Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Boston

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Boston

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:44 pm

Yes, I unabashedly state that this is the seat of intellectual power in the United States, for better or worse. Therefore it is also the focus of a great deal of hostility from those who need to disparage the use of intelligence to help solve problems. I am just off Harvard Square in Cambridge and will be visiting a sister to watch the debate tonight.

Once upon a time I dreamed of going to Harvard. I got accepted into a sister Ivy League school, Vassar, in 1977, and during the smallest of bitchy whiny moments, I wonder what would have happened had I attended. Well, I would have had a Vassar decal in the back window of my BMW, and I might have been thoroughly ruined by early academic notice or conventional successes.

Intelligence, for all you stupid people, is not all that it is cracked up to be. Indeed, it can be abused horribly, it can be wielded like racism. Intelligent people can be as lonely as anyone else, they can be as wrong as anyone else, they often keep a special secret little place where they can look down their nose at you stupid people if you challenge or annoy them. But nothing an intelligent person can do will ever make up for their own insecurities, nothing. All the withering well-executed sarcasm in the world will not make them feel better about themselves.

I possess a pretty good intelligence that, like a BMW in the snow, rarely gains enough traction to get out of its own way. Here in Cambridge Massachusetts, I can see the failures of my life with startling clarity in this badly needed fall sunshine. I escaped U.C.L.A. with a straight A Honors Collegium transcript and NO DEGREE, because I had to take another path. . .

. . . this one. It is MY path. And though I still plague myself with what-ifs and if-onlys, I am serenely cognizant of an important fact. This is me. I have not fallen behind my peers in any understanding. If my fellow Massachusetts prep-schooled snot-nosed peer, Elliot Spitzer, and I ever sat down to dinner, I would have no problem speaking with him authoritatively about issues that were germaine to us both. And I would be able to take my leave of his chandeliered dining hall, and I could go to the local Dunkin Donuts and laugh it up with the cashier.

We all have to OWN our paths. And for God's sake, none of us can lord it over another's path, really, what do we know of another's journey? I used to think, coming from my intelligent family, that it was the sum of our works that made for a "productive" "meaningful" life. Ha.

It is the experience of our experience that makes it a lived life. And we may have to suffer, so what? Look around and see those who suffer with so much grace. Join them. It is what it is. . . about. If you happen to have a side-splitting laugh today. . . that too is what it is. . . . about.

If the stupid moron behind the parts counter stares at you dumbly, pray that he/she goes home to a loving family and has great weekends. If the murderer wakes up in year 24 of his sentence and helps the new scared inductees survive the prison culture, who are we to judge the guy when he was a stupid hothead in his stupid youth? Yes he should serve every day of his sentence, yesyesyes, but judge him? Here's today, he and any one of us, might just get it together.

As for the rest of the country, how 'bout them smart people, huh? Guess what? We need them. Badly. Talk respectfully of intelligence even if you have no idea what it is, we need it. I love a number of intelligent people. Not because they are better than stupid people, but because I can talk with them and feel that I was understood. I have laughed deeply with stupid people and loved sharing the truths that care not a whit about what we were accidentally blessed with at birth. I despise a number of intelligent people. They have no heart, and I fear their effectiveness at hurting others with fancy justifications. I also hate some stupid people who hurt others stupidly.

A toast to Cambridge and Harvard Law School. May intelligence have a rennaisance in the next administration, God Willing. May the intelligence of all peoples and cultures and the human family enjoy ascendance so we can fix some problems in this world that need fixing. And may my own intelligence gain some traction. Lord knows I need it.
Colin
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Boston

Post by Hippie » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:19 pm

Amskeptic wrote:Intelligence, for all you stupid people, is not all that it is cracked up to be. Colin
Thank goodness! I thought I was missing out on something. :cheers:

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Post by Bookwus » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:16 pm

Hiya Colin,

Interesting discourse.

It has been my observation over these many years that there is a big difference between being intelligent and being smart.
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Post by glasseye » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:39 pm

And significant differences between being educated and being wise. :drunken:
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Post by vdubyah73 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:45 am

Intelligence with out a moral compass is dangerous. Intelligence without common sense is dangerous. Intelligence that makes decisions based on feel good emotions is dangerous. I've known some"stupid" folks that are more intelligent than people with high falutin' degrees. Simply because their momma gave 'em a moral compass, they learned life's lessons and have common sense, and they think long and hard before they act on crucial decisions. A lot of these salt of the earth types are considered conservative. I don't mean just in a political sense. They stay out of other peoples business, unless asked for help. They are usually more generous than they can afford to be. You know, the guy that gives the single mom waitress a bigger tip than that young girl that still lives with mom and pop. I know these kinda people most of them are older than me.
I don't like the word stupid, I prefer " not quite as bright as the rest of us" You know the type. The assistant to the assistant manager at a McDonalds that freezes when you say hold the pickle, the cashier that just locks up and vibrates when you hand them $22.50 for a $12.49 bill.
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Post by Velokid1 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:18 am

Amen, Colin.

