[Discussion] Is intelligence a curse?

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C

Cat

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Everything revolves around money. You gotta work hard so you can play hard. Feed the machine until you die, then your children will, and so on. I realize that might sound very bleak, but that's how I see it. What do you think?
I agree, although we can always try to not follow this pattern ourselves. For example, maybe you don't need to work too hard to have a life that is enjoyable enough for you?
 
athousandsorrows

athousandsorrows

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Self-awareness at its finest. All of the highest truths are a double-edged sword, they make you experience both sweetness and sadness.
reminded me of Vanilla Sky- Can't appreciate the sweet without the sour ...
 
Severen

Severen

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I've been thinking about this recently, and I wonder if it makes any sense to you, guys and gals. I read somewhere that intelligent people tend to be more dissatisfied in life than less intelligent people. This makes sense to me. If you're intelligent enough to know your life sucks, then you know it COULD be better, and just knowing that is enough to depress you. If you're lucky enough to be in a situation where actual change is possible and doable, then you can change it. But, if you're in a situation where it's impossible to change anything, or where you've tried to change it so many times you just feel like a broken vase that's been glued back together a million times and now you can't even make out the design that you had in the first place, then you feel hopeless and you want to end it.

Knowing you have choices is also excruciatingly painful, at least for me. I often think if I didn't know all the possibilities, and I were convinced that this is how life is supposed to be, nowhere else to go, then I would be content, right? If I knew from the second I was born that my life was going to be so and so, and there is NO WAY to make it different, then there would be nothing to feel sad about, right? When you know you have a million choices to make, and you've made some that turned out horribly, and you're afraid because you KNOW every choice you make could make it all so much worse, then you panic.

What do you think about this? And, is there a way to dumb yourself down? Other than abusing alcohol or drugs. I don't want to die an alcoholic, because of my personal story, but I would like to be stupider, to not know all that is out there and just be content with whatever comes my way. Is that a possibility at all?
Human beings having choices is a myth. We are all slaves to causality. Everything you did in your lifetime, couldn't have been avoided. We are all puppets with strings. You were destined to have this life. You were forced into a role in this movie called life and forced to follow a script, that's it... We are not much different from robots, programmed to exist the way the programmers wanted them to exist.
 
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R

RedHarlequin

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Im stupid af and I think this is contributing to my depression. I work with a lot of smart people and always feel like crap at work because I constatnly forget things even though I spend most of my free time studying while others pick up things easily and spend their free time actually enjoying life. I also feel like I just get in the way of my collegues being productive, so that kind of makes them hate me. If I were more intelligent I would be able to feel more confident at work, contribute and it would also probably be easier to make friends.
On the other hand, I really have no idea what it feels like to be intelligent, maybe it is also depressing when everyone around you is stupid and there is nothing you can do about it just facepalm.
 
athousandsorrows

athousandsorrows

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Im stupid af and I think this is contributing to my depression. I work with a lot of smart people and always feel like crap at work because I constatnly forget things even though I spend most of my free time studying while others pick up things easily and spend their free time actually enjoying life. I also feel like I just get in the way of my collegues being productive, so that kind of makes them hate me. If I were more intelligent I would be able to feel more confident at work, contribute and it would also probably be easier to make friends.
On the other hand, I really have no idea what it feels like to be intelligent, maybe it is also depressing when everyone around you is stupid and there is nothing you can do about it just facepalm.
Why do you feel stupid? Stupid seems like a very strong word to me. I think stupid people are, for example and in my opinion, people who hurt animals, or others with no regards to anything. That's effing stupid. Or people who have things right in front of them and are being asked for help and do nothing. I don't know, I just woke up and my brain is still scrambled eggs, but I don't think you're stupid at all. Being a little slower than the rest to learn something has nothing to do with intelligence, in my opinion. Heck, I'm considered to be intelligent, but put me in front of a piano and I can't play it, and it seems as though I have two left hands. Does that make me stupid? No, it doesn't. I'm just slower to learn the piano because unfortunately I wasn't born with that gift. I guess my point is to be realistic about yourself, too. I get it that when we feel down (and we all do) we attack ourselves, also echoing the attacks of others, but such a declaration only hurts you. Perhaps the line of work you've chosen is not the one that's ideal for your skills, and that happens all the time and way too often (because we need money we'll work on anything), so we think there's something wrong with us, but truly we're just not doing the right thing and society is made in such a way that we really have no time to figure out what we're good at or even like before we have to start "adulting" and paying bills.
Anyway, a hug to you!!!
 
