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Pseudo intelligence.

Should we rely on our own intelligence or should we pretend we know shit when we don't by using the internet to fill in gaps of information to seem more informed than we really are?

personally, relying on ones own intellect and knowledge is more honest during discussions and especially when making assertions on a topic. this is most noticeable on platforms like twitter where most people pretend they know what's what and make entirely uninformed assertions then get aggressively defensive when they are told they are wrong or misinformed.

I'm sure we've all seen the "banana" video from our favourite religious nutter Ken-blah blah blah-Ham. he pretends to know what a banana is, he asserts shit and it's entirely obvious he's wrong, human history shows he's wrong and the development of a wild banana shows he is wrong. it's this pseudo intelligence which I'm asking about with the general public, they see something, they have an opinion and disregard any and all new information just to perpetuate their mindset instead of growing as a person.

if I am sure I know something or have the ability to reason it out, I will do so with what I think I know. if I don't know, I won't google it just to seem like I know what I'm talking about and will admit ignorance on the subject. I will not pretend to know something because further questioning will show I'm relying on information I have not retained and have just regurgitated it from some online post.

so, should we allow pseudo intelligence to go unnoticed? am I being super picky and pedantic? is it wrong for me to think humans should take a lot more responsibility with the knowledge and information they share?

I put this under philosophy and meaning simply because, to me, any argument loses meaning or philosophical use when the person spreading it is just a mouth piece without any real understanding of what they say, thus ruining the minds of those who come across it.

WonderlandJail 4 Feb 13

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I post a lot of information or articles I find from publications I subscribe to. Much of this information either agrees with what I believe or is new to me. Often I post to see what others think. I don't feel that I am simply regurgitating someone else's ideas or viewpoint altho I have seen that this is a common practice.

I am addicted to reading and to taking classes. I love that I can continue to learn and am really put off by those who never had an idea after school or whose views are cast in stone. How can we grow if we don't venture out?


Being ignorant does equal a lack of intelligence. There are nine types of intelligence; some people have a few, some have one, some seem to have none.

I know nothing about rocket science, but I can discuss the symbolism in poetry and am an expert on the novel Frankenstein and archetypal myth.

Only 9?

OOOO-- we can discuss Shelly?
That sounds FUN, your sounds like a fine brain to pick!

Tell me, are you fond of this too?

"This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –"--E.D.

@Davesnothere I am not a big Dickinson fan. Like Willy Boy, I see her as being "over done." However, I do like this one. Eliot and HD are two of my favorite poets; The Wasteland is nearly impossible to understand because of the private symbolism Eliot uses, but that is one reason why I like it so much. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The Hollow Men" are, subjectively speaking, two of the best poems in existence.

Shelley's novel is underrated. When I was an undergrad in the 1970s, it was not taught in college courses because it was lowbrow. In 2000, though, part of my MA thesis was on the book.

@Gwendolyn2018 I always thought her clique, and the creation of the book quite interesting, as well as the work, especially in historical context.

Still I expect we could have many fine conversations

@Davesnothere Mary is an interesting person. She defied culture to get what she wanted, but she was not a feminist in the modern sense. Percy had some confluence on the novel, but it was her baby.

And perhaps we could.

@Gwendolyn2018 LMAO at the moment, here we discuss this, which is not a common topic of conversation, and when I go to my netflicks what do I see as new offerings?
The Frankeinstein Chronicles, a new Netflicks series.

You know an author hit a nerve when their work is done, and redone, and reinterpreted in every concievable fashion through history. Sometimes in interesting fashion but most times in a way i find ignorant of the originals depth.

BUT I will savor every drop, good or bad most likely, can't decide what I think until I give it that much right?

I've an Abby Normal Brain ya know

@Davesnothere I just saw that series offered on Netflix, as well. I will try to watch it, but I am easily disgusted at the inability of movie makers to comprehend what the novel is really about. I have an Abby Normal brain, too; sometimes, I also sing "Puttin' on the Ritz."

@Gwendolyn2018 To a true fan of Shelly, it is a sacrilige.
I TRY not to carry that baggage, the baggage of literature, to film, as the mediums are very different and the artists expression result from screedplays which are entirely different.
The costuming is fine . . .

