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Thread: Intellectuals and Social retardation

  1. #1 Intellectuals and Social retardation 
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    I have noticed that the world's top scholars, scientists and intellectuals are often very socially stunted, to the point of being retarded. They may know the workings of a quantum accellerator, but when it comes to holding a conversation with a stranger, it's like someone removed their brain. They have as much charisma as Dr Spock from Star Trek.

    I don't mean to cause offence, but is there some explanation?


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    Yeah I definetly know what you mean, you hear about reclusive geniuses all the time. I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that a part of their thought process, say logic, is so well developed that it stunts the others, so their social interaction is not what is considered 'normal'. Maybe it's just because they think so differently from other people it is hard for them to communicate with people not of a like mind.

    Locke


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    Hi,

    I had similar experiences.
    Maybe it is because most of them just had to write papers to qualify for their job.
    No social contact is necessary to do so.
    Greetings,

    BM
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    social interactions having large emotional content could be something to do with it. its not only intellectuals that suffer this problem though there are stupid people that are social retards too.
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    I have problems interacting with people as well. I apparently come off as being cold, harsh, unemotional and pretentious, even in situations where I try my best to seem warm and friendly. I have problems projecting my emotions in nearly all situations.

    I also have demophobia (fear of crowds), but I'm not entirely sure if I should link the two problems.

    I don't think that either are linked to my intellectual capacity. I don't think I'm terribly intelligent; I'm no genuis. There are dumb people who can't interact well, and there are intelligent people who can. Stereotyping people doesn't do much good. :?
    "In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams
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    I think you may be stereotyping without any real data.

    Einstien was gregarious, charismatic and fun at parties.

    I think that the discipline of science may rub off on some scientists, but I know plenty of people who are complete social disasters and cant even spell science.
    Huh?
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    Richard Feynman was also known for being a very gregarious and popular man. There are many different kinds of intelligence. And there are quite a few individuals who have Asperger's syndrome who are successful in scientific endeavors, but do poorly in social pursuits.

    Asperger's syndrome is one of the disorders on the autistic spectrum - a milder form of the condition that afflicted Raymond Babbitt, the character played by Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. In the taxonomy of autism, those with Asperger's syndrome have average - or even very high - IQs, while 70 percent of those with other autistic disorders suffer from mild to severe mental retardation. One of the estimated 450,000 people in the US living with autism, Nick is more fortunate than most. He can read, write, and speak. He'll be able to live and work on his own. Once he gets out of junior high hell, it's not hard to imagine Nick creating a niche for himself in all his exuberant strangeness. At the less fortunate end of the spectrum are what diagnosticians call "profoundly affected" children. If not forcibly engaged, these children spend their waking hours in trancelike states, staring at lights, rocking, making high-pitched squeaks, and flapping their hands, repetitively stimulating ("stimming") their miswired nervous systems.
    Though not a genius by any means, I am on the bright side, and I have a hard time with social situations. I detest small talk, but in many cases that is all people are capable of. Some smart guys use their intelligence to their advantage to read women, tell them what they think they want to hear, and take advantage of their gullibility. As for me, I've opted out. My only social contacts to speak of are online.

    I've had a friend since childhood that has always been very strange. When I read that Wired article years ago, I realized my friend almost certainly has Asberger's. He has a masters degree in math, but has a hard time understanding how to order food in a restaurant. His brother's wife once said to me about him, "It's as though he was raised by wolves".
    To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.
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  9. #8 Re: Intellectuals and Social retardation 
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanethewolf
    I have noticed that the world's top scholars, scientists and intellectuals are often very socially stunted, to the point of being retarded. They may know the workings of a quantum accellerator, but when it comes to holding a conversation with a stranger, it's like someone removed their brain. They have as much charisma as Dr Spock from Star Trek.

