I don’t think this should be a surprise to anyone that the idea of being called “intelligent”, being praised for it, being seen as an intelligent person, has completely ruined any wit people could have probably posessed, if their heads weren’t so high up their arses. Unsurprisingly, in most cases it’s all about the common form of intelligence, measured by intelligence quotient (IQ). In psychology IQ is so far the most accurate, but still not perfect, way of predicting human behavior. It’s used, but it’s far from perfect, or even decent.
The culture we live in however, gives it much more importance than it really deserves. Humans still are, and still will be just animals, living on their very specific scale, and being capable of very limited things. The popular, and very romantic idea, that humans are some sort of “master race”, whose intellect can rule the world, is naive at best. At worst, it’s a massive delusion driven by narcissism, and complete lack of understanding of self, and the world. But because of that delusion, people love to divide others into “better”, and “worse” groups, and all of the most popular philosophical* or religious stances so far only prove, that the only reason behind it is pure narcisism, egoism, and the need to explain to self “why am I better than others”. There’s a good reason why you don’t see people, who would claim both “stupid people are worse”, and “I am stupid”.
*Frankly, Aristotle sickens this author, who wishes to send him a bag of dicks to choke on.
Because of how little humans, and other animals, really mean in the universe, the difference between the unintelligent and intelligent, and what is their impact on the world, in humans can be compared to two monkeys, from which one can use a rock to open a nut, and the other can’t. And this is of course a simplified idea that isolates the IQ, ignoring all other forms of intelligence. It’s silly to put so much value into it, aside from that we can tell that intelligence can be useful, and should be used for the sake of our survival, to say that this nutcracking monkey is a master to that non-nutcracking one, sounds purely idiotic. As if there was something really wrong with it. That’s because there is plenty.
The obsession with being intelligent goes on from parents to children. Children rewarded from young age for being “intelligent”, “brilliant”, etc., will most likely have troubles when they grow up. Even if it’s true that they are placed on the right side of the scale of intelligence for their age, this doesn’t mean this will remain true when they grow older, but much bigger issue is that they are taught to be rewarded by being *called* intelligent, and for the achievements that come easy for them (easier than their peers), not for something that required hard work, or because of positive character traits, or their personal values. Instead of appreciating children for their efforts, for who they are, and for the product of their efforts, they put value into what trophy attributes are associated with them. This is a serious issue, because we are dealing right now with whole generation of fake people. It doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is just a narcissist. Most people need validation from others, because we are pack animals, and we need to know that our position in the herd is wanted, and secured. But there are many better ways to make that happen, instead we have this toxic mindset thrown upon children, that results in people caring much more about those superficial attributes, than actually representing them.
This is also paralyzing for a lot of children who are intelligent above average, because eventually they leave school, where they meet a good representation of all social groups, and they attend universities, companies, or other places that gather people, who are more than average intelligent, and they find themselves average in such group. Suddenly their idea of being special, and valuable “just because” disappears, and anxiety comes in. They’ve been taught from young age that they are better than others (important note: not that they are great. But because they are better than others, not just great on their own, as unique characters), and that’s it. Now they start performing worse than those, who were used from young age to the hard work and putting effort in things, and other simply above average intelligent. And let’s face it, the differences between above average, and below average intelligent isn’t that great, because IQ doesn’t set the average as a spectrum, but as one specific point. The difference will be greatly visible, and often troublesome, only for people who are on extreme sides of the spectrum.
People are lazy by nature as well. Someone who suddenly discovers that they need to put an actual effort to prove themselves intelligent, in the world that puts such a great pressure on this, will do everything but the hard work. They will seek validation, and lose the touch with their own wit, reject reality, and wrap themselves up in a comfort blanket made of cognitive dissonance. They will not use their potential competences for things that really matter, they will maximize the use of it to *trick* others into thinking, that they are intelligent, and therefore superior. And this will be enough for them. And there we have, a massive group of people who don’t provide anything of substance to the society, because they are to busy wallowing in their borderline too low, and too high self-esteem.
On the other hand we have the less intelligent on the spectrum. “The below 100s”. Amusingly, depending on their parents’ intelligence and awareness, they often end up exactly like those “above average intelligent” ones. An unintelligent parent will praise self, and the child, for being mediocre (since why would they know any better), as if that was a big accomplishment. They will also see the “above intelligent” ones as stupid, because anything they don’t understand must be it (doctors? medicine? globe instead of flat earth? must be dumb). Many of those people grow such confidence in their thoughs and opinions, that they reject any challenge. Nobody wants to be caught saying something stupid, so they will just continue to live the delusion, and massacre every attempt at reasonable discussion with their cognitive dissonance, and unintentional, random eristic.
There is no progress on either side. People are too trapped in their ego-mania to actually be who they want to be, and could be.
This is it. This is what society is doing.
Because of high pressure on *appearing* intelligent, we are wasting the “intelligent”, and the “less intelligent” half of the society. Aside from the extremes of the scale, the differences between most people are minimal. The division should be abolished, instead we should simply teach people how to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and their desires, what brings them fulfillment, what they can do for others.
The reasons behind dividing people are also pretty simple. It’s a neverending circle, and it’s difficult to tell what happened first. Was romanticizing of intelligence first? Or was the toxic society that forces people into binary labels, and illusion of success and superiority first? Regardless, with cult of pseudointellectualism the case is exactly the same as it is for racism, homophobia, etc. I call it pseudointellectualism on purpose, becuase it holds no true intelligence behind. Regardless if you are good at maths, and science or not, you can be one of the idiots who are too insecure to use their full potential, and who limit the potential of others by bringing them down, while also blocking their own growth, by being blind to new perspectives.
It’s easy to catch those opinions.
Intelligent people are superior to stupid.
Whites are superior to people of color.
French are superior to Brits.
Men are superior to women.
Humans superior to other animals.
The origin of IQ was eugenics. Another way to separate people based on their worth. Actually intelligent people rarely ever think of themselves like that. They don’t think of themselves, their social positions, how they appear to others. There are much more important things to bother yourself with. Bigger than you, and your ego.
And people who follow those ideas are really simple minded at the end. All they need is to believe that some group of people is worse than them, just because. Just as a rule. So thanks to that, they can pat themselves on the back and say “I am better. I am superior.” without putting any effort into it. Without representing anything worthy. Without providing anything of importance to the society.
I am smarter than others.
I am better than others.
And none were right.