My own petty 2 cents in this thread: I value intelligence only half as much as I value self-awareness and thoughtfulness. And by thoughtfulness I don't mean someone who is simply compassionate (though it's usually a by-product). I mean someone contemplative whose actions and even thoughts are deliberate.

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Post by Cindy » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:47 am

Velokid1 wrote:Amen, Colin.

My own petty 2 cents in this thread: I value intelligence only half as much as I value self-awareness and thoughtfulness. And by thoughtfulness I don't mean someone who is simply compassionate (though it's usually a by-product). I mean someone contemplative whose actions and even thoughts are deliberate.
and--lets remember there are different kinds of intelligence. my daughter is learning right now--as part of the curriculum--the theory of multiple intelligences. shes making charts about herself that categorize her strengths and weaknesses so she can actually see what shes really good at and where she could use some more practice. the teacher teaches the kids about language-smarts, kinetic or body-smarts (maybe youre good at athletics), number-smarts, and so on. she doesnt label them with positive or negative. and one kind is no more valuable than the others.

thats not to say that we dont need a particular kind of smart in the white house--i think we do. but its not as simple as smart vs stupid. i happen to have a talent for language and critical thought. but put me down in front of any spatial-oriented task and i will cry with frustration. my brain just doesnt work well on that level. i was 35 before i could find my way around a city without getting lost. and i STILL dont know how to work a crosswalk. the hand, the little man walking--these things totally confuse me while im trying to look both ways. so i stay out of cities. a guy who doesnt know economics should stay out of the white house.

i also liked reading somewhere on this thread about how intelligence is just a matter of what you were born with. my brain is no more a reason for pride than my height. that takes any claim to superiority right out of it.

cindy
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Or you don't.” ― Stephen King, The Stand

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Post by Velokid1 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:12 am

byproxy wrote:
i also liked reading somewhere on this thread about how intelligence is just a matter of what you were born with. my brain is no more a reason for pride than my height. that takes any claim to superiority right out of it.

cindy
=D>

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Post by chitwnvw » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:50 pm

byproxy wrote: and--lets remember there are different kinds of intelligence.

cindy
Amen.

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Post by dingo » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:25 pm

good topic...i value people who have original thoughts or statements...i.e. they have evaluated things and generated their own unique version or perspective. The Phd regurgitating academic slurry or the joe 7-pack bitchin about the government whilst voting for the latest model douchebag.....i reach for the mental remote and change channel pretty damn fast.
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Post by Hippie » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:15 am

glasseye wrote:And significant differences between being educated and being wise. :drunken:
=D> Wisdom is a very different sort of "education" for sure.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Boston

Post by Runamuck Bus » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:15 am

Amskeptic wrote: And though I still plague myself with what-ifs and if-onlys, I am serenely cognizant of an important fact.
How true. I ask myself, "how many times did you 'should' on yourself today?". I 'should' have done this or that, I 'should' not have done that, gone there, did that. All amounting to a heap of regrets that I can't possess, keep or carry with me. Otherwise, I can never be OK right where I am at right now.

What if I would have purchased a running bus? If only I would have waited and saved some more money. I should have studied more before I just jumped in. But then, I would have missed an experience.

I am glad I am who I am, where I am at.

Apologies for ending the sentence in a preposition.
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Boston

Post by Cindy » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:26 am

Runamuck Bus wrote:
Apologies for ending the sentence in a preposition.
thats ok--i read once that the guy who made up that rule was a drunk. it was pretty arbitrary--no good linguistic reasoning behind it.

cindy
“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.
Or you don't.” ― Stephen King, The Stand

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Boston

Post by Bookwus » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:34 am

Hiya Cindy,
byproxy wrote:.....i read once that the guy who made up that rule was a drunk. it was pretty arbitrary--no good linguistic reasoning behind it....
Oh.......thash OK........(hic).........but it does tend to be red......redun.....redundant.
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Boston

Post by Cindy » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:46 am

Bookwus wrote:Hiya Cindy,
byproxy wrote:.....i read once that the guy who made up that rule was a drunk. it was pretty arbitrary--no good linguistic reasoning behind it....
Oh.......thash OK........(hic).........but it does tend to be red......redun.....redundant.

LOL. :flower:
“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.
Or you don't.” ― Stephen King, The Stand

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