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I am an intellectual elitist. Are you?

I admit it. I don’t necessarily view this as having any negative connotation, although I am sure others will argue with that. I think the perpetual search for enlightenment and truth in life is the worthiest pursuit, and I see the intellectuals as driving the train on this journey. I think that INTJs often fall into this category [and a few ENFPs J]

I grew up surrounded by intellectuals on my father’s side, both grandparents and my aunt have PhDs in various fields, the uncles all have graduate degrees in engineering. My eyes fill with admiration for their achievements, although at times, I know they were lacking in the warm fuzzy department, [Not my grandparents - they were the sweetest].

I have a difficult time accepting what I perceive to be the intellectual apathy of others. The aggregate ignorance of most Americans annoys me a lot, especially when I interact with foreigners who know more about American history than the average Joe. I am definitely on this forum to interact with other like-minded people because of this. The people on this forum expand my knowledge and challenge me to think deeply and not sigh in exasperation.

I have been teased because of this, my intellectual elitism, because I’ll bring Ayn Rand to a day at the beach while everyone else is reading the latest Oprah book club hit [no offense to Oprah; I think it’s GREAT that she encourages people to read]. My point is that people tend to stick to what is fashionable and not what will enlighten them and challenge their brain.

Negative examples of when my intellectual elitism flares is when I am in a conversation with someone and I realize that everything coming out of their mouth is unfounded personal opinion not based on any fact or scientific basis/study. I take pride in explaining things I have read or studied. Sometimes in different areas of the forum where people really need to bring their A-game [philosophy for instance], I can tell that someone is really not very well-read and it causes me to smirk. I know it’s horrible, but I am a bit of an intellectual snob. I can’t help it. This of course isn’t a great way to win friends and influence people. I am gradually learning that it’s okay to leave people to their own ideas; it envelops them in ignorant bliss.

I have the feeling that intellectual elitism isn’t endemic to the INTJs. I am willing to bet the INTPs experience this as well. Is it related to the arrogance, hubris and over-confidence we are so often accused of? Probably. However I think that intellectual elitism is a actually a good thing.

Q: How does Orion keep his pants up?

A: With an asteroid belt

Two hydrogens are walking along a street. The first one says, "Hey! I think I lost an electron!" The second one replies, "Are you sure?" The first one then says, "Yeah, I'm POSITIVE."

 

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Aw, no bites? You partypoopers.

I guess we have exhausted the "I think therefore I pwn everyone else" topics.

My next topic is going to be something simpler like "do you prefer poptarts or toaster strudels?"
 

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I personally prefer pop tarts....

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I have a lot of admiration for intelligence, though I often watch people talk circles around me.

I think it's insecurity/anxiety/shyness that partially debilitates my ability to express myself intellectually in forums and IM. I often try to make light of serious topics when I feel I have nothing of interest to contribute.

I would love to have Nexus's confidence when it comes to written expression.
 

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I definitely consider myself an intellectual elitist, mostly because I live in a town where the general population is split into rednecks or tweakers.

However, being a dog with less fleas doesn't make you better. I want to get smarter, but doing it on my own is harder than someone helping you through it or teaching you. Luckily the internet is full of people smarter than me =3

Also, toaster strudels are way better.
 

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I like the variations of pop tarts.

Toaster strudels just seem so... limited.
 

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No. There is no such thing as an intellectual elitist. Those who proclaim themselves as such are self destructive. I have yet to find someone who is all knowing and can not learn something from someone else. I am always shocked at how much I can learn the dumbest dogs in town. I am usually even more shocked at what little I can learn from the arrogant intellectuals.
 

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No. There is no such thing as an intellectual elitist. Those who proclaim themselves as such are self destructive. I have yet to find someone who is all knowing and can not learn something from someone else. I am always shocked at how much I can learn the dumbest dogs in town. I am usually even more shocked at what little I can learn from the arrogant intellectuals.
I don't think this is the definition others are interpreting it as. Surely even "intellectual elitists" continue to seek knowledge from others.

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What you can learn and cannot learn is mostly dependent on what you want to know, not what the other has to offer. I can counter your point in saying that I have learned more from those who are extremely intelligent more than those who seem to know very little because the answers I seek require a significant level of education from the person.

I've worked with an arrogant asshole before, but you know what, he got shit done and did it well when no one else was capable of doing it. When it came to tackling a problem, he knew immediately what to do, how to do it, what kind of resources were needed, and organized the whole project efficiently and effectively. Sure people hated his attitude, but nothing they can do about it. He knew more and they needed him.

