The downsides of being clever...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by cmartinez, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,555
    2,517
    Of all my family and friends (and I have a large family, and have been blessed with more friends than average) I'm the only one who is technologically and scientifically inclined.
    I grew up surrounded with people that would later become lawyers, merchants and bankers... and a medical doctor here and there who of course has a limited interest in science, but mostly only when it relates to their own profession.
    So the conversations I normally have had to listen to have always been about politics (which I find interesting, but pretty soon turn boring), economics (maybe I should become more interested in that subject), and soccer ... nothing wrong with that last one, except that a 24/7 conversation about what I consider a pointless subject, repeated 365 times a year, quickly becomes intellectually numbing...

    Anyway, my childhood was far from being a lonely one (it was a very happy one, actually), but I always felt like an oddball, even among friends and family. And it's not because I considered myself smarter or more clever than most (I'm not) but because my interests were too different from those of ordinary people.

    This article describes more or less how I feel sometimes:

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150413-the-downsides-of-being-clever

    ... The harsh truth is that greater intelligence does not equate to wiser decisions — In fact, it can make you more foolish
     
    MaxHeadRoom and DerStrom8 like this.
  2. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,509
    2,369
    Those such as Einstein and Stephen Hawking et-al must got/get frustrated at times when the amount of people to discuss your thoughts and ideas are limited!

    On the Link, This is heck of a way to learn Ohms Law.:cool:


    a sad, case concerns the maths prodigy Sufiah Yusof. Enrolled at Oxford University aged 12, she dropped out of her course before taking her finals and started waitressing. She later worked as a call girl, entertaining clients with her ability to recite equations during sexual acts.

    Max.
     
  3. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,555
    2,517
    Yeah... read that one too, sad and funny at the same time...
     
  4. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
    2,647
    632
    The curse of the engineer...
     
    ISB123, #12, gerty and 5 others like this.
  5. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,555
    2,517
    That was real, real good! Thanks for sharing! :)
     
  6. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,421
    3,357
    You just have to face the fact that you are a techno-nerd, a geek. There is a high percentage of participants on this forum who can identify with that.
    So not to worry. You are in safe company. That is one nice thing about AAC. Since it has a global reach you don't have to retreat to your cave and live in obscurity.

    We have to be sure that we make the distinction between IQ, intelligence and knowledge versus being smart and clever.

    One recurring flaw with the BBC article is the tendency to equate IQ with salary or financial success. What kind of metric is there to truly measure a successful life?

    You don't need high IQ to be financially successful, neither do you need to be smart, clever or be a genius or wizard. Financially successful people are highly motivated and driven to succeed.

    I know of professionals, doctors, lawyers, professors, bankers who presumably would measure with high IQs but would not know which way to turn a screwdriver. Today's work place demands a high degree of specialization. You can be a knowledge expert in your field and a complete dummy in another.

    Having a high IQ does not prevent you from making poor decisions due to personal biases, emotions and idiosyncratic behavior.
    High IQ does not prevent you from making non-performing investments or financial decisions.

    The fact that you have difficulty making idle conversation with others could simply mean that your interests do not mesh with theirs. But it also could be related to the fact that many persons with a strong passion for science and technology have not developed strong social skills and that is none of your misdoing. One may argue whether that is a result of nature or nurture.

    The BBC article touches on one aspect that may have a lot of truth to it. "Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know." Ernest Hemingway recognized it. Albert Einstein knew it. Intelligence gives one the ability to deeply analyze world systems and yet frustrates because it makes individual efforts to change so insignificant.

    As for your interests in economics, money is clearly the number one driving force in our society. Paradoxically, it will also be the number one cause for the demise of human society as we know it.
     
    praondevou, #12, Treeman and 2 others like this.
  7. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,093
    3,031
    That's one of my favorite clips and I've been sharing it with fellow engi-nerds for years. They can all relate.
     
  8. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,034
    1,626
    I'm pretty well known as a machine whisperer in my circles. Been that way all my life.:cool:
    I just have that knack to see things in my head about how most anything mechanical or electrical works, much to the bafflement of those who consider themselves certified experts in some areas, and make improvements when seen necessary.

    Now as far as work ethic goes I do high quality work to the best of my abilities and personal frustrations when its necessary but for the most part over the years I have learned to just keep my mouth shut and watch others until asked to pitch in.
     
    #12 likes this.
  9. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,555
    2,517
    Yup... those of us in this field pretty much have to develop our social skills... while others more lucky are naturals at such things...
     
  10. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,509
    2,369
    'The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but Imagination"
    A. Einstein

    Max.
     
    atferrari, Treeman and cmartinez like this.
  11. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    3,577
    463
    90% of the population are mostly concerned about procreation, intoxication, and destruction, as well watch TV every day. Many have pictures on their walls their homes quite cluttered.

    So unless you want to entertain your converssation partners and probably sponsor the drinks, you talk against a brick wall.

    Get rid of the TV and the pictures. Who cares ho won the match? It pretty much repeats every year. You could watch trees growing or clouds or just sit there like a Buddha.