@Davesnothere It is impossible not to carry the baggage. I will admit, though, I love the LOTR movies whereas purists were disgusted. It had been over 35 years since I had read them, and I forgot a lot of "stuff." Beowulf was a travesty, but movies such as The 13th Warrior and Grendel are ok because they are not different views/interpretation. The 13th Warrior is based on Crichton's Eaters of the Dead, but the movie was not bad.

@Gwendolyn2018 Grow Stronger 🙂

@Davesnothere I have.


I prefer to rely upon what I can solidly understand without help and remember off the top of my head. That's what I value, that's how I want to be, so that's how I do.

However anyone else does is up to them. Rather than guide people to my preferred standard of behavior, I'd rather let people disclose themselves to me by having the freedom to choose however they want to be. That way I can tell who I'm really impressed with and who is just going along.


Alright, I see what most people are saying. and mostly, you all make great points.

I wasn't suggesting there isn't a place to learn on the internet, nor was I suggesting you can't double check your thoughts. it's one thing to pop on google and briefly look at a wiki page to get some sort of reassurance you're on the right track, and it's another thing to do it to assert you know something.

an example on my part would be phonetically similar words, which I'm certain I know the meaning of, but if I get it wrong the whole context flies out the window, as a result, someone who relies on authority or people who seem to have authority, may just run with what that other person says and become a victim of ignorance from themselves and those they deem an authority on the subject.

I'm not a physicist, nor am I good with mathematics, but I have taken the time to teach myself and find teachers who can lend insight into a subject, giving me enough information to dig deeper.

someone mentioned teaching a class... if you're a teacher, your entire job is to encourage and spark curiosity in your students. if you can't do that, you shouldn't be teaching. I never had a good teacher, the best teacher I ever knew was myself. as soon as I didn't have school, I wanted to learn more of what I was denied.

it's one thing to tell others some regurgitated information, it's another to be able to actually talk about it. someone mentioned having reference books before the internet, and how the internet makes it easier... look, reference books are there when you have enough information to know where to look. you can't just think you need to know something and read every single book, cover to cover, looking for that little gem you need. this is how you're taught to research. know enough about your subject, and dig deeper. this is a process of learning, not a process of lying to yourself or others to seem like you know what you're saying.

this is why I'm asking the question. I'm not sure if I'm on the right train of thought and I figured dropping the question here would spark some sense of what I need to improve in myself and if I am alone in it. without any real opinions leaning toward answers, to my yes or no question, instead to be given mostly anecdotes, I have no further insight than before I asked.

should it be ignored and allowed to persist? what do you know about surviving in the wild? can you tell the time from your own knowledge or do you need the internet? do you know which tools are best used and created in the wild? which foods to eat, what is and isn't dangerous?

I've lived in the wild, without internet or society on my side. I had to use intuition and bravery in order to trust what it is I think I know. do you know where to find water and how to make sure it won't kill you? this pseudo intelligence is a dangerous road to let it go unchecked. it's all fine and dandy that we have created our own living spaces, we're safe from seriously dangerous predators. if society collapsed tomorrow, would you be truly ready to employ your intelligence, or will you rely on other people to be smart enough and nice enough to be the ones who keep you alive?

I say we shouldn't let idiots pretend they know shit. I don't want to be an idiot, I don't want to think what I know is right. I want to be corrected, improved and encouraged to learn more about almost every single subject there is. it's not about detailed memorisation, it's mostly about the willingness to accept your knowledge is limited. how limited it is, depends on the people around you and vice versa for the people you are around. I'm mentally prepared to scavenge, collect, create and adapt to pretty much anything. what I'm not prepared to do is let other people pretend they know something and say it with such confidence, it could harm other people later.

I think this is summed up in a story about a large building, hall, town centre (I forget the name and place) which, when built, was sturdy and really well built. I think it was in england too. the council / leaders told the architect to put columns in the building to support the ceiling, basically pretending they knew it need support, but the architect denied the need for them. after being forced to make columns anyway, the architect purposefully made them slightly short of touch the ceiling. he tried explaining why he was right and they refused to listen. to this day, the columns still do not support the ceiling and thus have proven that knowledge is power.

pseudo intellect and pseudo knowledge wasted time and money because they thought they knew better. if they had succeeded in getting what they wanted, we would be even more ignorant of an obvious truth about construction and the brilliant mind of a great architect. if the architect allowed that pseudo intelligence to persevere, we would be listening to half baked understandings and half known truths from people who are only halfwits. wouldn't you be super proud if you could defy authority like that and still be right years down the line.


