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Jake Maddox

Field Service Engineer,

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Do you find it difficult to engage in intellectual conversations with people in general?

It happens to me all the time. My wife encourages me to have dinner with her friend and her friend's husband. "It's the opportunity to socialize and meet new interesting people!", she proclaims. And yet the same boring conversations unfold. The guy rambles on about how many yards this guy ran, and how many interceptions this guy threw, and did you see how many spiders that guy ate on Fear Factor, etc, etc. I ask something like, "Hey, did you see that they possibly discovered the Higgs Boson at the LHC?" And the guy looks at me like I'm from Mars, "The LH what?". Then my wife makes a comment like I'm a nerd then everyone laughs. I'm far from a social misfit or hobbit, I just prefer to discuss things that stimulate me intellectually. I hope I don't offend anyone for saying so, but most of the time I feel like I'm surrounded by people that are intellectually challenged, to put it kindly. And maybe that's just it, if you consider that the average intellectual quotient is around 100. They're easily entertained and amuzed to watch television shows cataloging the "real world" of college kids living in a house together, arguing over who got the most trashed the night before at the club.

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    Aug 29 2012: I have always had this dream that we would live in a culture in which, when two people unknown to each other get on an elevator, there will not be silence, or even the "Hello"Howareyou"Fine" ritual, but one will look at the other and say, "Nietzsche or Kirkegaard?"

    And then the other might reply "Socrates."

    And by that they will know there is an attraction.

    Sadly, to this day, no woman has ever replied like that. They just keep hitting the "open door" button frantically.


    Seriously, though, you just have to keep searching the right people. When you're in a conversation like what you described, try to find a way to draw the conversation into something interesting for all involved. Example: guys who are into football - football can easily be led into a conversation about physics: muscle power, the amount of energy expended in order to gain momentum, which can eventually get you into particle physics if you work it right. I usually take football convos into history, by using the analogy of the Battle of the Bulge in WWII: that usually achieves the required result for me.

    Someone may never get to the Higgs-Boson with you, but the sign of a great conversation is when all involved walk away somewhat enriched.

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