Not That I Care, But

According to some smart guy, here’s how you know that you’re genuinely intelligent:

  1. You learn from mistakes
  2. You read for fun
  3. You can argue from multiple perspectives
  4. You think before you speak
  5. You don’t care what others think.

Well, duh.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


  1. Remember what Will Rogers said: “Just because it’s common sense, doesn’t mean it’s common practice.”

  2. I learn something new every day.
    I’ve seen the expression “tl;dr” many times online but had no idea what it meant. Now I know. (I also like “ts;dd”)
    There are times when I have encountered something that was “too long” so I “didn’t read”. Usually it’s because I have read a few paragraphs into it and determined that it was mostly diarrhea of the keyboard, or it might be interesting but I simply didn’t have the time to get through it all. I almost never comment on something like that unless I have read it first – almost. There are exceptions which I won’t go into here.
    I read for fun and just the pure joy of learning something new and interesting. I like a good book better than a good movie.
    I sometimes engage my mouth (…or keyboard) before thinking things through and I am almost always embarrassed by the result. Sometimes it’s simply losing an argument and at other times it’s inadvertently insulting someone. (…this might also make me remiss in the “learning from mistakes” category.)
    Anyway, I’m very sorry about Connie. My wife and I have been married for 32 years and after that much time together you truly grow to be one with each other. The thought of possibly losing her makes me almost cry. I can’t even imagine what you are going through.
    I enjoyed both of your blogs back in the day so I am glad you’re back.

  3. 1. I hope I do that.
    2. Hell, yeah. When we homeschooled our kids, we sometimes had to make them quit reading to do their school work. Oldest daughter’s ambition was to personally own 1,000 books before age 25. She exceeded it. Can’t seem to stop her from reading. Re the tl;dr – I do that all the time, but it’s usually because they’ve lost my interest, so I’m using my time elsewhere.
    3. Sometimes I’m like that old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where I can see too many sides. 🙂
    4. When I think it matters. People sometimes ask me to review their angry emails before they send them.
    5. Depends on who the other people are, but mostly it’s the case. Notice the split infinitive in 2. Grammarians can bite me on that one. You can’t split an infinitive in most languages. But you surely can in ‘Murica!

  4. I’m a tl;dr using, but exclusively for the 3000 word stream-of-consciousness rant with no paragraph breaks. If you can’t take the time to compose your thoughts into coherent paragraphs (or even worse, lack the ability) then there can’t possibly be anything in your screed that is worth the time it would take me to read it.

    It’s the same way with capitalization. If you are too special, harried, or ignorant to use the shift key, then there is nothing of worth in what you have written. You are not e.e. cummings (hell, e.e. cummings wasn’t e.e. cummings) and I’m not impressed by your laziness.

    Lazily written words are written by lazy minds. I’m already powerfully lazy in body, and if I allowed my mind to be polluted with lazy thought, I would be absolutely worthless.

    1. Amen to that. Life’s too short to try to decipher what blocks of poorly edited run on text is trying to convey.

  5. “Common sense” is an oxymoron. In fact, it’s becoming more uncommon every day. I try to keep my posts short, and hopefully of use (or amusement) to those who read them.

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