DARKSTREAM: Pedantry and intelligence

From the transcript of the Darkstream:

At some point in time, and I’m not sure exactly when, but some at some point in time after the early 1990s, and I don’t know exactly when it started, at some point in time, people began to act as if failing to understand the obvious was somehow a indicator of intelligence. And we see this all the time. I see it a lot myself on on the blog and so forth. I find it befuddling, you know, I don’t understand what the reasoning is. As far as I can tell, it seems to be striking a superior pose and implying that the other person cannot effectively communicate what they’re saying. I can’t really find an explanation for it that isn’t just based on pointless attention-seeking, or frankly,  an obnoxious sort of implied insult.

I find it very frustrating to deal with this sort of thing over and over and over, every time you say anything. Now I can go ahead and get as pedantic as you like, yeah, if you want to go deeply down and get very, very specific and that sort of thing, I can do that, but I don’t want to. And I especially don’t want to do it every single time I open my mouth. So there seems to be this belief that if you can somehow come up with some possible interpretation that allows you to pretend to be confused as to what the person says, this is somehow a sign of your intelligence.

It’s not. It’s a sign that you’re a jackass. It’s actually a sign that you’re not very intelligent because clearly you’re not able to understand the context. Now, I’m not saying that if you are genuinely confused that you shouldn’t ask, obviously, but the correct question is, the correct way to pose such a question is, to assume the obvious then ask to confirm that. That’s the way you do it. That’s the way intelligent people do it. I mean one of the signs of intelligence is to understand things when you’re only given partial clues. One of the reasons why C. Auguste Dupin, one of the reasons why Sherlock Holmes,  were considered to be highly intelligent detectives is because they were able to ascertain the truth from incomplete information in a way that most people couldn’t. So, if you want to demonstrate your intelligence, don’t pretend not to understand what the person is almost certainly talking about.


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