I think intelligence is the ability to find and accurately make use of knowledge. If that involves looking something up on the Internet then I don't see that as making intelligence less legitimate. It doesn't really matter if I knew something already or was able to come up to speed quickly in the moment -- so long as I accurately understand the topic and can engage meaningfully with it.

I may be somewhat conditioned to this because in the pre-Internet era, like all software developers, I had a big bookcase full of thick reference books and example code and so forth, and now I don't because I can Google all that far more efficiently and up-to-date anyway. I don't clutter my mind with detailed memorized lists; why should I do that, or take the time to memorize things, when Google or Bing can serve that office? In what way were my paper reference books representative of superior intellect, when they were less complete, less up to date, and less efficient to access?

In most of my work, and in most of my online interactions, I know enough to get by, and doing quick research is a way of confirming my recollection or finding a factoid that I don't use on a regular basis.

Finally, I don't need to prove anything about my intelligence and apart from my paying clients I don't much care what anyone thinks of it. I just care about participating effectively to my own satisfaction. I don't think we should be judging other's intelligence as more or less genuine so long as their arguments are accurate and use valid reasoning.


I'm not going to refer to the net or any other resources for anything much more complex than a definition or one page summary. I'm an artist who got off the "science short bus" my freshman year. The absolute devotion I briefly had to chemistry died when I found out the disciplined life I'd have to live as a researcher.

So the world is less one environmental doctor who planned to make designer drugs in his spare time. I was already a "local legend" musician and, at 17, partying was much more attractive than studying so college could wait three more years.

I'm also an apathetic agnostic so I have no "platform" I need to assert or protect. Except maybe I like chocolate. Or I'm very annoyed by pseudointellectuals who want to assert their complete knowledge of the unknowable.

In case you were wondering...

idk, idc & idm: The Apathetic Agnostic


I don't care what someone looks up online. I don't think it makes you look smarter to prove that you have memorized a bunch of information. Being able to reliably find the information you need is just as important, maybe even more important.

Also, Ken Ham was not that banana man that made the claims about the perfection of bananas proving god, that was Ray Comfort.

ah shit, of course. ham is the boat dude. no matter, it's not like one is more respectable than the other. they both fell from the same biblical idiot tree.

@WonderlandJail Agreed. I think they hit more than their fair share of branches on the way down.


Hmm...seems a bit picky and control freaky of you.
I don't care why people look up information on google, as long as they are learning something.
I even used to TRICK my students into learning, using curiosity

I'd bring a novel like Anna Karenina to work when I was a sub teacher in two eastern KY counties. I'd sit in front of the class while students were doing their boring "busywork" assignments left by the regular teacher to amuse them.

Then I'd gasp and react to the first chapter, saying things barely aloud, like, "NO! Not with the children's tutor! What will she do NOW? "

After a bit, the high school girls would start getting curious but I'd act like it was not for children.."No, no, its about a guy cheating on his wife, so his married sister comes to help his wife forgive him, but she falls in love with a handsome army officer, and they start this she finds out she's pregnant..

By then the girls would have rushed to the front and begun fighting over the novel, which I would relinquish reluctantly, then start the whole thing again with another book, or newspaper get the boys stampeding to the front.

"What? Ashley Judd is only wearing a football jersey in this photo op?"


I have a lot of shit in my head, I kill on trivia nights, in the past I had reference books and many books of my own notes as I couldn't keep all the minute details in my head. Now my notes are on my hard drive and the net is my reference source. I recommend (for me anyway) a mix, I use what I know as a starting point, and then especially when dealing with a professional, say a medical specialist I would double check myself before getting too in depth.


I agree with you for many discussions. Particularly when it is an honest given and take discussion.

Often when a discussion becomes adversarial then evidence is required. I have to say that I have not encountered that so much on this site. The problem is that in scientific discussions people will demand "evidence" so then is fair to google? I have to say yes.

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