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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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  • Sep 8 2012: I like your comment, because I often find myself in the same situation. I write from Switzerland, and here as well the main conversation subjects are about soccer (for men) or reality shows (for women). I actually think that it's the way the politicians, the corporations and the media are trying to keep the population busy with nothing, preventing them to question about the real problems: what happened really on 9 11? Why should we allow NestlĂ© to privatize even the drinkable water? Why Europe is giving so much money to Greek and other countries only to save the banks and not for helping the population? Which are the decisions of the members of the Bilderberg Club? And many, many other questions!
    It is a paradox that in the era of internet most of the people decide to stay more and more ignorant!
    PS: for the Higgs Boson, I bet its discovery will open more new problems than solve old ones...
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      Sep 8 2012: I think you're spot on with your assumptions Esra. I'm not a conspiracy nut but I also believe that the Bilderbergs are indeed a real legitimate organization that meet annually to discuss and enforce policies that suite their own personal agendas. BTW, you live in a beautiful country my friend. As well as English and most likely German, you probably speak a bit of French and Italian as well, which is three more languages than most Americans speak. :-) I''m envious you're so close to the LHC! You should take a tour of the facility. Take care.
      • Sep 20 2012: Hi - I don't have time to read all the comments on this right now, but I so appreciate the topic and those I've read so far. First of all, kudos to your wife for inviting people over. This doesn't happen enough! And is partly why people actually do not know how to converse. We've discovered the hard way, with many disappointments, that good conversation is a skill that can be developed. Yes, time spent in front of the boob tube doesn't help. Also, people need to feel safe with each other to open up - so repeated times getting together, leads to getting to know and trust one another better and then better conversations can happen (sometimes not though!). I think it's good to have something to do like a game as an icebreaker (or a book, as in a book club - although I've been in several book clubs that didn't spend much time or get into much depth discussing the book) that can provide a common point of reference. But all this said, I have despaired of this myself. Also, notice the ratio of male to female comments on here. I yearn to hear more intellectually (and creatively) from women especially, myself. That's partly why I've started an online magazine (sort of the same idea as TED, apparently). www.talk-mag.com I was hoping to have a forum where people could engage on topics related to art and life.

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