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#1
Today as usual, I was sat in the laboratory and as lucky as I was doing an organic synthesis and getting high off the fumes, I was not content watching something air dry for an hour.

So I thought I would start a mini discussion. We were just talking about the experiment when people started talking about politics, economics and someone wanted to start some philosophical debate.

I.. Don't do politics, economics or philosophy. I dabbled to the extent that I understand the very basics of these areas, but its not something that I take time to consider unless it is of importance.

Take politics. I know to a basic level how the system of government works in the UK, I understand the very basics of communism and fascism etc, but other than that, I couldn't really give a toss. It doesn't interest me.

Economics. I understand the basics of supply and demand, inflation and currency, but other than that, I don't really care.

Philosophy to me.. Is just... Meaningless. I really don't care.

My life is dominated by science. Chemistry being my principle subject, but I read biology and physics books, journals etc to an extent where one would mistake me for not doing Chemistry at all...

When I said this to the people around me, the reaction was of utter horror. Someone asked "Do you read literature?" I said "No, its a waste of time. Id rather read factual books relating to science or history." (History being another subject I like to dabble in and have a keen interest in).

Someone then said "I don't know how someone as unintelligent as you could have got a first last year. You know nothing of the world."

I just withdrew from the conversation at this point and began to seriously contemplate myself.

Am I intelligent? Clearly not if this is how people judge intelligence. I admit, I am not the most well rounded person and I have strong opinions only when I have looked at as much detail as I can find, but unintelligent? It never crossed my mind.

The actual definition of intelligence is the ability to reason, but is that really all? Do you have to be so well rounded that you are a perfect circle?

Science to me, is of utmost importance and the basis for all logical thinking. Most other subject areas I just get the gist of the basics and leave it. They are of no interest to me, but does that actually make me unintelligent? Not in my definition. Ignorant? Barely. Or at least I would like to hope I am not ignorant. I hate not knowing a little about everything. I keep up to date with current affairs but I generally don't form an opinion unless I have multiple sources of information to go by and make up my own mind even if it doesn't fit with the mainstream of thought.

So pit, how does one define intelligence?
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#2
I stopped trying to define things a long time ago. I bend language, making use of it's full flexibility whenever I can. It's far too much trouble with not enough benefit to come up with strict definitions.

When I call someone intelligent, I usually try to imply that he or she is capable of reaching valid conclusions, the quicker the better, using the evnironment, inferences, background knowledge, and whatever other resources are available.
Last edited by Flying Couch at Sep 16, 2008,
#3
To be honest mate, the guy who said that is an idiot.

What exactly does he consider 'knowing the world'? Keeping up to date with Big Brother? Please.
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#6
I consider anyone intelligent who actually takes the time to think about things before coming to a conclusion about them. That is, those who look at things from multiple perspectives and don't accept anything without questioning it first.

You seem intelligent to me.
#7
intelligence is the application of knowledge and understanding the knowledge that you have (anyone can say know a fact but intelligence is understanding it)
#9
You are intelligent. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

The guy who said it was a dummy.
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#10
To be fair it was only a few people from the other side of the argument who said you weren't intelligent. People have aptitudes for different stuff; that's why so many different people can be described as intelligent. If you want to narrow it down to a simple requirement for intelligence, then I suppose you are really only left with the ability to reason once you've whittled away everything else that could only apply to specific disciplines (e.g. use of logic, creativity, reflection, etc.) You can exercise your intellect in many different ways, and those who utilise this to the best capacity are called intelligent, I guess.
#11
Well when you said "Literature is a waste of time" that made you seem a bit ignorant IMO but only towards that one area, I think if you respect other areas that you're not interested in and if you could understand them if you wanted to then you are not unintelligent. Incidently what do you do at this point (in terms of school/college/work etc.) ?
#12
Quote by Rankles
To be honest mate, the guy who said that is an idiot.

What exactly does he consider 'knowing the world'? Keeping up to date with Big Brother? Please.


