A Bradburyan Nighmare: The Shunning of Intellect

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by gendanken, May 1, 2004.

  1. water the sea Registered Senior Member


    Well, maybe the term "emotional intelligence" may be not in place or misleading -- considering what you have been taught!!

    I was referring to EI the way Goleman in "Emotional Intelligence" sees it.

    The lack of EI isn't something that would be typical for nerds -- far from that.
    The word was about Wes, and in that context it struck me that EI is one of the more visible differences between him and, say Tiassa.

    I remember the "inflammatory topic thread" against Dr. Lou. One could say that the accusations made by T. were those that someone with a "shitty personality" (as someone noted in this thread before) would make. But a "shitty personality" isn't exactly a scientific term, so there has to be a way to describe it more exactly.

    For EI, Goleman postulates that a person has these abilities well-developed (I'm translating, the original may be a tad different):

    a) to encourage oneself,
    b) to defy frustrations,
    c) to have control over one's instincts,
    d) to postpone satisfying of needs,
    e) to control one's moods,
    f) to release pressures that inhibit the ability of thinking,
    g) empathy,
    h) hope.

    Okay, truth be told, I have learned the most of my new swear words from Wes, so some of the above may not fit when it comes to him ...

    But just look: Wes has a positive way with people and himself, he encourages, shows appreciation, *kowtows*, puts smilies into his posts -- or openly shows his disappreciation. How many times did you see T. kowtow to someone? How many smilies in his posts? I hate to sound preposterous, but T. strikes me as somehow "cold". Very polite, very elloquent, but somehow lacking emotion.

    What is more, Wes encorporates the main principle of EI: to have emotions and be aware of them. In his posts, he cleary says "I'm pissed" or "I'm glad". The reader knows what mood the author is in -- which is quite important in this medium of communication.
    Also, the use of the meta-text: While writing, Wes evaluates his own train of thought. He also gives other circumstantial info, like when he says "it's late, I've got to hit the sack" or something like that.

    It is all easily understandable -- ... apart from the actual content of some of his posts that are filled with inter-relating juxtaposed concepcts (Wes, if you're watching: this is a pun on me and my mental laziness!

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    But take T.'s posts. He also puts in the meta-text -- but that is so hard to figure out, it is wrought into scholarized wordings of most artificial curvings of what used to be simplicity. T. tends to be quite indirect.
    With T., I barely ever know when he's just joking or being sarcastic -- or when he's really serious. To "simple" people, this is confusing -- and hence the avoidance, or even reviling.

    To conclude, take the a-h list, and check people's behaviour by it. I'm not saying that this is *the* tool to see who's a nerd and who isn't; but it does help in covering up differences in emotional responses between people -- and that may lead to a better understanding of what a nerd might be.
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  3. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Man I feel like a stinking lab rat.

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  5. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

    NONSENSE! This scale will be adopted immediately for the betterment of mankind.

    So, we now have an 8-point scale for judging nerdness thanks to Goleman. I'll begin using it forthwith. We'll rate by sentence and then average, although we might use the lowest-rated sentence in a paragraph for the baseline nerdness.

    Well frick wes, you can't feel like a stinking lab rat.(Goleman factor 0) You either smell like a stinking lab rat, or you feel like a stinking lab rat feels!(Goleman factor 0) What's wrong with you?(Goleman factor 0)

    How'm I doing?

    By the way, thanks wes. Ye're so cute with your beady little red eyes, begorrah.
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  7. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    How you're doing? I had to put on sunglasses because you are soooooo bright!
  8. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    Please don't! It's not my fault that you are one of the more outstanding specimens here -- and hence subdued to various tests and researches ...
  9. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Yet another thread mummyfied.
    No matter- been englightening.

    A parting thought:
    Rosa sayz:
    Nice is overrated- I feel one of the most detrimental things to us as species is the recoiling from that which gives pain or displeases.
    We are men, not mice.
    The comfortable is pleasing, but in its pleasures - blinds.

    From my other thread to this one:

    "Nice" derives from the Latin word nescius, meaning 'ignorant'.
    In the 14th and 15th century this word 'nice' was commonly used as "foolish" or "dumb". In Chaucer's day, calling someone a nice person was not a compliement, nor was it a desirable trait.
    Like 'naughty' the word has undergone what linguists call elevation, where with time a low word achieves more favorable connotations or meaning compared to its original.

