Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Idiot Savants

(Pre-script: This post will serve you best when read while the song "Bring Me To Life," by Evanescence, plays. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. Hint: If you understand the lyrics of the song, then I'm probably not talking about you in this post. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
What difference does it make how brilliant you are, if you're really an idiot?
The most brilliant people I know inhabit themselves unapologetically, not in a "Look at me, I'm going for shock value" sort of way; THAT is a form of stupidity...but in a "this is who I really am" sort of way, "Even if no one understands it, it's who I'm going to be, since it's who I am." And that requires brilliance...even if that same person could never score very high on their college S.A.T.
Some of the highest S.A.T. scorers you'll ever meet in life are idiots. Oh, they can read an entire Physics textbook and instantly understand it, have photographic memory for the details of every page, then go teach a class all of their new found theorems, but they do not know how to have an original thought of their own. They do not know how to inhabit themselves. They have not grown comfortable in the space that is their own identity, or even recognize what decorates it; what makes it ornate and stunningly unique. so they hide behind their textbook answers: "E=MC squared."
"Scratching will only make it itch more."
"Don't ever have ice cream for dinner."
"If so and so said it, then it must be true."
"This is how it's always been done."
"Don't rock the boat."
So good at inhabiting a book, yet incapable of inhabiting their very own selves.

I don't care how smart a person is, if he's really an idiot.
It's okay, you can think about that when you wake up.



Brian said...

I so totally agree, the difference between true brilliance and idiocy is independent thought. Thats beautiful. Einstein spoke of the same thing in different words.

The Bailey family said...

I was completely with you until the "don't rock the boat" statement, at which time I remembered events at the Lake of the Ozarks and have to believe that there is true wisdom in that statement, especially on a cold day or when your mother in law is in the boat with you!

Travis i Stacy said...

Some are able to take SAT tests and cure cancer... others are able to speculate and judge. It's unfortunate for those sitting in life's bleacher seats... mere spectators.

Brian said...

Yes Travis, "Some are able to take SAT tests and cure cancer"...those are the ones capable of independent thought. Many people are smart "bookwise", but don't have the ability to expand on what they've learned...you can't "cure cancer" by simply knowing facts that are already in evidence...you have to be able to think outside the box...you have to be bookwise and ALSO have common sense.

By the way: who are the "spectators" that you refer to?...certainly not the author of this blog, who shares many deep insights and encourages people to use their minds for more than a dusty archive of learned facts?...whether you agree with her ideas or not, you've got to admit that she causes you to think.