On being smarter than the average bear

A lot of religious people, on encountering the ideas of non-religious people, find the non-religious people to be arrogant assholes who think they’re smarter than everyone else. Well, a lot of non-religious people find the religious people to be a bunch of arrogant assholes who think that they are the specially chosen ones who are better then every one else through no actual virtue possessed, but by arbitrary theological fiat, by accident of birth, by luck of which book of religous idiocy ones parents happened to subscribe, by the virtue of their arbitrarily chosen belief — bestowed by their unchosen parents — they are the beneficiaries. In smaller words, for the dumber reader, the religious folks think they’re the chosen ones, and denigrate others, and this comes across as arrogant. Gee, I wonder why.

Here’s the thing. If a person REALLY is very smart, in the top 5 percent, say, that means 95 percent of people are dumber than this person. What’s the world like for such a person? The world is a world populated by comparative morons. Really. 19 out of 20 people that this person meets will not be as smart, and most will be so significantly less smart that many topics of interest for conversation will simply be off the table. To a very smart person, the world is a very depressing place. This very smart person may find themselves deliberately dumbing themselves down, deliberately avoiding topics of conversation which interest them, but which are too “brainy”, just to fit in, socially.

But, the cost of this is a deep, indelible and unavoidable cynicism. For such a person, the whole world is populated by people who are incapable of understanding what to such a person is completely obvious. It’s like living amidst a world populated by five year olds. Sure, five year olds are ok, they can be entertaining, esp. if it’s your own child. But, sometimes you want to talk to an adult. Well, for the very smart person, there are, effectively, nearly zero adults. Nearly everyone is just too dumb to be worth talking to. It’s that bad. I’m not kidding. Too dumb to be worth talking to. The difference is that huge.

I wish I could command the world to grow a fucking brain.

Fucking five year olds.

~ by scaryreasoner on July 6, 2008.

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