Smart people think/write more… stupid people read more. :evilfun:

Stupid people don’t read either.

Also, some stupid people can’t summarize their beliefs and waffle like fools.

I’m having fun with this one… see the devil’s horns?

This is the sandbox, after all.

Your anus is still sore, I see.

Smart people think/write more than they read, parrots i.e. Zeitgeisters, do just the reverse. Is that acceptable… is that better… up to your standards, which, of course, become selectively higher when you read something you don’t agree with or like, but you’re not sure why, and you need an excuse?

Boy if you think I’m dumb, you must really hate turtle’s posts, but you don’t think she’s dumb, do you, or at least you wouldn’t say it to her face.

This is about getting back at me, emotion and nothing more.

Unless you keep yourself from exposure, if you read less, your reading has a higher percentage of newspapers and other crap. If you don’t cut out other media, you are getting bombarded by cliches. So not reading challenging works is simply upping the amount of cliche, cultural pap, garbage and propaganda going in. You likely have exposure to non-msm, but there you still have the problem of bad writers counter cliches…very few geniuses in there.

I went through a period where I read a bunch of classic literature (novels) in my free time – Demian, The Stranger, Brave New World, Animal Farm, 1984, The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, The Fountainhead, Siddhartha, Lord of the Flies, East of Eden, Clockwork Orange, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, etc., and, quite randomly, The Philosophical Method and Meditations of Descartes. The whole binge reading was both out of character (I never read much), but also very in-character (content/curiosity-wise) for me. Descartes was my introduction to philosophy, the traditional kind.

I suppose I have to say that Descartes and what little taste I had gotten of Plato and Lao Tzu in AP Lit. gave me the inspiration to study philosophy. Then school/life almost killed it. Then atheism/nihilism/Nietzsche revived it. I no longer identify as an atheist or a nihilist but I’m still taken by Nietzsche’s philosophy. I still haven’t read Zarathustra – I saved it to read after I finished all his other major works (and I’ve done that now). I half read a large number of other philosophical texts in college but by and large I’ve never read many books.

It would be appalling to know the total number of books I’ve finished in my life, and it seems quite ridiculous to me given what I chose to study and how intellectual I can come off. Right now I can say I haven’t actually read a book, fiction or nonfiction, in a year or longer. Oh wait, I did read the Genealogy of Morals, but that’s it and I had that on my list for years. I started Moby Dick but couldn’t keep my attention on it and dropped it. I got to the the part where Ishmael stays at the Inn in the beginning and in the middle of the night the big intimidating harpooner dude enters his room, undresses, and hops into bed with Ishmael who realizes it’s his assigned bed mate he was forewarned about. But after awkwardly trying to share the same bed, Ishmael discovers the Harpooner dude is actually quite a calm and gentle fellow or something like that, probably foreshadowing that he’ll be part of Ishmael’s future crew. Anyway, I just couldn’t stick with it. I think I’d actually like it if I could break into the story more.

It really doesn’t make a lot of sense because every time I do finish a good book it’s an extremely powerful mental accelerant for me. It’s quantifiable how much more charged and thoughtful I feel after having read a book. You’d think that reinforcement would have turned me into a monster book reader but somehow I’m not. My only guess as to why I don’t read more is that I am a slow reader and I have a poor attention for books. But other people who read must have these issues too?

I agree with that, Moreno.

I’m a slow reader also. I read mostly non-fiction. I read to agree with or to refute stated premises. Most of my readings in the past decade have been in the fields of neuroscience, evolution and religion. Without the reading, I would probably be trapped in my own stagnant isolationism.
I totally reject the OP, considering how certain books have changed my life. Of course I sometimes get the feeling that reading is escapism; but, I can’t think of other escapes that are more vital.

i read what i was assigned in school as a kid, with some sci-fi and Stephen King novels for good measure, then read a shitload of philosophy in college, then went on a ten year spree where i read everything compulsively: fiction and non, magazines, graphic novels, everything - then i stopped reading pretty much altogether and regressed to the point where i only skim some magazines occasionally, and that’s where i’m at now. It’s like taking a long vacation (been about two years now) from books and articles, and i don’t really have any regrets. i’ve also basically given up watching TV and movies with occasional exceptions. i’m not sure why, but i don’t think i’m any worse off for it intellectually speaking. i imagine i’ll return to reading someday, but for now i don’t feel as though i need it.

Reading a lot DOES improve one’s writing however, and it is a great way to learn all sorts of interesting and inspiring shit which can enhance creativity. But certainly there is more to being smart or intellectual than just reading a lot.

Why does this warrant an entire thread? And if it actually did, then why would you only type one line and put no effort into making your point at all? You should be ashamed of this.

Then you’ll have to excuse me while I have a little fun in the sandbox, my posts and threads are generally pretty heavy, no? If not you, then I think others can attest to that.


I only read 4 or so books a year.

I’ve been out of the pop cultural loop for some time now. Music, Movies and Mainstream Media bore the piss out of me, and I suspect I’m not alone.

I spend most of my time doing what you see before you, forums, websites, wikis, youtube, or thinking by myself. In the future, we’ll all read/write open ended fiction, nonfiction books and poetry, on social media websites such as ILP, that’s just as good or better than Brave New World, 1984 or what have you. I need to express myself, I need to give something back. Passively absorbing information is not for me. I filter everything out, process it, and then give something new back.

Thanks for sharing.

I’m a medium speed reader.

Quality contra quantity, no?

What good is it being able to read a lot if you comprehend only a little?

