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Old 2010-08-29, 16:03   Link #1
Guernsey
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Intellectualism vs. Anti Intellectualism

I don't know if I can consider myself either of these but it seems like there is stigma towards intelluals who are often labelled as snobs and/or know-it-alls. In some shows, the guy who uses his emotins is almost always right as opposed to the guy who uses logic. noboby (and I mean nobody) likes to feel like they are dumb because it makes them feel bad and nobody wants to feel that. What do you guys think of the stigma towards intellectuals?
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:13   Link #2
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I say it works both ways at the same time. Just call yourself a snob interlectual and let them cratch their heads.

But it's not a bad thing really. Most of the times you can just call it ad hominem and make the accuser lose face before your opinion of an anime. Thus, if they attack you for an opinion about an anime, you win.
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:18   Link #3
Tsuyoshi
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It's always best to be an intellectual but that the same time humble. True intellectuals don't act like they know everything, but instead realize that they are always students who learn and study each day of their life, and understand that as intellectuals, they are always walking the path of learning. Imo, snobbish intellectuals are more ignorant than the ignorant.
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:24   Link #4
Ricky Controversy
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What Yoko said is on the money. The problem is that you rarely encounter--either in real-life, or in fiction--a TRUE intellectual. Most people who fancy themselves intellectuals are actually pseudo-intellectuals who are more interested in trying to condescend to people that do not agree with them. This holds true regardless of a person's academic standing, too. Many a PhD-holder falls into this behavioral trap.
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:32   Link #5
Mr. Wang
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Only a true intellectual knows, that they are smart enough to say that they don't know everything.

Otherwise, if you do know everything, you're a snobby jackass. There is nothing wrong with having a higher education, but flaunting it around it is quite arrogant.
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:41   Link #6
Sides
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Originally Posted by Guernsey View Post
What do you guys think of the stigma towards intellectuals?
Yes there is, but not necessary against intellectuals. It really depends how one defines these words, but people practicing manual labour work will always regard office workers, or people with higher education as snobs.
To be honest dumb yourself down and think like the mass, makes you happier in the long term.
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:45   Link #7
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There's people who study up on various things just to show off, but I can't accept the notion of not wanting to know as a protest against know-it-all wannabes...me and my friends just get more stuff to talk about.
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:52   Link #8
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Well there are people who know certain things more then the other person, and there are others who know more about the other thing. It really depends on if that Intellectual person just becomes a know-it-all and tries to fancy around their knowledge of that certain subject. But when faced against another person who studied up on another certain topic, they can easily beat the know-it-all if they change the topic.

I'm more into Intellectuality, but I realize that there is always more things to learn around the world. The only way you can truly act as a know-it-all is when you actually know "All-Round" everything that the world can offer. Which can take years to do. Or thats what I think.
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:58   Link #9
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Sometimes I think being smarter is a curse.

I'm a really smart person. I learn new concepts very quickly and I'm extremely creative when it comes to problem-solving. My success rates in these areas are also very high--rarely do I undertake an important task or job and find myself unable to complete it, or fail entirely.

The biggest problem with being very smart is that I'm not easily amused. It's very easy for me to get bored. My brain constantly craves input, new challenges, difficult problems to solve. Considering the current economic climate and my job--which requires virtually no brain activity--I am thoroughly, miserably bored most of the time.

I know some of you will immediately chime in with an admonition to stop my whining, there are people out there with no job at all, people who can't go to college, people who have no hope--and you know what? I don't give a shit. It's already been proven time and time again that boredom can be very bad for your health.

Being mind-numbingly bored is very stressful, and as we all know, high stress levels are very deleterious to one's health. Boredom is just one major contributor to a host of issues piling stress on top of me, and my health has been adversely affected as a result. I'm constantly cold. I have headaches frequently. I don't sleep well, nor do I derive much rest from the sleep I do get. All of these things just further increase my stress level.

I know things will get better and the huge lead blanket of stress will be mostly lifted from my shoulders once I get out of the shelter, but for now I'm still feeling the effects.
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Old 2010-08-29, 17:12   Link #10
Reckoner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
It's always best to be an intellectual but that the same time humble. True intellectuals don't act like they know everything, but instead realize that they are always students who learn and study each day of their life, and understand that as intellectuals, they are always walking the path of learning. Imo, snobbish intellectuals are more ignorant than the ignorant.
Sorry I disagree with the notion that if you act like an ass hole, you are not an intellectual. Plenty of ass holes are intellectuals.

