Chetan Somani

Engineer - Computing, Infosys India

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Can we divide people in two category i.e intellectual and non-intellectual?? and if we can on what basis are we dividing??

this question arises as people often categorize there counterparts into intellectual or non intellectual and i cant find out on what basis.
since every person has their own prophecy but still what can be the common factors that make people do so??

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    May 17 2012: I once heard a professor say, " there are two kinds of people . . . ". To which a student replied, "us and them."

    Throughout my life, every time someone talks about people it always, invariably, without fail, breaks down into putting people into the categories of "those who agree with us and those who don't". That is the only division. Those who are similar in outlook are those who you identify with and those who do not are always somehow less.

    What is truly sad is none of us recognises the truth, that people know different aspects of different things, they have different capacities for different skills, and different experiences that shape different outlooks. The fact that we put each other into bipartate categories limits a truly fully enriching interaction.

    But then, you will either agree with me or you won't, which category should I put you in?
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      May 18 2012: Maybe it's just old guys like me who, having distanced themselves from the melee of socio-political life, realize that some of the most profound influences in our lives came from people who disagreed with us. I recall many instances where I was absolutely convinced I was on the "correct" side of a debatable issue, only to be enlightened by ,as you call them, one of "them". The tendency you mention is pervasive and malignant. I think it is rooted in pride. I appreciate your observation. I do not find it "verbally garrulous" at all.
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        May 18 2012: Yes, us old guys gotta stick together against them young'uns!

        But seriously, what you describe comes with anemotional maturity. At some point, you realise that the "other" side has a valid point, if even solely for the reason that they believe in it. But when we give the "other" credibility, we can find common ground, and then they don't appear so intellectually inferior as they did before.

        And thanks for pronouncing my name correctly, and yes, my middle name IS "Lee". My mom was a bit of a prankster.
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      May 18 2012: Verbie,
      i completely agree with you.
      predominantly,people do perceive in the way you have spectated.they just don't understand why a person is speaking against your verbal thought.
      As they don't understand they just categorize the person in the group of people who have a different outlook!!
      great observation verbie!!
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        May 18 2012: Yes, and it quite sad. I must admit that I may have missed a lot of opportunities for insight by categorising someone as being intellectually inferior just because I didn't agree with their point of view. As I get older I think I'm getting better (by the grace of God) and strive for understanding, even if I know I will never agree.
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    May 31 2012: If dividing people is a good idea why choose those words? How about kind and unkind, happy and unhappy, rich and poor or loved and unloved?
    Respectfully, all we have to do is look at the dark ages. People who take exception to 'smart' people simply may not have the capacity to see what that intellectual can, they believe what they cannot see or understand has no value and thus is worthess and worthy of extermination while people with greater vision are never willing to exterminate anyone.

    Good old Mao was an uneducated country boy and he almost wiped out all the culture of his country by purging and killing anyone who was different. I think it is always the intellectals who are in danger.
  • May 30 2012: "Pseudo-intellectuals" read all the popular books, or at least they have them on display on their coffee tables. A true intellectual reads what his heart and / or mind dictates, and doesn't care if it's on the N.Y. Times Bestseller list.

    P-I's (Sorry, too lazy to write out pseudo-intellectuals ever time) ask questions, but if they get answers contrary to their currently held or popular opinions, then they dismiss them. A true intellectual, or "t.i." will evaluate the answers to his questions and make changes in his thinking if such are demonstrated.

    P. I.' s drop names and places so you can link them with popular movements and locations and assume from that that they're "in". T.I.'s have no idea what's popular or not; they find truth where they are, and are capable of putting together great lessons of life from their surroundings. (Consider the parables of Jesus Christ that came from His surroundings.)

    P.I.'s are found in good graces at universities and colleges; T.I.'s are found there, occasionally, but are usually running afoul of the politically correct.

    P.I.'s will vociferously support one candidate or the other in an election, as well as issues. T.I.'s just shake their heads sadly and realize that the political parties are just two sides of a counterfeit coin.

