Pick Your Battles!

The Battle of Intelligence v Confidence

Yet another one of my rambles about whatever comes into my head when I sit down to scribble some words of dubious wisdom.

A while ago, I removed someone from my Facebook group who clearly was just going around spamming groups for self promotion. He kicked up a real stink and acted like a petulant child. It amazes me that removal from one of the thousands of similar groups is so very important to anyone, so much so that it had to be announced in as many places as possible that I was some sort of crook. Actually, sometimes I wish I was a crook as they seem to prosper far more than I do, but hey-ho, I can sleep at night!

Anyhooo… this behaviour, in my humble opinion, is rather childish but there are always some badly thought out discussions on social media. Recently, and mostly fuelled by anything this last year has thrown at us, there have been endless examples of intelligence versus – how shall I put it? – those who do not do their homework before commenting 😉

Having been in discussion with a few friends and co-workers about this topic, I set out to delve more into what makes some people intelligent, and others as thick as 2 short planks…. sorry I mean a little less well endowed with the old grey matter. Why is it that some people will argue that black is white, despite the obvious proof being slapped right in front of them? Why can some individuals never concede that they are wrong? Why is it that some will make a huge point of trying to debunk what is clearly a tongue in cheek joke? Why do some people just revel in the sound of their own voices, or even more so, the click of those keypads as they scroll and troll through social media and gather those likes they so desperately need? 

Like Jeremy Clarkson used to say when buckling himself into a Class 4 Reliant Robin XLSR..(I made that up by the way… no letters please) . “ I set off to find out”……Why it is that some folk would rather take the word of that strange bloke who sits scratching his….. ummm….. chin in their “local” than listen to solid evidence?

People like those super Flat Earthers … Despite shed-loads of proof of the sphericalness of our planet, there are still people out there spreading their very (un)stable theories that the earth is indeed flat. One example is “ If we were living on a giant ball, an aeroplane would have to constantly dip its nose, if not then it would it would find itself at over 80,000 feet in just half an hour! Some also argue that the world is a doughnut but if that were so, then I am pretty sure the USA cops would have that one sussed long ago!

But it would appear, from scientific  studies (scientists being pretty damn brainy dudes) that people consistently rate themselves as being far more competent than they actually are.

Most people overestimate their talents and this is because our brains work in mysterious ways…. That squishy filing cabinet we carry under our skull, does, it seems, work along the lines of an egocentric bias. In other words, the brain absolutely loves and adores itself and will do everything in its power to show off and strut about like a cranial peacock.It always has to look good and has cunning ways to turn things to its own advantage.

For example.. I recall, when having to work alongside solicitors in collecting debts etc, we would receive the results of the cases in 2 ways.

1) SO pleased to inform you.blah..blah .. blah…. That WE HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL in our case against blah blah blah and here is our big fat cheque as proof of how great WE are and how lucky you are to be our client….

OR 2 ) We are sorry to inform you that YOUR case against blah blah was thrown out of court – not our fault and you are still lucky we have not doubled the costs!…… Get my drift? I questioned them and their loaded wording after a time… they had to concede and take me for a slap up meal !  (Clever move eh?)

Then there is OUR team played brilliantly (win) THEY played so badly (losers!). The driver who overtakes you is a lunatic… the slower driver, well he is just an idiot! When you get paid more than you deserve -WOW! When someone else does.. Well that’s just not right!

So our brains must look dapper all the time.. No matter if that involves disregarding facts, making up “facts” or just battering someone with words until they give in.

Sir Brain is so geared to wanting to be right that even if it has to concede defeat in the light of overwhelming proof, he will still think that he won. It is survival of the fittest working at its best! Intellectual hunting in the first degree.

Real intelligent people, or “proper clever clogs” as the lesser well endowed would say, are clever because they keep questioning their surroundings and themselves and are usually more aware than most that they DON’T know everything. Whereas, stupid people rarely think of themselves as stupid because they feel they don’t have to question things as.. well.. they have never done that before! They glow with supreme confidence and have no inkling at all that they have less intelligence than a broad bean.

And so, to end my sermon this week, I will just offer one piece of advice.. Don’t even try to argue with idiots because even if you win, so, it would appear, have they! It is futile and you could be doing so much more with your time. Or, if you really do have to win ( and your egotistical brain will absolutely want you to) make sure of your facts, question yourself and your knowledge and most importantly, ensure that it will all be worth it!

I leave you with a few famous quotes  and hope that the week ahead is full of wisdom wit and wine!

“A fool doth think he is wise but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” Shakespeare

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” Darwin

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” – Bruce Lee

“The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his own way”. Josh Billings.

How did people ever get by without kitchen roll? Loraine Gostling