I didnt pick him up on it. I didnt want to go on the defensive and give him ammunition to use against me but he is the type of person who has the attitude that he is right because he is of an open minded and liberal and his opinions supposedly reflect that. He is to all intents and purposes more well read in politics than I am, and his whole life revolves around it, and anyone who doesnt share his view is often and always called out. I dont know if he is trying to validate how he views himself or if he actually enjoys negative attention.

Quote by aaciseric
Well when you said "Literature is a waste of time" that made you seem a bit ignorant IMO but only towards that one area, I think if you respect other areas that you're not interested in and if you could understand them if you wanted to then you are not unintelligent. Incidently what do you do at this point (in terms of school/college/work etc.) ?


I will agree with you on the literature. I have read plenty of literature but I can no longer enjoy reading novels or plays because I am more interested in science (and music theory) than anything else and build my world view around the theories I read and use everyday. Even though my moral code is built off what I was taught as a child and I have got rid of a lot of what my parents taught me because they were wrong. (Lets not go into that its not part of the thread).

I am an MSc Chemistry student at uni to answer your last question.
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Last edited by Guitardude19 at Sep 16, 2008,
#14
I think that everyone has some intelligence, each person is good at different things, and is intelligent in different areas. People will naturally pursue the things they are interested then, nobody has to take an interest in all things, the only way I could define someone as unintelligent is if they don't have any interests, opinions, or thoughts of their own. And i think that rules out just about everyone. So, almost everyone is intelligent.
#16
Quote by Flying Couch
I stopped trying to define things a long time ago. I bend language, making use of it's full flexibility whenever I can. It's far too much trouble with not enough benefit to come up with strict definitions.

When I call someone intelligent, I usually try to imply that he or she is capable of reaching valid conclusions, the quicker the better, using the evnironment, inferences, background knowledge, and whatever other resources are available.


I pretty much agree with that.
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#17
Just talking everything from a scientific point of view does not necessarily make you intelligent. But I think you are.
I'm sort of like you, really into Science but I really choose to dwell on the human mind and really what makes people react the way they do to certain things (not necessarily psychology but also a bit of philosophy).
Intelligent to me is someone who can make a statement and make valid points both for and against said statement and reach a conclusion in a articulate and civilized manner (i.e not typical pit answers :p)
#18
the definition of intelligence is if one is caring and sensitive to others. everything else is egotistical bullshit.
oh and not following what everyone else thinks / says is a start.
#19
you know what i would of done?

id of got up played a face melting solo then left the room. thus making me the most inteligent person there.
#20
You are intelligent (I think so from what I've read) however, you are also ignorant. And more so, you choose to be. I'm not insulting you, I'm telling the truth. You lack knowledge in certain areas. That does not make you unintelligent.

A person can know nothing and be intelligent. It is the properties of reason and contemplation that makes people intelligent. That is the difference between "intelligent" and "smart".

To put it another way, you show intelligence in science and history, however lack this same intellect in politics and economics because you fell no interest in them.

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#21
yeah, the guy is an idiot. you said it best when you said you weren't well-rounded, but that's the most anyone can say. and that definitely doesn't mean you lack intelligence. intelligence is a relative term, anyway.

i read literature for the stories, not to analyze every little thing. i hate when people over-analyze everything. i mean seriously, if you're writing a novel, i'm pretty sure you throw a good bit of symbolism and such in, but not to the extent that we study in classes.
#22
Any jusitfied behaviour is intelligent behavior. Trying to narrow it down to characteristics and preferences would take forever, most of which would be spent thinking in circles.

And how can you enjoy science so much with complete disregard for philosophy? Just out of interest

Edit:

Quote by Guitardude19
to find the "real" insight into the human condition, by that I mean, why people act the way they do.


Impossible, no one will ever be sure why anyone else does anything in particular.
Last edited by maell at Sep 16, 2008,
#23
Quote by captaincrunk
Literature isn't a waste of time, it provides insight into the human condition...

Einstein was a pretty smart guy, who liked science alot. But look up some of his quotes


I know that it can, but, I can get a different insight through human psychology or asking a human behavioural lecturer at uni to find the "real" insight into the human condition, by that I mean, why people act the way they do.

Quote by Cutlass_253
You are intelligent (I think so from what I've read) however, you are also ignorant. And more so, you choose to be. I'm not insulting you, I'm telling the truth. You lack knowledge in certain areas. That does not make you unintelligent.