What turned me onto philosophy was myself. I’m not saying that to boast, I’m being dead honest. I wanted to see what I could come up with. I philosophized for years before I read my first philosophical work - Plato’s Republic, and I’ve never been to college or university, but I did have this hipster teacher in high school for troubled kids, who was kind of, sort of my intellectual mentor, who turned me onto Chomsky a little, but I got into philosophy years before I met him, I got into it in my head, and in the conversations I had with friends/family, who were all from working class neighborhoods like me. I came up with utilitarianism on my own, years before I ever heard of Bentham or Mill, in addition to a more ascetic, survivalist variant of it, as well as a whole host of other things, like a military that enforced rational, ascetic utilitarian law on people, but only if volunteered to become a member of my theoretical society. It was like an anarchist equivalent of Mo Tzu’s philosophy, but I came up with it before having ever heard of anarchism or Mo Tzu.

The way I see it, I’ve only just begun, assuming I live another day. I’ll at least try to go on to do great things. I’m not saying I have what it takes, I don’t know, I have a lot of barriers to overcome, but to be honest, I have a burning desire to be a Schopenhauer, a Stirner or a Nietzsche, I want to be the best, but I’m holding back a little, gaining experience here and there by challenging and being challenged. What’s so great about Nietzsche is he did not separate philosophy from who he was. He philosophized with the whole of his being, with his personality and passions, his idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, his creativity as well as his reason. That’s the sort of philosopher I hope I can become. A long time ago, I used to hold philosophers like Hume and Kant in higher regard, but now they’re words sound empty and hollow to me. There’s no life in them, they’re dead as far as I’m concerned.

I never said smart people don’t read, but I’m not surprised you misread, as I was baiting a little, I said smart people write/think more, as in more than read, or at least creative people, or at least as much as they read. Most of my reading/thinking/writing is nonfiction too, I don’t think any of us would be here for as long as many of us have, if our primary preoccupation was with the unreal. When I do read, I read to gain insight and inspiration.

We read to satisfy a need, like anything, unless it’s a means to an end. Apparently you don’t feel you have much to gain by reading the works of others, anymore, or you’ve become preoccupied by other things.

Perhaps you’ve arrived, intellectually, you’ve made up your mind, about life.

Contra-Nietzsche is the best example of one who reads an incredible amount of high quality classic works and then is able to restate them in his own words. He has a semi-original, but average quality personality, and his reiterations must be within that for them to be other than a near word for word recital of what he read. He initially comes across as intelligent, but knowing that he has never thought over the ideas as thoroughly as one who reads less would have, and knowing that he can’t really sustain a philosophical conversation, puts him into perspective. If he were to lose the ridiculous disposition he has where he must always try to overcome a sense of inferiority then he would be extremely useful for any real philosopher as a reference.

I agree with what happens with many people who read a lot and have no regular way of processing it. Even if they are Reading great books, they have not really digested the works. They may have a lot of facts, or internal experiences elicited by fiction or poetry, but they need not have changed a whit.

In my reaction to the OP, I wanted to counter a common idea that if one wants to be, for example,
a great writer
or a great thinker

one should not be influenced by other writers or thinkers.

First this will entail at best reinventing some Wheels, assuming one is a genius - rather than coming up with something new
it means that any television one watched as a Child (and later) will be one’s primary influence.

People who, like the OP writer, do restrict the amount of garbage that goes in now, and also challenge their minds with at least some serious writers and ideas, then have a chance not to simply rehash junk and Think one is talented and profound.

Exactly. Through the years I’ve watched an enormous amount of TV. I learn more about where my supposed “originality” or “creativity”, which I use in poems and short stories, comes from with old cartoons than anything. I would be an artist among artists if I lived in a world where the only remnant of the last 3000 plus years of culture was in the clever but banal rehashing or parodies done in the cartoons made from the second half of the 1900s.

I’ll never catch up to the relatively few who were given a “classic education” as children, the best I can say is that I’m as much of discerning student of modern decay as anyone; one can’t write about sewer water if they know nothing of fresh water, but they can neither write about it if they haven’t spent many long hours neck deep in it… occasionally being full emerged until resurfacing chocking on all that was fit for the drain.

I Think cartoons can be OK, especially some of the older ones that were done by artists who decided not to starve and were actually also meant for adults - like bugs Bunny. With cartoons ýou have something in the family of Greek myth, with flawed characters doing and suffering impossible things. Also there are magical elements and transformations and even irony. Worse are mediocre sit coms and even worse dramas. Here you are being given so many direct and indirect messages about morals, the nature of reality, what you are TO PLEASE THE AVERAGE AMERICAN AND EVEN MORE SO THE ADVERTISERS. That is brain Death. There is likely extremely pernicious bs in many if not all of the classics, but it will be presented in complicated ways by people who were at least, generally, critical of the assumptions of their times.

But I Think the cartoons are OK, even good.

School, of course, and texbooks are jammed into the brain also.

That’s why those lacking a “classic education” often find my stories and poetry to be ok, even good(!)

And hey, there’s nature also. To be a good writer one must trust oneself. And be very much specifically oneself. Actually, that’s to be a great writer.
A good writer has to be a skilled mimic of form.

Given what you have tried to do with yourself around morals, you are likely many steps ahead of others when it comes to Writing as yourself. This can sound trite, but it is not easy, most people do not know themselves, even though they Think they do. They know what has been put inside them.


I wasn’t trying to insult you. I just posted my initial reaction.

Though, your reaction to my innocent statement amuses me.