Being intelligent is hard. Life is frustrating. I'm worried.

Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 01:23 am
Un huh - except campus counseling offices are not usually staffed by the sharpest knives in the drawer and he ends up talking to more morons. Even I was able to pick up on that.
The Pentacle Queen
Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 06:52 am
You'd think it'd be good. In a way it kinda sucks. I sometimes get into quiet, deep, reflective moods and I feel like discussing life and death and reality and truth and meaning and reason and human nature and the future, but I have no one to talk to that I know first hand. Some of my peers are more intelligent than me in maths and in terms of IQ, but none of them think. I mean, they do think of course, about video games and exams and girls, but they don't actually think deeply about anything. My parents only care about shares and work and what horrible **** is going down in the world lately. Their minds are closed to any big question, just like everyone else.

Last year I owned my school exams, but only due to lots and lots of study in the preceding 3 months or so. I am doing a Philosophy course at university for a challenge, though the it is more geared towards logic than typical Philosophy. I get bored in lectures. I got A+ in the first assignment, one of the only two in the class. And seriously, I say this without any arrogance: I feel like I am living in a world full of morons. Even the lecturer is stupid. It frustrates the hell out of me.

Hope you don't mind me submitting my 2 cents worth:
Sometimes I feel likewise, aperson. I have similar credentials and I often feel frustrated, because everyone seems to have their head buried in the sand and constantly accuses me of 'overthinking,' to which my response is that they are underthinking.

However, you WILL find people you can talk to about this ****. I'm lucky in the fact that I have 2 people- and they are my closest friends because of this. Now until recently, I thought that was my problem (I started a thread on it actually) but someone pointed out (I think it was Mame) that I'm only young, and as I go through life I'll build a collection of these people, as you will too.
Until then we have A2K.

Being intelligent does not always translate into being a well rounded individual, as someone said above. My two closest friends seem somewhat like you- highly intelligent, both depressive, apathetic because they don't see the point in anything, find it hard to try, the nihilism you described.
I am also essentially nihilistic, philosophically, but unlike them I'm mainly happy. That in itself isn't always a good thing- I seem to do everything with a wreckless, wanton ambition, I try really hard on everything, don't sleep and clutch at everything to try and give me a leg up, take every opportunity, create havock. It seems logical that you'd either be one way or the other, if I wasn't constantly chasing goals I would probably be the same. It's not like I see any ultimate 'purpose' in what I'm doing, I just attack everything because what else is there? I can't fail. Last year I did so many drugs I gave myself a psychosis, and that wasn't cool, but I can actually feel myself gradually settling down and becoming more focused and sorting things out. I think you just work things out, or the best way of dealing with them at any rate.
I don't think this advice is particularly good, but I just wanted to post because I know how you feel.
Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 10:51 pm
Oh yep I get you now. I am familiar with that concept, and I'd probably subscribe to it if I did some more research into the area.
Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 11:01 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Thanks very much. No, your advice is good. It's kind of good to know that my position is not unique. It's also inspiring to see that you respond, unlike your friends and me, with extreme ambition. From now on, I am going to try to be like you in this way! (Notice my extreme ambition of extreme ambition?)

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Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 11:05 pm
hey grasshopper, long time no speaky...

YOU are going to have to keep yourself entertained and fresh for as long as you keep breathing.

Find what it is that inspires You, and as you find your muse, likeminded folks with real purpose will find you FOR you.

best of...
Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 11:09 pm
Cheers Rockhead. Good to hear from you.
Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 11:46 pm
hey back...

lighten up, life is a marathon. not for sprinters so much.

go grow a plant...

(i gotta go feed my fishes)
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Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 11:54 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I have thought of you two in the same way... in fact when I fist saw aperson's post, I thought, aha, PQ..

I don't fully relate, as I've never had the philosophic avidity either of you have. Almost the opposite.

And I won't claim to being as bright. Both of you seem to equate yourselves with bright near beyond measure. Which must be useful. And, I probably believe both of you.

Why do I post all this - to say I like both of you and am following, with no snappy answers.

We have a few super smarties here - I'll let you discover them. So far, they've had interesting lives.
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Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 12:00 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
first, of course.
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Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 07:18 am
Really, outside of the internet in "real life", there is only one person whom I have conversations with approaching the depth that is seen on A2K for instance. I like the idea of "picking up" such people as you go through life. What I like in particular here is not just the obvious knowledge that some possess but the quality conversational style that maybe a forum with the right participants can give you which leads to some great to-ing and fro-ing of ideas and development of thought.

Also I think Hawkeye is spot on for drawing attention to the "spiritual", the question is, can it be taken with the intent with which I believe it was made? Nothing to do with religion or dogma or god, I think. For me personally at least, if intellectual pursuits satisfy the soul, exploration of the arts verifies it. Of course I'm not talking of the religiously loaded "soul" (more like Buddhist "suchness" or an impersonal "I") .