A person can know nothing and be intelligent. It is the properties of reason and contemplation that makes people intelligent. That is the difference between "intelligent" and "smart".

To put it another way, you show intelligence in science and history, however lack this same intellect in politics and economics because you fell no interest in them.


I didnt see any insult there, no worries. I do agree with you here. Ive gone so far as to look at them but, not delve into these areas because they are of no interest. I guess I cant handle my intelligence being called into question, but I can handle being called ignorant in area x y z if I only have close to none or a basic understanding of them.
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Last edited by Guitardude19 at Sep 16, 2008,
#24
It's a retarded claim to make. I was having a go at a thread for criticising science, when, in reality, she was a scienific illiterate. So, I told her straight out, that she knows jack all about it, and so do I. I know little about History, I know little of science, I know little of literature, I know little of philosophy, also I engage in all of these. Ohh, and Maths. That doesn't make me intelligent really.

My IQ is actually shockingly poor because of various reasons, but that should limit me to reach my full protential University wise. I think intelligence is just your capacity manipulation of knowledge and logic, so it shouldn't be strung down to IQ or knowledge at all...
#25
Ever heard the quote, "Jack of all trades, master of none"? Well, there is an opposite to that: The desire to know one thing completely. There is nothing wrong with that.

Now, as stated by others previously, it did seem a bit closed-minded to say that literature is a "waste of time", however if one infers that you meant that as saying it is a "waste of time" FOR YOU, rather than as a whole, then I see no problem with it. You don't have interest in it, therefore, you do not study it. You focus on science, rather than literature. You said that the other guy focuses a lot of his time on politics -- is that not the same thing? Conversely, just because a person is well read and widely educated, it does not necessarily mean that they understand it or are "intelligent" because of it. Intelligence is subjective, in reality, but some people associate it with a person's expanse of knowledge. However, you must point out if it comes up again, that knowledge =/= intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to understand, apply, and manipulate knowledge (information) in a variance of situations.

So, he thinks you're a dunce because you focus mainly on science. Well, I think he's a dunce because he associates intelligence solely with vastness of knowledge.
#26
Quote by maell
Any jusitfied behaviour is intelligent behavior. Trying to narrow it down to characteristics and preferences would take forever, most of which would be spent thinking in circles.

And how can you enjoy science so much with complete disregard for philosophy? Just out of interest

Edit:

Impossible, no one will ever be sure why anyone else does anything in particular.


From watching and listening to people having arguments involving a philosophical concept, and then reading up on it and coming back and listening, it seemed to be a pointless exercise in the people in question showing off their intelligence or lack thereof. I can see the merits of it and the conclusions reached through some debates are insightful, I just dont see a use for it as most of the time, the principles are not testable, and as "logical" as some arguments may seem, the logic isnt the same as employed in science to an extent. I say this because when dealing with an electron around an atom, it becomes almost philosophical in trying to explain it.

On your edit:

I used "real" in this sense to show that no one can be sure but it can be generally explained via some scientific principle. (Psychology is a real science, lets not bash it).

Quote by Rox0r713
Ever heard the quote, "Jack of all trades, master of none"? Well, there is an opposite to that: The desire to know one thing completely. There is nothing wrong with that.

Now, as stated by others previously, it did seem a bit closed-minded to say that literature is a "waste of time", however if one infers that you meant that as saying it is a "waste of time" FOR YOU, rather than as a whole, then I see no problem with it. You don't have interest in it, therefore, you do not study it. You focus on science, rather than literature. You said that the other guy focuses a lot of his time on politics -- is that not the same thing? Conversely, just because a person is well read and widely educated, it does not necessarily mean that they understand it or are "intelligent" because of it. Intelligence is subjective, in reality, but some people associate it with a person's expanse of knowledge. However, you must point out if it comes up again, that knowledge =/= intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to understand, apply, and manipulate knowledge (information) in a variance of situations.

So, he thinks you're a dunce because you focus mainly on science. Well, I think he's a dunce because he associates intelligence solely with vastness of knowledge.