    I don't mean to cause offence, but is there some explanation?
    Yes, many intellectuals are also infinitely proud and deem themselves to be superior to those "less intellectual".
    At college, I have several teachers and many more classmates who are like that. I think their intellectualism gives them a distorted image of the world, one where emotion is all pre-calculated, and they express it thus.


    But there is something else: Those who are really good in their field of expertise, are also socially capable, some of them extremely amiable, the best gentlemen and ladies you can imagine.

    While those who have high degrees, but are not so good in their field of expertise (they usually give poor lectures and are unwilling to answer any questions), are also generally more uptight and stiff.
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    Some good explanations! Yes, maybe I was generalising a bit, but it is something that seems quite common. It's like my lecturers at uni. The less intellectual ones (media, art, philosophy etc) hang out in bars with the students and are really relaxed, but the maths, science and English lecturers give off this superior vibe and judge people by their own standards, which stops them from being likeable people.

    That said, I have made an effort to talk to some of these intellectual lecturers in my own down to earth way and they really appreciate it and loosen up a lot. Maybe they just think they have to impress and that makes them uptight and on guard. I do notice that a lot of intellectuals hate to make mistakes, admit they don't know something or let anyone to see them as fallible, which must make it so difficult to relax and socialise. It's like they feel the need to maintain an image or they won't be taken seriously.

    Just my theory, which relates to some of the things that have already been said.
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    btw the Dr Spock reference was intentional. I just wanted to see how many people would take pride in correcting me, but no one did.
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    intellectuals may be stunted in social interaction because they either spend too much time studying to interact well. or they never had the skill of interaction, so they focused more on their studies instead of wasting time around *shudder* humans
    and so the balance of power shifts...
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    I am not a genius, but I am smarter then the average bear. I find it that people seem to rather enjoy my eccentricity in thinking and talking I am not going to say that it doesn't turn ppl off but it turns more ppl on then off. I know a lot of ppl who talk to me for literally 8 hours on MSN for instance about all sorts of subjects asking me for advice. I try to avoid at all costs that pretentious suit of self-aggrandization. I try my best not to be a pompous arse, so I generally help people who need my help in intellectual pursuits. I believe those who are arrogant to the point not to help others with their intelligence is just a waste of that intelligence. I do make friends rather quickly, but I don't make good hard friends that has always been one of my social weaknesses. At that I even get unconfortable when someone wants to become a close friend or even more with me and I tend to push away. I have a phobia of starting conversations, especially on messenger or on the phone. The most dysfunctional relationship I have is with my family, its very atomistic here with my family. Personally I have a weird relationship with myself, one the hand I want to have lots of friends (and I do) and have successful close relationships with people, but then again there is an impulse for lonerdom, this feeling that I can only fulfil my intellectualism by avoiding the time consuming world of social relations, and it also has an air of tragedy that for some reason attracts me so.

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    i know people think that i'm smart...maybe that's true but i'm not as smart as they give me credit for. i also find that the preasure to be right and get higher test scores than most people is unessisarily present.

    the only relief from this that i get is that i don't constantly get bombarded with questions because most of the time when i say something overly intelligent alot of people just look at me and say...'Nerd'.

    i also find it realy hard to socialise, when i think about it it's not that hard but when i contemplate giving someone a call to see if they want to go do something i find an excuss not to. MSN seems to make it easier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallaby
    i know people think that i'm smart...maybe that's true but i'm not as smart as they give me credit for. i also find that the preasure to be right and get higher test scores than most people is unessisarily present.

    the only relief from this that i get is that i don't constantly get bombarded with questions because most of the time when i say something overly intelligent alot of people just look at me and say...'Nerd'.

    i also find it realy hard to socialise, when i think about it it's not that hard but when i contemplate giving someone a call to see if they want to go do something i find an excuss not to. MSN seems to make it easier.
    Try alcohol, and the opposite sex, or whatever your in to. The best cure is to do the opposite of intelligent behavior. Get drunk, find some good reefer, have fun Intelligence is nice, but it won't keep you warm at night.



