"smart but slow"

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    To a degree, I would describe myself with that line. I am often surprised at how often other (intelligent) people can come to the same or more accurate conclusions as myself, in a fraction of the time it takes me to come to them. However, recently I have met with someone who epitomizes the term. Or maybe I haven't.... you decide

    Just curious, have you ever met someone who is "smart but slow?" Someone who you initially write off as an imbecile because they don't seem to get jokes that even 5 y/o tribesman would, and they breath through their mouth, have dull eyes, and return your questions and comments with a stupid blank stare followed by painfully slow and lethargic speech, but later on you are baffled by the genius conclusions they reach with little information and make you reconsider your initial evaluation of them?

    Maybe I'm dealing with an autistic person, or maybe I just don't fully understand what even science doesn't fully understand; the way the brain works. Apparently we have been unsuccessful in drawing clear lines around "intelligence." I've always associated "slow" with "stupid" but I'm thinking now that it might not be as simple as that.

    Is it possible for a person to be painfully slow at thinking, but have above average pattern recognition/ prediction skills? Is it like eye sight, in that a person may be slow to focus in, but once focused, can see better than 20/20? Whereas a person with 20/80 vision can focus instantaneously, and therefore seem perfectly normal to everyone around them?
     
  2. #12

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    I learned this one from my dogs. Fat Nickle was slow. He was fat and had enough skin for two dogs. When the puppies were playing, "Kill the Man with the Ball", Sneaky Seven (with the short legs) made use of his low center of gravity by torpedoing the other puppies. He would run under them and knock much bigger dogs a** over tea kettle. Then, one day, I was watching them make their high speed rounds through the house and back out the door when Fat Nickle pulled a vanishing act. I watched as the other puppies tried to figure out what he had done, and they couldn't! Even after a couple of them watched him side step the high speed parade and disappear behind a chair, they couldn't figure out what he was doing. That is the day I realized that "slow" doesn't mean "stupid".

    When my slow natured brother-in-law got me to help him drive a truck and trailer to Phoenix, absconded with my pay, and left me stranded, I got another lesson in, "Slow doesn't mean stupid". I didn't like that lesson at all!
     
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  3. strantor

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    Haha, man I bet you, me and a few beers, and someone could make money video taping story time.
     
  4. #12

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    Glad you enjoyed the story.

    (I'm a lot more boring in person.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  5. THE_RB

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    Does the person have evidence of shyness?

    Some who is intelligent but very shy can seem dull, or very slow to speak as they have to build confidence before they speak and even between words etc.

    Generally I would equate intellect with "work over time" like any power, if someone can solve the same puzzle in less time that seems to indicate higher intellect. But a lot of your question is not time related but behaviour/habit type related like the way they look or breathe or their speech habits.

    This person might be very intelligent but "behaves slowly", or they might be average intelligence but have the habit of persevering so they will eventually come through with a solution. Having two clearly defined possibilities you could try some type of test that favors one of those possibilities and gives you an answer.
     
  6. strantor

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    I suppose it's possible that the guy I mentioned is just shy. After all, I don't know him that well. However if you or anyone else met him, I suspect that the same initial opinion would be formed.

    I would like to keep this more general though. I only mentioned the guy, because he is what got me thinking of the topic. He's not the only example. As I said, I also feel this way about myself, albeit to a lesser extent.

    I failed out of the Navy Nuclear Electronics Technician school because it was too fast paced for me. I was putting in 16 hours per day to learn the material, while some of my counterparts only put in 10 hours per day and still passed. I wasn't incapable of learning the material, as I have already gone back and learned it on my own time. It was basic math and basic electrical theory that I failed.

    I tend to prefer discussion in online fora because it allows me time to think about what was said and how to reply. In ordinary face to face conversation, my responses are usually less than inspired.

    That's how I tend to think of it as well, and it's also this very idea that I'm challenging in this thread, for the sake of discussion. I like your puzzle analogy, so let me take that and form my own example with it.

    Let's say you take a group of 100 people and give them a series of puzzle tests that begin with something a lab monkey could solve and end with stuff that Einstein would have trouble solving. For each puzzle, the person must stay in a room with no sustenance until they solve it, then they are free to go until time for the next test.

    I suspect that some trends would emerge. You would have some people who consistently solve the puzzles quickly, and some who are consistently slow. BUT would the quick ones necessarily all be the same people who make it to the final rounds? Or would you have some of these "quick witted" people falling out from starvation somewhere in the middle, while some of your "dull" types make it all the way to the end?