I agree, and yes, I do mean it as a waste of time for me, which I would have pointed out if said person today didnt try jumping all over me before I had a chance to finish. When that happens, I remove myself from the situation.
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Last edited by Guitardude19 at Sep 16, 2008,
#27
Although I believe people should always be involved in politics, I can understand you not caring for it.

Quote by Guitardude19
Someone asked "Do you read literature?" I said "No, its a waste of time..."

...And? It is a waste of time. I tell people that English is my best subject and that I got a 32 in the English portion of my ACT and people suddenly assume that I like it. I don't. I hate it. I fucking hate the entire subject of English on a scholarly level. Literature bores me to tears and is so full of itself that it makes me want to vomit.

Someone then said "I don't know how someone as unintelligent as you could have got a first last year. You know nothing of the world."

If you understand chemistry and physics, then you obviously understand MUCH more about the universe we live in than said person does. They just care about people and how they interact. You care more about nature.


But intelligence isn't just being book smart. There are...I believe six different types of intelligence. Musical Intelligence is one of them, but I can't remember the rest.
#28
intelligence isnt the end all though. common sense and being wise to the world, (not just knowing books and facts etc) count just as much.intellligence will do **** all for you if you get attacked by a mugger in the street
id rather have personality and common sense rather than loads of intelligence.


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#29
Intelligence to me is pretty much common sense and the ability to interpret things in your own way. Education and general knowledge don't build to intelligence, they build to knowledge. You being able to contemplate yourself after being questioned shows a sign of intelligence they obviously don't have. True intelligence wouldn't question other's intelligence.


/Me hopes that makes sense.
#30
I consider anyone intelligent who actually takes the time to think about things before coming to a conclusion about them. That is, those who look at things from multiple perspectives and don't accept anything without questioning it first.


Sounds reasonable to me.
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#31
Nothing defines anybody as intelligent. When we look beyond language, nothing is defined perfectly by anything. Putting both together means that intelligence is nothing except for a word. I think 'intelligence' is 'defined' by coming to revelations such as this (not this one specifically).
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#33
In my eyes intelligence is being able to sit down with a person and have a perfectly reasonable conversation with them about something other than what you ate for lunch.
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#34
ignorance isn't always unintelligent.

You seem like an intelligent person, but as much intellect as you can pack away in that brain of yours, theres always going to be something you just don't know about.

and i don't mean the stuff you don't have an interest in like politics or philosophy (which is a science in its own imo) but things you simply have never imagined before.
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#35
It seems as if you are more interested in things being proven, and how things work scientifically in the world, as opposed to man made ideas and things. I'm not involved in politics either, rather I do what interests me. I think it's stupid that someone would call you stupid because you don't know a lot about politics.
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#36
Well you are intelligent but you should learn some about other stuff, math and science isn't everything...
#37
I beleive that I am a fairly scientific and mathematical person, and while I love physics and chemistry, I love the arts even more. I beleive that art is the thing that defines us as humans, not our intelligence or our social abilities. To see art as irrelevant or unimportant is as ignorant as claiming science or math doesnt matter. I beleive that art is a bridge to a world that science cannot explain, and that mathematics cannot analyze. It a window to a persons inner being, a physical representation of the non-physical human soul. To say it doesnt matter is, to put it blatantly, stupid.

Science, while very important, does not explain it all, nor does art. They are just 2 peices of a great puzzle that peice together to create a complete understanding of all aspects of the universe. A puzzle that requires people like you, me, Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, Issac Newton, and William Shakespear. The sooner that you realize that you realize that it takes more than science to explain the universe, the better.

/opinion.

By the way, Im not a religious person or anything, but I do beleive in the existence of the human soul.
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#38
Since you're so into science, why don't you check to see how much copper and zinc you have in your hair. Generally, intelligent people have more copper and zinc in their hair than stupid people.
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#39
Doesn't really matter whether you are "smart" at school. The difference between an intelligent person and a thick person IMO, is that the intelligent one researches and is interested by things like science or history, even when not pushed by school/work.
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#40
well i really think how you act has something to do with it, you can be really freakin intelligent but if you act like a retard, then you're viewed as a retard
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