[This post has been awarded the official badge of mediocrity]
Many people (myself included) will extol the virtues of being intellectually honest, however today I’d like to speak to the merits of being honestly intellectual i.e. being exactly as smart, intelligent and intellectual as you are at (almost) all times.
It’s a common experience both in the real world and in the virtual world of television and film media that there are certain people, generally at least one, in any given circle of friends who are if not actually more intelligent or intellectual than the others they certainly come across that way. Personally, in most of my various circles, that person tends to be me. I’m pedantic (I correct people all the time on spelling, grammar, logic etc…) and I like to use a wide-ranging swathe of my vocabulary most of the time. It speaks to this fact that the level of grammar and vocabulary that I use in this blog (which is generally similar to that which I tend towards in my verbal orations) ranks as “100% Intermediate” in Google’s search based on Reading Level, which would rate it at around a University level of reading but not quite the standard of a Scientific Journal or other academic media.
It’s also a common experience for those individuals for their wide-ranging vocabulary and elaborate grammatical constructs to be greeted with scorn and/or ridicule for being too intellectual or trying to sound smart. This generally results in a dumbing-down of one’s intellectual output to meet the expectations (or capabilities) of the group.In the case of people who tend to be isolated in their groups as the only “smart” person this can lead to severe feelings of inadequateness and alienation, even boredom (since their intellectual freedom and output is obviously hampered in their social lives) if there is a lot of dependence on that social circle. Speaking of “smart,” please, do not mistake my labels as merely subjective opinions on the general abilities or worthiness of various people, merely an accurate, factual representation of their grammatical, linguistic and, primarily, logical abilities. Some people are simply at different levels and please do not misrepresent this fact as any kind of elitism on my part.
Elitism aside, I would, however, like to say to all those people who find themselves being the “smart” person in the group, stand up for yourself. Do not dumb yourself down for other people simply to grease the rails of communication and social interaction for by doing so, you are stifling the transmission of ideas. I do not mean you are actively complicit in the ‘stupification’ of society, there are far too many factors causing that to go into in one blog post, however I do intend to mean that by re-expressing things you say in layman’s terms you are indirectly denying that person the opportunity to expand their knowledge-base. Imagine you did this with your children: instead of giving them new ways to express things they already understand, you are merely re-expressing things in combinations they’ve already seen. For example, to teach a child the difference between a dog and a cat, instead of giving them the words dog and cat, you are merely shoving them in their faces and expecting them to see and comprehend the difference. Or introducing them to the concept of a stone, instead of pointing at it and saying “stone,” you are merely handing them the stone and expecting them to infer from the fact that the place is covered with stones that these objects are a common sight around the world.
So, instead of saying “dude, check that fine-ass honey over there!” go for something more like “hey man, look at the symmetry of that girl’s features, she is totally subjectively attractive to me!”
Perhaps I’m just being idealistic…?
Oh well, peace,