Not to draw too harsh a line between intellectual and artistic endeavour (and physical of course):

The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is.

- Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949)

To me there is a wonderful synergy between the arts and the sciences with Einstein, very coherently expressed here^.

Echo the mention of weightlifting too, great exercise. Although I can't bench my own body weight yet!
Robert Gentel
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 12:12 pm
Ashers wrote:
Really, outside of the internet in "real life", there is only one person whom I have conversations with approaching the depth that is seen on A2K for instance. I like the idea of "picking up" such people as you go through life.

"Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel!"

I have 3 such friends. Precious conversationalists that I'd not trade for the rest of the world.
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The Pentacle Queen
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 06:14 pm
Aperson: No problem.

Osso: Thank you, I learn a great deal from you. I think you are most likely being modest.

That's interesting to know that we have all 'picked up' conversational partners over the years. For ages I thought it was my inability to express myself properly, but then I realised it was because certain people don't like to talk, even if they are bright or interested in the same subjects.
I met my first friend when I was 13 and we grew up together talking about philosophy, my second friend I met on the first night of university- We talked until 4 in the morning, found out we had just about everything in common, and have been best friends ever since.
Where did everyone else get theirs?
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 06:53 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
This is off the cuff -
one was the guy across from me in chem class, my first real love. He clued me in to a world of thinking (I was from a religious background, not devoid of thinking, but quite the tunnel swim). That didn't work out (I was catholic, however lax and on my way out the door), but many decades later I can research him and smile at his accomplishments.

Random mds that I worked with, very tuned to lit and philosophy - amazing how much all that can show up in lab conversations.

A film editor down the hall from my landscape architecture office, some years later - wide ranging mind always looking at aspects of stated assumptions, but not in a crazed way, more wool gathering-ly,

My ex, whom I could kick in the shins, remains a man of sharp observation. This is probably a reciprocal view. Or, not.

People on a2k. Not all smarties. Smarties can get too much, er, press, re livers of life.

Plus a few long time friends. There's dee dee, who I first noticed in bacteriology 1A. We were told to bring in a tin can to hold our "loops", and other stuff. She decorated hers. Sounds odd to be impressed now, but that was 1960. A new clue for me, re play in life.
We're still pals, and she's still up there re people I respect - yes, well, more than about tin cans.
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 01:21 am
Where did everyone else get theirs?

This is fun - I just figured out that my first two have the same initials (DP) one was Donna and one Danny.
Donna was in my first grade class.
Danny was the son of my piano teacher and I used to talk to him while I had to wait for my sister to take her lesson.
Donna's an artist - Danny's a guitarist.
Met Donna at six, Danny when I was eight and am still in close touch with both of them- both in the US, so Danny and I e-mail (talk) almost every day.

Gretchen- I met in kindergarten. She later NEEDED to become a man (or she would have died - committed suicide).
She is now a he and a linguist.

Berta - highschool
Larry - church youth group leader
Jed - my creative writing and shakespeare professor- university
Jenny, Margaret, Lori-friends from university
Andy - related to a friend-painted my house
Tito and Barry - taught with at a school I worked at
Jordan- adult student I taught
Justin - tutor I met while teaching
Jack - guy who came in my restaurant
Rob- another guy who came in my restaurant

And these are all REALLY smart, interesting people -and funny. I think if you're open, you can meet them anywhere you go. Even this past weekend, Saturday, I met two brothers, Chris and Julian - one a nurse the other an accountant and we had an incredibly interesting discussion about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and yesterday Joe, a policeman. We talked about the criminality and its environmental and/or latently psychological basis.

(There are also a lot of J's).. interesting

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Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 04:47 am
I said:
I'd also advise you to find something fun to do as David advised.
And one of the most fun and rewarding ways I've found to spend
my time is with children or people who are less intellectually able
than I am- because I just find them so refreshing and funny-
and again, so appreciative of any time or effort spent on their behalf.
And you can learn so much from their views and perceptions
on life that tend to be so different from your own or the
more 'normally' or 'highly' intelligent people you usually spend time with.

David asked:
Where did u get them ?

My youngest brother had a difficult birth and experienced lack of oxygen and brain damage. I was four years older than he, and loved school, so I just sort of drifted in to being his teacher at home (my mother was very busy with six children) and I found that I loved being with him and helping him learn.
This, I'm sure, is what led me in my original career direction, along with the fact that I've always loved being around children.
But I found that I didn't enjoy being the person who was asking them to do tasks they found impossible to do, and subjecting them to what they viewed as constant failure (as most school systems and curriculums are set up - this is often the result for these students), so I shifted my professional role (although it was still in education) while continuing to work with these students on a volunteer basis - doing things they enjoyed.

There are all sorts of volunteer opportunities and places to 'find' people like this.

