Monday, February 27

Self-Stimulating Intelligence

When I look back at my previous posts, the few that exist, I am fascinated. I try and remember what was going on in my life that might inspire what I managed to upload into the ether of the Internet. However, I don’t want to dwell on my analysis of my own writing, the act of which seems very self-aggrandizing and makes me uncomfortable.

The other day I was asked the question: “Did you ever think about the fact that some of the most intelligent conversations you'll ever have are not necessarily with another person?” This was in reference to one my earlier blogs regarding Intelligent Conversations. This friend was implying most of the intelligence occurs within your own head and not among your group of friends chugging watered-down pitchers for $2.50 at your local watering hole. Answering the question without thinking, I would assume one might say yes. My statement is justified by a typical conversation one might hear on the street about clothes, money, or “that girl is a real bitch and I can’t stand her!” I will admit, I have engaged in all of those at some point.

A little more thought reveals a drastically different point of view. I agree I sometimes feel I’m the only sane person left on Earth – a leading cause of isolationism – but the train of thought in my head is constantly derailing on tracks that were placed abysmally out of order. I find myself chasing my tail repeatedly until I figuratively hit my head against the wall, and either make a decision or completely leave the thought process. I would much rather share my ideas with someone and listen to their opinion versus keeping everything bottled up. When you confide in another person, you allow for other views to expand your horizon of thought and possibly lead the train down tracks you never knew existed. I can be very cynical and love playing Devil’s Advocate, but I still encourage people to throw ideas off me and tell me what is going through their head. I try to remove myself from any bias and objectively analyze a situation. It fosters healthy social interaction and opens the mind to new frontiers. Obviously the majority of discussions I have with my friends are simply “shooting the shit”, but I think the most intelligent conversations are held with people you know and respect, who are capable of building upon your own ideas in a constructive manner.


  1. As I recall, you once had a friend and roommate--with whom your conversations were so witty and intelligent and intense, that your hair began to recede in sheer terror. The only solution was a tinfoil hat.

    And when we felt that world didn't appreciate our wisdom, we talked louder!

  2. I would definitely say the majority of the most intelligent conversations I have are with myself. I guess that I don’t really go out of my way to have in-depth conversations with other people, so perhaps it’s my own fault.

    One of the few instances of intelligent conversations (if you want to call them that) I have takes place in one of my smaller discussion sections in school, where my professor encourages thinking out of the box and asking questions. I always get excited about what he is going to ask because I can think different than I do in other classes. Rather than just sitting and listening, I can contribute and ask thought-provoking questions. I feel like I am not only helping myself learn, but helping others in the class, as well.

    So much of what you wrote in your third paragraph EXACTLY describes how I feel. I just wish I had someone to share my ideas with.

  3. c:

    You just shared with me! You should find an outlet for these ideas, whether it is with a close friend, writing a blog, or someone you know who is a great listener, and who will appreciate what you have to say. Being a good listener is a rare gift I have only found in a few people. Not to "toot my horn", but some have said I'm pretty good myself. I have an enormous amount of respect for people who confide in me as I get to see who they really are and what they think. And with these people, I never care what they want to talk about; school, dreams, or how their day was. Just being there for someone to listen and help brighten their day is all I could ask for.