Monday, October 22, 2007

A word of caution to nugget seekers

If you’re looking for some great literary utterances, or even a string of lucid and edifying thoughts, let me warn you, they aren’t to be found here.

At Shout, as a policy, we don’t indulge/ massage/ feed brains. If anything, we’re quite happy to suck on yours [accepted with thanks at the comment box.]

This is the personal weblog of a self-professed bottom feeder, in the interest of bottom feeding [not to be construed as nibbling on nether parts] and has never pretended to be otherwise. Any coherence or smattering of perceived intelligence is to be overlooked as an unintended glitch or the result of an unlikely obsession [a recent one being with a certain sparkling shortlistee on the booker forum.]

If I were as sharp and dazzling as my paranoia insists you’re expecting, I wouldn’t be offering my opinion here under a single-letter alias, I’d sell it to you at posh seminars with my entire ancestry on a handout cv.

Now.

If you’re still around, good luck. There is much to muck around in and I’m sure you’ll have a promisingly thoughtless time here. 107 posts on nothing is consistent, if little else. Go on, nose around. I don’t mind, as long as you don’t burden me with sharp observations about the world and its clattering revolutions, in anticipation of an intelligible response.

In fact, now that we’re on the topic of intelligence, I’ll let you in on my thoughts on it. I dislike the term deeply. Its use reveals a revolting, discriminatory and self-aggrandising perspective that is despicable at best. It suggests an idea that a certain kind of verifiable, quantifiable grasp of reality is laudable. It assumes a standpoint, wherein the judge of another’s ‘intelligence’ is armed with the tools to qualify and quantify another’s capacity to process information.

It is presumptuous.

It is as insulting as the label “dumb”. To be called intelligent by someone is tantamount to being told that someone is able to sum up your mental processes. And what do they base this judgment on? A few words? A few actions?

Is it not extraordinary that someone thinks they have the right, or capacity to judge what your brain – the only faculty that helps you make sense of your life, drives your perception of the world, allows you your identity – is capable of?

The audacity.
The naivety.
The delusion.

There are as many kinds of capacities as there are beings in the universe, and each, unique as it is, is just one.

So before you call someone “intelligent” or “dumb” the next time, try assessing what your own head is able to retain and assimilate.

Well I did leave you nugget after all, didn’t I? Incredible me.

19 comments:

Lizza said...

Yep, incredible you indeed. I concur.

I see your point about judging someone to be intelligent or dumb (though there are many definitions encompassing each term).

But, dear H, I come here to read about your thoughts on various stuff/events/people, because the way you use words to describe them simply enthralls me. And I get a good laugh, besides.

So if you suck on our brains, rest assured that I'm smorgasbording on yours.

B Ditty said...

I had a similar thought about intelligence today while walking to class. I was wondering if being able to solve a rubix cube makes one smart. And then I wondered how many people who can solve one, could write a poem about how it makes them feel.

P.S. Can I join the smorgasbord Lizza? Sounds yummy. :)

Prude said...

Damnations! I went out for dinner with someone yesterday...and was told in a very surprising tone "so you think, its not empty up there". The 'presumptious Mr So n so' thought it was the compliment of a lifetime. I was gonna blog just about this... :)
Thanks H...its almost like telepathy!!

H said...

Liz I agree that there are ways and ways of construing terms. And loosely, intelligence is applied to one’s ability to cross-reference different information and knowledge bodies in one’s head [as much as it’s a comment on one’s priorities in having chosen to absorb those bodies of information] and apply them towards one’s material/ physical/ emotional well-being. Survival and how one’s mental abilities play out in it are key to the use of this term… however having said this, such judgement still doesn’t account for potential capacity. Some people’s minds work in directions that are different from those who are sitting in judgement over them. Some people have different priorities due to the environment[s] they have been brought up in, and are interested in pursuing certain kinds of thoughts/ ideas/ information – as they find relevant, within their circumstances. It may seem irrelevant, skewed or even plain ridiculous to me, what someone chooses to occupy his mind with, but that still doesn’t give me the right to say he does or doesn’t have the capacity to think. ‘Dumb’ and ‘intelligent’ are judgements on one’s capacity to process information, which I find rather unfair. After all, science will have us know that ALL[most all] humans use only 6% [correct me, I might’ve got it wrong] of their brain anyway.

I think I might’ve just smorgassed mine. Hold on, I’m coming over to refuel.

Ben, that’s a cool analogy. So, when do I get to read the poem?

Prude, hmmm. ;-) yes, I know that expression.

B Ditty said...

Now!

I hate this damn cube
It makes me want to vomit
On everything.

Well everything except your lovely blog that is.

houseband00 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
houseband00 said...

I really dig your insights, dear H. =)

Although. admittedly, it takes me some time to digest them. I love the moment when that spark of realization occurs - epiphanous and delicious, really.

It's not what one knows that defines him/her, it's how one dispenses or uses that knowledge.

H said...

Ben. Marvellous. I like the word vomit.

HB, It's not what one knows that defines him/her, it's how one dispenses or uses that knowledge.

Thank you, you've said it exactly right. I wonder why it didn't strike me to be a little more succinct - like this. :-P I do tend to ramble, na?

Non-Sensei said...

damn. i'm going to need a dictionary the next time 'round. feel a little dumb right about now.
a good start to the day, this.
hmph.

houseband00 said...

You ramble beautifully. =)

H said...

Nonsense bwoy… such utter nonsense. Hmph.

HB, dearest HB, if only you were my spokesperson for all times. Sigh, these wretched monsters in my head.

Debo Blue said...

My first impulse was to chastise you for being so rectally analytically correct, but then thought the better of it. The anticipation of your multi-syllabic retort is giving me mini-tics.

OOOOO, can't wait for the deliciousness to end and begin.

H said...

rectally analytically correct.
wah. what a phrase!

Ooooo. But please bring it on, Immasuckerforpunishment.

B Ditty said...

H, do we get a Halloween blog from you? Pretty Please.

pRicky said...

Yes but then theres one thing about classification but completely other about everyone having an IQ and everyone being Intelligent.
OR possibly aptitude if not IQ but most cerainly not every ability is intelligent.
Dumb is a slang. Isn't Stupid the real opposition to INtelligent?
OR isnt Dumb being one who is unable to speak?
I apologise but capacities have to be other than intelligence, isnt it?
Help? I am disillusioned and pissed off. I have been thinking about what you wrote for somedays now and its not helped the state of mind I am in...
SO I am quite prepared for the hiding which you might have in the offering after my impudence...

pRicky said...

oh and yeah when you ahve the time. Glance at http://www.flickr.com/photos/prickster/
and the blog...

H said...

Ben, time has been rather an elusive creature these past few days. But I will try, I promise.

Pricky, I’m afraid I cannot help. However, if you read carefully, you’ll find your answers.

pRicky said...

Oh darn!!!
;-)
I guess its back to the encyclopedias then...

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