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athousandsorrows

athousandsorrows

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Human beings having choices is a myth. We are all slaves to causality. Everything you did in your lifetime, couldn't have been avoided. We are all puppets with strings. You were destined to have this life. You were forced into a role in this movie called life and forced to follow a script, that's it... We are not much different from robots, programmed to exist the way the programmers wanted them to exist.
Do you really believe that? I mean, on the one hand, I want to believe it because if I'm being perfectly honest, that takes away responsibility for my shitty choices, and it's a bit of a relief. But, on the other hand, it also seems like an excuse to get away with anything and everything. I don't know ... I'm still mauling it over. Who knows, perhaps the theory is true and there's really no point in even arguing anything because everything's been pre-set or pre-written somehow. Perhaps choice really is just an illusion. In any case, since I'm not a scientist and have no brain for the field, I (personally) will never truly know, so that kinda sucks, too.
 
NoLifeNoPain

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I think people with low IQs or little knowledge are less aware of the crap of this world so they have an easier time to go with the flow. If they do start questioning sometime why some things aren't right and consider suicide, they'll just be hypnotized by a authority figure to think they're in fact the ones who are wrong, life is not bad yada yada.
 
Severen

Severen

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Do you really believe that? I mean, on the one hand, I want to believe it because if I'm being perfectly honest, that takes away responsibility for my shitty choices, and it's a bit of a relief. But, on the other hand, it also seems like an excuse to get away with anything and everything. I don't know ... I'm still mauling it over. Who knows, perhaps the theory is true and there's really no point in even arguing anything because everything's been pre-set or pre-written somehow. Perhaps choice really is just an illusion. In any case, since I'm not a scientist and have no brain for the field, I (personally) will never truly know, so that kinda sucks, too.
Do you know this fable?

"A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies that it was in its nature to do so."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scorpion_and_the_Frog
 
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Imaginos

Imaginos

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Absolutely. Intelligence as far as I'm concerned is just another another tragic example of a pseudo-Fisherian runaway with us lowly human beasts being the hapless victims. Peter Wessel Zapffe's musings on the "Irish elk" is perhaps the most famous example made to this effect A creature whose antlers got so ridiculously large via the unconscious forces of natural selection that the whole species died out as a result. We actually can still see the same thing happening today, albeit to less of an extreme. Such as with lobsters whose claws get too big for them to even lift, or peacocks whose plumage is so long & intricate that they have no hope of outrunning predators. It really goes to show how braindead the natural process really is. Like a broken assembly line that spits out anything & everything until something sticks. Nature knows best? More like nature knows nothing. In each case, a biological feature was selected for again & again & again like a machine with faulty programming until eventually it became a direct and extremely damaging facet of the animal's physiology. Here we have human "intelligence", although I hesitate to even call it that in the first place, in a nutshell. A complete accident, that happened for no other reason than that the process of evolution is an inefficient, directionless, and unconscious mess.

I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.

Rust Cohle - True Detective
The piece begins with a fable of a stoneage hunter who, as he leaves his cave at night, is stricken by pity for his prey and has a fatal existential crisis. This is a parable resonating with two archetypical tales of Western culture. Firstly, it recalls the Allegory of the Cave in Plato’s Republic, which also relates the eyeopening exit of a cave; secondly, it alludes to that origin myth of moral sentiment, the Fall of Man in Genesis. Zapffe chimes in with an exegesis to the effect that his caveman was a man who knew too much. Evolution, he argues, overdid its act when creating the human brain, akin to how a contemporary of the hunter, a deer misnamed the ‘Irish elk’, became moribund by its increasingly oversized antlers. For humans can perceive that each individual being is an ephemeral eddy in the flow of life, subjected to brute contingencies on his or her way to annihilation. Yet only rarely do persons lose their minds through this realisation, as our brains have evolved a strict regime of self-censorship – better known as ‘civilisation.’ Betraying a debt to Freud, Zapffe expands on how “most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness.” So, ‘isolation’ is the repression of grim facts by a code of silence; ‘anchoring,’ the stabilising attachment to specific ends; ‘distraction,’ the continuous stream of divertive impressions; and ‘sublimation,’ the conversion of anguish into uplifting pursuits, like literature and art. The discussion is sprinkled with allusions to the fate of Nietzsche: the poster case, as it were, of seeing too much for sanity.

The View from Mount Zapffe - Philosophy Now
 
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Imaginos

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Not only that, but we've demonstrably proved as a species, and are still currently proving, that intelligence, while not only being an existential burden, is also a lethal mutation not just for us, but for the biosphere itself. I can guaran-fucking-tee you that humans won't be around by the end of this century. People, even here, really, and I mean REALLY, don't understand how fucking apocalyptic climate change will be, and already has been to a large amount of lifeforms on this planet. We're living in the age of the Anthropocene, which in turn is driving the sixth greatest mass extinction event on Earth. We're currently 1.5 degrees Celsius above the planetary baseline and are on track to be at somewhere between 4-6 in the coming decades, or perhaps even higher. That may not sound like much I know, but believe me. The difference between 1.5C & 5C is literally the difference between a living planet & a dead one. The kinds of atrocities we're likely to see in the midst of all this will dwarf anything in our collective history, making even the holocaust seem like a minor incident by comparison. A blue ocean event in particular (ice free summer, or longer in the Arctic) is in the cards to happen very, VERY soon (at the latest being 2020). I can't even begin to put into words how much of a massive tipping point that will be for the planet to cope with. Think of it like when the Titanic finally snapped in two as it was sinking. There's simply no coming back from that and the catastrophic changes that will slowly, but surely happen as a result will be staggering to see unfold. As the late Leonard Cohen once said "I've seen the future, brother. It is murder".