    Many other distinctions, but it's nearly midnight here in Arizona, U.S.A., and I want to address your last question. Remember Socrates, the wisest man in Greece, according to the oracle? What made him the wisest? "That he knew that he didn't know." That's where we must all begin. If we think we know, then we'll be ripped apart like Socrates ripped apart nearly everyone with whom he had a conversation. Best of wishes to you! Care to join me in my ignorance? Yours, Eric.
  • May 28 2012: Alexander Solzhenitsyn does in "Gulag Archipelago" volume 2, page 251. (The whole chapter titled, "The Trustees".) His division isn't so much into "intellectual and non-", but rather into intellectual and pseudo intellectual, though he doesn't use those categories if I remember correctly. For my cynical purposes, I'd say in our world it's the pseudo-intellectuals who hand out the label, "non-intellectual". True intellectuals take life, knowledge and truth where they find it, are fascinated by it and work with it to improve their intelligence, regardless of what others think.
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      May 29 2012: Eric,
      Liked the way you portrayed 'True Intelluctuals'.
      what about 'Psuedo Intelluctuals'??
      what they do and what can they do/practise in order to migrate from pseudo to true?
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    May 21 2012: Mere Intelligence- INADEQUATE PERCEPTION. The problems accumulate . Inadequate senses and Ego blocks identity.A Pseudo system prevails upon the minds.
    INTELEECTUAL creates Necessity-Demand function- disciplined VISION. The issues become self-evident. Society may not respond in times of need .
    Set your vision on Cosmological scale.- Indians need to develop Cosmos Quest !
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      May 29 2012: Sir,
      Im not that good at cosmology but i do love the word 'cosmology'!!!
      i do agree with you that people with mere intelligence do fluctuate and which gives rise to toll sum of problems.
      so,what can be the effective measures that can be practised/taken up by the mere intelligent people to tackle up the problems and speed up their senses?
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    May 18 2012: Richard Dawkins has this nailed. The "Brights" as he calls them are folks who agree with him; no God + Evolution is true. The rest God + No Evolution; are mentally deficient, or evil (but he'd rather not think about that).

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      May 24 2012: Many believe in gods or goddesses and accept evolution too
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        May 25 2012: Hi Obey.
        Most honest Athiests know full well that Evolution is totally incompatible with the bible. Many church leaders are not quite so smart, or should I say Bright.

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          May 29 2012: Peter,
          are you a friend of Richard Dawkins?
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        May 29 2012: Hi Chetan.
        I see what you mean. I have made about 1600 or so comments on TED, but this is the only one that could give that impression. I was being sarcastic, I am not a Dawkin's fan.
        He is however correct in that evolution is incompatible with Christianity. (I am a Christian)

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    May 18 2012: I dont think we can; we will most likely be crippled by the basic question 'what defines intellectualism?' because what someone venerates as intellectualism could be arrant nonsense in another person's viewpoint. However even in societies where the definition of intellectualism is agreed upon and understood, there will be disputable borderlines between intellectualism and non-intellectualism.
    In all societies there will always be people who,by their results and positive societal impact, show themselves as undisputably intelligent.
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      May 29 2012: Feyisayo,
      I do agree with you.
      but do you think people who just show off themselves as 'undisputably intelligent' does get more attention than they really want to??
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        May 29 2012: I think they do. I dont think intellectuals would want to flaunt their intellectualism just for prestige and popularity. At least that is not their main aim.
        But there are some people who want to show themselves as intelligent just for fame. Just as we all appreciate colours but we have a few that are colour blind.
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    May 18 2012: If we are to label each and every human as one or the other, I suggest we use "Born Again" and "Not Born Again" (as defined in the Holy Bible). Thanks for your question Mr. Somani.
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      May 18 2012: Edward,
      On what basis should i label each human with either 'born again' or 'Not born again'??
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        May 18 2012: Get a King James version of the Holy Bible. Look in the New Testament. The fourth book is the Gospel of John. Read the first 21 verses of chapter 3.
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    May 18 2012: Yes we can do this as long as for temporary. We may have prejudice, make clasification to our humanity for social relation, but it should be for temporary and situational. It helps us to rethink and reposition. But when we do clasification on this case of humanity permanently, then we will lose our sight from another possible sides that might be coming as we run development of ourselves in the future.

    It can be done, but wait for the next release, and accept for an update.

    Less or more ...
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      May 18 2012: Bernard,
      Very good explanation and i just agree with what you have said.
      we cant judge a person permanently since perspective changes as time passes by!!
      So Waiting is the apparent choice!!