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John Stuart Mill said, "It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied." While it may be better, it is not easier...Has anyone ever felt that being too smart may have caused them more problems than it has solved?
 

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Not sure about that, but I know that my tendency to think too much, and analyze everything has definitely caused me some added problems that are hardly worth it.
 

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John Stuart Mill said, "It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied." While it may be better, it is not easier...Has anyone ever felt that being too smart may have caused them more problems than it has solved?
Being the smarter one usually isn't the problem. When you meet people that are a lot smarter than you are, it usually also isn't a problem. It's when you meet your equals that you get in trouble.
 

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Define smart. Knowledge? Cognitive ability?

You can't have too much knowledge with Ni as a primary function. Knowledge just makes you sharper, faster, more resourceful.

Being good with Te might mean that you resort to thinking when you should be feeling. In addition, being smart in regard to heavily developed thinking functions might be problematic, as it means that your others won't get much of a workout with you number-crunching the universe all the time.
 

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I don't think there is such a thing as too smart. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

When it comes to being so overly clever that you sabotage and alienate yourself and those around you that's really just not smart. I wonder if that is what he was driving at?
 

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Being the smarter one usually isn't the problem. When you meet people that are a lot smarter than you are, it usually also isn't a problem. It's when you meet your equals that you get in trouble.
Really? With my competitiveness, anyone who's not dumber than me by a mile gets me a little edgy. Yes, I'd love to be Socrates over the pig.
 

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OK, I'm going to define 'smart' not as academic style intelligence, but in a functional university of life kind of way.

That said, yes I am so more miles smarter than most that I have to concentrate to listen to people when they speak to me because they speak and think so slowly that I find it hard to maintain concentration. They also usually waste so much time using infinitely more words to say something than required that I've zoned out before the end of the first sentence and am then distracted by the voice saying "get to the point will you" ...

if mental arithmetic or puzzles or complex problems present themselves and colleagues or friends are banging their heads struggling with it, they'll hunt me out and ask me knowing it will be done in an instant.

if anyone needs help spelling something, I'm their dictionary.

if a letter of complaint needs writing I'm asked to do it.

if someone needs to know something obscure like the equation for how ships stay afloat or how sugar is converted and stored as fat or how to manipulate hormone levels to facilitate weight loss without having to kill oneself in the gym, they'll ask me because I just know endless complicated 'how stuff works' information

if they want to understand a point of physics or a language rule or something weird, it's the stuff I know...

but, the biggest thing that I think makes and INTJ 'smart' is the incredible speed that the brain gathers information and processes it and the ability to hold multiple things in the head at the same time and work at the level of understanding and seeing the relationship between the different parts simultaneousy.

People say that just being with me, when I'm not actually doing anything, makes them feel like a retard - but I don't ever intend to do that.
 

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John Stuart Mill said, "It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied." While it may be better, it is not easier...Has anyone ever felt that being too smart may have caused them more problems than it has solved?
I think you are misinterpreting. It's not smart what John Stuart Mill meant by Socrates. As far as I know Socrates was seeking wisdom - not knowledge. He was a wise men. John Stuart Mill meant "It's better to be dissatisfied in your quest for wisdom, than satisfied simply because you don't care." - or at least that's how I see it.
 

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[...] I’m no one to give you reality with a pink ribbon wrapped around it. Is it fair that being smart and growing above the ‘norm’ only brings disadvantages with it unless you decide to take advantage of aforementioned ‘norm’? For me it’s not, yet however that’s the truth we all have to deal with. Primitives and idiots have it easier in life. They do not bring the mental capability on the table that’d cause them to consider, think or worry for that matter. This doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be an idiot as long as you have problems, as everyone has problems regardless of their apparent intelligence – regret for instance however is something they don’t have has immediate thought after doing something wrong. Possibly not even while or when facing their punishment but way later, if ever at all. Are those the mentally ill, are they the average, or are these possibly even the ones holding this worlds strings?
This is part of a Blogpost I made almost a year ago ranting about the unfairness of it all. The topic of discussion is interesting, and yes, I whole heartedly agree with the thesis that idiots have it easier in life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Socrates

I think you are misinterpreting. It's not smart what John Stuart Mill meant by Socrates. As far as I know Socrates was seeking wisdom - not knowledge. He was a wise men. John Stuart Mill meant "It's better to be dissatisfied in your quest for wisdom, than satisfied simply because you don't care." - or at least that's how I see it.
I am not sure I agree.

As far as I know, education and experience are the antecendents for knowledge. And thinking and contemplation are what turn knowledge into wisdom. How can one seek to better understand something, if there is nothing for the individual to understand in the first place?