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    lol

    i'll give it a try some day.
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    "Also Known As" is correct, it is Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism. People with Asperger Syndrome, colloquially known as aspies, often exhibit higher than average intelligence, and tend to have very narrow and focused interests bordering on obsession. This is a subject I'm interested in since I have Asperger Syndrome, too. I'm not a scientist, but my father is, and he has the same thing.

    More info here:
    http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/
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    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat
    "Also Known As" is correct, it is Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism. People with Asperger Syndrome, colloquially known as aspies, often exhibit higher than average intelligence, and tend to have very narrow and focused interests bordering on obsession. This is a subject I'm interested in since I have Asperger Syndrome, too. I'm not a scientist, but my father is, and he has the same thing.

    More info here:
    http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/
    People are very quick to point out Asperger Syndrome during discussions like this, but everyone should remember that AS is very uncommon. There are many intelligent people with very poor social skills, but only a tiny percentage of them have AS.
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    I would think that they might offend people by "showing off" as some people would like to say when they speak about subjects that others may not know very much about. I would feel as though I was being "talked downto" sa to say if I were in a conversation with them and they started to explain something to me. These are a few reasons they might not want to be social with others unless those others are of the same ilk.
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  20. #19 Re: Intellectuals and Social retardation 
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanethewolf
    I have noticed that the world's top scholars, scientists and intellectuals are often very socially stunted, to the point of being retarded. They may know the workings of a quantum accellerator, but when it comes to holding a conversation with a stranger, it's like someone removed their brain. They have as much charisma as Dr Spock from Star Trek.

    I don't mean to cause offence, but is there some explanation?
    It depends of what discipline you are talking about. Most of the time it does not seem so important how smart you are. Or how dedicated you have been.

    Universities are jungles and if you don't socialize, make contacts and kiss some.... if you don't sell yourself properly you won't get the grant. That's all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locke
    Yeah I definetly know what you mean, you hear about reclusive geniuses all the time. I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that a part of their thought process, say logic, is so well developed that it stunts the others, so their social interaction is not what is considered 'normal'. Maybe it's just because they think so differently from other people it is hard for them to communicate with people not of a like mind.

    Locke
    Probably becuase they have not thought about that.
    Rules of social interaction are very arbitrary... they are just not into that, so... but if it is necesary I don't think it would be sooooo difficult to learn them... just to be pacient and follow the game, learn the right words... it is just another process but a process after all, .... the idea of incapable genious is.. so holliwood style like... odd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elbethil
    I have problems interacting with people as well. I apparently come off as being cold, harsh, unemotional and pretentious, even in situations where I try my best to seem warm and friendly. I have problems projecting my emotions in nearly all situations.

    I also have demophobia (fear of crowds), but I'm not entirely sure if I should link the two problems.

    I don't think that either are linked to my intellectual capacity. I don't think I'm terribly intelligent; I'm no genuis. There are dumb people who can't interact well, and there are intelligent people who can. Stereotyping people doesn't do much good. :?
    Doesn't seem like... you are pretty much expressing your feelings here. what we think we are and what we really are...
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    In my mind there is a difference between intelligence, and being born with an enhanced ability or unique brain function. To me, intelligence would be knowledge someone acquired through a learning process. Whereas being born with an ability is not really something you learn. It just is.

    This is something in which I have given a lot of thought to over the years. A person who thinks in pictures processes knowledge differently than a person who thinks in words. They both have understanding. The person who thinks in pictures sees understanding. I am not certain how a person who thinks in words actually processes understanding. I have spent many hours contemplating it, but still I have not been able to place definition to it.

    My experiences are seeing understanding has given me the ability to write very descriptive paragraphs. It is not something learned, it just is. My natural writing tends to have multiple meanings, something I do not even realize is happening until after I have completed the paragraph and go back to read it. Having said this, I did have to learn to write in flat, which tends to be more adaptive than of intelligent design. I also am amazingly analytical, detailed, and organized, although I did have to learn to organize in a way everyone can utilize. Again, this is more of adapting than intelligence, I think.

