you discover somebody beating you at your own game, but that does not make it any special. Get over yourself and live with the fact you are not god. I am.
- 7) Few will get your sense of humor
- Blah! Chances are you are just not funny and try masquerading it as have a unique and more sophisticated sense of humor. Take your crappy New Yorker jokes and stuff them somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine. Like Finland. Humor is to a large extent circumventing expectations and if you cannot read the expectations of people you try telling a joke, it is more likely you are more that you are less smart than you thought than your humor is so sophisticated people just don’t understand it. If people do not get the intricacies of your jokes, chances are they are not there or just not fun.
- 8) You’ll always feel like you’re supposed to do great things and feel worthless when you don’t
- Teenager alert! EMO alert! Do the greatest thing you can do to this world and remember “down the sidewalk, not across the street.” You define your own success and realize that you do are not necessarily the best. I’m intelligent and I do awesome things every day! I do things that make me happy and I try to make my friends happy. That’s a pretty good for measure for success, I think.If you feel like you should do something, stop being a mopey JRPG protagonist and get out there. There’s a ton of opportunity, awesome things to do and ways to do better for yourself and others.
- 9) You might be subordinate to people whose intellect is in need of development
- My boss is dumb, I’m smarter than the world! Bullshit! Your boss may not be a specialist in your topic (or may even be), but your boss’ job is not the same as yours; your boss has to make sure that all the people working under them works together as is best for the group and company, not what is best for you.In the working place it is about making deadlines. For example, assume my job is to make doohickeys and widgets. I can make widgets faster if I make them assembly line style, but if I have to deliver a doohickey and a widget in two hours to a client, starting cranking out widgets one after the other may be my optimal working strategy, but any boss worth their pay will force me to also make a doohickey to fill the order. They do not do it to make me less efficient, but because they are not as concerned with details and can see the bigger picture.This is even more obvious when working with other people; if everybody tries to focus on details only, they may not see the big picture and yield sub-optimal communal solutions. I’m not going into any communist “work together as a group” bullshit, but if everybody works in the way that is better for themselves, it may not yield the optimal solution for the group. We see this mathematically using the Nash equilibrium (and the prisoner’s dilemma). This basically says that if everybody tries to optimize for themselves, they may end with a solution that is worse for all.So, your boss is likely not the idiot you like to think; chances are, you just don’t understand them and their priorities because they are different than yours.If you’re thinking on bigger scales than your immediate boss (say, government), this only gets more pronounced.
- 10) It’s a lose-lose situation in terms of your identity. You can’t call yourself intelligent without being seen as an arrogant prick. But you also can’t also call yourself otherwise, without everyone seeing you as pretentious
- Boo-fucking-hoo. Does it really matter? Go join the pretentious dolts at Mensa if it’s so important for your identity to call yourself intelligent. Go live life if it’s not.Know, however, that intelligent is not the same as smart. I’m not supporting the whole fake intelligences paradigm, but the classical intelligences do not quite cut it either. Autism-like dedication still has a few applications, but can mostly be replaced by computers these days. Experience and knowledge ((Though with the internet, knowledge becomes less important as we have “fast enough” access to most knowledge.)) are equally important if not more important. Good analytical skills are no match for knowing the solution beforehand, which can be obtained by knowledge or personal experience.Without experience and knowledge you may be intelligent, but you are not smart. And the author really doesn’t seem very smart to me.
Time person of the year 2006, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2012.