    Of course, in our society you need to perform consumption or its much harder to become respected. The genius in its ivory tower doesnt count.

    Then you also get the indoctrination thinking in artificial realities by teachers and authorities, real life doesnt happen that way, its just wishful thinking.

    I'm growing plants and observing small invertebrates to recover from work.
     
    Treeman likes this.
  12. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,034
    1,626
    Well I have always been pretty good at knowing how to make what I imagine work so.......:cool:

    Social skills wise I am actually considered above average in that as well but to be honest being outgoing and social is not my favorite activity by any means. First choice for me is to stay at home and do my own thing. Second is to work some place where I enjoy my work and have interesting people to interact with. Last is going out and socializing just for social sake. I just don't need people around me that much to be happy.

    Now that said my last job working in the oil industry for a fraccing company definitely met both of those likes. I found my work fun and challenging plus to my surprize very few of the people I worked with and interacted with ever rubbed me the wrong way despite being around them for 12 - 14 hours a day for weeks at a time.
    I sort of miss that job and oddly enough kind of would like the layoffs to end so I can go back to work. :eek:
     
    Treeman likes this.
  13. Treeman

    Member

    May 22, 2014
    158
    15
    cmartinez- the main point in life is to enjoy it and try not to hurt others in doing so. I'm smart, clever even but I struggle with some electronic concepts because I'm too imaginative and struggle not to race ahead and miss the basics - my practical leaning (lets get it done) can be frustrating when the 'means whereby' are elusive- If only I was 14 again!!!. I truly believe that electron flow v conventional flow renders everything upside down and I remain wholly confused. It wont stop me trying or posting here. The word Nerd or Geek is nothing to be ashamed of especially if like me you resonate with Dull rather than Keen at times - or busy. I'm a wannabe GeekNerd. I'm keen but not so keen; know what I mean? If you are under 30 then life looks different anyway and I can assure you that the small stuff aint worth the sweat. Use it or lose it is a universal 'watchword'. Just don't worry. That's a waste.
     
    cmartinez likes this.
  14. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,555
    2,517
    Yo!!! hold your horses! You're the second one here to tell me that being a nerd-o-geek is nothing to be ashamed of... as if!
    Of course I'm NOT ashamed to be a nerdy dude... I am one and proudly so... but unlike most nerds I know that are socially bereft, I've never had a problem with that in my life... in fact, some of my best friends were (and are) rough sports fans that have nothing but respect for me, and me for them... I just don't fit the geek stereotype out there... in fact, I'm an average-looking dude who just so happens to be married to a most gorgeous (and very intelligent) wife... that kind of surprises people sometimes...
    Anyway, my comments were about feeling intellectually isolated sometimes, not socially so.
     
  15. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
    2,675
    2,722
    "Can he lead a normal life?"

    "No. He will be an engineer."

    Love it!
     
    #12 and cmartinez like this.
  16. Treeman

    Member

    May 22, 2014
    158
    15
    well - it sounds like you have a home here. Unless you are Geek Lord I cant see you being intellectually isolated. Sounds like you need to hang here as often as poss.
    I make no distinction between isolation and social interaction and I wonder how you do?

    Try Alexander Technique.
     
  17. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,093
    3,031
    If it's any consolation, I think being intellectually isolated is part of the human condition no matter who you are. We all hold differing sets of data in our heads and will never speak with someone that knows the same stuff or interprets it all the same way. It would probably not be pleasant to meet such a person anyway.

    Socially adept folks are good at finding - or forging - common ground and can enjoy interacting with almost anyone. I'm not one of those people although I started to get good at it after a lot of experience in the business world.

    Engineers enjoy logic and reason and for some reason these are foreign and even unattractive to the majority of people that instead prefer wallowing in emotion and fantasy. We understand and even enjoy those things too, but that majority can never come over to our side and enjoy the beauty of science in the way that we do.
     
    Treeman and cmartinez like this.
  18. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,555
    2,517
    That was pretty deep... probably deserving an entire new thread by itself. Thanks for sharing.
     
  19. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,034
    1,626
    Yea I don't look all that nerdy or geeky either. I'm 6'3" 260# muscular build and easy to socialize with as well.
    That said apparently my high end nerdy geeky electronics and electrical experiments are down right scary to the unknowledgeable!

    A old buddy of mine is a former military special forces guy and has seen some pretty scary stuff in his day and he openly admits that the stuff I play with for grins and giggles some days scare the crap out of him.
    He always commented that its a good thing terrorists are stupid because if any of them played with and used what I have been known to play with just for fun but for bad his special forces guys would run scared. ( Then bomb me from a few miles away hoping I don't have some sort of mad scientist doomsday device up my sleeve. . ) :p

    Aparently according to him my ability to imagine the and create the common mans unthinkable just to see if I can has great potential for mad scientist super villainy. :eek:

    Good thing I am too lazy to want to take over the world. :D
     
    #12 likes this.
  20. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,555
    2,517
    Well... if I ever did take over the world... I wouldn't know what to do with it anyway...
     
Loading...