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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!
Does anyone know Karl Pilkington?
He is a "media personality" (for lack of a better term) who has been on the Ricky Gervais show with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. I use the term "media personality" loosely because much of what he does (even under the guise of comedy) is very much his own personality, or so we're led to believe.
In the British media, he is well known for his random brain. He is often ridiculed for his startlingly profound questions but is usually undermined for a perceived lack of knowledge in many areas. He also tends to recall interesting stories he's read or details of things he's picked up in educational programs but Gervais and Merchant often highly doubt his ability to recall things correctly. Sometimes it veers on the fantastical or delirious. Hence the hilarity. But what are we missing? (Besides what could be clever writing or purposeful editing?)
I came across this documentary as Karl tries to better understand his mind and whether it's worth it to attempt to achieve a level of intelligence that would allow him to be more accepted for reasons he explains in the documentary.
His questions and interactions with professors and other well known British media personalities (though I sense some subtle character-playing throughout from some of them; British humor typically keeps you guessing) has truly touched me.
It seems no matter his setbacks with conventional education or not being able to hold his own during intellectual discussions, his genuine interest in life and how easily he befuddles others with his questions is really interesting. He is not afraid of asking and doesn't fear vulnerability.

Consider these questions during the documentary:
-What does your personal criteria consist of, in terms of what creates a happy life?
-Karl wonders in the documentary if being more intelligent will move him away from himself. What do you think he means by this?
-Is it true that as we seek to learn more, we are pushing away from true happiness? Or is seeking more a means of gaining more, including happiness?
-And a really difficult one: If true wisdom is understanding how very little we know, where do you think we have gone wrong as people? Where do you think we've done right in encouraging each other to seek knowledge? What is knowledge?

For the record, I can't abide by objectification of an individual in any way (even within comedy, I have my reservations) but he is genuinely funny but because he is toying with abstract concepts and understands them simply; he simply cannot explain them well enough.
Sound familiar?
I do feel that having him have his own platform in mainstream media can allow discerning individuals who understand and value the heart of someone more than the "measure" of their intelligence in relation to everyone else, to see someone real. If it's a put-on, the joke's on me.
However, this is more of an exploration on the questions that are raised within the documentary, joke or not.

And I do warn you: If you don't understand subtle humor or look past the snobbery that Pilkington encounters, you won't be able to focus in on how he stumps the people he meets. Listen closely to how he expresses himself; though disconnected and sometimes even self-defeating, this man has intelligence. The underlying question of the entire piece is: Is he being given a fair chance to be just as he is? Better yet, is he allowing himself that chance or have others chafed at him enough to cause him to doubt what's worth having: Intelligence or Wisdom?
Contemplate and enjoy!

Karl Pilkington: Satisfied Fool-Part One

Karl Pilkington : Satisfied Fool- Part Two

Karl Pilkington: Satisfied Fool- Part Three

Supplementary video:
The Ricky Gervais Show: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Karl Pilkington
(This is their animation, intended to go along with their podcasts).


(1:22 The Lyre Bird, native to Australia---can mimic almost any sound)

The way I understand what he meant is though there are an innumerable amount of sound frequencies that exist, given our range we hear the same sounds over and over and these sounds can and have been reproduced/reused.
Mind you, Ricky Gervais is right that we can't anticipate or change the way a man-made machine, animal, etc. happens to sound: it's just a by-product as he says, of how the thing operates/is made.
But, a question: Don't we identify one thing (including sound) by finding mainly a similarity (or a difference) in something we already understand? In other words, define something based on its relationship (or lackthereof) to something else. Either way, we usually depend on pre-existing knowledge to help label things. This may be branching off, but that's how I understand Karl's struggle.

Thank you for reading and providing your thoughts/experiences!
Sincerely,
Lady Nurture :wink:
 
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Discussion Starter #2
And for further analysis:
Karl Pilkington: Unknowingly treading into Descartes philosophy!

