Intelligence & boasting

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    Is boasting bad? I think conservative values would say so, but I also think most people, conservative or not, indulge in their own way to some extent. It seems common or even encouraged to boast about obvious abilities.

    Take a look at this youtube video of Brian Shaw deadlifting 973lbs. He is competing for the title of World's Strongest Man; nothing more than bragging rights. He has devoted his life, or at least a very sizable portion of it, to proving to the world that he is stronger than anyone else. Nobody seems to be offended by this. Look at the video comments; people are saying what a beast he is. It is impossible to deny what a beast he is, and that he is the world's strongest man, once he's set the record. There is no question.

    Similarly, in a room of people, say a classroom or an office, you can look around and see who the strongest person in the room is. If this room full of people got bored and someone proposed an arm wrestling competition to kill time, nobody would be surprised when the big guy wins, and when he wins, probably nobody would take it the wrong way if he did a little celebratory touchdown dance in jest. Let's say a 200Lb Xerox machine needed to be moved across the room and set on a pedestal, and the big guy spoke up in a friendly manner; "I'm the strongest here, I'll take care of it," would anybody disagree or have their ego damaged? I doubt it

    But, in areas that are not so obvious to everybody, like intelligence, it seems completely unacceptable to even insinuate that you might be the smartest person in the room, much less brag about it. Treading that ground will quickly have you labeled as a "know it all" and being described by a long list of adjectives like arrogant, conceited, vain, egocentric, etc.

    Going back to our room full of people, if someone stood up and said "I'm the smartest person in the room; I'll tackle the complex feat of engineering," I'm sure the class would be unified in ostracizing whoever said that. People get their feelings hurt when you assert that you are smarter than them. They replace the idea of smarter, with better. "Oh, so you think you're better than me?"

    Why? Why the special exception for smarter? Would a young woman, upon hearing the big guy's offer to move the Xerox machine, ask "Oh, so you think you're better than me?" No! Nobody construes what he said, because an assertion of strength isn't often confused with an assertion of superiority. But intelligence is.

    Just because someone thinks (or knows) that they are smarter than someone else, does not mean that they think they are superior to that person. Intelligence is an attribute, just like height, skin color, bench press max, 100M dash time, visual acuity, clap speed, and how fast one can talk a woman into bed. It is a real attribute, but it seems to have been targeted by the general populace for inclusion into the Handicapper General's Laws of Equality. Nobody is allowed to be smarter than anyone else, unless you win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Then you can brag. But if not, you're no smarter than the next guy.

    I understand half of the problem. I understand why people have trouble identifying who is smarter. It's only obvious to the smarter person. Imagine being an adult in a room full of 7 year olds. The 7 year olds see everybody the same, but you, being an adult, are acutely aware of the fact that you're the only person in the room who has the foresight to pee before you leave the house or pay the credit card bill before the end of the month.

    Unless you are going to force everybody in your vicinity to submit to an IQ test and then throw your IQ score in their faces, you will just have to accept the fact that you won't always be given due credit for your standing in the hierarchy of intelligence.

    The half that I don't understand is why every attempt one makes to affirm their own intelligence is perceived as an attempt to degrade someone else's, and why that perceived degradation is construed to be on the grounds of something more than a simple attribute - more, to the point of being on the grounds of one's value as a human being.



    Note: This rant isn't spawned out of frustration with my own attempts to make my intelligence known. I'm sure it sounds that way, but it's actually just a life-long observation that I've only just now been interested in discussing. I have more conservative values and usually don't brag about intelligence or anything else. If I feel the need to be recognized, I usually just go pisss excellence and wait for the compliments to come rolling in ;).
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  2. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    1,190
    156
    I found in life your Either book smart or street smart ..

    Oh my last I.Q Test
    129 out of 150
    (Sorry mother had me tested)
     
  3. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    That's another debate altogether, but I agree. Some people are like databases of information with no common sense. On the other side of the spectrum are people who react to unknowns with a high level of intuition but have limited capacity for absorbing any useful skills or knowledge. I would call an intelligent person, someone who is a strong blend of both.
     
  4. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    1,190
    156
    I fully understand your rant but with the human race unfortunately you will always be labeled something in life .... I feel that I am a very smart man but I always called names like smartass or know it all .. But in reality I really do know what I am talking about and sometimes I am wrong .. I try to understand everything I can and want to know everything and somethings in life are very easy for me and can't understand why people don't understand or why could someone be that stupid ...
     
  5. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    2,449
    428
    your analogy of the big guy arm wrestling is a little like the video on tv the other day of a big guy in a bar, boasting and slapping other people in the bar. he tried that with the guy next to him, a bit smaller, but a slight mistake, you dont do that to a mma champ. its always best to know the people around you before you make a mistake.
     
  6. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    1,190
    156
    lol
    My father's favorite saying you don't know who you are talking too..
     
