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Do you believe everyone is smart?


Camilo

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I've had this lingering thought in the back of my mind, for the longest while. It's been reaffirmed, strengthen at times by some of the things that I read here on GA and as of recently an NPR story that I listened to a week ago. It's the idea that everyone is smart in his/her own level and, given the opportunity, can provide a grounded opinion. In other words, when enable to, a person can produce a creative idea, logical response, or convincing argument. That there aren't just a "set" of people who are smart, creative, and resourceful, but rather everyone is capable of producing something worthwhile.

 

I kept thinking of this as I listened to an NPR story about "multipliers". People who enable others to shine and prosper. In other words, people who bring out the best in you, whether it is at coming up with educated answers, innovative ideas, and creative problem solving tips. In addition, the story explores people who have the opposite effect on others - "diminishers" (or a word along those lines, can't fully remember it). These are individuals who micromanage everyone around them and hold the believe that there is a set of people who are the smart, creative, and innovative people. The story concludes stating that the main difference between diminishers and multipliers is that the latter believes everyone around them is smart and has the capabilities to solve tough problems.

 

Do I believe that everyone around me is smart?

 

I don't know and this "I don't know" makes me wonder even why it is that I can't answer this question. Am I conceited? No and yes. No in the sense that I'm not presumptuous; I do, however, have a mix of inner confidence/ego that makes have an excessively positive opinion of my abilities. Honestly, I do believe that I am better than some people and that I will be successful in life (not money making successful, rather, successful in the goals that I set out to accomplish). I'd like to think that what I feel is self worth, and do admit that it might be pretentious. But truthfully, I don't care.

 

My mom tells me that she's amazed at how easily things come to me. She means how lucky it seems that everything I want... happens. My grades, my friends, my colleges, my scholarships, and even my love life. Things just happen to fall into place in front of me, and I like it. In just a few months I'll heading off to Swarthmore, one the of most intellectual places in the country. Every thing there is a debate, everyone there was the smartest kid in their class, everyone there has strong educated opinions, and they don't have an off button. I scares me and frustrates me at the same time. I can just picture myself telling a kid to shut the eff up and let me my CoCo Puffs in peace, i don't want to hear about Darfur, I don't want to hear about the dolphins, i don't want to discuss Foucault, all i want to do is eat my CoCo Puffs and think of nothing.

 

Then there are you guys, the people who post things responses here. I read them and they seem educated, lengthy and thought out. I'm truly amazed at some of the responses, especially in the soap box, because they're thought out. Even some of the responses of people who are newbies make me think. Albeit at some responses I just want to draw a big red X on them, but still. I would say that the responses are smart/creative/and innovative because, well, I think they are. But does it mean that all of you belong to the "set" of smart innovative people who are at the top of their game?

 

Just by numbers, no. So, why are your responses so well, smart? Could it be that GA serves as "multiplier" and brings out the best in you? Bringing out your creative, smart, and innovative side?

 

Maybe after all, everyone has the potential to be smart and creative?

 

Is everyone smart?

 

I don't know. Maybe.

 

*goes back to sleep*

 

 

14 Comments


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You're looking at this all wrong, boi! Of course everyone is intelligent enough to illustrate their own opinion and be critical about crap. However, the majority of people are phoney and don't understand anything beyond their own four walls, hence all of their opinions are wrong. Keep up, Camilo! x

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I think that most people 'can' be smart but a lot of them aren't.. I have just mentioned on another thread the mirror effect. It's relevance here is that it depends how you look at it. If you treat people positively then they are more likely to react to you positively and that brings out the best in them including their intelligent responses. But this is most and by no means not all.

 

And then of course there are different kinds of smarts. Some of them a sneaky, cruel and only do harm.

 

Also I don't think that everyone is smart. There are those who are ignorant because they choose to be, are too lazy not to be or just simply can't see above the shit they wallow in. That is why opinions and stated 'fact' can't be taken at face value and have to be filtered through your own experience, knowledge and smarts.

