According to some smart guy, here’s how you know that you’re genuinely intelligent:
- You learn from mistakes
- You read for fun
- You can argue from multiple perspectives
- You think before you speak
- You don’t care what others think.
- If you don’t learn from your (and others’) mistakes, then at best you’re like the socialists, who never acknowledge the failure of their pet philosophy, but keep on repeating it in the vain hope that this time it will work. It’s also one of the main reasons I’ve always studied history, especially European history, because they’ve made more mistakes than just about anyone else — or at least, they wrote about their mistakes, unlike some African societies I could mention.
- Anyone who doesn’t read for fun had better have a decent excuse, or be thought stupid. When we homeschooled our kids, three hours’ reading a day was mandatory. Now they read more than I do, which is a little scary. This is why when I see the moronic expression “tl;dr” (too long; didn’t read) in any forum, my response is inevitably “ts;dd” (too stupid; don’t debate).
- If you can’t argue from perspectives other than your own, then you’re going to lose the argument. Every single one. Knowing the other guy’s thoughts is critical to rebuttal.
- Gotta say that I don’t always think before I speak. Generally, however, that’s in response to an insult or a threat; in genial discussion, I always consider not only the words I’m going to use, but the effect they may have on others, just out of politeness. This is true when I’m with friends; with strangers, I’m a lot less careful.
- Guilty as charged. I found out that caring about the opinions of others makes one too vulnerable, and it also makes one’s writings and arguments less compelling. Not caring also makes one impervious to insult, which is why all those screams of misogyny and racism hurled at me by liberals and other twerps had (and have) no effect on me whatsoever. I especially love it when they call me “stupid”.
This doesn’t mean I’m “genuinely intelligent”, however. It’s just wisdom learned from experience, which I guess is just an encapsulation of all five points. No intelligence necessary, just common sense.