I'm intelligent but often unhappy

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Let’s not discuss whether the quote is right.

I have often been unhappy when I start to aspire to become a physicist because I realised many things and start to think like a wise person. When I discuss a topic (often related to science) with some of my schoolmates, they are always so subjective and some insist that I always disagree with what they say though I reason with them. I’m an objective person and when I hear subjective remarks in discussions, I get mad inside because it sounds to me that many people are just so ridiculously stupid and I can’t help it. However, that’s only when that person insist that his subjective remarks are right and others are wrong. Shouldn’t people be more objective instead of being so subjective?

Another problem I’m facing is the education I’m getting. Although I can do very well in my mathematics and science, I flunk humanities subjects and I must still do humanities but that’s fine. What’s not fine is that in my country, I’m still expected to do well in subjects which I’m not good at, otherwise, I can’t go to college and local university despite a developed country. I believe that’s not the case for other countries like United Kingdom. This led to me coming out with an assumption in my head about the education in my country. I realised that the teachers always ask students to memorise stuffs without explaining certain things. So, many people with top grades aren’t intelligent at all, they simply memorise stuff. That’s not why people go to school, people go to school to learn and understand what they learn, isn’t it?

Finally, religion and war. Theist are supposed to be moral but why are there ridiculous beliefs which could lead to war and conflict among races/religion. Also, it leads to superstition which is what irritates me the most. My mum is somewhat superstitious which makes me difficult to communicate with her, how bad is that?

I’m sorry if I offend anyone, I just wanna speak my mind on the internet and I’m new here. I’d like to hear similar experience and/or your views about it.

I’ve often wondered if there is an actual correlation between one’s intelligence and ones sense of ‘happiness’. I have also wondered if the fruit is really ‘that’ sour or is it just ‘that’ far out of reach.

I can’t help you with much, except to say you are so far from offending anyone it’s ridiculous.

How often does one get the chance to say that?!

The OP is so vague that it’s probably both true and false.

There is.

The higher the intelligence, the more tempting it is to apply obvious solutions to presented problems. But if one begins solving problems that are above the norm for the mates, issues arise. Conflicts, arguments, fear, and rejecting/“queering” follow as the dynamics of sociology unfold. If take to a high enough social issue, diseases, slander, psychological and legal trickery get involved so as to protect the comfort of the ruling body from the misfit.

So there are too types of associations involved with happiness. The first is a social issue. The other is that one is presented with endless problems to solve but not really allowed to solve them. And even if they were solved, they would act as very little more than a “fix” to an addiction that had been acquired via the hop is being able to solve problems to any benefit, an illusion in society. The continued practice of focusing on the problems that “need addressing” causes not merely a negative social appearance, but also a constant and reinforced inner sense of never really making progress. Because that inner sense of making progress is of what the sense of joy is made, the feeling of joy is getting denied… as a habit.

A sense of hopelessness and in some cases, even suicide follows.

I would recommend that a wise person who is also intelligent should focus on merely memorizing everything he is asked to “learn” and then focus on the “problem” of how to make those around him feel better without using cognitive explanations or attempting to convey understanding, merely choosing the right words and phrases (from memory) that are more likely to bring a smile than anything else.

It would be a long time, perhaps to the age of 40 to 80 before one could escape the curse of being more intelligent than his peers, unless you happen to have enough money to relocate.

Blindly solving problems without regard to social consequences is not the wiser path to happiness. Apply your intelligence directly to happiness of your surroundings and you will become the happiness of your surroundings.

When I was very young and naive, inspired by my engineer father to delight in solving “unsolvable problems”, I eventually discovered that I was merely frightening and offending those around me, including my own father. Many “problems” are not “supposed to be solved” and are in society for a reason, whether that is a good thing or not. Don’t try to change the world until you “own it”, regardless of the tempting requests to do so.

Dott, It’s a valid rant. Perhaps all you want to hear is that we, or at least someone understands your experiences - you just seem particularly frustrated more than anything else. I’m sure a few of us here relate, myself included.

Though personally, I’ve found my peace with such a predicament. I simply hold my tongue when discussing issues in which I am particularly wise, until the odd rare case occurs in which it becomes apparant that the other person is actually also significantly learned. I have used my intelligence to work out how to communicate with almost all people at all levels. Approaching your first and third issue can be done in a rewarding way, even if you yourself do not emerge wiser. Your second issue is a sad one, which is probably not so much solved in the UK as you might think - though perhaps more than in Singapore, I do not know. This one is a political issue, which requires much more than just intelligence to solve.

I rather think that my intelligence has afforded me happiness. Though I certainly was not always happy.

