Being Smart Isn’t Intellligent

We bald apes have always struggled with existence. Being aware that we are finite has made us depressed and self-serving. Ironically, it is this pattern of selfishness that has put us on the brink of self-extermination – consuming, hoarding, discarding – dragging every other earthly creature with us.In other words, as much as we want to blame Trump, Brexit and NASCAR, it’s each of us, every individual, who is to blame for this slide into the mediocre abyss where moronic agendas prosper. Indeed, as fervently as we might proclaim intelligence, the sad truth is we’re merely smart, if that. Clever enough to assess, post and download, we don’t know how to think about the purpose of any of it. To paraphrase, Ben Jonson’s Volpone, rarely do we allow our “conscience get in the way of our wit.” Further, as Cixin Liu posits in The Three-Body Problem: The relationship between humanity and evil (stupidity) is similar to the relationship between the ocean and an iceberg floating on its surface -both the ocean and the iceberg made of the same material. That the iceberg seems separate is only because it is in a different form.

Rather than intelligence, what we should look at, like it or not, is how good we are at being stupid. As sad as it is, that seems the naked truth.

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