I always interpreted John Stuart Mill's quote as meaning:

with a heightened sense of awareness and perception one is more likely to see things for what they are; and one is more likely to dislike what one sees. But ultimately, it is better to be unhappy with what one sees, than it is to bask in one's own ignorance.

I think smart, intellgent, and wise are interchangeable synonyms. For with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, it is impossible to seperate the scientist from philosopher.
 

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I'm not particularly smart, but I tend to think too much about things. It sometimes leads to "analysis paralysis." It could be said that I am a "Deep Thinker," prefering to contemplate subjects too complex (or boring) for most people.

Of course, I think different kinds of intelligence are useful at different times. When it comes to social interactions, I'm dumber than a bag of hair. But I can debate many complex subjects well. That kind of intelligence doesn't help much at parties or in the boardroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
BTW...Socrates was Plato's teacher; Plato, Aristotle's; and Aristotle, Alexander's. *Alexander the Great

Afterall, PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy.
 

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Being very smart in itself isn't a problem but it can be when there is a very wide intelligence gap. Communication is more difficult when you are talking to someone far less intelligent than yourself. The other person is likely to have trouble understanding you and as the smart one, you are likely to leave the conversation unsatisfied.
 

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Has anyone ever felt that being too smart may have caused them more problems than it has solved?
Only with women-- shit tests are successfully passed by dumbing it down caveman style, never with logic and reason.

In the big picture though, I'm inclined to follow Thomas Sowell and make a distinction between intellect and intelligence.

The capacity to grasp and manipulate complex ideas is enough to define intellect but not enough to encompass intelligence, which involves combining intellect with judgment and care in selecting relevant explanatory factors and in establishing empirical tests of any theory that emerges. Intelligence minus judgment equals intellect. Wisdom is the rarest quality of all– the ability to combine intellect, knowledge, experience, and judgment in a way to produce a coherent understanding. Wisdom is the fulfillment of the ancient admonition, “With all your getting, get understanding.” Wisdom requires self-discipline and an understanding of the realities of the world, including the limitations of one’s own experience and of reason itself. The opposite of intellect is dullness or slowness, but the opposite of wisdom is foolishness, which is far more dangerous. (Intellectuals and Society, p.2 )​
 

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I think you are misinterpreting. It's not smart what John Stuart Mill meant by Socrates. As far as I know Socrates was seeking wisdom - not knowledge. He was a wise men. John Stuart Mill meant "It's better to be dissatisfied in your quest for wisdom, than satisfied simply because you don't care." - or at least that's how I see it.
The saying 'ignorance is bliss' comes to mind.

Smart in terms of wisdom? I'll never be satisfied and am on an eternal quest for wisdom through learning and understanding anyting and everything in the universe that pricks my curiosity.

Nature or nurture though??? Right from around 5-6 years old, my teachers all wrote on my report cards "exceptionally mature for her age - old head on young shoulders" and that wasn't about knowledge.

What people see and identify as 'wisdom' could easily be the word applied to being able to assess a situation, identify and consider possible outcomes, consider all consequences of various outcomes, act accordingly AND be able to explain your actions and your thinking and rationale, which is watertight.
 

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John Stuart Mill said, "It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied." While it may be better, it is not easier...Has anyone ever felt that being too smart may have caused them more problems than it has solved?
Where to start? (Do forgive loose logic. These formulations are purely based up on my intuition)

1. The term "better" is loose if there is no fixed perspective given. ("better" is a goal-oriented term.)
If the goal is being intellectually more able, then yes.
-> My intuition says:
Humans are intellectually more able then pigs.

If the goal is to be happy, then likely no.
-> My intuition says:
Smart beings (in context of problem-solving) become smarter (more efficient problem solving) by solving more problems. A problem is not a problem unless it is acknowledged as problem. If one is not critical/skeptical, one will accept what is given without acknowledging problems in what is given, thus less number of problems to solve. Critical/skeptical nature generally does not readily correlate to happiness.


2. Being "too smart" causes more problems?
-> My intuition says:
If your solution generates more problems, that is a problem. A "too smart" person will not condone such non-optimal solution to be his/her solution.
If your solution caused more problems, then it was not an optimal solution and you weren't "too smart" to begin with. (In other words, your solution was a non-solution.)



Extras:

1.Given a problem, the number of logic steps taken can be the indicator of how efficiently you are solving the problem.

2. There is clear differences among "knowledge" and "processing efficiency" and "logic validity"
The first signifies where you are now (position).
The second signifies how fast you are moving (speed).
The third signifies where you are headed (directionality).
All three are vital to efficient problem solving (being smart).
(INTJs innately have high logic validity)
 

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I never thought that it was possible for anyone to be ''too smart.''

Even a really smart human being is capable of making the most unreasonable mistakes.
 
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