A quick defintion search online produces these results for its definition.
  • of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind; "intellectual problems"; "the triumph of the rational over the animal side of man"
  • appealing to or using the intellect; "satire is an intellectual weapon"; "intellectual workers engaged in creative literary or artistic or scientific labor"; "has tremendous intellectual sympathy for oppressed people"; "coldly intellectual"; "sort of the intellectual type"; "intellectual ...
  • a person who uses the mind creatively
  • cerebral: involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct; "a cerebral approach to the problem"; "cerebral drama"

Nowhere here does it have anything to say about how an intellectual might treat others around them or act. They don't need to be humble to be considered one.
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Old 2010-08-29, 17:16   Link #11
Ricky Controversy
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Sometimes I think being smarter is a curse.

I'm a really smart person. I learn new concepts very quickly and I'm extremely creative when it comes to problem-solving. My success rates in these areas are also very high--rarely do I undertake an important task or job and find myself unable to complete it, or fail entirely.

The biggest problem with being very smart is that I'm not easily amused. It's very easy for me to get bored. My brain constantly craves input, new challenges, difficult problems to solve. Considering the current economic climate and my job--which requires virtually no brain activity--I am thoroughly, miserably bored most of the time.
I guess I would question if that's entirely an artifact of your intelligence. I know highly intelligent people whom are very easily amused, and I know people as dumb as bricks who are impossible to humor.

Though if it's that your intelligence is prompting you to convince yourself to not enjoy simpler things, well, then you're just a hipster! <3

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Sorry I disagree with the notion that if you act like an ass hole, you are not an intellectual/genius. Plenty of ass holes are intellectuals or geniuses.

A quick defintion search online produces these results for its definition.
  • of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind; "intellectual problems"; "the triumph of the rational over the animal side of man"
  • appealing to or using the intellect; "satire is an intellectual weapon"; "intellectual workers engaged in creative literary or artistic or scientific labor"; "has tremendous intellectual sympathy for oppressed people"; "coldly intellectual"; "sort of the intellectual type"; "intellectual ...
  • a person who uses the mind creatively
  • cerebral: involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct; "a cerebral approach to the problem"; "cerebral drama"

Nowhere here does it have anything to say about how an intellectual might treat others around them.
That's certainly true. There are many highly-intelligent people whom are jerks. Where churlish behavior and true intellect become mutually exclusive is when a person tries to use their intelligence to stymie the ideas of others by way of showing their superiority. They may have a more correct idea than the person they are discrediting, but to discard a person's ideas on the sole basis that they are not in line with yours--which is the problem most often encountered in the 'mean smart guy' scenario--is inherently intellectually dishonest, and dampens the person's ability to pursue further knowledge, which is the point of intellectualism.
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Old 2010-08-29, 17:40   Link #12
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Though is someone truly smart when they opt to put ideas down based on credentials? Isn't that a logical fallacy? I feel a true intellectual, even if snobby or elitist, would stick to the facts in trying to discredit others. Otherwise, they aren't all that intellectual after all.
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Old 2010-08-29, 17:42   Link #13
Reckoner
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Though is someone truly smart when they opt to put ideas down based on credentials? Isn't that a logical fallacy? I feel a true intellectual, even if snobby or elitist, would stick to the facts in trying to discredit others. Otherwise, they aren't all that intellectual after all.
No. It's more the idea that those who don't follow their intellectual ways, using logic and reason above else for example,are put down by them. Once they don't use logic and commit logical fallacies, they are of course never going to be considered an intellectual.
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Old 2010-08-29, 17:54   Link #14
Kittenlady
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There's a difference between an intelligent person, and an intelligent person who feels the need to constantly rub in and remind people of how smart they are. In general, the prejudice is mostly against the latter.

It's not like there isn't a stigma against stupid people as well.
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Old 2010-08-29, 18:01   Link #15
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Ah, the age old saying: "Nobody likes a smartass!"
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Old 2010-08-29, 18:17   Link #16
Kaijo
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Ignorance is Bliss.