    Most of the time I believe I communicate as effectively as everyone around me, but there are times when my mind is moving so fast I cannot find the correct words quickly enough to speak the thought, if that makes sense. This tends to make me feel somewhat shy around other people because sometimes when this happens there are people who tend to consider me.....differently than I am. Sometimes this shyness may be perceived as standoffishness or disinterest when really nothing could be further from the truth. It is my own feeling of inadequacy causing this to be so, not anything anyone else may or may not be saying or doing.

    My advice would be when you experience someone who may seem to be distant or aloof, go up to them and start a conversation. You may be pleasantly surprised to find you may have been quick to prejudge! LOL
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  24. #23  
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    you have an idea but can't formulate it into words so everybody just stares at you waiting for it while you grow more and more nervous.

    I hate it!!

    maybe thats why i'm anti-social, or is it the Playstation?
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    Thanks Wallaby for the smile! In my case it is more science messages boards!
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    It's not just the scientists and academics who seem to have a higher degree of social inadequacies - it's the great artists as well. They say there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Perhaps this exposes the limits of the human brain - with so much knowledge in the world today, so much to learn and think about, most people simply do not have the time or natural ability to become good at every mental task - so some end up missing out on certain abilities, like social intelligence, or mathematical intelligence, or symbolic intelligence, or organisational intelligence.
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  27. #26  
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    this whole social thing is confusing to me. :?
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    I'm not clear what you mean. Confusing because you are not sure why it is valued; confusing because you think you are not very good in social settings; some other thing?
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    You know, a lot of these people are what they are BECAUSE they work hard at it, because they love what they do. Because they feel it has a purpose. They all have their things that they enjoy. For me, it's a Punjabi girl and the Chiefs and Royals. Sometimes I catch the show Lost. But I'm no longer like the rest of the world that screws off for 10 hours a day. If I did, I'd get nothing done.

    You know how fun it is to talk to someone and watch their eyes gloss over because they've been brainwashed into believing that what I'm talking about is boring?

    I know several mega geniuses and none of them are socially retared. Quite the opposite, they're very interesting people when interacting with someone who has an open mind or is not scientifically illiterate.

    You know how hard it is to be surrounded by scientifically illiterate people? It's like being surrounded by 4 year olds. 4 year olds are cute, but you always end up losing your patience with them and if you keep talking in a baby voice you'll lose your mind.

    Scientists do talk to each other, constantly. Maybe because other scientists are the only ones capable of listening.

    Maybe this post would better serve if more focused on the common persons inabillity to understand people who investigate nature.

    Ignorance is bliss, but is it really worth it?
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  30. #29  
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    Alright. Inspired by silkworm's last post, here is a definition:

    Social Skills: the suite of abilities that allow one to fake a genuine interest in the lives and interests of others that one meets from day to day when all one actually wants to talk about is one's own interests.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I'm not clear what you mean. Confusing because you are not sure why it is valued; confusing because you think you are not very good in social settings; some other thing?
    in the i'm not good at it so it confuses me sort of way.
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    The solution, then, is simple.

    Listen.

    People admire people who listen. People adore people who listen. People love people who listen.

    Listen

    Don't talk. Listen.

    In order to have something to listen to ask open questions: the one's without a yes/no answer. This allows people to speak about their favourite subject, themselves.

    Don't try to top their stories.
    Don't offer tales of a similar nature.
    Just keep asking the open questions:
    "What did you do then?"
    "How do you feel about that?"
    "Did you enjoy that?"
    "Would you go again?"

    Then listen to the replies.
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    thanks for the advice.

    i'll try it out when i find some people to listen too, which will most likely be when i return to school.
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanethewolf
    btw the Dr Spock reference was intentional. I just wanted to see how many people would take pride in correcting me, but no one did.
    Hehe. Yeah, I noticed, but wasn't ready to reply to the thread just yet.

