View Full Version : Confrontational Shows of Intelligence.

11-18-2011, 06:55 PM
If you've got it, flaunt it.

Words to live by, apparently, alongside well-loved adages like that one about what your mother gave you. It's an opportunity to broaden your horizons, bounce some ideas, communicate with others and connect on a far more cerebral level.

Either that or an opportunity to rub someone's face in it.

I'll be honest - I find people who feel the need to validate their egos through intellectual fisticuffs tiring in the extreme. They are physically and mentally draining and, more often than not, two-dimensional personalities who view the world in unnecessarily antagonistic extremes.

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with knowing shit. The good shit especially, the stuff that's not only cool to know but that everyone wants to know. You can bust that stuff out nonstop and it's fun.

In the same vein, you can meet people with which you can have a rational - if occasionally strained or confusing - conversation without turning it into a mental pissing contest.

But you already know that's not who I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the people who won't let you end a conversation because they literally crave the last word so much. The people who will jump in to correct you based on a barely overheard comment - and here I don't even mean the girl who sits next to you while you go on about how great mascara looks on lips. I mean the person who hears "...nzania" from the end of a crowded bus and makes their way over to you to inform you that, no, in fact, unlike the DRC it was not under the rule of King Leo.

And then they won't let you go until you acknowledge it.

It's additionally frustrating because - in the main - these types of people tend to marry their personality flaw and superiority complexes to pretty poor sources of information. I am annoyed by many things, but near the top of that long and distinguished list is the experience of being told something wrong, offhand, as if it was a fact.

That's because, you see, I have a flaw of my own. And it's pretty much the same one. No, I don't approach strangers to correct them. No, I don't necessarily contradict people when they indulge in common (or uncommon) misconceptions - though I want to. But when something blatantly untrue is hurled my way as a correction to something someone has said, I find that infuriating.

Of course offhand I can't think of an example. It tends to be the way with these things. Also in the "of course" pile is the acknowledgement that I can't see my own flaws, and the understanding that I'd be far too lenient with myself if I could. I'll own up to that (as long as I don't have to act on it).

I'm not saying you have to research everything you say. But please just try to make it so that the words out of your mouth aren't simply parroted from something someone may have said to you vaguely while walking the other way and actually talking to someone entirely about a subject that has nothing to do with this one. And if you are corrected, please refrain from just snapping back at it. I know you're right. You know you're right. And I'm sure a handy internet or non-internet source will also know it. Take the ten-second plunge into Google's bowels and get at least tenuous confirmation.

Do it for me. Please. I'm suffering over here. Don't you know I had surgery a month ago?

11-18-2011, 10:03 PM
amiright? imsoright.

11-18-2011, 10:15 PM
I'm guessing everyone knows a person who tries to hard to have these intellectual battles on Facebook...

Honestly, I don't think it's very often that common people have the chance to prove just how smart they are. I mean, you can get an approximate idea of how smart someone is somewhat quickly based on some of their achievements, but the only way to determine someone's intelligence accurately is to get a good amount of exposure to their reasoning and logic skills. The internet and social networking sites in particular have provided a chance to show these skills.

"Knowing things", so to speak, usually gets you jackshit in life. Does literally nothing to increase the quality of your life. Except that you can always try and impress people, which give you a societal incentive. You might as well get something out of all the work you've done. I guess that's a fairly big part of why people do this kind of crap.

11-19-2011, 02:11 AM
This thread reminds me of that scene from Good Will Hunting where that douchey blonde guy at the bar confronts Damon and gets pwned, and is later inquired how he likes them apples.