If there's one thing I've learned about wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge... it's that I know I'd be a lot happier if I was dumber and more ignorant. I can understand why, then, that people don't want to know stuff, even if I feel it's important; or why people fight against knowledge. Also:

"The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
--William Shakespeare

"Only a fool knows everything. A wise man knows how little he knows."
-- Unknown

One of the things that I do find amusement in, is that people expect to change minds going into a debate, and thus get really upset with you when you don't immediately change your mind. They seem to feel that something is wrong with you, ie, "I've made lots of important points, and you still haven't agreed with me; what is your problem? Why can't you be wrong!?"

When what I've realized about a debate, is that it's not important to change minds. I've alternated my goal going into one, as just trying to understand the other side. We are so quick to assume we are right and that there is no way we could be wrong, that we get caught up in trying to convince people how wrong they are.... when I feel that's the wrong approach. Go into it with the idea of at least trying to understand where the other person is coming from, and what they are trying to say; I've found that's a more fruitful way to approach debates.

I feel true intellectualism is the ability to really understand where someone is coming from, even if you don't agree, rather than to try and persuade them. If you're really content on trying to prove someone wrong in an internet debate, then it says a lot about your own insecurities; that you can't accept that someone thinks different.

As long as someone can backup their beliefs with decent evidence (and a lot of times, evidence can swing both ways), then a position is understandable.

So when you engage someone, really ask yourself: Are you trying to turn them to your way of thinking? Or just seeking to understand them?

One is a fool's errand.
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Old 2010-08-29, 18:31   Link #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
One of the things that I do find amusement in, is that people expect to change minds going into a debate, and thus get really upset with you when you don't immediately change your mind. They seem to feel that something is wrong with you, ie, "I've made lots of important points, and you still haven't agreed with me; what is your problem? Why can't you be wrong!?"
I find this situation in all sorts of places where I go (Games, School, Part-Time Work) I also agree that people think they know the entire situation of the subject, but they could really not know some of the "flaws" they forgot when they researched on that subject, and then that leads to the other person "questioning" them about it.

Quote:
When what I've realized about a debate, is that it's not important to change minds. I've alternated my goal going into one, as just trying to understand the other side. We are so quick to assume we are right and that there is no way we could be wrong, that we get caught up in trying to convince people how wrong they are.... when I feel that's the wrong approach. Go into it with the idea of at least trying to understand where the other person is coming from, and what they are trying to say; I've found that's a more fruitful way to approach debates.
I really liked the way you discussed this situation , how some people can be somewhat "ignorant" and just think they are always right when they try to talk the other person into doing something else. I also like how you said that we should try to understand the person, but sometimes a person that you are trying to understand, may be to "ignorant" to accept the fact that they are wrong. Making it a lot harder to try to understand them. (What I mean is that, when you are trying to find out what they are talking/approaching from, they go into something that might be completely unbelievable)

Quote:
So when you engage someone, really ask yourself: Are you trying to turn them to your way of thinking? Or just seeking to understand them?
Well, I myself would like to understand the person's way of thinking, because I do not have a general knowledge of everything, and its always good to try to learn what the other person is talking about
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Old 2010-08-29, 18:35   Link #18
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When what I've realized about a debate, is that it's not important to change minds. I've alternated my goal going into one, as just trying to understand the other side.
I'd give you a cookie for this if I could. Great points.
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Old 2010-08-29, 18:40   Link #19
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I'd give you a cookie for this if I could. Great points.
Would Melon Bread work? I have 3 right here

Spoiler for Bread:
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Old 2010-08-29, 18:42   Link #20
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That is an excellent point, Kaijo. I find myself witnessing several debates, between two people, or two parties if you will, on things such as politics, war.... hell, I've even heard them debate on movies for crying out loud. Basically, their point was to try and convince the other that they were wrong. I find such arguments to be the equivalent to arguing with a brick wall. People's minds don't change easily. If they do change easily, than that means they don't have much grip on their own beliefs to back up their claims.

Understanding why someone believes themselves to be right, can ultimately more worthwhile than simply understanding yourself, and believing the others to be wrong. If you simply submit to whoever is arguing, what would happen should another argue a different point? What would you make of your own intellectuality of situations? Attempting to understand all points of view really is the way to go.

"So it is said that if you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled. If you do not know others but know yourself, then you win one and lose one. If you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will always be imperiled."
--Sun Tzu
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