Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ken Jennings

DISCLAIMER: Please be advised in no way am I suggesting anyone who comments here lacks discretion or sound judgment. Everyone who comments here is intelligent, so what I'm about to say is purely hypothetical and if any scenarios used to describe anyone reading this happens to be true, it is purely coincidental.

Being smart might be the most over rated quality some one can possess. But then again maybe not? Because it's really not that "rated" to begin with? Being really smart doesn't get you anywhere in life. If you are successful in life chances are it is because of other qualities which you have.

Being a success in life is measured by different people in different ways. Some think money, power, fame, rubbing elbows with the right people or simply just being happy and content or making the next generations life easier are all ways to measure success. I wouldn't disagree with any of those. But you don't have to be smart to attain any of those things.

Knowledge is a good and powerful thing. But being smart is totally meaningless, unless you wind up on Jeopardy? But after you become a 5 time Champion you still have to go back home on Monday driving your AMC Pacer that your granma gave you when you fixed her computer, back to your little cubicle at work as you enter something in a computer all day hoping to avoid your Boss because he picks on you. Plus the same DNA which makes one smart also makes them snort and eat boogers.

I say things like instinct, experiences, gut feelings, discernment, judgment and of course good ole fashion common sense is what makes us a success. In John Loftus' book "Why I Became an Atheist: Personal Reflections and Additional Arguments" on page 53 he(John) guesses that "percentage wise, atheists are better educated than others, and better educated people are usually better people toward others..."
Which reminds me, I have been a bit grumpy lately, maybe I should take some night classes until I can achieve a Degree in something/anything but at least I'll be a nicer person?

"The Education of Sonny Carson" is a great black cult classic movie.(?) I watched it 50 times while I was in the USAF although I'm whiter than Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson. Anyways Sonny Carson says one of the smartest things I've ever heard, even though he was probably about 18 years old when he said it, and he spent little time in school. But as a rival gang is coming upon Sonny and his highly out numbered gang to do battle, Sonny is trying to keep his gang from doing anything, but one of his dudes says "Sonny, we gots to do something, cause it aint cool to just stand here".
Then Sonny says "You be to cool, you gonna lose". My goal of telling this story is that Sonny's education was nothing but his life on the streets, yet his wisdom far surpasses any thing you could ever learn in a book.

DISCLAIMER #2: My 21 year old daughter has one semester left in college, she is on the Dean's list, as usual. She has plans to further her education by going to grad school after she travels for a year. Young people, please go to school and get an education, it will certainly be a wise move, something me and Sonny would want you to do. I'm not saying getting an education is a bad thing, I'm saying don't forget to pick up all the other wise things along the way that will help you in life.

Peace out, feeno


  1. I miss ya. Did you have a great time over the holidays?

  2. Thank You sir, yes I did. I really wanted to head back up to Ind. over the holidays but never got the chance. Believe it or not Tim did, his cousin died like a month later and he went back up for the funeral. Which reminds me of your chapter "No More Funerals" which I actually liked quite a bit.

    Thank you Mr. Loftus for gracing my humble little blog with your presence, and I have commented here and there on DC, and still stay in touch with many of your followers, followers on the little blog thing, not followers like your the head of a cult.

    Happy New Year to you and Gwen. Peace Brah,


  3. I really do not believe in "smart" or "intelligence". I believe in a solid work ethic. You may not be the brighest on the block- do the work, get an education.

    I have known many very "smart people" who do not do anything with themselves. Are they smart? I have also known many people who may not be as innately intelligent as someone else, but work very hard, and are very successful at what they choose to do.

  4. I'm a smart-ass. Does that count for smarts?

  5. American anti-intellectualism at its finest. I thought it lacked the "people who are smart have higher rates of depression" point, but overall you pretty much summed it up. [The depression, by the way, occurs because there comes a realization of just how hopelessly pathetic we truly are as a species.]

    This post is all well and good, and you make plenty of points no one can refute, but I think the heart of anti-intellectualism is the desire to discount experts. If my pipes are leaking, I'll call the plumber, not the smartest man I know. If healthcare sucks, I'll talk to healthcare experts, not Joe the Plumber (who's not the smartest man anyone knows).

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a specialist and not knowing very much outside your field... until someone who doesn't know jack about anything else starts lecturing like they're a college professor after piecing their political view together from South Park episodes.

    And it isn't because Americans are stupid. Americans are as smart as any other people, our priorities are just messed up. We only have two political parties, while most countries have 4-5 major parties. What do we have? Five hundred TV channels.

    Charles De Gaule, French general during WWII, said, "How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?" Indeed... what hope is there for a nation so obsessed with ridiculous things?

  6. Geenks,

    You are brilliant!


  7. Hmmm... This is still kinda interesting. I do not believe that Americans are stupid at all.... I am sitting in a lovely home in Texas right now. However, I believe that the educational system and the American media are heavily saturated with nationalism, religion, propaganda, and patriotism. I have had the pleasure of meeting many Americans who actively identify, and are subsequently critical of this. In response, they seem develop an awareness that they are being fed pure bullshit on many levels. However, there is many who do not, (and some of them post with us on here).

  8. There are many components to intelligence, so we have to clarify what we are talking about.

    1. Cognitive ability: the ability of the brain to process and organize information.
    2. Short-term memory: the ability to remember pieces of information for immediate use.
    3. Long-term memory: the ability to archive large amounts of information for future use.
    4. Knowledge: Subject-matter relevant information.
    5. Focus: ability to zero-in on a task at hand and tune out all distractions.

    Each one of these is useless without the others.

    Someone with good cognitive ability but a bad short-term memory may make a good writer, but will make a poor chess player.

    Someone with good long-term memory but lack of focus will make a good librarian but a lousy surgeon.

    A good long-term memory is useless if all that's in it is crap about last season's fashion styles. So the education you have and the type of knowledge you hold matters a lot. I can write advanced computer software but couldn't tell the difference between a B flat and a C note if my life depended on it. I know surgeons who can't tell the difference between a savings account and a checking account. My dogs understand English better than my grandmother but they can't knit a scarf.

    A good short-term memory is useless with a lack of focus.

    Etc. Any combination is possible.

    Calling someone smart or stupid is really relative and it depends on context a great deal.