The purpose of this thread is to launch a discussion on the politics of intelligence and how it effects our modes of behavior in real time.
Let me begin with a short preface to the issue. For the last few years I have occasionally found myself in situations wherein I was embarassed by my intelligence. One example was when my aunt (who is somewhat superficial and highly driven by materialism) asked me what I thought about her getting another Denali SUV in light of our current environmental situation. I tried to avoid it through deflection but she got aggressive and demanded an answer, so to speak. When I began to dissect the issue with her and asked her what practical purpose a newer Denali would serve (besides the material status symbol associated with it) she got emotional and nasty so I started ignoring her and tunning into another conversation that was going on in the room which probably pissed her off even more.
More recently, I was at a friends house who had me watch this retarded tv show which this particular person found hilarious. I found myself working hard to laugh and smile when I thought it was borderline retarded. Obviously, I do this to fit in and appear more human and easy-going. But after, when I am contemplating by myself I feel a sense of disgust for having compromised who and what I really am just for others. Similarly, sometimes others get into the details of their lives and I can see the solutions or errors in their reasoning right away but abstain from giving input for fear of making them feel incompetent.
This sense of embarassment is particularly felt when I am around my family. With my sisters, and even parents to some extent, it isn't bad because they know how I operate. But if I am around my grandparents, for instance, I completely shut down my critical thinking faculty. At the same time, by shutting it down I am not being myself and by not being myself it naturally comes off as if something is up. On the other hand, if I leave it on I end up giving lectures about things and then, if interrupted or if I see their eyes start to wander, I may get really irritable. In recent years, I've really developed an encyclopedic mind and a textbook-like approach to phenomena. It seems to me that I am more intellectual than witty which seems to work to my disadvantage in light-hearted social environments.
The question emerges: how does the politics of intelligence affect your behavior in real time?