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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:41 pm 
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Rakshasa wrote:
PsionicsNOTMagic wrote:
... vocabulary ... sympathetic ... archaic ...

Can you use simpler words, they are too hard for me to understand.


I'm sorry. Did I use... hard words?

I totally hate the fact that no one will get that reference.

Besides, you guys are smarter than 3rd graders.

...Right?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:50 pm 
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PsionicsNOTMagic wrote:
My spelling is almost perfect (most misspellings are typos), but I rarely use words above the 3rd grade level. I find that too many people get confused when I say them. When I speak with family, it gets strange, because they're all used to using college level words (no matter who they talk to :roll:), whereas I'm used to using words that everyone will understand. It gets a little difficult talking about religion, politics, mathematics, science, or various other things with someone who thinks you have the vocabulary of a 9 year old.


I have precisely the opposite problem with some people. Most of my high school years were spent chatting with college professors on UseNet (not exclusively, but that was the group I preferred to hang around), and I've been in college since then, so I naturally speak out loud in about the same way I write academic essays. Which leads to some people accusing me of trying to make them feel dumb by using big words, when that's just the way I talk, and I'm happy to rephrase or explain anything for the sake of communication, no harm no foul.

Interesting enough, whether people respond with "what does that mean?", "stop using such big words mister smarty-pants", or the silence of false understanding, seems to roughly correlate to the listener's general intelligence (at least the impression of it I get from further conversation with said person). The former response usually comes from generally smart(-seeming) people, and the latter two from people who not only don't know, but don't care to know what's being said to them, differentiating themselves from each other only by whether they're openly hostile to those who know something they don't because it makes them feel stupid, or whether they're just afraid of looking stupid to others. (I have of course omitted 'the silence of genuine understanding' as a response, since I'm only talking about people who don't understand me; those who do, obviously, are no issue in this regard).

Though I think the most perplexing response I've gotten is "I don't know what that means", spoken in a tone that indicates that they don't care either. I'm just not sure how to respond to that...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:08 pm 
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I think what you mean is more intelligent. I'm not nit-picking here. This is important.

It's always been my opinion that intelligence, amongst average people (IE no genetic defects or especially brilliant parents) has always been more of a choice than something you're born with. People who CHOOSE to learn, to pick up things as they go, are more intelligent (and, therefore, on average, smarter) than people with a don't know, don't care attitude. However, circumstances can make that person not as smart as others. For example: I have no doubt that you were smarter than me when you were my age (I also have no doubt that you're older than I am). However, I could possibly be more intelligent than you.

It's actually kind of makes intelligence more of a wisdom thing than anything else. People who are wise try and keep an open mind, and are always trying to expand their minds (knowledge is power and so on and so forth). Thus, if it is by choice that we are more intelligent, couldn't the more intelligent people be seen, on average, as having more wisdom in a certain area than others?

Edit: I think my main problem with debates is that I have a hard time getting my point across. I'm either not using descriptive words or I'm using descriptive words, but it takes me a while to think of them, as I'm not used to using them.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:21 pm 
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Forrest wrote:
the silence of false understanding


I've only used this when I was expected to understand what people wanted me to do or what people were talking about. Usually I can bullshit my way through it, although a group of my friends already knows when I am about to bullshit something so I just stop talking to let the conversation flow between people enjoying it. The worst part though is when people expect me to know everything about computers. I am sorry. I didn't take networking class. I don't spend my time reading up on the details of the system package 2 upgrade for Windows XP. And I don't know why somepeople think that it is inconsiderate of microsoft not to have the drivers for their archaic printer installed already.

Sometimes I just don't know things and to keep things rolling I take the silent way and only grunt when someone asks me something.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:44 pm 
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PsionicsNOTMagic wrote:
I think what you mean is more intelligent. I'm not nit-picking here. This is important.

It's always been my opinion that intelligence, amongst average people (IE no genetic defects or especially brilliant parents) has always been more of a choice than something you're born with. People who CHOOSE to learn, to pick up things as they go, are more intelligent (and, therefore, on average, smarter) than people with a don't know, don't care attitude. However, circumstances can make that person not as smart as others. For example: I have no doubt that you were smarter than me when you were my age (I also have no doubt that you're older than I am). However, I could possibly be more intelligent than you.

