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Jake Maddox

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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 30 2012: Intellectual jousting is ridiculed and even frowned upon, especially amongst younger people. The root of such behavior might be explained by Jake in the top post.

    As a result, the range of discussable subjects is narrowed down considerably.


    However, if you inspire towards intellectuality, you should constantly work on expanding your own width. Being able to participate in different types of debates is, to me, a mark of a truly wide-minded person.


    You should try finding a common point of interest before writing someone of as being plain.
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      Aug 30 2012: Yes Stevan trust me, I always try to find common points of interest and that's why I posed the question. I can discuss a wide range of topics with people in general, just not what I consider intellectual conversation. There is an intellectual regression in this country. If anyone on this forum is not aware of it, then they are fortunate enough to have grown up in an environment that fostered learning or have the opportunity to surround themselves with like-minded individuals. Just watch an episode of Jersey Shore. Not a lot of intellectual conversation taking place between Snooki and Paulie D. The majority of 20 and 30 somethings care more about keeping tabs on exciting gossip on their Facebook and Myspace pages, adding to their fabulous wardrobe collections, loading their iPods with the hippest music, etc. Nothing wrong with that in particular, I do a bit of that as well. It's just when that is all you know or care about knowing. I've been told by so many people things like, "It's to much work to think about things that hard. I'm trying to have fun not go back to school again. Who cares about that stuff anyway. BORING! (giggle, giggle)" You can't expand and open someone's mind that is not willing to do so.

      Having conversation is commonplace. Having stimulating, meaningful, rich and diverse communication for those outside Cambridge and Oxford is a rarity and a treat! At least for me, others may be lucky enough to enjoy it.
      • Aug 31 2012: Hey Jake, I feel your pain. Some people have posted that its too harsh or to find common ground or everyone is intelligent in their own way. That's all rubbish. The majority of conversations revolve around sports, actors/actresses, crime, and "politics".

        No, everyone is not intelligent in their own way. There are different types of intelligence but those of higher intelligence are a small percentage of the population. Also, our education system loves to associate science with extreme boredom (which may play a factor).

        If you want shoot me an email anytime you want to talk about some cool stuff nicholas . osto @ gmail .com. Im in the same boat as you are.
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      Aug 30 2012: My experience in this regard has been that the dislike of intellectual joisting is most common in environments in which someone is interested in having only one point of view aired, often with himself as the authority. That is when I have seen someone steer conversation toward the superficial with an argument that people in the community just want to relax and chat rather than think hard.
      But then, I admit that the young people I know do not watch reality television.

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