Weird Rant About Intelligence

by Noise Pollution

The more time I spend lurking around the internet, the more unhappy I get. For every one insightful comment there are five horrific and hurtful ones. I’m not talking about the comments on this blog, everyone has been nothing but nice to me here, it’s just when I venture outside of my usual spots that I get to see how terrible people can be.

I consider myself a pretty intelligent person. So does literally every other person that exists. I don’t know how to go about convincing you that I am, in fact, intelligent, but I hope you believe me. I don’t expect you to, though. When I see other people who consider themselves intelligent, I often shake my head and audibly sigh. I think it’s because most people are actually not that smart. The people who flaunt themselves as intelligent are usually just conceited, nothing more. I might be among them, I might not. I don’t know. I have no real way of proving to you or myself that I’m smart. All I know is that the attitude of the internet’s “intelligent” is often disgusting.

When I see someone calling another person “stupid,” I don’t think the person throwing out the insult is in any way intelligent. An intelligent person will analyze the other person’s situation, and instead of deciding that the person is “stupid,” they will decide that the other person had reasons for their behavior and opinions that might not be easy to understand.

When I’m at a party, or some other social event, I feel “stupid.” I feel eyes on my uncomfortable body, and the way my conversations hit dead-ends probably makes me look like a complete idiot. I can’t come up with subjects to talk about. When I do, and actually throw them out there, I feel like nobody even tries to catch the ball, and the idea of having a conversation with me lands on the floor and rolls slightly out of my reach before resting in a place where nobody can see it.

The kind of person who calls others “stupid” would think I was stupid, too. An intelligent person would realize that I have extreme difficulty with social situations, and that has no bearing on how smart I am. Maybe they try to solve the problem, maybe they don’t. That’s not really relevant. An actually intelligent person doesn’t judge, they just try to understand.

An intelligent person tries to understand because understanding is worth more than some sort of collection of facts that your brain happened to store, or some sort of meaningless adherence to social norms. Understanding is what sets us apart from other animals. The ability to look at a situation and think about it critically is what makes someone smart, not their ability to speak or act in a way that is perceived as “smart.”