    Social Skills: the suite of abilities that allow one to fake a genuine interest in the lives and interests of others that one meets from day to day when all one actually wants to talk about is one's own interests.
    Hmm.. That said, what's the use of listening? What's the use of pretending, or changing yourself in that sense, to the fashion of others. I act because I appreciate my manners, not because of others. I am kind, friendly, because of myself not of others.

    As for this intellectual stuff, ah, I don't like to judge. Everyone plays his game, plays his role.

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    I can give you a very simple and accurate explanation. Smart people find dumb people so boring that they simply have NOTHING to say to them. I am one of those people. For my whole life i have struggled to talk to most people because I find the conversation I have with them so uninteresting, obvious and unfullfilling. I want to talk about challenging topics that make you think and put forward new ideas and concepts, 99% of the population want to talk about the V8's and the hot chick they saw walking down the street the other day. It is also hard as a person of superior intelligence to find other people and jokes amusing, simply because you can always predict what they are going to say or what is going to happen. I can guarentee if you put two very smart people together they will be able to talk for hours on end with no difficulty, but put a very smart person and a dumb person together (to be quite blunt about it), and you will have a very dull, awkward conversation, if you have any at all.
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    i think its down to the simple fact a genius would over think it.

    i used to be quite a thick child but while iv been growing up, and becoming on the smarter side i have become less of a part of the "popular people" in school but i always tried to come up with a reason for this, and i believe thats the problem, over thinking the situation
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    Well, there is a simple answer to that question.

    Its about the communication between the left and right brain. With one having the upper hand so to speak.

    To increase the communication between the two, a mathematician for example could learn to play a music instrument.

    Lets say a person that plays a music instrument, a guitarist for example could learn math.

    Leonardo da Vinci was said to have an exceptional communication between the left/right brain. With a crushing IQ of ~220 against the median average.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasSullivan
    I can give you a very simple and accurate explanation. Smart people find dumb people so boring that they simply have NOTHING to say to them. I am one of those people. For my whole life i have struggled to talk to most people because I find the conversation I have with them so uninteresting, obvious and unfullfilling. I want to talk about challenging topics that make you think and put forward new ideas and concepts, 99% of the population want to talk about the V8's and the hot chick they saw walking down the street the other day. It is also hard as a person of superior intelligence to find other people and jokes amusing, simply because you can always predict what they are going to say or what is going to happen. I can guarentee if you put two very smart people together they will be able to talk for hours on end with no difficulty, but put a very smart person and a dumb person together (to be quite blunt about it), and you will have a very dull, awkward conversation, if you have any at all.
    Let the "smart" person and the "dumb" person, run up a 45 degrees hill for 10 miles together. Look how well they communicate once they reach the top.

    No offense, but its ignorant of you to say that you're superiour. Its common to think you're uncommon.
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    Some poeple who are exceptional in their pursuits tell themselves they are better and "superior" than others because it's a denfense mechanism. It covers their own failure to accurately study people and understand how to have pleasant interactions. They hope to cope by saying they don't need others. And odds are, even if they do find people of their own ilk, these "superiour" spend their time competing with or hoping to outsmart and or bossing around the people they actually feel are as smart as them, so the excuse that people are stupid falls flat. But it's easy. Show interest in others (from "stupid" people to the prized yet always out of reach object of I'm sure most of us here at this forum; beautiful women lol) and most will reciprocate. It's all an act, people really do just care about themselves. Even altruism is selfish in the end. But being human, you need to be stimulated and to feel valuable. Socializing is where that sense of value comes in, becuase if you are really smart but can also be open and warm (and this starts with how you treat yourself btw) people will apreciate what they can learn from you. Just realize even though you are smarter, you are not BETTER, and you can be of actual value by passing on the knowledge. If you hold it in, it just dies when you do. And you become of inconsequence because you kept to yourself.
    If the whole of the cosmos in and surrounding earth is simply a mathematical chemical soup, than getting a blow job outside o during math class was extra credit, and the American Educational system failed me yet again.
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  39. #38 Mr Spock syndrome 
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    First time I saw Star Trek, I felt an afinity towards Mr Spock.