 

An incredibly intersting topic from a smart guy :)

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  • Site Administrator

Very interesting blog. And duh, you gotta focus on those coco puffs, they're round; they could escape off the spoon! :P

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Not a chance.

 

I don't pretend to know how intelligence is fostered but many people never sustain enough of it to use the brains that are in their heads. Many people are happy as pigs rolling mud by never being able to think beyond a high school level but that's their pereogative.

 

 

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X

 

Here's the real challenge that you didn't address, Camilo. How do you as a multiplier or enabler or whatever, remove that big red "X"?

 

Once a person has been branded as a nobody or a dufuss or simply dumb, how do you move them to the smart side of the street? Perhaps that's something a certain member of the Swarthmore Class of 2014 will have learned.

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I think that being smart is overrated. Smart is just how well you process data and respond. I'm old fashioned, maybe, and think there're other things that are important in the same way that there are differences between definition and meaning.

 

 

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You know what would make you even smarter? Completing Perks before you start college when you really won't have time to finish it....

 

But, no really, I do think that there are a lot of people out there who aren't reaching their potential. It takes a lot of time to be well read enough to make points and argue with the brightest minds out there. I find myself taking time to answer questions and researching my responses, especially in the soapbox where things get so heated. Here, I hope, people feel comfortable putting their opinions out there and have confidence in their ability to defend their viewpoint.

 

Besides, taking the time gives my coco puffs a chance to make chocolate milk. The best part of the whole meal.

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Not a chance.

 

I don't pretend to know how intelligence is fostered but many people never sustain enough of it to use the brains that are in their heads. Many people are happy as pigs rolling mud by never being able to think beyond a high school level but that's their pereogative.

 

 

But you're just making assumptions on appearances. Just because someone acts "dumb" and "close minded" doesn't mean that they don't have inner thoughts. How can you know what's going through the mind of these people who "are happy rolling in mud"? Do intelligent creative thoughts pass through their brains, but are not acted upon? Do the same ideas that flow through "smart" people flow through their minds, but are self censored? They may be present, could they not?

 

 

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But you're just making assumptions on appearances. Just because someone acts "dumb" and "close minded" doesn't mean that they don't have inner thoughts. How can you know what's going through the mind of these people who "are happy rolling in mud"? Do intelligent creative thoughts pass through their brains, but are not acted upon? Do the same ideas that flow through "smart" people flow through their minds, but are self censored? They may be present, could they not?

 

 

You have good points, however there is sort of a creed I support and it's that "what you do defines you, not who you are". Otherwise intelligent people who frequently and with little contemplation make unintelligent decisions are not intelligent to me. Those who often "act" dumb and close minded probably are dumb and close minded. If it walks like a dog and barks like a dog, it's prolly a dog. It could be a cat, but it'll be a pretty weird cat.

 

Also, since there is no way to measure intelligence quantitatively (IQ tests aren't accurate), we tend to rely on expression as a means to determine it's magnitude. The ability to express one's self is often a good indicator of one's own ability to form the respective thoughts to begin with, and what comes out of different people's mouths or their actions/inactions clearly shows a gap in the quality of the thoughts. In addition, you may harbor some inner creative thoughts or potential high levels of thinking, but unless you can manifest them in a way that is legitimately beneficial to you and satisfies a purpose, they do not do you any good. As far as your last question is concerned I strongly do not believe so. Also, I don't believe intelligence is indicated so much by ideas as it by reactions to the idea or solutions towards an idea. In other words, knowing what the number 2 means doesn't necessarily mean one would know what 2 + 2 is. It's making the connection that's important and some people can't make the connections.

 

What inner thoughts do you believe one need to possess in order to distinguish itself from being a "dumb" thought or a "smart" thought anyways?

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No, there are a lot of truly stupid people out there, not ignorant, not narrow minded, just stupid.... can not create independent thought, can not learn, but muddle through life anyway.

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