It is intersting to note that the highest suicide rate for any profession is that of the psychiatrist, and that is enough validation needed. How much more, for non professionals. Maybe it has to do with principles relating to Freudian economy, where higher intelligence may manifest as a a compensation for the cognisciant part of self awareness/sense-common sense: and a decompensation of self/common sense energies.

If these can be held in balance intelligence and mood not may not necessarily effect a downward spiral.

Psychological problems are merely very cleverly disguised sociological problems.

The world of Man is only the game of Domination.



What’s the context of these discussions? What’s an example of a remark that indicates to you that the other person is stupid? No one is objective by nature; we usually train ourselves to adopt a more objective mindset when it comes to the sciences. Of course, like any skill, some people take on the mindset with more ease than others. A very important point is that part of being human is being a subjective creature. Fundamentally, your identity consists of certain biases, values, feelings, assumptions, and conditioning. All are necessary conditions of your existence as a living human being. The subjective aspects of life explain why we dream, why we love, and why we have a sense of morality. It’s indistinguishable from psychopathy, in my view, to do good purely on the basis of a utilitarian calculus or according only to objective considerations. That doesn’t reflect most human behavior. It is characteristically human to be driven by passion but to supplement passion with reason. Some passion or other is ultimately what motivates a person. The further you analyze human behavior, you see that at the very foundation the answer to “Why did he/she/I do that?” always relates to preference, desire, fear, etc. If this were not true, we would be indistinguishable from automatons. I can’t comment specifically on the appropriateness/inappropriateness of subjective remarks without knowing the context of your interactions, but I find it valuable to distinguish “subjective” from “irrelevant, stupid, or wrong.” It seems like you pride yourself on your ability to think objectively. That’s completely understandable, as you aspire to be a physicist. Yet the phrase “I’m an objective person” seems to indicate a much broader context than physics. I have probably described myself similarly at some point or other when I was high school age, so I do not mean any offense.

My larger point is that happiness relates to how you feel, whether you are satisfied with life at the moment, and, as such, to understand what makes you happy or unhappy you have to understand the subjective aspects of your identity: your expectations, assumptions, and your psychological response to unmet expectations and assumptions. Being an objective thinker is excellent for generating strategies and solving problems, but when your problems have to to with happiness a purely objective approach doesn’t always work.

I completely understand you here. Maybe try to disagree as amicably as possible. Don’t let every difference of opinion turn into something upsetting and try to be as respectful as possible while still speaking your opinion. Sometimes it takes many years for people to understand one another adequately if at all. Give your mom time to understand you and your views.

That itself is a depressing thought.

And cleverness implies more social control of the less so, rationalized by control for “their own good”

Then ignorance is really not blissful. But, James, not all social control is bad, some seem bad, but necessary. How is the necessary distinguished from those which are merely contingencies?

Since control comes from agencies usually with absolute powers, does the good have to be taken with the bad? (For those unfamiliar of the doifference)

It can be said that happiness is caused by the depression of foolishness.
…learn of your real situation, BEFORE you try to engage in it, else suffer frustration, anger, and misery.

This is normal and has always been the case. All three problems relate to other people. It’s not intelligence itself that makes you unhappy but the conflict between intelligence and stupidity.

As for the first problem, here’s a question you may want to consider: Why should people be more objective instead of being so subjective? Isn’t that just your subjective persuasion? Can there be such a thing as objective values? Doesn’t objectivity necessarily lead to nihilism?

As for the second problem, genuine education is and always has been rare. Most people do not care about learning. Moreover, what you describe reminds me of the Marxian view on specialization:

“Marx follows the vision of a world society whose members are free and equal, and are so in the last analysis because all specialization, all division of labor, has given way to the full development of everyone.” (Source: Leo Strauss, “Philosophy as Rigorous Science and Political Philosophy”, paragraph 6; paraphrase.)

As a Nietzschean, I’m radically opposed to this. Thus in an essay I’m still dotting the i’s of, I write:

“Even as Nietzsche considers his vision supra-historical whereas Marx considers his post-historical, so whereas the last man would be the man who comes after all specialization, the over-man is the man who is above all specialization; whereas Marx’s vision is one of serial order, Nietzsche’s is one of order of rank. This explains why Nietzsche ‘questioned the communist vision more radically than anyone else’. For according to Nietzsche, ‘the full development of everyone’ is an impossibility; only a minority can be noble and great, which is to say free (frank) and fully developed; and this only inasmuch as the majority is limited. This difference between the few on high who are free and the many down below who are limited is the same difference as that between the supra-historical and the historical. The few on high, the philosophers, have a comprehensive view; the many down below have a decisively limited view.” (“Note on the First Chapter of Leo Strauss’s Final Work” (working title).)