Monday, March 24, 2014

How do you define smart? Part 1

William F. Buckley Jr. once wrote a piece for Playboy -- I actually have never read Playboy -- and the title of the piece, it was brilliant. The title was: "How Do You Define Smart?"

I never read Playboy. Honest -- I never did.

I learned about this article through various other media outlets I read. You know, the one's that warp my mind. Actually, nothing I read ever warps my mind because I'm a free thinker. I believe as long as one is a free thinker nothing and no one can warp him or her.

So I think the question Buckley posed in this playboy article was a brilliant question. The answer to it, though, is multifaceted.

When I was a kid I always thought of my grandpa as smart. I say this knowing my grandpa quit high school despite his principal telling him he'd never amount to anything if he quit. He ended up starting an auto dealership from the ground up, and this ultimately became a Chrysler dealership in Manistee.

Whenever I had a question he always had the answer. Yet there are old people in Washington and Lord knows many of them sure aren't smart.

So do we become smarter when we become educated? Well, Lord knows there are graduates of Harvard in Washington, and there are tons of ignorant politicians making laws who have no clue what they are doing.

We have many doctors who are definitely educated who don't have a clue what a bronchodilator is supposed to do, and they order bronchodilators for anything that causes a wheeze and treat any person who's short of breath as though they had asthma.

And there are doctors who think a 1,000 tidal volume (that's a very deep breath) is appropriate for a 5 foot lady just because she's 550 pounds.  What he doesn't realize is her lungs will be the same size regardless of how much she weights, so if you try to push too much air into her lungs just because she's obese, you'll blow her lungs like an over inflated balloon.

So there are lost of politicians, and lots of doctors, who are not smart.

So what is smart?

Here you have a lifelong asthmatic who abused his inhalers because his asthma wasn't controlled, and yet all the other asthmatics he knew were gaining control of theirs. Then one day he woke up and thought, "Hey! Take your medicine, stupid!"

Yet, how can a blogger who has gotten every thing wrong for so long, be called smart. How can someone who did everything wrong in every way, shape, manner, or form be called smart? How does that compute? He's educated; he can string a couple sentences together; proper syntax. What the hell is smart? Why would someone read his blog.

This has always been something that has bugged me.

Then, at some point in my life, I realize that education doesn't make you smart, common sense makes you smart. The problem with common sense is that some of us have it, some of us don't have it, and it can't be taught.

The fact that common sense can't be taught is probably why education does not make you smart.  So, education does not mean you're smart. In fact, education, depending on where you get it, can corrupt you.

How do you define smart? Part 2