 

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I feel a bit sorry for how Karl is continuously labeled as stupid, repeatedly called "moron", "fool" and "idiot". I understand Stephen and Ricky actually loves this man, but it's a bit unwarranted. While he might not be a fit for conventional education, he does come up with some pretty great insights and observations from time to time. Certainly in a way that most normally intelligent people don't. If he is stupid, then he's a sort of brilliant stupid.
 

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I'd like to contribute here but for the first 3 of the clips i get "This video contains content from Channel 4, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds"

I'm in the UK and Channel 4 is a UK company. So, is that the way the copyright thing works? UK people can't view these but rest of the world can?

I've not heard of Karl Pilkington. Nonetheless I'll have a crack at your questions.......

-What does your personal criteria consist of, in terms of what creates a happy life?
"Other things being equal" I do indeed desire happiness. But I have a desire at the core of my being for truth. And I pursue truth, i believe, in an evidence-based way and try to live with wherever the evidence seems to go - even if this diminishes my happiness. Example: there's little doubt that (again, other things being equal) holding a religious belief tends to bring greater happiness. But in as much as religions make claims (eg supernatural claims) about reality and given that we have little reason to think such claims are in fact true I cannot and do not belong to any religion - even though i am, probably, less happy as a result.

To answer your question in a more straightforward way:

Relationships (in widest sense of the word) with others. Connection, intimacy, trust. And the quality of these relationships rather than quantity necessarily.

Authenticity. Seeking to become who I truly am. Not putting on an act (apart from specific occasions where this might be needed, eg a role at work)

Being free from poverty. It's true that "money can't buy you happiness" but poverty and not having basic needs met contributes hugely, i believe, to unhappiness. I count myself extremely fortunate in this respect - lovely home, comfortable standard of living.

-Karl wonders in the documentary if being more intelligent will move him away from himself. What do you think he means by this?
Haven't seen clip and can't really make an intelligent guess.

-Is it true that as we seek to learn more, we are pushing away from true happiness? Or is seeking more a means of gaining more, including happiness?
Someone I know is incredibly knowledgeable, reads avidly and accumulates and stores masses of information every day. He's also desperately unhappy and unfulfilled because , i believe, he has few if any good quality friendships. Other things being equal (again!) more knowledge is better than less, education is better than ignorance - but more than knowledge alone is needed for happiness.

So, "Is it true that as we seek to learn more, we are pushing away from true happiness?" Yes for some people. No for others.

-And a really difficult one: If true wisdom is understanding how very little we know, where do you think we have gone wrong as people? Where do you think we've done right in encouraging each other to seek knowledge? What is knowledge?
"What is knowledge?" I won't attempt a definition. I'd just say that (imo) what wikipedia contains is knowledge.

Wisdom i'd define as the application of knowledge in a good way. (I include the words "in a good way" otherwise you could say that Hitler was wise)

Not sure i really understand your questions about where we've gone wrong / done right. Can you re-phrase?
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for your answers!
@Zeck, thank you very much for the thought and consideration you put into your answer! I'm sorry about the videos not working. Sorry about the last question too, I'll rephrase! I think what I mean is, we tend to emphasize knowledge (Ex. knowing particular facts, remembering dates, being able to cite certain names for certain ideas, being good at math, science, etc.) as being more practical/measurable than wisdom, which I believe, as you do that it is "knowledge in action" for a greater good. I also think it deals with the philosophy of life more than the day to day details of life.
I consider wisdom to be a "felt knowledge": no one can see how the person organizes the information, where it comes from, what experiences qualify them but they have engaged more than just straightforward logic, so what comes out is simple but intimates a deeper understanding of a given subject.
A dreamer/philosopher type (like Karl) is not considered as intelligent because what he knows cannot be measured by a traditional test. He also doesn't presume to fully understand what he knows!
In the documentary, Karl's questions keep confusing the people that he meets; he doesn't feel smart, in relation to the professors and media personalities he speaks to, but his questions still stun/baffle them.
So my questions are:
-Has anyone been considered inferior or been overlooked because of how they process information (For instance, just knowing something and upsetting others because you can't provide them with proof of what you know)?
-For those who have been able to strike a balance between acquired knowledge and felt knowledge, how has it helped you?
-Given that there are more Sensors than Intuitives, have we done enough to understand and accept each type's strengths and weaknesses? Do Intuitives spend more time than Sensors acquiring a balance because there are presumably less of us in society?
 
