Friday, March 28, 2014

How do you define smart? Part 4 (Idealism -vs- Realism)

Idealists believe it's possible to create a perfect world by experts
 in Washington making rules for all to follow. The get so caught up
in their dream world that they often disregard history and facts.
So we have been investigating the question: how do you define smart.  I think the answer to this question lies in the definitions of two key words: idealism and realism.

Actually, the idea here comes from an article written several years back, and published in Playboy, by William F. Buckley Jr. I think he defines smart better than anyone, and Lord knows many people have attempted to define smart.

So you approach a group of people, you share with the group facts that you learned about a subject, say that the earth is closer to the sun in the winter. They get mad at you, because to them that doesn't "sound" like the right answer.  "It only makes sense," they say, "that the sun is closer to the sun in the summer."

Realists will tell you when the glass is half full of piss.
They will try to share such facts with idealists,
and when they do, they will be called idiots.
You confronted them.  They got mad.  They made fun of you and made you out to be the dummy, when all along you had the facts on your side.

I approached a doctor once and explained to him that a medicine I use, albuterol, treats asthma and no other lung disease.  I offered him proof.

Instead of being open minded and at least considering what I said, he said: "You are behind on your research.  Everybody knows albuterol helps a patient cough up pneumonia."

How do I respond to that without insulting him?  How do I respond to that without risking losing my job?   I can't.  So I have no choice but to let him go on believing something that is not true is true.

The only way to understand what's going on here is to understand the difference between different ideologies. You have idealism versus realism. Education, years on this planet, experience, has nothing to do with how people think.

What it all comes down to hear is idealism versus realism.

Idealism is when a person, an idealist, believes an ideal, or perfect, or Utopian world is possible.  In order to accomplish this they create ideals and theories for people to follow.  They deal with problems by setting rules, standards, or laws for people to follow based on these ideals and theories in order to entice people toward the Utopian goal.  Since the human mind cannot conceive of perfection, it's assumed what perfection would be.  The truth, therefore, is what sounds good, or feels good.  The truth, to the idealist, is the theory, the guess.

Realism is when a person, a realist, knows perfection is not possible.  They only understand what is real, and shoot for goals that are real or possible.  They do not shoot for Utopia because they know it is not real.  They deal with problems in an effective and practical way.  They shun opinions in favor of facts.

So now let's return to our examples.  You go to the crowd of guys and you say, "The earth is closer to the sun in the winter."  They get mad at you.  They make you out to be the idiot even though you have the facts on your side.   These people have educations and degrees, and yet they continue to fall for this crap.

You go to a doctor or nurse and explain that pneumonia is an inflammatory disease, so how could albuterol, a bronchodilator, have any effect on it.  But they make you out to be the idiot and complain that you're just trying to get out of work; that you're lazy. These people have educations and degrees, and yet they continue to fall for this crap.

You go to a group of people who believes in global warming, and you explain that there hasn't been an increase in global temperature since 1996, and they get mad at you instead of considering this new wisdom.  These people have educations and degrees, and yet they continue to fall for this crap.

You see, they are idealists.  They live in an ideal world.  They don't care about the facts.  You do care about the facts, but because you are willing to call a cup of piss piss they get mad at you.

Remember, we have Yale and Harvard graduates running our country who are not smart the way realists define smart, so education has nothing to do with smart.  In some cases, depending on where you are educated, education can corrupt you.

Idealists don't like it when you come up to them and are truthful. They say that when you do that you are confrontational. You are causing confrontation. You are being controversial.  They might also call you a complainer, and they will tell your friends to stay away from you when you are complaining.  They, in turn, will make you out to be the outcast, when all along the facts are on your side and not theirs.

So how do you define smart?  In order to define smart you have to have a grasp on what idealism and realism are.  You have to realize that education does not make you smart, it's whether you are a realist or idealist.  Realists are all about sounds good and feels good, while realists are all about facts and possibilities.

How do you define smart: part 5