It's actually kind of makes intelligence more of a wisdom thing than anything else. People who are wise try and keep an open mind, and are always trying to expand their minds (knowledge is power and so on and so forth). Thus, if it is by choice that we are more intelligent, couldn't the more intelligent people be seen, on average, as having more wisdom in a certain area than others?

Edit: I think my main problem with debates is that I have a hard time getting my point across. I'm either not using descriptive words or I'm using descriptive words, but it takes me a while to think of them, as I'm not used to using them.


There's more to intelligence than how much you know. While the intellect can be improved to some degree, as with any other human capacity, it's quite clear that some people are born with brains more capable of retaining information, more capable of making connections, and/or more capable of abstract manipulation of various kinds of information.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:24 pm 
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Killjoy wrote:
PsionicsNOTMagic wrote:
It's always been my opinion that intelligence, amongst average people (IE no genetic defects or especially brilliant parents) has always been more of a choice


There's more to intelligence than how much you know. While the intellect can be improved to some degree, as with any other human capacity, it's quite clear that some people are born with brains more capable of (etc)


Coming up: Round 3 of the Annual World Nature vs. Nurture Championship Cage Death Match.

and of course we can further muddy the water by noting that there are many different abilities/talents that come under the general heading of "intelligence", and they're quite orthogonal, whether it's being able to see 10 moves ahead in a chess game, being able to engage in real-time debate, being able to see the fatal flaw in the 100-line math proof, or likewise for a bank job, being able to put together convincing explanations, being able to remember the exact words of a random conversation from five years ago, or being able to come up with snarky comments in a webforum...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:23 am 
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PsionicsNOTMagic wrote:
I think what you mean is more intelligent. I'm not nit-picking here. This is important.


No, it isn't.

PsionicsNOTMagic wrote:
It's always been my opinion that intelligence, amongst average people (IE no genetic defects or especially brilliant parents) has always been more of a choice than something you're born with.
:-o :roll:

Sheer and unadulterated bunk! :-x There exists over 50 years of studies proving otherwise, some of them in the field of Cognitive Psychology. Go there, read, and maybe learn. :-?

PsionicsNOTMagic wrote:
I think my main problem with debates is that I have a hard time getting my point across. I'm either not using descriptive words or I'm using descriptive words, but it takes me a while to think of them, as I'm not used to using them.
:roll:

Get past third-grade vocabulary and you might actually find it easier to communicate, especially about subtle points. Graduating to the 6th grade will gain you much improved communicability. I recommend it. :wink:

The best and fastest means to upgrading vocab is to read ... lots! I'm not talking about the comic book rack at the local Stop&Go. Get authors like Melville, Dumas, Menkin, and Sartre. You could also read current authors like Lackey, Norton, Piper, Cherryh, Benford, et alia.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:50 am 
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You mention Jean-Paul Sartre and yet you nixed the old guys like Plato and Aristotle? If yer having the boy read Sartre, let him have the primers first :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:26 am 
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Quote:
PsionicsNOTMagic wrote:
I think my main problem with debates is that I have a hard time getting my point across. I'm either not using descriptive words or I'm using descriptive words, but it takes me a while to think of them, as I'm not used to using them.
:roll:

Get past third-grade vocabulary and you might actually find it easier to communicate, especially about subtle points. Graduating to the 6th grade will gain you much improved communicability. I recommend it. :wink:

It is also denying the listener the choice of being 'intelligent', when one defaults to lowest common denominator.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:49 am 
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finalcarrots wrote:
You mention Jean-Paul Sartre and yet you nixed the old guys like Plato and Aristotle? If yer having the boy read Sartre, let him have the primers first :D


Sartre was a playwright, novelist *and* philosopher. So, Les mains sales, La nausée, La mur. Work backwards from Derrida, Sartre, Heidegger, Nietzsche ... until you get to Plato & Aristotle who apparently was a bugger for the bottle.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:55 am 
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Slam, are you saying that there are people out there who don't choose to learn? As they WANT to learn, then they would be more capable of learning, would they not?

And you know, I never said I have the vocabulary of a 9 year old. My vocabulary back in my freshman year in HS was at the college level. I've read about 3x as many books at that level as I did before then. I don't feel the need to get it tested, simply because I don't feel the need to prove to myself that I'm smart.

Killjoy wrote:
There's more to intelligence than how much you know.


Hence why I mentioned the difference between intelligence and knowledge.

