The Anti-Intellectual Intellectual

Screw all of the decorum and formality. People think if they are courteous, well versed in words, have relatively high grades and think differently that they are by default “smart”, “intelligent” or “intellectual”.

Did you know that 6 out of 10 people consider themselves above average in intelligence? Think about that for a moment. I’ll wait… The average ought to be “5 out of 10”. Yet 6 out of 10 think they are intelligent. That figures, doesn’t it?

I despise smart people. I really do. Not the really smart people, of course. No. For those I have the utmost respect. I’m talking of those who think they are intelligent. Perhaps they are, but merely being aware of it does not make you an intellectual.

For the sake of the argument let me arbitrarily make up my own definitions for “smart”, “intelligent” and “intellectual”, and proceed by condemning them all.

“Smart” is the ability to solve things. “Intelligent” is the ability to think outside the box. I guess both of them are the same. “Intellectual” is not the same as those two. Yes, intellectuals often are smart or intelligent. But here’s the thing: they don’t really have to be. To be intellectual is to understand. To understand how things fit together. To understand people.

I hate all of that. In fact, if I had read the above paragraph on someone else’s blog, my first thought would have been “Look at this pathetic ‘intellectual’ wannabe blogger who thinks that by breaking down intelligent people he is somehow putting himself on a higher plane”. In all honesty, perhaps I am doing that. I am doing that. But I despise myself for it at least.

Smart people are so ridden with ego and condescension. Their pride blinds them to fundamental truths; and in so doing they become foolish. We’ve all met someone who is so “intelligent” that he dismisses out of hands sacred truths merely for being sacred. People so blinded by their intelligence that they become narrow-minded (foolish). They have absorbed some “higher understanding” which, in fact, is just intellectual bullshit in disguise.

Come on, do you seriously think that a bunch of “intelligent” people together are talking about fundamental truths about the world? After all, they are all “intelligent” people sitting together. All of them talking about abstract political nonsense while forgetting to ponder the basic questions of life.

Besides all the talk of being “intelligent” is all the people who think they are so “deep” and “empathetic” and “religious”. Not a day goes by that I don’t see some Facebook “test” testing your “empath levels”, or whether or not you are an “old soul” or your personality type. People like to think they are empathetic and deep. But guess what, more likely than not you are not one of those things! Just wanting to be deep does not make you deep! Thinking you are a deep person, or empathetic (as opposed to sympathetic) does not make you deep or empathetic! Take a look on YouTube and look how many videos are for “smart people”, or google things about intelligence and you’ll find yourself thinking “Wow I must be intelligent”. You can delude yourself, but you can’t fool me… fool. 

This song by TobyMac is not talking about the secret society of the Illuminati. He is singing about people who think they have gained some higher “understanding” (people who have been “illuminated”), and therefore think themselves on some higher plane of existence. In short, the post and the song are about pharisees.

 

 

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The Extroverted Introvert

There is something called “personality tests”. I don’t care about them anymore (they are highly overrated), but I recall being placed as an INFJ (though a few months later as an INFP).

This “type” has one bit of truth which I find very fitting to myself: being an extroverted introvert. People tire me. They really do. Few people manage to give me energy, but for the most part every single one of them has some irritating quirks which sucks the life out of me like a leech.

So for the last few weeks I’ve been like a hermit: I go to class on Monday and Thursday… and then I head back home to my dog and cat, working on assignments, watching video series and reading a few things. I don’t “love reading”, by the way. “Reading” is not something you either love or hate. I like learning and I like good stories. If books are the best way to do these (as opposed to, say, documentaries or DVDs) then so be it.

Books are overrated.

Nerds are overrated.

Introverts are underrated.

But every so often I would yearn to go out. I absolutely love being out at night at some place with my friends. I love it. Yet these friends which are “extroverts” (so they say), are actually dead. They don’t want to do anything during the weak. They don’t go through trouble to do so. They just sit around at night playing RuneScape or watching TV.

Yet at school they considered me “boring” as they slept late on holidays (and on vacations) and never did anything other than play video games. The only reason they considered me so was that I didn’t (and don’t) like going out to be with a bunch of strangers.

But anyway, it is not my intention to blast friends I haven’t seen in weeks for things they said years ago. I got distracted:

I just saw a picture of the Precious Friend (see this post which has the same idea as this one), out at some campus residence event. Man that looks awesome! At night, with people you know! That’s just it, isn’t it? The best thing I can imagine is such a night event, neither too cold nor too hot, with stalls and music and events… but full of people I know. How I wish I could be there now!

But I know tomorrow they are gonna tire me again. My friends, especially those at campus, absolutely fail to just realise my situation. They never seem to consider it: I am staying at home (not at the flat anymore, although I still have access to it), driving to campus, and then after class driving back home.

Yet then WHY when you know this do you want to grab a cup of coffee after class at the flatWHY do you think, after we negotiated at half past ten to meet at half past one, that I would wait for you (because you forgot) until 1 o’ clock before going to where ever? WHY don’t you consider what I said about not wanting to drive in the dark, always taking your time, always wanting to go watch a movie at 3 o’ clock? WHY when you know I’m going to see someone else that day as well, do you just assume that I’m only going to see you?

It reminds me of that one time at school, where on the Thursday I and a friend negotiated to visit each other the next day, and then the next day, without even him realising it, that friend visited another friend. Not because he was mad. But simply because he forgot.

Or that other time, also in school, where at the start of the year we negotiated to sit at the front of the IT class (although I like the back). Then, as you were late, I sat at the front… only to see you come in later, walk past me, and sit at the back!

Or two weeks ago where you said we should absolutely go watch that film next week, only to find you watched it with your young nephew the weekend.

If all of the above cases were done out of some ill intent, I would paradoxically have been fine with it. But it’s precisely this lack of awareness by people that dries my energy up like bread exposed to a fire.

And you know, all of this caused me to lose a lot of loyalty for people. I mean the reason I’m at home and not at the flat is because if I stay there I will have a class until 12:30 on Monday… and then stay at the flat and rot until Thursday 9:30. In contrast at home I am, well at home. I have my pets, more privacy, my grandparents, my safety, etc.

For the first few weeks I stayed at the flat with the hope of seeing these two specific friends, yet I rarely did. Always cancelling our agreements or just simply forgetting.
Once again, they don’t do this out of ill intent for me. They simply do this because they don’t realise what I am sacrificing to see them.

 

Interrupting Music – Irritating Things #1

In this series I’ll document stuff which irritates me. Few things bother me, but the things that do makes me crazy.

The first on the list pertains to music. Oftentimes I would sit by my laptop and play fantastic music, getting lost within the message… then my friend who sits on my bed will start watching music videos.

Or – EVEN WORSE – is when I am so captivated by a song or an artist that I want to share it with somebody. I will be so passionate about the song and ask the person to listen to it: to take account of the depth of the lyrics or the song in general… only for them to talk to me about other crap while it plays. Or they will ask me if they can play me a song… before mine even finished.

It bothers me because whenever you share something you are very passionate about with someone else, you are in effect sharing a part of yourself. This can be a photograph, a painting, a video game, or whatever. You love it and by loving it you make it a part of you. You are so passionate about it that you just have to share it with someone else. You want to share your world, your life. When that someone else does not give it the attention you think is owed to the work – or at least to you – you feel a part of yourself being rejected.

And that is what bothers us.