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  1. #1
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    Default The Politics of Intelligence...

    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?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Typology's Avatar
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    I have to fake laugh all the time, ignore statements that are wayyy of base, and generally feign interest in something I already know just for conversation sake. It usually gets old fast, and I try to show just enough interest to the point where the conversation is quickly dropped, but not in a rude manner. The fact is, most people really don't interest me in any way. Obviously there's going to be exceptions, but for the most part, the fake laughing, feigned interest, etc. usually predominate my conversations. It's only fitting that my job requires me to talk with a different person, or persons, every couple minutes...

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    It sounds like your examples have more to do with personality than intelligence. You have different opinions and interests from the people around you. That doesn't have to do with intelligence in your examples. It is simply a matter of personality difference.
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    Senior Member Ishida's Avatar
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    When I'm thinking something philosophy like, sometimes it's obvious to those around and they ask me what's up and I made the mistake of trying to explain it, which became "I pity you." because to them it didn't matter.

    but for the most part, the fake laughing, feigned interest, etc. usually predominate my conversations.
    I do this too. A bit more nod and smile business too. But usually I don't consider those people stupid or anything.
    What a waste of life..

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    Senior Member Rachelinpa's Avatar
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    It sounds like your examples have more to do with personality than intelligence. You have different opinions and interests from the people around you. That doesn't have to do with intelligence in your examples. It is simply a matter of personality difference.
    I agree with this.

    I have to fake laugh all the time, ignore statements that are wayyy of base, and generally feign interest in something I already know just for conversation sake.
    Same. It does get complicated when you sense that your identity or values have been compromised. I just try to avoid situations where I'm going to have to do this or find one person who at least agrees or understands me on some level... whether it be a shared sense of humor or similar interest in conversational topics.

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    Senior Member Darjur's Avatar
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    I don't have too many issues with that, all of my friends already refer to me as the philosopher/Thinker/Know-it-all of the group. I actually enjoy it to a point, because I'm constantly being tested about that.

    None of them really expects me to like what they do and I have a history of pointing that out if they are somewhat obnoxious over that.

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    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    It sounds like your examples have more to do with personality than intelligence.
    I was thinking that. The examples I heard seem to refer to (a nebulous definition of) rationality. That is, you hold yourself and your opinions higher because you achieved them through a certain process, just as you look down on yourself (as you would others) for giving into this form of rationality.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    It sounds like your examples have more to do with personality than intelligence.
    Let me clarify a few things. First, obviously it should be assumed that in posting on a "personality forum" the topic relates to personality. Second, in making this post, the assumption is that intelligence has a fixed value that is held constant while what varies (and is what I am specifically concerned about) is human bahavior in response to how the politics of intelligence plays out. To this end, some posters have answered my question while others have dwelled on the implicit assumptions while not answering the main question driving this thread. I could have forumulated it slightly differently: have you ever felt embarassed by your intelligence? y/n and why? And please, don't write a textbook on whether embarassment is a function of personality and/or intelligence because that would miss the point.

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    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    It sounds like your examples have more to do with personality than intelligence. You have different opinions and interests from the people around you. That doesn't have to do with intelligence in your examples. It is simply a matter of personality difference.
    I don't think it's even personality--it's more like a healthy outlook on life vs. those who are happy to have short-term rewards. Healthy people prefer todig deeper and find value within oneself and grow oneself, whether INTJ or ESFP.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I don't think it's even personality--it's more like a healthy outlook on life vs. those who are happy to have short-term rewards. Healthy people prefer todig deeper and find value within oneself and grow oneself, whether INTJ or ESFP.
    For goodness, sake, people. It's my general M.O. to look the other way, so to speak, on all of this "all types born equal" hoo-hah bandied about this board for the sake of being a reasonably amicable member of the community, but when people try to claim that the ability to accurately gauge the long-term consequences of one's actions and recognize faulty reasoning is unrelated to intelligence, it's too much for me.

    People who habitually make what will inevitably prove be poor decisions in the long run for the sake of momentary satisfaction do so because they are not smart.

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