Personally, I don't really care about how a person behaves as long as the results are clear and it's pretty narrow-minded to think a person's attitude has any correlation to how smart he or she is. It's better to keep a person's personality and their intelligence separate.
 

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I think the perpetual search for enlightenment and truth in life is the worthiest pursuit, and I see the intellectuals as driving the train on this journey.
The one way train to the grave? (lol joking)



I have a difficult time accepting what I perceive to be the intellectual apathy of others. The aggregate ignorance of most Americans annoys me a lot, especially when I interact with foreigners who know more about American history than the average Joe.
Well you should research the reasons behind American ignorance. The ignorant rarely realize that they are ignorant. The truth is that we are all ignorant, we just don't know it yet.



I have been teased because of this, my intellectual elitism, because I’ll bring Ayn Rand to a day at the beach while everyone else is reading the latest Oprah book club hit [no offense to Oprah; I think it’s GREAT that she encourages people to read]. My point is that people tend to stick to what is fashionable and not what will enlighten them and challenge their brain.
People do what they are taught to do. Even you admit that you grew up around intellectuals who influenced your life. Furthermore, Ayn Rand was not enlightened, just selfish. I believe her philosophy consisted of a pro-capitalist stance and the freedom to pursue self interest. I would not have an issues with her philosophy if it was objective. This means that the poor should also have the right to overthrow, rob, and kill the rich based on self interest. By her standards, it is in no way immoral when the rich allows the poor to starve to death. Therefore, those standards of morality should go both ways.
 

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I don't think this is the definition others are interpreting it as. Surely even "intellectual elitists" continue to seek knowledge from others.

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What you can learn and cannot learn is mostly dependent on what you want to know, not what the other has to offer. I can counter your point in saying that I have learned more from those who are extremely intelligent more than those who seem to know very little because the answers I seek require a significant level of education from the person.

I've worked with an arrogant asshole before, but you know what, he got shit done and did it well when no one else was capable of doing it. When it came to tackling a problem, he knew immediately what to do, how to do it, what kind of resources were needed, and organized the whole project efficiently and effectively. Sure people hated his attitude, but nothing they can do about it. He knew more and they needed him.

Personally, I don't really care about how a person behaves as long as the results are clear and it's pretty narrow-minded to think a person's attitude has any correlation to how smart he or she is. It's better to keep a person's personality and their intelligence separate.
I would have to say that we are speaking of two different subject matters. I am speaking of learning on a social level, and you are speaking of learning on a scientific level. I think it is important to observe other human beings, and understand the reasons behind their actions. I believe in examining my own beliefs and questioning them. I believe in questioning my culture and every aspect of life, including the purpose of life and death.

Furthermore personality is a indicator of social intelligence. The way someone act tells you a lot about how they think and perceive the world. Perhaps it is not a big deal when it comes to being a robot who is only concerned with executing the task. However, you must question if that is intelligence or nothing more than training...is that truly thinking? I believe that is the problem with our educational system. We learn to executive mathematical equations, but we do not learn to think about the purpose of our existence, our political establishments, and the true exploitation of our economic system. We are just groomed to be scientists who are placed in dark rooms and told to not question anything other than our work. One reason I like Einstein is that he questioned not only on a scientific level, but also a social level. If there is a such thing as a great man, he was one (or at least what I perceive of his thinking was great, I don't know hiim).
 

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No. There is no such thing as an intellectual elitist. Those who proclaim themselves as such are self destructive. I have yet to find someone who is all knowing and can not learn something from someone else. I am always shocked at how much I can learn the dumbest dogs in town. I am usually even more shocked at what little I can learn from the arrogant intellectuals.
Thank you for making me want to not throw up again.

I was at risk after a few of these posts!
 

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I am not an intellectual elitist. I have an African-American acquaintance who grew up in a poor urban neighborhood. He is in his mid-thirties and in the middle of earning his BA. I prefer talking to him -- someone with a wealth of personal experience that enlightens his education -- to someone with a PhD who expects me to kowtow.
 

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I would have to say that we are speaking of two different subject matters. I am speaking of learning on a social level, and you are speaking of learning on a scientific level. I think it is important to observe other human beings, and understand the reasons behind their actions. I believe in examining my own beliefs and questioning them. I believe in questioning my culture and every aspect of life, including the purpose of life and death.

Furthermore personality is a indicator of social intelligence. The way someone act tells you a lot about how they think and perceive the world. Perhaps it is not a big deal when it comes to being a robot who is only concerned with executing the task. However, you must question if that is intelligence or nothing more than training...is that truly thinking? I believe that is the problem with our educational system. We learn to executive mathematical equations, but we do not learn to think about the purpose of our existence, our political establishments, and the true exploitation of our economic system. We are just groomed to be scientists who are placed in dark rooms and told to not question anything other than our work. One reason I like Einstein is that he questioned not only on a scientific level, but also a social level. If there is a such thing as a great man, he was one (or at least what I perceive of his thinking was great, I don't know hiim).
A bit of an over generalization. In reality, every form of thinking was shaped or trained.