    Not saying niceness is weakening- it empowers those who are good at it and are pure in motive. However, its usually the 'nice' that have something to hide and are selling something.
  10. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    Also, there may be important differences between cultures.

    As far as I could observe, what is considered "nice" in America, we tend to think "oversweet in a cheap and substanceless way". The American niceness I see in real TV shows and some talkshows, is downright creepy.
  11. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    So creepy you............kinda wanna kill 'em all, ya know?
    Dr. Phil and 'em.

    (Stop watching television.)
  12. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    I have now come to this theory about nerds:

    We have made the following observations:

    1. Nerds display above-average or non-typical abilities or skills.
    2. These abilities or skills are of various kinds; but most nerds display interest and expertise in the field of intellectual abilities or skills, fewer in the field of sports or manual skills.
    3. Most nerds are clumsy communicators as far as everyday communication and common courtesy are concerned. They appear to lack social skills.
    4. Many nerds if asked, "What are you interested in?", reply, "Everything."
    5. Their IQ is usually above average.
    6. By their socio-economic origin and standard, nerds aren't limited to one class. But it appears that most nerds come from the middle class or the proximity of it (upper middle class, lower middle class).
    7. Nerds find themselves to be unliked or even reviled by the majority.
    8. Concerning ther family background and their upbringing, there don't seem to be any specific connections between the circumstances (domestic violence, alcoholism, single parenting, being an only child vs. extremely mild parents, pampering etc.) and the child becoming a nerd.
    9. The human brain and its abilities is a vast universe, and we have relatively little reliable knowledge about it.

    These were the main premises that lead me to this explanation:

    Nerddom is genetically predisposed. Nerds are people that have an all-purpose brain. This brain has at least these observable characteristics:
    -- it is very sensitive to external stimuli,
    -- it is very flexible in regards of creativity,
    -- it is very fast,
    -- it is not specialized in a particular way.

    The mental organisation of terms in the brain of a nerd is different from the one in an average person.
    Namely, experiments prove that good and creative problem solvers use several parts of their brain when solving a problem, while average problem solvers use fewer parts of their brain. This shows that (very) different mental organisations are possible, depending on the brain. What if some brains think in this "multi-part" manner all the time, not just when focused on solving a problem?

    However, if nerds have such all-purpose brains -- why are they so clumsy and why do they feel reviled?

    Let's look at the development of a nerdy child. Children are curious by nature, they ask questions all the time. At an early point in life, the differences between a nerdy and an average child aren't visible yet: both ask a lot of questions. Children cling on to words -- why this, why that, what is this, what is that. What is not visible is the way the acquired data is stored and organized in the brain.

    I suppose that nerdy children are so sensitive that they are able to think about certain issues at an early age where average children simply internalize them, and most of all, nerdy children are able of a more intense thinking.

    When it comes to matters of communication and social interaction, the above has an important implication: Instead of simply learning "You say hello because you have to.", the nerdy child fails to internalize this, and keeps on wondering about such things. It clings on to words too much.

    Now, the lack of social skills is not limited to nerds; many people lack them. But the lack of social skills *and* above-average intelligence or non-typical abilities or skills come together only in nerds.

    So the nerdy child fails to internalize the basic social skills -- and due to this lack, new lacks of social and communication skills come along, as the child is unable to sucessfully socialize with other children where it could learn new social and communication skills. Hence the social and communication clumsiness.

    As for revilement, we need to distinguish two things: Why do nerds feel reviled? Why do people revile nerds?

    Sometimes, nerds most likely feel reviled simply due to the greater sensitivity of their brain, and because they haven't properly learned social and communication skills. They tend to misinterpret simple communication phenomena, usually taking them too seriously (they cling on to the words).

    As for why they indeed are reviled by others:
    First of all, the membership in certain social groups is always an important factor, not just when it comes to nerds. If one is not a member, one is likely to be reviled, no matter what the group or personality traits of the foreigner.