    What I'm thinking is that there's a difference between being able to solve a puzzle quickly, and being able to solve it at all. So assuming a line was drawn between "smart" and "stupid," your power equation might classify some people as "smart" when they are totally incapable of solving puzzles that some of your "stupid" people are.

    Just a hypothesis, for discussion. I have no idea if what I say has any merit, but that's why I'm saying it. You guys are always good at shooting holes in my ideas and making me consider other things, and I like that.
     
  7. gerty

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    I worked with a man for 20 years that was a mechanical genius. He didn't get in a hurry for anyone, and to those that didn't know him, gave the appearance of being just a little on the slow side. His work was flawless, at least to my eyes. Just before he retired he let out a few facts about himself.
    He was one of the founders of Powermatic Tool Co. (McMinnville TN).
    He quit that when one of the partners did something he didn't like, and what that fact was he took to his grave. He was a Navy welder during WWII, he went to the first Lincoln Welding School ( I saw documents) he took an oath to help anyone that needed help with a welding problem. I witnessed that fact when he stopped to help one of his mortal enemies from work.

    I was leary when I heard some of this, so he brought in one of his last royalty checks for something called the "14' adjustable table bandsaw". Before I met him, he had spent some time in a mental health care facility, he said he was 'much better now'.
    Sadly, about 2 years after he retired he cut all the fingers off of his right hand with a table saw. He made some comments about being useless now. He took his own life 2 weeks later.

    Moral of the story: don't judge a book by the person holding it....
    Oh yeah, Powermatic was sold, the factory and foundry closed. The name is now put on some Chinese stuff...
     
  8. MrChips

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    I once dated a girl who admitted to me that on first appearance she thought I looked a bit dozy (as in not very intelligent). I guess I'm smarter than I look. I didn't end up marrying her.
     
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  9. DerStrom8

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    Hi strantor.

    I tend to be the same way. I know my stuff, but it often takes me a while to put everything together and solve problems. I first noticed when I was in my junior year of high school--algebra and pre-calculus classes especially. Everyone was coming up with the answers instantly, when it would take me about 5 minutes. This continued in Calculus (senior in high school), and throughout college. I particularly remember my semiconductors/integrated circuits classes in my second year. People were coming up with the answers while i was still writing down the calculations on my paper. My mind works, just more slowly than a lot of other people.

    So anyway, you are not alone ;)

    Best wishes,
    Matt
     
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  10. Georacer

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    My issue is with snappy come-backs. I have a dead time of about 8 hours.

    That would probably be the only reason I would buy a time machine.
     
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  11. Brownout

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    That's because you're an analytical thinker, and not a situational thinker. For some reason, the analytical gene kills the other one. That's why you have 'brains' and 'jocks' but not often someone who is both.
     
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  12. strantor

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    I know too well. I think of the best comebacks ever. I could sell my lines to a sitcom writer. They just pop into my head 10 minutes after the window of opportunity to use them.
    and when you get someone who is both, it's James Bond.
     
  13. t06afre

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    My friend Tim Nice-But-Dim. Is either smart or fast FYI!
     
  14. spinnaker

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    You have a great imagination for dog names there #12. I love it.
     
  15. bluebrakes

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    lol... same here.

    some friends have commented on my dozy comments and slow uptake, yet I'm the one they always come to when they have a problem with their car, computer or the house keeps popping fuses.

    Part of it is just lack of real social skills and spending far too much time sat in front of my computer or soldering iron.
     
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  16. magnet18

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    Dec 22, 2010
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    ABSOLUTELY MY PROBLEM TOO!!

    i require at least an hour to process a good argument and come up with a good counterpoint
    after that hour, i am undefeatable in a debate
    I just can't get into sudden arguments, because it takes time for me to logically analyze the situation
     
  17. Brownout

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    I tell people that "quality" comebacks take a little more time.

    I worked for 4 years to come up with that line.
     
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  18. #12

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    Don't worry. It will come with experience. After you've seen most everything, you can boil it down to the nuts and bolts while the other person is still talking. I generally don't have arguments, I close them.

    Problem is, I'm getting old. I'm not, "Jeopardy Smart" anymore. I'm still searching for the word while the contestants are hitting their buzzers. Enter the internet. I can take 3 minutes to find the right words, then type them. I look smart again!

    Still, I'm thinking about changing my signature line to, "I'm a lot more boring in person".
     
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