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"Have you ever met someone who is smarter than you?&quo posted 12 Sep 2006, 12:09 by Sokar, Auditor

Ok..I have been thinking about this quesiton for a while and this question is so ingenious in its content that there is no "true" answer for it..yet it seems so simple: "Have you ever met someone who is smarter than you?" It was asked by my proffessor to our group of 20 students.. At first the answer seems simple, either yes or no (yes in my case). I did, however, realise that no one else answered with "yes"..and the question was posed with an expectation of a "no". I further thought about the human psyche..seeing that humans are in fact irrational as well as ego-centric, it seems rather logical to expect a "no"... So, I wonder what you guys would have said to this.. view post

posted 12 Sep 2006, 13:09 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

i voted yes before i even read your post. with the amount of stupid people in the world, i can;t imagine so many people answering 'no.' view post

posted 12 Sep 2006, 18:09 by Krijates Iryssas, Candidate

I think that intelligence is qualitative, not quantitative. view post

posted 12 Sep 2006, 21:09 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

I agree completely with Krijates. view post

posted 12 Sep 2006, 22:09 by Hellscythe, Auditor

I voted yes. Simply out, I know there are many people in the worlds who are smarter than me. Some of them are my friends. A good number of people whom I deem smarter than me are you guys. the ones that post the deep thoughts on this board. view post

posted 13 Sep 2006, 12:09 by Harrol, Moderator

I work around a bunch of scientists and engineers who are smarter than I. Their social skill are lacking so in that way they aren't to smart but in the scientific field they are brilliant. view post

posted 13 Sep 2006, 15:09 by Peter, Auditor

I am not sure what you mean by intelligence being qualitative rather than quntitative. I mean, I would say that I am pretty damn sure that my tutors in Uni were by far brighter than I am. I don't need to compare IQs, I just need to talk to them about intellectual subjects for a while (i.e. during tutorials). When it comes to my peers I can see where things get muddy (my verbal skills are greater than yours, but my mathematical skills are far far inferior etc.), but I still think it is somewhat possible to place a general intellectual comparison (though usually needing to be developed up over a large amount of time). Essentially, I know mathematicians who I think are far smarter than me, despite the fact that I am trying to consider different sorts of talents, because there is something generally intellectual that can be compared. I would admit that I am stumped when people talk about emotional intelligence, because there seems less that is comparable between having good mathematical skills and being empathic (which is not then to relegate one to a lesser level, the mere fact that a skill is not intellectual should have no value judgements attached). In other words judgement here becomes difficult or one can claim that this is a case of apples and oranges. So I don't see a problem with judging intelligence (in a rough and ready manner) and at the same time admitting that the judgement is not precisely quantitative. view post

posted 14 Sep 2006, 14:09 by Sokar, Auditor

Despite intelligence having different variants and measures, I think the question relates to our personalities..It reminds me of this phrase of Nietzsche (I think): "They don't understand us, they only praise or judge us." (he was referring to philosophers of course, but I think it can be part of the human trait in general) Keeping this in mind, it is difficult to find one who can understand you quite completely, and if you don't (which is usually the case) you cannot see the other as smarter than you. By understanding completely, btw, I mean mainly emotionally, though there is usually a need for a certain level of intelligence in other fields, be it philosophy or mathematics. view post

posted 14 Sep 2006, 18:09 by Peter, Auditor

Could you explain a little more what you mean by complete emotional understanding and where it fits in to judgement. I don't think you mean just that our minds are mostly closed boxes to others and so whatever they say to us and about our thoughts etc. could be mistaken, and hence judgement is impossible for both them and us (and vice versa) but I can't see what else you mean. Dammit, I should really get round to some in-depth reading of german philsophy post-Kant. :D view post

posted 14 Sep 2006, 19:09 by Krijates Iryssas, Candidate

Can you give me precise definition of intelligence? I think that intelligence is too broad, too hazy a concept to be judged on a linear hierarchical scale. Not even dividing it in different areas (such as mathematics, verbal skills, etc.) pleases me. On any one subject, anybody would be smarter than I. On any one subject, I could be smarter than anybody. None of us are smart in the same way. It's different ways to be intelligent, IMO, rather than more or less intelligence. Hence my use of the word "qualitative". By the way, I think Sokar's answer is spot on: the question isn't more about saying "yes" than "no". It's about the realisation that we want to say "no" because nobody contains all of our mind themselves (except perhaps Kellhus ;)) But saying is just as much underestimating yourself as saying no is ridiculously arrogant. view post