  7. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
    1,328
    There are a few things about boasting in my opinion:

    1) You have to be able to back it up with facts. If you brag that you can lift 973 lbs and you actually can, then fine
    2) You have to make sure you aren't trying to put others down while lifting yourself up. Bragging such as "I can lift 973 lbs but you can only lift 150, na-na-na-na-boo-boo" is rude and uncalled for, if you ask me.
    3) If you're only doing it to get attention, don't bother. Your skills are useless if you don't know how to put them to good use.

    Those are the three that pop out at me whenever I see someone boasting and bragging.

    Regards,
    Matt
     
  8. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    1,190
    156
    I agree but found in life even when trying to help for the greater cause always causes the image of showing off or know it all ..
     
  9. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    I know I'm not the smartest person around, but I also know I am smarter than most. My best friend makes me look stupid, but she is a very quiet person and does not brag. She just build things, a full size fully functional R2D2, a 3D printer, a small CNC milling machine, etc.

    If you are really smart you do not need to brag. It shows.
     
    Zerotolerance, Georacer and DerStrom8 like this.
  10. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Seems to me it could be a self preservation mechanism.

    People always want to think better of themselves, "I need to pass on my genes, so I need to either make myself look better or them look worse".

    However, when it comes to physical appearance, calling someone who is 1.5 times your height, thrice your weight and can lift a ton 'vain', 'boasting', or anything negative is probably going to get you snapped in half. Also, being 'good' with someone stronger than you has advantages if you've got to defend against predators or whatever.

    Intelligence is something that doesn't (directly) result in such an immediate threat to our own self preservation, so to get a 'genetic' one up on someone who appears or claims to be smarter is a safe bet. After all, unless someone has a reference to hand, their's no way of conveniently checking a fact. As for decision making, there's no way that a bad decision becomes apparent to some until after it happens.

    I guess the smart thing to do is just let the fools who play the smarter than you game show themselves up. Or just don't interact with them at all... :p :D
     
  11. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536

    Mark Twain
     
  12. tvtech

    New Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    6
    14
    Also never try and play Chess with a pigeon..

    The pigeon will knock all the pieces over, crap on the board..and then proudly strut about as if it has won the game :D

    Regards,
    tvtech

    Thank you Bill for your post above mine. Stupidity is a disease that can not be cured.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  13. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,043
    1,676
    And thus he will make it into a management position first.

    That's the approach I have generally taken.

    My wife and I get into this debate fairly often and it's always started by her proclaiming that since she did something I see as basic task by herself or with minimal help she is smarter than me.

    I usually counter that by letting her know which one of us can step up and cover 100% of the other persons at work and home duties and which one just b!tches at me to do most of her stuff for her. :rolleyes:

    My wife can kick my butt on CAD work in speed and proficiency but then if that was all I did all day I expect that I could probably match or exceed her in a week or two. As far as her learning and being able to retain the knowledge for what I do all day every day I am rather sure she won't live long enough. :p
     
  14. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,451
    3,370
    A smart person does not brag.
     
    tvtech and DerStrom8 like this.
  15. tvtech

    New Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    6
    14
    Yip Mr Chips, you read it right. If you are confident in your own knowledge...you have no reason to brag.

    Thank you,
    tvtech
     
  16. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Perhaps we should define what sort of smartness/intelligence we are talking about?

    History is full of brilliant minds who loved to brag or show off their intelligence, my favourite example is Isaac Newton. Almost certainly the most brilliant mathematician and physicist of all time, and he knew it. He loved to brag and put down his peers (as was fairly common at that time), even to the point that he believed he was some sort of demi god.

    Of course, such practices are rare today, but at what point did this change? I don't think anyone alive today can compare to the brilliance of Newton, but then there aren't so many prickly characters either. :D

    My question is that as there is no such universal 'law' that dictates bragging to be bad (or the sign of not being smart/intelligent), why should (or do) we consider now to be so?
     
  17. poopscoop

    Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    139
    16
    A person who describes himself as the smartest, even if he can prove, is usually one of the worst members on a team. If you can't work on a team, then you aren't of any use, and the only person who cares how good you are is the guy in the mirror.

    The self-described smartest person is not the person least likely to be wrong, he is the person least likely to properly handle being wrong.
     
  18. tvtech

    New Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    6
    14
    As a very Junior member here...I am slowly starting to like All Out Circuits.

    Seems to be a nice gathering of good people here. Many students and all still ask the same questions...

    I like the Moderation. I like the way the site is run.

    Heck, what do I know??

    Anyway, tvtech thinks you are are all doing a very good job of everything.

    My 2c worth.
     
    Sparky49 likes this.
  19. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    All Out Circuits is good, but doesn't compare to All About Circuits. ;)
     
  20. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,451
    3,370
    If you are bragging you are not smart. They are mutually exclusive.
     
Loading...