why are we so smart

i really dont know.

i have two groups of friends. one lives in philadelphia, one lives back near my high school in west chester pennsylvania (not new york, fucking yuppies)

the ones in philadelphia, i met because i sold marijuana to them freshmen year. now i am a junior, (which, at drexel, means ‘senior’). they are not particularly interested in the topics that i want to discuss.

they want to talk about specific little social happenings and the emotional responses that they elicit. the questions that they ‘ask’ include “isnt that fucked up??!” or “dude that was crazy” which isnt a question.

absolutely all of our non-conversational time is spent on one of two simple things: poker and television. does everybody now understand why i drink alcohol profusely? yes.

and of course when i converse with my other friends, it is an unending web of interconnecting ideas, punctuated by intermitent realizations of overarching concepts, empty periods mitigated by actual, new ideas, produced by creative minds focued on creative conversation.

i sat down with one single friend, didnt do any drugs at all. didnt turn on the tv. sat there and talked about pointless crap that we knew we already agreed on for at least an hour without one single break. when there was a break, both of us were furiously thinking about the next new topic to introduce. and once introduced, it was another hour before another blank space appeared.

what the fuck.

why are people so different? it is easy to simply say that one group has more creative ability and more thoughts on hand to contribute to the conversation. but thats just too easy.

why does one group have more thoughts on hand. why is one group completely averse to the idea of turning on the tv. why does one group ALWAYS say “lets turn on the tv [to alleviate this ‘uncomfortable silence’]”

what is the fundamental difference? i dont want to hear “we are smarter than them” because i already knew that. we all already know that our physical, psychology differences make us superior to them in the one specific area known as intelligent discussion

what i want to know is what lies beyond that. what kind of things occur in the minds of the people who have “intelligent thought out” conversations that need not be mitigated by the interruption of the tv, that do not occur in the minds of those people who do need the tv.

just as importantly, i would like to know what we are missing out on. these people who we consider “less intelligent” experience an entire world that we do not!! what is it that we are missing? what kind of things do they enjoy when they discuss the “normal emotional responses” that they have encountered during their daily experiences? what kind of things do they enjoy when they watch jessica and nick fart around doing stupid shit all day? what is the specific emotional response that they experience? are we all missing out on that specific emotional response, that completely natural human experience? are we capable of experiencing it?

furthermore, i feel safe in drawing a parallel between people who dont need a tv to converse with intellectual equals and people who are uncomfortable talking at a frat party (a group of people packed like sardines, conversing for five seconds about things i have no idea, ending in sex).

i think that perhaps those of us who feel that almost everybody is incapable of having an actual conversation are the same people who have trouble finding stupid, pointless things to talk about at your average party, where nobody wants to hear any kind of idea that requires more than 5 seconds to express.

perhaps this is a reflection of my frustration, perhaps it rings true. perhaps i am betraying the true purpose of this thread signified by its title. all interpretations are welcome.

what are the physical, neorological symptoms of being smart? i feel that i have boiled my own down to simple long term memory, mixed with my ability to connect these old memories to new mental experiments. i am more more verbally smart than mathematical, and i am sure that any neurological explanation would have to take this into effect.

in this thread, what i really want to explore is not what i ranted about in that crappy introduction, its what all of you have thought about your own intelligence. what have you tried to pin it down to? what do you think makes your own brain special?

you dont need a big iq to participate. all you need is the ability to read and write complex thoughts in a public forum. what gives you the ability to do such an extraordinary thing? the very fact that you are here reading means that you are “smart” and that you have knowledge that can contribute to my understanding of what makes a person smart.

ive struggled my whole life to think of what makes me different, and ive never pinned it down except for my long term memory. i can remember the meanings of words that others forget. i can specifically remember defining specific words for other people, and they forget what these words are because they never use them. i use them once, and i remember them forever. i feel that it is this one single thing that puts me above all others.

it is very simple, my memory for vocabulary is basically rather amazing. everyone asks me ‘how do you spell this’ and i always know. and its not just spelling, its anything that we are expected to learn, ‘what is the symbol for tungsten?’ W! why the hell do i know that? my brain is crazy

but that doesnt explain my aptitude for logic problems stated in plain english. ‘the butler did it if he was in the kitchen. the maid was having an affair with the butler and often went in the kitchen. the murder was done…’… etc. i also have an amazing propensity for these types of problems.