I think it's also important not to trust first impressions and make assumptions about people and their experiences or level of intelligence and ability to be thoughtful and articulate based on what you see on the surface.
This has been brought home to me twice in the past six months.

There is a man who comes into my restaurant who is a retired farmer who seemed fairly dense and I hate to say it, but just SLOW. He also seemed stern and unhappy. Initially, his outward demeanor sort of put me off.
But we started talking one day and I learned that he had a stroke a year or so back and is recovering from that. It affected his facial muscles (so that he always seems to be frowning) and his speech.
He's actually extremely intelligent- loves music- and reads any bit of history he can get his hands on and because he grew up in a village about five miles from the one I live in, has become an incredible source of interesting information for me about where I live and what has happened here and where to go to actually SEE evidence of the historical and geographical facts of this area.

Another younger guy I've met recently seemed sort of strange and just different. Again, made me initially a little confused, if not uncomfortable. I found out he was an engineer and an artist who had a car accident and sustained a brain injury. He now has epilepsy, which prohibits him from working or doing his art- he can't focus or attend for more than ten minutes at a time at this point. But again, he's a gifted person and incredibly perseverent and intelligent.
If I'd gone by my initial impression, I'd never have known that.

When r u returning to New York, Rebecca ?

I was just there in March. Will be there again at the end of June, and then again in December (around christmas).
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Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 07:20 am
aperson wrote:
Thanks everyone. I never thought I'd be depressed. I don't even know that I am. Maybe I'm just having a bad week. I don't know if I should see the school counsellor... there are other kids with way worse problems. I don't really have any right to be depressed... that sounds like denial, I know, but I mean there are kids with abusive parents and alcohol addictions. I'm a high acheiver with good parents and a healthy lifestyle. There's no reason I should be depressed.

1. Depression does not require a reason. It strikes more often at the stressed and the sedentary, but it can affect anyone.
2. School counseling centers do not tend to be overwhelmed.
3. If your campus has a psychology program, the students need people to come in. The need all kinds of people to come in, not just those that are severely affected.

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Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 07:21 am
Wasn't suggesting he go there to look for a debate partner.
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Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 04:33 am
Thanks for your help guys. Just to let you know, I am feeling much better now and am back on track!

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 04:25 pm
I have been feeling the exact same Im astonished someone else feels this way. Not necessarily the whole moron thing because i certainly think many people are much smarter than me and have much greater capabilities. But there's no one to challenge my insightful intellect or to share it with. I tried and i was perceived as obnoxious and annoying to people whom i perceived as quite intelligent. No one even wants to consider my arguments they just shrug them off. Its incredibly frustrating to have a completely un-stimulating environment and any attempt to share your insight is almost a social taboo at least in my experience. It makes you think that we humans are just sheep marching along to meaningless distractions completely unaware of the bigger picture. I do believe the education system was dumbed down to give every kid the ability to succeed. schools challenge your ability to memorize and to retain knowledge they teach you on test day. any idiot can do it and they consider themselves smart. I believe this was done to separate the hard working people from the lesser, because what do companies need hard working people to give the more demanding jobs too those who aren't willing to comply get a monotone job with repetition (factory work). what's the point of higher level education if everyone can do it. It makes you feel as if you are more mature than your age group. I am well aware that i just sounded very smug and arrogant which Im not in the slightest. I read some of the comments but it doesn't seem as if you are particularly depressed, I would call it a rut similar to what Im in. Your just bored you "outgrew" your surroundings there's no intellectual challenge or stimulation left and your looking to move on to bigger challenges alltough if your in college and realizing that its too easy your probably questioning if there is any intellectual challenge left. In which case there's probably only philosophical books. I haven't reached that stage and am mildly more optimistic however, my goal is still to find a like minded individual to exchange and challenge ideas.
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Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 11:19 pm
oooooo.....I am not really that smart of a person really problably if i studied like you i would be as smart as you but i rather not
Too much of everything actually gives me headaches weird? huh and kind of stupid
Either way i think you need a person to lift your energy up
To make you feel eager to do things and stop being so lazy and things like that.
lolz we are in a world of morons really i don't blame you.
I am one myself XDDD haha ohh..well.
Either way if was there you could share anything with me and or if your bored or lazy i would try as much as possible to turn you completely opposite of that and light your day away.
If you would like you can reply me back!! and you can share anything with me
And to tell you the truth i might not be all that smart but you thing you think deep deep about is what i think about every single day =D
And people always seem to talk to me about their feelings.....All through my life
You can share your thoughts and everything with me i would be of your service XDDD
haha it's 1:17 in the mornin..doing homework!!...and not even close to being haff way
I am not stalker and or pedophile XDD haha i am 15 and a chick
So say hi to me anytime you want =D
it be pretty cool to get a friend on here, on my first day of being here
which is today =D
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