What does “smart” mean? That might seem like a stupid question, but really, can you define what makes someone truly intelligent?
Some people would say that I’m smart for typing and speaking correct English, at least when it comes to blog posts, essays or I’m not making funnies. Am I really? Plenty of ignorant people can be well spoken, so are they still smart if their view on the world is a bit warped? What about the pseudo-intellectuals who abuse people’s lack of vocabulary and inborn inclination to loquaciousness as indicative of higher cognitive function? Oh fuck me, self demonstrative humor!
Is it maturity? Probably not, as many smart people can have a No Care attitude and still have a lot going on mentally. Take me for example, sometimes I say and do things that are admittedly just dumbfuckery, but does that make me an idiot? I love to read and listen to music quietly while thinking and pondering. Not to say that I’m always acting like I’m in a library or thinking metaphysics, but does outlandish behavior count for excluding you from the upper echelons of thought? Andrew W.K. is the best example of this: Brilliant man, enlightened individual, and he happens to write a song about partying every two minutes. One couldn’t be blamed for thinking “What an empty headed vacuous asshole, getting drunk every night and filling albums with this shit!”, because I once thought that too. But if you see him in interviews or videos where he explains his philosophies on life and not taking it too seriously, you’ll see that the ones having the best time may in fact be doing it for their own mental health. So remember, your local hedonist, stoner, and party animal might secretly be a Buddhist interested in esoteric philosophy and exploring the inner catacombs of human potential. Or just a heedless drunkard druggie. It’s a gamble, really.
What of the people who are great at the maths? I’m not, by a long shot. Sometimes I’ll whip out a calculator for addition and subtraction to spare myself the agony of taking a minute or so to do it, and forget the advanced subjects like Calculus and Algebra, which I often barely passed with Ds and Cs. Does that mean I’m intellectually lacking? I’m certainly hoping not, as I consider myself a somewhat smart guy.
Does an expansive knowledge of facts and events make you smart? In an age where curiosities are cured by a simple Google, do we all have the ability to become fact spewing Encyclopedic titans? There’s no excuse not to, since everything’s online somewhere! Are people who know the most the smartest? Arguably, yes, because they, for a lack of a better phrase, know EVERYFUCKINGTHING. But when it comes to applying that knowledge, will they be at a loss, rote memorization of trite factoids is not the way to go, but kudos on remembering stuff, I’m kinda bad at that sometimes.
Does making a lot of money make you smart? FUCK NO. Look at most celebrities, they’re pretty much born into money and their children will be, unless they spend it all. Talent(or lack thereof) is not necessary for affluence, but of course, there are the smart wealthy people, namely those whose businesses have yet to collapse into themselves. Successful business models = Win. Being an heiress whose money is garnered by just showing up is not exactly sustainable, but it seems to work, so I’ll try that out sometime.
So I’ve rambled on about what it means to be truly smart, and all that I can conclude with is that intelligence is subjective. From whatever angle you look at it, we’re all smart to some degree. Even the asshole who always says the wrong thing, owes every other person 20 bucks, and wears Aeropostale’s gotta be doing something right to still be polluting this Earth, right? Granted, I’m guilty of saying people are stupid, retarded, etc., but it’s more habitual than anything. Sure, I’m terrible at math, will never be an engineer, and the world should tremble if I ever decide to enter the business spectrum of employment, but I can read, write like a motherfucker, am open minded to many cultures, ideas, and opinions, and so on. It’s not the most useful set of skills to present to, say, someone who needs an architect or a computer programmer, but those aren’t my destinies. We can be smart without knowing everything or being able to do mental math. Just be yourself, or something cliché like that. Self awareness ist krieg.