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I have a soft spot for Karl Pilkington. I was really surprised and impressed by some of the things he noticed and said in An Idiot Abroad. Never really saw him as stupid, am quite fascinated by his mind and approach to the world actually.

Sorry, am not really of the mind to address the questions you asked in bold, just wanted to say that about Karl. Watching and hearing him speak makes me feel better about the world somehow, his simplicity and straightforwardness is soothing. His total lack of airs is such a nice change to most people I'm in contact with, me included.
 

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Thank you for your answers!
@Zeck, thank you very much for the thought and consideration you put into your answer! I'm sorry about the videos not working. Sorry about the last question too, I'll rephrase! I think what I mean is, we tend to emphasize knowledge (Ex. knowing particular facts, remembering dates, being able to cite certain names for certain ideas, being good at math, science, etc.) as being more practical/measurable than wisdom, which I believe, as you do that it is "knowledge in action" for a greater good. I also think it deals with the philosophy of life more than the day to day details of life.
I consider wisdom to be a "felt knowledge": no one can see how the person organizes the information, where it comes from, what experiences qualify them but they have engaged more than just straightforward logic, so what comes out is simple but intimates a deeper understanding of a given subject.
A dreamer/philosopher type (like Karl) is not considered as intelligent because what he knows cannot be measured by a traditional test. He also doesn't presume to fully understand what he knows!
In the documentary, Karl's questions keep confusing the people that he meets; he doesn't feel smart, in relation to the professors and media personalities he speaks to, but his questions still stun/baffle them.
So my questions are:
-Has anyone been considered inferior or been overlooked because of how they process information (For instance, just knowing something and upsetting others because you can't provide them with proof of what you know)?
-For those who have been able to strike a balance between acquired knowledge and felt knowledge, how has it helped you?
-Given that there are more Sensors than Intuitives, have we done enough to understand and accept each type's strengths and weaknesses? Do Intuitives spend more time than Sensors acquiring a balance because there are presumably less of us in society?
Several times in the last fortnight i've returned to your 3 questions there but somehow always drawn a blank in trying to respond - and am now admitting defeat (for the time being anyway).

But i wondered, Lady Nurture, what are your thoughts/answers to these questions?
 
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@Zech,
I'm sorry! I thank you very much though, for mulling over my questions though I doubt I'll be able to be any clearer with my answers to them. I guess I perceive in myself a lack of "common knowledge" that can sometimes chafe at me, that I know others may overlook me for. However, when it comes to recognizing hidden patterns in behavior, in a story or in anything creative, that is where my prowess lies.
I don't perceive there to be much balance, generally speaking, in how to value different kinds of intelligence. Typically, excelling (or being reasonably good) at science, math and subjects that yield "right, accurate or precise answers" is a kind of intelligence that is most honored, most sought after and that seemingly carry the most relevance to society: how it's run, what can be built within it, etc.
But anything having to do with coming up with ideas, understanding people, realizing patterns in behavior and creative pursuits that educate the public on humanity, the ideals we should strive for, etc. are treated as background noise.
Usually, if anyone has an endeavor that is wrought with activism or a passion for causing change, it's scoffed at if there isn't proof. One is hit with statistics, percentages that could make such an opportunity for that kind of intelligence and insight to be shared with the world, unlikely.
Being gifted with words, with understanding, being an old soul, etc. are all overlooked by those who favor someone who can crunch numbers, shoot the bullshit easily with any decision-maker (person fisting a wad of cash that could get a business off the ground) and make themselves (at least for the purposes of appearance) successful.
I think my questions deal with far too many factors which is why my answers are meandering a bit.
However, the short and short of it is is that I seek a balance between different kinds of intelligence, but I want there to be no dominance of one kind over another, lest I want my creativity to atrophy over less soul-satisfying pursuits: The pursuit of power over others, money, outward appearance of wealth that others should aspire to.
I'm wondering if, through equal emphasis and encouragement of different kinds of intelligence, we couldn't be more successful with appreciating more than one kind of mind.
In entertainment, media, etc. you always see people who walk around with clever-quips, a sense of nonchalance and an overpowering sense of individuality that they are more than willing to boast about, to wear on their person and ride around in. "I'm cool because I exist!"
What? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that is the dumbest shit modern man has come up with. (What's the criteria?!) But it sells.
This is what terrorizes me at night: What can best be proven to work, SELLS. But work for who? What is its purpose? What are you learning? Can we all share in what results from it?
And if it doesn't suit humanity, if it brings us no closer to union, to a shared sense of being the same species, both accountable for our actions and capable of more than one kind of intelligence? If it only suits one person?
Here are your likely answers from the world:
"Dude, chill out; just make some cash and live your life."
"Yeah, seriously, we're not doing anything wrong."
But I happen to be asking WHY?
"Dude...Why NOT?"
When's the first shuttle to another planet?