    I always tended to interpret things literally. Made legal jargon very easy for me. However, social interaction was always very awkward.

    My explanation was that as a child my parents kept us away from society. with both parents working, there was literally no social interaction.

    Recess was the toughest "subject" for me

    School (the studying and learning process) was great. My idea of heaven was a huge library with constant daylight where I could read and learn forever

    I am not mentally deficient in any way but I never learned to fit in. Even the smallest lie is almost impossible for me. Like I said, I could get along fine with Mr. Spock
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  40. #39  
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    I think I may have a good theory as to the causes of this. I am a self proclaimed intellectual, and I have "social disorders". A lot of these I have overcome within the last few years due to crouded employment conditions that help break the ice for conversation. First, I don't like to be social, and I have few good friends... But mainly the problem is with how I think. This can obviously be a problem for anybody but I do hear it is very common amungst genius (not saying I am one). The way I think is very logically, and I almsot never take my emotions into account when making decisions, unless I'm playing call of duty world at war. This makes it very hard to comprehend social interaction, like people hinting at something, or being vague is impossible... I take things for how they're said and few people say what they mean. I havn't formulated the same process of speach most other people have. A part of it for genius' I imagine is having too many things to think about and consider all at once. einstein was aparently hardly able to compose a proper sentence.
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  41. #40  
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    einstein was aparently hardly able to compose a proper sentence.
    Just want to correct you on that. Einstein was able to form sentences perfectly as an adult. He did, however, start talking later in life than most children. Even then, there is no record of him ever being unable to form a perfect sentence.
    In control lies inordinate freedom; in freedom lies inordinate control.
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liongold
    einstein was aparently hardly able to compose a proper sentence.
    Just want to correct you on that. Einstein was able to form sentences perfectly as an adult. He did, however, start talking later in life than most children. Even then, there is no record of him ever being unable to form a perfect sentence.
    Hmm, thanks. That's what I get for listening to people who like to talk about things they don't know to show how much smarter they are than everybody. Guess it would have helped to do some research. I've heard him talk, but only in a scientific language I could not understand, I assumed that speaking out of those terms might have been the hard part.
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  43. #42 pjong... 
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    First.
    Negative maladjustment:
    http://www.prometheussociety.org/art...Outsiders.html

    and then they just choose to ignore social relation's due if you stomp with aggression/name calling or other "im dick" it get's you to even more problems, so people seem to be drawn to work&only few close friends.

    and of course, we have to take into account that theres lots of people with high technical ability/logical thinking or so esp. in males, while less capability in socialization by innate born features, this is pretty much true up to 150 iq, or so after that hypothesis is that brains need to be "balanced&well optimized" thus creating multiple fields gifted.

    Simple fact is, that modern job's doesnt require even balancing you can be 90% logical nerd 10% socialization, while coding at work place your babysitted by your boss and at home by wife/mom.

    and well you can simply as logical person even you would be socially skilled, ignore your skills and concentrate at work, seeing through repetitive history, is same monkey hierarchy shit again and again and thats all about in our socialization, while some logical person might want "logical&lawful" place, but notices it's impossible due others ignorance. it's much better let others know little as possible from you, than revealing your hand, with shady dealers.

    also, theres matters of time, etc failed social bonding as kid+seeing the blabbering emotionally uninvolving == socialization&parties=waste of time
    (seriously go drink booze with common folk assuming median iq of 100 at party, then listen the how much booze they can drink stories, what car/tuning argh been made and sexy babes.) then repeat this over and over again, if you value rational thinking, you'll go nut's if theres no good comedian among them.
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