posted 15 Sep 2006, 09:09 by Peter, Auditor

I don't know that really agree that intelligence is not comparable. I think that the notion that there is something which is generally intellectual which is engaged in by all people working in and on intellectual topics. I cannot really give you a definition of it, beyond saying that it involves capacity to reason, to consider questions from multiple angles and to derive conclusions from these musings. This seems to exist across intellectual disciplines and hence is somewhat comparable (although I admit that if you include emotional intelligence, then I am more stumped, hence why I brought it up before). That I am less good at applying these skills in mathematical situations is no different from a tennis player being less good on clay courts as opposed to grass, they can still be considered to be a tennis player of roughly such and such a level. So I still think that general comparisons are possible, even if at times they exist in a grey area where the fact of the matter (if there is one) is obscured. [quote:fnr4j9x1]By the way, I think Sokar's answer is spot on: the question isn't more about saying "yes" than "no". It's about the realisation that we want to say "no" because nobody contains all of our mind themselves [/quote:fnr4j9x1] Here I am going to have to disagree again. I really don't think there is necessarily a temptation to say 'no', unless you think it is somehow subconscious (and I have issues with the notion of the subconscious which mean that I would find that claim suspiscious). I believe I have met people whose intellects tower above mine, who could, if they set their minds to it out-think me in every discipline which I would call intellectual. [quote:fnr4j9x1]But saying is just as much underestimating yourself as saying no is ridiculously arrogant.[/quote:fnr4j9x1] I agree with you when you say that we have the possibility of underestimating ourselves, because no one else is everything we are and a little bit, because nobody is everything we are, but I would say that in most cases this is a danger only for the individual judgement made within a specific context. So, with regards to Ms. X I might be doing myself down in relation to them, but with regards to everyone I have ever met, statistically speaking (assuming a bell curve distribution) it is highly unlikely that I have not met someone smarter than myself. view post

posted 18 Sep 2006, 13:09 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

i think you;re all smarter than me. view post

posted 18 Sep 2006, 19:09 by Harrol, Moderator

Do not sell yourself short. I am sure you have intellectual aptitudes that other people lack. view post

posted 27 Sep 2006, 20:09 by Will, Peralogue

I have met no one who has told me that they have a higher IQ than I. (obviously this is a statement loaded with qualifiers) view post

posted 28 Sep 2006, 07:09 by Inner_visions, Candidate

I agree with Peter's long post. :D I believe that intellect is not the sum of our abilities but our general ability to 'learn'. By this I mean that the speed in which we grasp, quantitatively how much we grasp, our peripheral of understanding and how well we can apply this knowledge to our ever changing environment. First off i'm just a newb high school student so any mentioning of education would refer to my own experiences... In school you are generally taught methods of problem solving, formulas and other step by step ways in which to solve the specific problem at hand. People who generally do well in school follow the method/formula and follow it precisely. It doesn't necessarily mean they are intelligent, they're just following instructions. Neither does a monumental skill in a certain sport mean that the aforementioned person is extremely intelligent. Perhaps they have simply practiced since they were young and countinue to practice more than anyone else that they know. If you were to explain to me that the athelete gained theses skills in very little time that would be , in my opinion, demonstrate intelligence. Perhaps he/she developed his/her own trainning regime that has made him/her a much better athelete. Taking into account of emotional intelligence, maybe she/he was smart enough to befriend someone with the skills she/he wished to aquire. A good athelete could also mean many things, maybe he/she is a teamplayer: he/she would be able to utilize the many teamates advantages and use them inn the right situations in a game. She/he would probably have a high' emotional intelligence' and would know how her/his team was feeling and how to either raise morale or keep them in check. Since I'm getting tired i'll finish up this post quickly. Two points in my first statement haven't been examplified:"our peripheral of understanding and how well we can apply this knowledge to our ever changing environment." I don't know how well I explained my idea but our peripheral of understanding means the ability to view the same information at a different angle. Rich vs poor is the best I can come up with. A poor person's perspective is much different then a rich person's. This peripheral undestanding leads to a more empathic person with a higher emotional intelligence which is very important since we are very social animals. The last part of the statement is roughly how well we can exploit weakness and utilize strengths and advantages in daily life situtations and in the rarer 'stressful situations'. By 'stressful situations' I mean situations in which the person as to act fast. Emergency situations for example. IF i didn't make sense tell me and i'll try to make sense in my next post... It's just getting late and I'm tired... This is a good discussion though. More people should join in! view post

posted 28 Sep 2006, 13:09 by Scilvenas, Auditor

I'm an egotistical sonnavabitch, and my first answer was still 'yes.' Now if the question was "...smarter than you are and better looking," then I'd have to say no. ;) view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 15:09 by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