(Within this running commentary lies my answer: Why, of anything, without a criteria?
I'll gladly accept mystery as life's only straight answer, but I cannot accept "Why not?" as an answer to why one thing is greatly valued over another, why one ideal sells over another, why one kind of intelligence is better suited to life than another. This is why more than one kind of intelligence must be encouraged, understood and valued otherwise how else do we oscillate? How else do we check ourselves?)
 

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@Lady Nurture

But anything having to do with coming up with ideas, understanding people, realizing patterns in behavior and creative pursuits that educate the public on humanity, the ideals we should strive for, etc. are treated as background noise.
However, the short and short of it is is that I seek a balance between different kinds of intelligence, but I want there to be no dominance of one kind over another, lest I want my creativity to atrophy over less soul-satisfying pursuits: The pursuit of power over others, money, outward appearance of wealth that others should aspire to.
Reading these reminded me of the following from "the highly sensitive person" by Elaine Aron in which she contrasts the warrior-king class with the priest-judge-advisor class. I'm seeing these as roughly equivalent to your common knowledge and felt knowledge (wisdom) respectively.

For better and worse, the world is increasingly under the control of aggressive cultures - those that like to look outward, to expand, to compete and win. This is because, when cultures come in contact, the more aggressive ones naturally tend to take over.

For aggressive societies to survive, however, they always need that priest-judge-advisor class as well. This class balances the kings and warriors. It is a more thoughtful group, often acting to check the impulses of the warrior-kings.

In short, a strong royal advisor class insists on stopping and thinking. And it tries, I think with growing success in modern times, to direct the wonderful, expansive energy of their society away from aggression and domination. Better to use that energy for creative inventions, exploration, and protection of the planet and the powerless.

HSPs tend to fill that advisor role. We are the writers, historians, philosophers, judges, artists, researchers, theologians, therapists, teachers, parents, and plain conscientious citizens. What we bring to any of these roles is a tendency to think about all the possible effects of an idea. Often we have to make ourselves unpopular by stopping the majority from rushing ahead. Thus, to perform our role well, we have to feel very good about ourselves. We have to ignore all the messages from the warriors that we are not as good as they are. The warriors have their bold style, which has its value. Be we, too, have our style and our own important contribution to make.
So, yes, both kinds of knowledge/intelligence are needed and maybe right now western societies (perhaps most countries) are short on wisdom / felt knowledge.

In terms of warrior-kings and priest-judge-advisor class - which group do our recent/current politicians belong to? (eg George W Bush, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Tony Blair, David Cameron). Do they have both common knowledge and felt knowledge? Are these wise people?
 
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I'm bringing this back to life!

Karl is hilarious! When ever he says something that is just plain stupid he reminds me someone I know, especially on "An Idiot Abroad"(they even kinda look alike!). Someone, somewhere on here saif he may be an INTP. I think it's pretty accurate, I get where he's going most of the time.
 
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