Scientists who do not question anything they are intaking are not scientists. I really dislike those who take up the name of being a scientist and discard the tools presented to them in questioning the universe around them. Everything should be questioned, yes, even things we assume to be facts. This is the major reason why I constantly go into debates or discussions because I am going to challenge every thing and dissect all claims down to the last letter. Even the "robotic" tasks I will question all decisions made. If I'm seeking for best long term result, I'll be damn sure the decisions being made are the appropriate ones.

Regardless, I'm still failing to see how a person's attitude will affect how they will perceive the world. From my personal experience on this forum, everyone of different personalities can all share the same views. I've met arrogance and modest types alike and both can question or dissect the aspects of society in identical manners.

I, as a person who often gets misinterpreted, cannot associate personality with social views because it's all too subjective. I really do not believe someone can tell how a person thinks or perceives the world based on the person's behavior.
 

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I am an ENFJ and consider myself quite the intellectual-- intellectual elitist, not so much.

One of my best friends is an INTJ (and also has Asperger's Syndrome, for perspective... I also hear most Aspies are INTJ, sometimes INTP). He considers himself an intellectual elitist and argues this is not a bad thing. It just means he rolls with the front-runners... A mental "winner", if you will.

He also is taken for arrogant by his own close friends and family members.
 

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One of my closest friends is an ENFJ [Foziya] and she rocks. [she also knows not to take me too seriously]

I hope people understand that this thread was written to explore a tendency in ourselves, partially in jest [I mean what kind of nerd brings Rand on vacation?]. Intellectualism and open-mindedness are not mutually exclusive traits; wisdom can be found in the most unexpected places. Being an intellectual doesn't necessarily make you a good person, but many hope that it does. I never judge a book by its cover, because if I did, I might not get to enjoy what's inside.

Setting the bar very high intellectually for ourselves and expecting others to do the same, this is self-improvement, striving for truth, not to be confused with arrogance or worse - hubris. I think this is a common hallmark of being an INTJ. I think we cannot settle for mediocrity and complacency. By the same token, I agree that although people should seek to improve themselves, it should not be at the expense of others. There is reciprocity as one poster mentioned.

Of course there are places and times in life where kindness and compassion are more powerful than knowledge. There are two things that fail to be explained by any breadth of logic or learning and they are evil and human suffering. I dream about working as a missionary one day, particularly in Sudan where rape is used as a weapon of war and FGM, also known as female circumcision, is commonplace.

I think shedding everything I have studied and discovering the humility of the human spirit will be a good leaning experience for my soul AND my mind.

Personally, I prefer toaster strudels.
 

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My main squeeze (of over 6 years, so well established, mind you). Does jest about his ego, apparent arrogance, and air of hubris. He's intellectually confident, but always has a lingering eye for personalities and potential friendships in those people from different walks of life... especially those very different from his own. He is a white male from an upper-middle/lower-upperclass home. Almost all of his most appreciated friends come from different cultures and socioeconomic classes. He is an open-minded socialite.

Heck, I'm a half-Latina chick from a middle-class, multi-cultural home, and he isn't intimidate, but intrigued by our customs and idiosyncracies.

As far as missionary work goes, he is religious and spiritual. I find most of my male INTJ friends aren't. Mine, however, would like to do mission work one day soon. Not to "spread the word of God-- that seems condescending, but to help people who aren't as fortunate as me and learn about their culture."

Sounds a bit like what you've described in all your toaster strudel goodness... invented by the father of Miss Gretchen Weiners.
 

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"Are you an intellectual elitist?"

Highly intelligent? Yes, by most any definition.

Highly educated? Yes. I graduated from a prestigious college and attended grad school. More importantly, I have done quite a bit of independent study on subjects that interest me -- investing, health, spiritual development.

Little patience for stupidity? Guilty, especially when combined with excessive willfulness. I consider this a flaw and have been partially successful in reducing it.

Arrogant? Definitely not by my definition. INTJs may get a bad rap on this score because others mistake introversion and confidence and unconventionality for arrogance. If one doesn't follow the herd by their definition one must think one knows better and that is considered insufferable, insulting arrogance. I just want the freedom to follow my own conclusions.

Elitist? No, I do not look down on others who were born with less mental ability. I value character above all else, and that is not dependent upon intelligence.
 
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