Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Being Quirky and Being Smart

This is what happens when you score less than an 1100 on your GRE's. You become Zooey Deschanel.

As a one off to the analysis of Brassier's Enlightenment and Extinction, I felt a compulsion to distinguish between the quirky disposition and an intelligent person (notice I felt no need to refer to the intelligent person as the "intelligent disposition"). As the surrounding socio-cultural spectrum accepts the new year, an observation needs to be made distinguishing the quirky person from the intelligent person. To put it simply, when someone is not as smart as they think they are, they tend to rely on images of themselves where they appear smart. This confusion is irritating. The scientist and the engineer for example (generally speaking) live out their lives and appearance with a lack of recognition for either. The chemist for example mixes chemicals to create a solvent which is used to clean printing plates. They go back home and don't think of themselves. They may be sparked with a passing interest in a field independent of themselves but there's a sense of limitation of what they don't know (this we can call intelligence). A passive interest is just that compared to what they do all day. These intelligent people we can say fall under the category of "interest in some trades, master of one." On the other hand, the self-consciously quirky personality makes large efforts to appear intelligent by looking peculiar into cameras. Because someone looks weird, doesn't make them intelligent. It just makes them look dumb and unaware of their own limitations. While we are using Zooey Deschanel as an example of this phenomena, we can look at Scarlett Johansson as the opposite of Deschanel. From watching the films that Johansson has starred in, it's fairly obvious she's not the sharpest tool in the shed nor a great actress (she does what she does in her limited roles and limited lines given to her). All that being said, there's a feeling that Johansson knows her limitations by the fact that she hasn't allowed herself to be commercialized as the "weird intelligent" type. The images of Johansson are straight up sexy, albeit lacking in the subtle intelligent appearance that belongs to Sharon Stone for example (who's not afraid to give a wide open soft smile). The salient point I'm trying to make is very simply that "appearances can be deceiving," and in this case, the appearance of looking intelligent can be very deceiving. In the future, for anyone who would like to be around people where trusting what they say is a premium (not simply on factual grounds, but on ethical grounds), then staying clear of these quirky looking, odd dressing, attention seeking image seekers is a place to start. Of course this is a generalization, and you can never judge a book by its cover. But maybe you can. Maybe this ideal of "not judging a book by its cover" needs to be examined more closely. Maybe the line between physical appearance and mental aptitude is more thin than once thought. Ultimately though, this isn't a call to making everyone "intelligent," 1. because the idea of "intelligence" is fairly relative (someone who can build a house from scratch is certainly as intelligent as someone who can publish a book) and 2. there maybe some people who are quite fine in their intellectual limitations. It's here in the second point where the idea of intelligence can manifest a somewhat universal concept; know your limitations. And those who don't know their limitations may end up looking like Zooey Deschanel allowing cameras to make her appear smart, not be smart. Of course, it's not just the cameras; it's what she shows to the camera.

1 comment:

  1. There's an inverse proportion between how many pictures are taken of yourself and your intelligence level.

    I've got some new goodies when you get back. You'll be lucky to make it through the next semester!