greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

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How does a person become sophisticated? Why do some people become it and others don't?

I was thinking that solving any problem, even small ones, takes real sophistication, and I wondered how people become sophisticated? Why do some people achieve sophistication, and others don't?

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      Jun 22 2013: Well, Lamar, do you mind looking at my response to Fritzie above, I hate to type it again, because I would type about the same exact thing and pose the same questions to you.
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    Jun 6 2013: Nice question Greg! To me at the end of the day, it comes down to how or the manner in which someone will solve a problem! We are all individuals and I firmly believe in diversity, though, diversity does not necessarily deliver sophistication!
    To me sophistication is something that raises the bar of ordinary to a cut above! It as such transcends the ordinary to a higher level of understanding. Now this is not to be confused with elitisism, as I believe sophistication can only transpire as a result of seeing what is commonplace to an improved version comparatively which thereby results in better improvement or sophistication.
    Now with regard to some become it and others don't, I think it comes down to education and confidence. You also need to be able to communicate. If you cannot effectively transmit your message, then you cannot influence others. To influence others you need to be able to connect with them. to connect with them, means you can influence them, to influence someone means you are adept at sophisticated problem solving as you are able to effectively communicate your message. Everyone cannot or is not born to be a leader! :D
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    Jun 6 2013: People look up to me all the time as a sophisticate and they ask Pat how did you get to be so damn sophisticated?

    Truthfully I don't know, just lucky I guess.

    The word comes from Greek meaning those who are skilled at debates or arguments. But Plato called them superficial. I think of our statists as being sophisticated after all most politicians are lawyers. So however it is they become sophisticated I hope they come up with cure soon.
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      Jun 6 2013: I talked to a friend yesterday about how you were driving me nuts and she pointed out that you have an odd sense of humor and communication, I said that I didn't know you had humor but now I clearly see that you do. I've misjudged you Pat.

      ;-)
      • Jun 6 2013: He wields a fine blade.
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        Jun 6 2013: Is that a snide remark?

        In any case yes I'm very serious about insouciance. Is odd a two way street?
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        Jun 6 2013: I'm going to become sophisticated by following in the foot steps of Jimmy and Pat:>)

        Insouciance is a VERY sophisticated word.....had to look it up! Yes, I agree:>)
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          Jun 6 2013: Oh I think Jimmy is far more sophisticated than I
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    Jun 6 2013: Well, are you talking about social or intellectual sophistication?

    Did you read the Wiki?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophistication
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      Jun 19 2013: well, my impression is that solving problems takes both social and intellectual sophistication. Agree?
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    Jun 6 2013: By sophistication are you thinking proficiency?
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      Jun 22 2013: yes, largely. Here's what I'm getting at. Let's say for some reason a street became covered with trash, trash on the sidewalk, trash on the parkway, maybe on people's lawns, in the gutter and street. Most people who walked down that street I think would dislike the trash, but they wouldn't do anything about it, and I'm thinking it's because they don't know what to do, they don't have the skills and knowledge, the sophistication, to know what to do. Would you agree, F? If you were one of the people who saw the trash, would you get it cleaned up, why or why not? What would you do to get it cleaned up?

      This problem is not super difficult, it's not like getting a rocket to the moon, yet I think most people don't know what to do.
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        Jun 23 2013: Oh, you mean knowing how to get ordinary stuff done by whatever procedures are most efficient in the setting.

        This depends, then, mostly on familiarity with the setting.
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          Jun 23 2013: well, I would say that a "problem" is definitionally not "ordinary stuff," that's part of why it's a problem. By "setting," do you mean the physical place where it is?

          In my fantasy scenario, you see that the elements of the scenario are very familiar, everyone has walked on a street, everyone knows what trash is. What's not familiar is seeing a bunch of trash on one street. I maintain that most people would find this irritating but they wouldn't do anything about it, they'd simply walk around the trash, or avoid the street, and just continue on with their lives. I maintain that the reason most people wouldn't do anything about it is they wouldn't know what to do, would you agree, although there definitely are actions one could do to make it better, for instance amongst the trash one would probably find empty plastic bags that are part of the trash, and one could pick up some of the trash oneself, put it in the bag, and find a trashcan to put the trashbag in. So the question is, why do most people not think to do that? Or maybe they do think of it, so for what reason might they not do it?
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        Jun 23 2013: Number one reason would probably be that one person's starting to pick it up seems inefficient in a city with trash collection and on streets without public dumpsters, combined with a sense that trespass laws might make it illegal. Another might be that conjecture that something has been happening in the neighborhood that has made it unsafe for normal trash collection functions or that people in the neighborhood would not welcome such intrusion.

        People who have lived in a city for awhile and are comfortable speaking on the phone in the language of the place might call the city/town to report the problem.

        Some people might think it is none of their business.
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          Jun 23 2013: Thank you, Ms. R. I'd never thought about those other motivations, isn't TED great?
  • Jun 5 2013: I think I used the wrong translation for sophisticated and ended up explaining an opinion about an other topic. I spent so much time on it, that I decide to post it anyway. I hope someone still manages to draw some kind of enlightenment from it.

    I think it has something to do with specialization. When you focus a lot on a single purpose you will get to the point when you are able to judge and separate things depending on their qualities. Once you understand that there are different kinds of qualities and that the amount of time you can spend on that certain topic is limited, you'll start to select carefully which requirements you demand from those kind of things in order to spend your resources like time, money and effort on them.

    Once you made that realization in one field you may start to use it on others. Or you maybe repeat the process a few times and get to the same result. It may takes few of those experiences to develop some kind of standard that has to be met in the end it helps us to save resources and allows us to achieve more.

    Or it costs us something because we lose an opportunity.
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      Jun 15 2013: Don't understand the last statement, Anton, what do you mean, "costs us something because we lose an opportunity"?
      • Jun 15 2013: I meant that by choosing and selecting carefully and disregarding the rest, you run the risk of maybe missing out new experiences or new angles to a topic. For example, I like videogames and I'm pretty confident that I know which kind of games are good and worth my time and which ones are not. But from time to time, one the worse ones surprises me. Sometimes it's a story element, sometimes a mechanic that I've never seen before or that is used in a new and different way.

        Bottom line when you get to picky you might miss out on a lot of very interesting stuff and getting to focused on one thing let's you miss out a lot of others.
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          Jun 22 2013: Well, Anton, I'm probably thinking more about the sophistication that solves problems, not just making a good choice. Would you mind looking at what I typed to Fritzie above, I hate to type it again because I would type the exact same thing and pose the same exact questions to you.