    Secondly, and this is specific reviling of nerds: People find it hard to communicate with them, because nerds are such clumsy communicators.
    Here, let's once more stress that once one starts to make negative experiences, they tend to pile up, and the person becomes even more secluded and careful, or even negativistic -- which leads to new negative experiences.

    To an uninformed outside observer a nerd very likely appears to be someone with "low self-esteem issues" -- as people who have "low self-esteem issues" are either very loud, or very quiet and clumsy. The nerd's expertise appears to be a compensation for his low self-esteem.
    (BTW, maybe this is the clue to distinguish between a true blue nerd and a wannabe nerd: a true blue nerd simply is the way he/she is, while a wannabe nerd compensated his/her low self-esteem by *acting* like a nerd.)
    If a man with a small peepee buys a smashing car and parades around with it, then this car is his compensation for his lacking self-esteem (if the man feels he is less of a person because he has a small peepee).
    But the nerd's expertise, his non-typical or above-average creativity is simply a display of how he/she *is*, and not a compensation.

    In conclusion, I can say that nerds have the best stuff to become masters.

    I think that people like Buddha, Jesus or Mohammed had such nerdy all-purpose brains, which allowed them certain insights into the organisation of social life. However, in those days, knowledge was relatively limited, and it was possible that one single person was able to collect and use a signifficant portion of the existing knowledge.
    Nowadays, the amount of information available is immense, and it is not possible anymore that one person could collect and use a signifficant portion of that knowledge. (Goethe was the last of those all-knows.) Therefore, some choosing and some specialization must take place. This may be against the nature of an all-purpose brain, but I think that with the proper attitude, this too can be completed (for it is an all-purpose brain). And voila, we get ourselves an Einstein.

    In order to stop the revilement, I can think of a few tips:

    Work on your social and communication skills. They may be empty phrases, but they are there to help communication run smoothly, and this is where their great worth lies.

    Think of communication as a matter of exchange: Successful exchange is when it happens to the benefit and pleasing of both parties; this can be only if A has what B wants and vice versa, whereby they don't perceive this exchange as competition or opposition -- but as cooperation. One should be a conscious communicator and enter communication only upon seeing that the above kind of exchange can happen, or leave the communication.

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  13. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    Man, that thing got really long. I apologize.
  14. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Excellent points.

    1. Yet the prole displays above average abilities in gossip.
    2. This disenfranchises them.
    3. Refer to my mentions of stroking. Good point.
    4. Which inundates its listener and triggers a stream of excuses to exit.
    5. Above average, and below the popularity threshold
    6. Likelier the lower classes- explains the ridicule for their hand-me-downs
    7. Direct result of numbers 1 and 5.
    8. I beg to differ- most of these 'clumsy brutes' grow up alone.
    9. However, spectators don't see brain or recoil from their lack of understanding neurology. They recoil because the poor nerd seems awkward and the majority shuns him. Mob mentality.

    Hypersensitive and frozen in the infant stage?
    Totally agree.

    Curiosity is seen as something unsophisticated in the frame of adulthood. So it becomes undesirable and in the context- unproductive.
    Unless our nerd just so happens to be an oddball nuclear scientist or Microsoft's executive officer....
    Both have their finger on The Buttons.

    Immense indeed and its peopled the earth with a strange phenomena- wannabe nerds.

    Knowlege becomes label and disussing it becomes chique- how many Nietschze propagondists does on suffer per day on campus?
    They feel themselves disgusted and proud in that disgust because this, to them, is the main ingredient for enlightment so they rush out into the world to swallow knowledge without tasting.
    They learn all kinds of datas and names and numbers and meet up on corners and classrooms so full of facts and isms they're about to explode like the ticks they are.
    These are not nerds, they are educated phillistines.

    Says Durant:
    "In the end it is this intial dishonesty that breeds the sterile intellectualism of contemporary speculation. A man who is not certain of his mental integrity shuns the vital problems of human existence; at any moment the great laboratory of life may explode his little lie and leave him naked and shivering in the face of truth. So he bulds himself an ivory tower of esoteric tomes and professionally philosophical periodicals; he is comfortable only in their company(gend: in addition to the company of parasites just like him), and dreads even the irritating realism of his home."