And, like I said, there are people born who are naturally more intelligent than others, but there's also a choice involved. This doesn't prove it, but I have three sisters, all of which are pretty intelligent naturally. I, though, have chosen to learn at every opportunity. I retain information better than any of them.

It's not because I just retain information better naturally (I don't know if I do or not), but I LIKE to and I WANT to, at least more than them.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:08 am 
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don't you ever get tired of talking about yourself mate?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:46 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:53 pm 
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Kaz*CheesyDoritoBomb* wrote:
Forrest wrote:
the silence of false understanding


Sometimes I just don't know things and to keep things rolling I take the silent way and only grunt when someone asks me something.


I think we're talking about different sorts of silences. You seem to just be keeping your mouth shut when you don't have anything to contribute to a group conversation, which is fine and better than making things up to look smart. I'm talking about when one person is talking directly to another, and the second doesn't understand the first but, rather than asking for clarification, just says "ah, yeah" and nods, but as becomes clear later in the conversation, really didn't understand a word that was said to him, and just pretended to understand so as not to look dumb.

Of course there are also sometimes genuine misunderstandings where person 2 really thought he understood person 1, but person 1 meant something different than what person 2 thought he meant, but that situation distinguished itself later in the conversation from the silence of false understanding, when the two parties try to clarify their terms. But when someone is deceptively silent just so as not to look stupid, he's not going to later admit "oh I thought you meant this, sorry, I see now, you meant that instead, now I get you". Then again, maybe a really clever bullshitter *would* do that... and then do that again when discovered that he still really didn't understand... and in this way a socially clever but intellectually dense person could make it seem like he's not really uneducated, they're just having communications issues, which could maybe be the other person's fault.

Also, this (clever-but-dense people) segues nicely into a comment on PNM's topic: you've got a good point that there are different factors to be separated out here, and I should clarify what I mean by these terms. I'm using "smart" and "intelligent" roughly synonymously to mean the product of willingness and ability to learn, which are really two separable factors; you can have eager but slow learners, and otherwise bright people who just wall off their minds to new thoughts. I'm somewhat sloppily combining the two here, but my emphasis is mainly on willingness to learn. I'm not really talking about knowledge or education level (what you seem to mean by "intelligence") at all, beyond the type of scenario being discussed, where one person is saying something that another person doesn't know about - like, say, if Slamlander tried to explain the workings of his favorite heuristic algorithm to me, while I can't code my way out of "Hello world", simply because despite my intelligence I haven't learned that sort of thing yet (and maybe never will - nobody learns everything).

In other words, I'm discussing how intelligence (smartness) seems to factor into the type of conversations that occur between people with different levels of knowledge or education in the topic area. Smart (intelligent) but less educated people will respond to more (apparently) educated people's comments with questions, curiosity and an eagerness to learn - which, importantly, doesn't mean blind acceptance of what the more educated person says, as someone who's not only willing to learn but skilled at it will ask critical questions of the (apparently) more educated person to be sure they really know what they're talking about and aren't just full of shit. Dumb (dense, unintelligent) people will either attack a more educated person (try to make them look or feel bad for being "too smart", arrogant, elitist, or whatever) or pretend to be more educated than they are so as not to look "dumb" - themselves conflating intelligence and education, a fatal mistake, for being smart (intelligent, willing and able learn) starts with admitting what you don't know.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:17 pm 
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Ah, I see whatcha mean now.

So basically, to try to put it in something I understand better, you are saying that the silence you were talking about is kind of like this:

Person1: "I worked on my engine today and I replaced a(n) [name of part] with a(n) [name of part], you think the racing performance would increase because of the differences between the two?"

Person2: "... Yeah totally, I mean that new [name of part] is much better than the old [name of part]."

Person1: "What?? No one isn't better at all, they just have different trade offs."


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:28 pm 
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The new part has a much cooler name _and_ glowing stripes, how could it not be better?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:12 am 
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Rakshasa wrote:
The new part has a much cooler name _and_ glowing stripes, how could it not be better?


Cooler name... and glowing stripes?

That could only mean they're attempting to install... a flux capacitor!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:45 pm 
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AncientVikingMaster wrote:
Rakshasa wrote:
The new part has a much cooler name _and_ glowing stripes, how could it not be better?


Cooler name... and glowing stripes?

That could only mean they're attempting to install... a flux capacitor!


Well, that would definitely help you get to the finish line first...


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