Intelligence, education, "smarter", "less smart", and ignorance are all conceptual labels one uses to delineate entities according to suppositions about what those various labels "mean" about how those who are labeled "act" when witnessed by an individual. But consider the possibility of a freakishly intelligent person deliberately feigning stupidity to derail some process via a seemingly "goofy" accident-- what I am thinking of here is the possibility that it is Pinky and not the Brain that is the true genius of the "Pinky and the Brain" cartoons, because Pinky saves the Earth from "world domination" everytime, through what seems to be pure chance or idiotic mistake, for the "good" of everyone. Is the Brain really "smarter" than Pinky? Snarf.... view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 17:09 by Harrol, Moderator

DA that is an interesting point. Pinky maybe smarter than the Brain. By the way welcome to the forum. view post

posted 06 Oct 2006, 23:10 by zap21, Commoner

[quote="Krijates Iryssas":1cj2rph9]I think that intelligence is qualitative, not quantitative.[/quote:1cj2rph9] Very good point, you need to know practical knowledge not just random facts. view post

posted 15 Oct 2006, 21:10 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

[quote:1box9kma]I think that intelligence is qualitative, not quantitative.[/quote:1box9kma] I would agree with this statement. Its not how smart you are, its how you are smart. view post

posted 15 Oct 2006, 21:10 by Peter, Auditor

If it is a question of how one is smart then we must explain what is meant by smart if we are to get an answer. If we can explain what it is to be smart and being "smart" is a meaningful and helpful description of someone's being, then we must be able to identify something that is held in common across different smart people. If there is to be a certain measure of commonality, then it must be the case that between people there is a like with like situation and so it does not seem impossible that this like can be quatified (however vaguely). It occurred to me that comparing intelligence between people might perhaps be like comparing strength between people. In both instances the words denote a large number of attributes which are somewhat interlinked, but which do not logically imply one another. Anyone who ever watched the World's Strongest Man competitions (ah the heady days of youth) will know that there were a number of different types of stength which were tested (lifting weights is not the same thing as pulling fire engines with rope etc.) and so for intelligence (the mathematical, verbal etc.). I think that at the higher levels it is virtually impossible to make comparison because the whole notion of strength or intelligence breaks down into being very strong in all areas and very, very strong in certain specific ones. In the strength areas the plucky Wekshman can lift 10Kgs more than the stoical Swede, but the Swede can pull the Fire Truck 100m 5 seconds faster. It is a case of apples and pears at this level. Intellectually one ends up comparing Einstein's scientific acheivements to Kant's philosophical ones. Both are paradigmatical examples of what it is to be smart, but who is smarter is not a question which can be asked in this situation because the whole notion of intelligence has somewhat broken down when comparing them. The comparison becomes purely qualitative. However, this does not mean that for the rest of us comparison is impossible. Just because the Swede and the Welshman (sorry I can't actually remember their names) are not defineably stronger the one than the other, does not mean that it is impossible to describe one person as stronger than another. I am definitely not as strong as either of those two individuals. Equally, I am not a intelligent as either Einstein or Kant and I am not as intelligent as people I met as an undergraduate (not least my tutors). If I can make the former judgement, then I think it is relevantly similar enough to the notion of intelligence that I can legitimately make the latter judgement. view post

posted 16 Jul 2007, 14:07 by Curethan, Didact

The wise man learns from fools. That said, I ate all the smarties. Yum, smarties :D And whilst its true that Confuncious said a lot of very wise things, I reckon I could kick his arse. view post

posted 17 Jul 2007, 22:07 by Zarathinius, Auditor

I would put forth that some people who answer "no" to this question don't spend much time talking to other people. It takes time to accurately gauge how intelligent someone is compared to oneself. Or, perhaps the problem is that they do talk, and never listen. It might also be possible that more egotistical intellectuals simply annoy everyone around them, and annoyed people rarely display glittering intellect. I've occasionally met people who [i:1arxrvh5]thought[/i:1arxrvh5] they were smarter than me, and I've found myself responding with nods and "yeah"s. view post

posted 19 Jul 2007, 05:07 by Jamara, Auditor

A smart man says, "I know." A wise man says, "Teach me." There is far too much arrogance in this world and not enough humility and wisdom! view post

are we getting dumber? posted 19 Jul 2007, 21:07 by thegreenman, Candidate

I had a high IQ as a child, but I've lost a lot just from listening to George Bush speak over the past few years. I figure I'll be mildly retarded by the time he leaves office. view post

posted 22 Jul 2007, 21:07 by Sokar, Auditor

Interesting..I posted that a long time ago... And I have apparently grown more convinced of my own ideas... Compare that question to this one: "Have you ever met someone who [i:348lr7ct]loved[/i:348lr7ct] more than you.." I reckon/figure :D this one will have fewer "yes"-es.. But the questions are quite the same... view post


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