    No need.
  15. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    Actually, I used "9. The human brain and its abilities is a vast universe, and we have relatively little reliable knowledge about it." as a simple "scientific disclaimer", meaning that something completely new and astonishing could be discovered about the human brain.

    True, but there is one very important thing when it comes to the lower class: CHALLENGE. That nerdy brain can find just the right amount of challenge if in somewhat uncomfortable conditions. Also, being a member of the middle or lower class gives one a more realistic perspective of life. Not that nerds would immediately follow this perspective, but I think it can be a valuable asset for the future, when, around their mid-thirties, the nerds grow up.

    I take that nerdy children in the upper class, unless having very strict parents, let themselves be pampered and numb down, thereby never meeting enough intellectual challenge to realize their nerd potential.
    Those that are very poor, face a lot of challenges, maybe even too many, and they also simply cannot afford to pursue their intellectual interests.

    I really like that Durant passage. *Initial dishonesty.*
    Note that true nerds are mostly unable to lie and painfully stick to the truth -- which makes them even more unattractive. Then, they shut themselves off even more, which makes them the perfect target of revilement.
  16. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    " Then, they shut themselves off even more, which makes them the perfect target of revilement."

    And thus become the most brilliant hermits persecuted by their government.
    Think Unabomber.

    "Also, being a member of the middle or lower class gives one a more realistic perspective of life. "

    Adversity means stamina. Experience toasted with wisdom. Of course- which is why I'd wish Nietszche would shut the fuck up about Supermen sometimes.
  17. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    As for being an only child: This seems immediately plausible, yes, for modern times, certainly.
    But what do we do with the nerds of older times? Back then, there were usually more children in one family.
  18. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Some of the most brilliant minds grew up in lonely households.
    Not using him as an example here for he's an idiot, but Cary Grant testifies that this condition allows one to create oneself.

    Newton, Einstein, Leibniz, Turing and in the literary world Shaw, Elliot and countless others- these historical figures developed on the focused energies their parents otherwise would have wasted on the cadavers that would have been the bulk of stupid children.
    And so, in an only child environment it seems there we've found the likeliest Nerdom.
  19. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    Then let's look at some characteristics of being an only child:

    1. No competition with siblings. The idea of competition and social hierarchy that an only child internalizes is very likely to be very different from the one of the child that comes form a family with more children.

    An only child has to compete with its parents -- which is a lose-only game, and the child wins only if the parent lets it win. Which very likely leaves the child feeling forever insufficient, and incomparable to others. "I won because they let me win, not because I was stronger/better/smarter" may be the internal structure that remains.

    (How do single children treat public praise? Say, then win a contest -- are they happy to receive the prize? Does it mean anything to them?)

    2. No cooperation with siblings. The idea of cooperation that an only child internalizes is very likely to be very different from the one of the child that comes form a family with more children.
    The only child is primarily used to cooperate with those who are not like the child. An only child is treated as a miniature adult. This is why such children never manage to successfully go through the process of growing up, as they never actually were (treated as) children.

    So they can neither compete, nor cooperate properly -- to the majority, they are quite useless when it comes to pursing common group goals.

    I suppose this leaves the only child sort of "hanging in the air", always with the feeling of "not fitting in".
    So there is even more interest, motive, time and effort left to devote himself/herself to all sorts of studies.
    (And the parents, how ironic, love their only child immensely, and are very willing to esp. financially help the child pursuing these studies. "Whatever he/she likes, as long as it makes him/her happy," is the motto.)

    One alienation leading to another.
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    At gendanken's request, I have edited out many of the personal insults, and the more extreme instances of obscenity in this thread.
  21. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    I am resolute and wrongly furious?
  22. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Holy fuck.
    Loose ends.

    Merci but no merci.

    What the hell are you doing in here?

    Looks like this horse is dead, neigh?
    (pun intended) (all hail Shakespeare)
    The monkey just happend to pull this thread out of the crap pile.

    I'd comment on your post but my brain has moved on- small correction:
    Einstein was not an only child.
  23. water the sea Registered Senior Member


    The Monkey and I were wondering about interestingness and being ignored as a professional, so I directed him to this thread, thank you very much.

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