its not just remembering vocabulary, its RAM. random access memory. computers have it, and i think i do too. i can store more knowledge into quickly accesible storage units that are separate from standrad memory. obviously, everybody has such RAM, its not some freak occurence that only i have. but i believe that a measure of intelligence is how much you can store in this ‘file’ and how quickly you can access it.

thats it. those are the only thigns that i think make me smart. i have a good long term memory that makes me remember vocab i learned years ago, and i have a big, quickly accesible RAM. thats it.

thats the only thing that makes me the #1 smartest person out of any randomly selected 200+ people in the world. im not sure of the statistics, i might be the smartest out of any 1000+ people. all i know is that ive never met a person who is as smart as me

surely other people feel the same way about themselves, why do you think youre so smart?

FM, I already knew why you got drunk, I just didn’t know the details. Which is why I toast a bottle of Sam Adams Summer Ale to you… (good stuff)

I know you’ve probably come to this conclusion, but like myself, the details escape you, and that conclusion is that when we’re young, those of us who perhaps had greater social interaction with our parents and people our parents introduced us to tended to develop towards spending the time through conversation and using one’s brain. Then there are those of us who our parents had lesser social interaction with and we were introduced to other sources of non-human media. Non-human media does not constitute entirely on television. This can extend to video games, toys, and even books or other print media.

So, to simplify, it’s how we were raised.

My solitude.

You probably never will, that is, unless you do some traveling. One thing I’ve noticed about traveling is if you go to another town, state, country - doesn’t matter - you tend to find people there that remind you of someone you’ve met and also rarely, even meet someone that reminds you of yourself.

I don’t think I’m smart, except when comparing myself with someone who doesn’t understand what I’m talking about. Otherwise I think I’m smart - when comparing myself with lesser people - because I know how to use knowledge.

it seems to me you aren;t meeting the right sorts of people.

nobody i ever heard off managed to have “an unending web of interconnecting ideas, punctuated by intermitent realizations of overarching concepts, empty periods mitigated by actual, new ideas, produced by creative minds focued on creative conversation.” with any group of college-age wankers.

Its called Ignorance… Ignorance is bliss… This is what we are missing. If we were ignorant of the intelligence we have we would be these “less intelligent” people. Everything in life would be much happier. Have you read Flowers for Algeron? Simple minds simple pleasure… Ignorance is bliss my friend and you and so many others are unfortunate to have knowledge… lol… j/k… We are smart making us less ignorant of such things like “tv” which most of us know as an idiot box to amuse the idiots, even though i include myself in that category… ignorance can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing… its how u percieve it…i would NOT really call it intelligence or being smart, i would say its knowledge, wisdom and ignorance… these people your talking about are smart they just dont know what we know! (KNOWLEDGE, maybe cause they never read? maybe cause they were raised different? the list can go on man… believe me these people are smart they just are different like you said…) making them … ignorant! (to some extent or ignorant in some ways, this doesnt make them complelty ignorant!)

I hope that helps your question of why we are so smart!

Anither factor is Socialization. When I was forced to interact with some guys who worked on cars, I picked up some knowledge and skills about auto repair. When I hang out with drinkers I end up drinking.

This is, however, not a complete explanation since I always end up following long, meandering trains of thought either with people who like to do the same, or on my own. perhaps it is not so much a matter of “Us” being any smarter than “them” as much as we choose to exersize our brains differently. I believe philosophy to be a better us of the brain than say… following sports but I don’t believe I have more raw brainpower than any sports fan glued to a television. I do, however believe that when I think about broader issues that I am engaging in a superior use of said brainpower. I cannot really defend it at this point, but that’s what I believe.

I’m not gonna bullshit… I don’t think I’m a moron, I think I’m knowledgable… and like McFly said… it has to do with RAM. My mind has a tendancy to remember very obscure information about a wide variety of subjects. Recalling specific data often escapes me… it’s the tradeoff I guess.

But also I find empathy to be a huge tool in ‘being smart’. If you can truly put yourself in another person’s shoes it’s an amazing event… self actualization is a powerful learning tool.

In terms of knowing yourself… I bet Future man would agree drugs are key. For instance when you get so intimate with a drug you also get intimate with the different feelings you experience in the transition from sober to intoxicated… and back again, you learn alot about the human conscience… and it’s biomental nature.