 
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Justanotherconsumer

Justanotherconsumer

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Not only that, but we've demonstrably proved as a species, and are still currently proving, that intelligence, while not only being an existential burden, is also a lethal mutation not just for us, but for the biosphere itself. I can guaran-fucking-tee you that humans won't be around by the end of this century. People, even here, really, and I mean REALLY, don't understand how fucking apocalyptic climate change will be, and already has been to a large amount of lifeforms on this planet. We're living in the age of the Anthropocene, which in turn is driving the sixth greatest mass extinction event on Earth. We're currently 1.5 degrees Celsius above the planetary baseline and are on track to be at somewhere between 4-6 in the coming decades, or perhaps even higher. That may not sound like much I know, but believe me. The difference between 1.5C & 5C is literally the difference between a living planet & a dead one. The kinds of atrocities we're likely to see in the midst of all this will dwarf anything in our collective history, making even the holocaust seem like a minor incident by comparison. A blue ocean event in particular (ice free summer, or longer in the Arctic) is in the cards to happen very, VERY soon (at the latest being 2020). I can't even begin to put into words how much of a massive tipping point that will be for the planet to cope with. Think of it like when the Titanic finally snapped in two as it was sinking. There's simply no coming back from that and the catastrophic changes that will slowly, but surely happen as a result will be staggering to see unfold. As the late Leonard Cohen once said "I've seen the future, brother. It is murder".


Global warming and ice ages have been going on a long long time in Arizona there are seashells imbedded in the rock and petrified wood stumps in the desert. 640,000 years ago the co2 levels were higher than they are today. These Extinction events happen, yes we are causing our own demise by burning carbon based fuels and by all scientific accounts even if we stopped all carbon burning now the acidity in the ocean will rise and most plankton will die. But eventually the ocean will absorb the co2 over 10's of thousands of years. Water world may not be far off.
 
Severen

Severen

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Absolutely. Intelligence as far as I'm concerned is just another another tragic example of a pseudo-Fisherian runaway with us lowly human beasts being the hapless victims. Peter Wessel Zapffe's musings on the "Irish elk" is perhaps the most famous example made to this effect A creature whose antlers got so ridiculously large via the unconscious forces of natural selection that the whole species died out as a result. We actually can still see the same thing happening today, albeit to less of an extreme. Such as with lobsters whose claws get too big for them to even lift, or peacocks whose plumage is so long & intricate that they have no hope of outrunning predators. It really goes to show how braindead the natural process really is. Like a broken assembly line that spits out anything & everything until something sticks. Nature knows best? More like nature knows nothing. In each case, a biological feature was selected for again & again & again like a machine with faulty programming until eventually it became a direct and extremely damaging facet of the animal's physiology. Here we have human "intelligence", although I hesitate to even call it that in the first place, in a nutshell. A complete accident, that happened for no other reason than that the process of evolution is an inefficient, directionless, and unconscious mess.





A lot of people don't realize that natural selection isn't something that works by ensuring the universe will eventually create the perfect beings when it comes to strength, intelligence, beauty etc... But merely, software programmed to ensure the universe keeps creating whatever shit that can survive and pass on it's DNA.
 
Imaginos

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640,000 years ago the co2 levels were higher than they are today
Co2 has been higher in the past yes, but you also have to take in to account the, explosively high rate of Co2, and other greenhouse gases (such as methane), that are being currently dumped into the atmosphere. Compared to the PETM (a rate of extreme warming about 56 million years ago), humans are releasing 10 times more carbon. Every. Single. Year. The Permian-Triassic extinction event however, (or Great Dying, as it's sometimes referred to) puts the PETM to shame. The P-Tr exterminated 97% of all life and is the only known extinction event to have wiped out almost all insects. How did this happen you might ask? Well, believe it or not, but the P-Tr, the worst known extinction event in Earth's planetary history, was, in fact, caused by a runaway greenhouse effect, almost exactly similar to the kind that's happening today. In the P-Tr's case, the Siberian Traps (a long chain of ancient volcanoes) erupted, putting out trillions of tons of Co2. There is also a lot of evidence that their flood basalts managed to hit huge coal deposits, causing them to burn up as well. The eruptions also promoted the growth of methane-producing bacteria by fertilizing the oceans with nickel. Ocean ecosystems were disrupted by the dramatic climate change and ocean acidification kicked off by all that extra Co2 in the air and then the toxic volcanic gases and coal ash coming from the Siberian Traps just made things worse. The oceans reached a tipping point where the methane-producing bacteria found an increasingly fertile environment, leading to a huge population boom. This lead to more methane going into the air & water, which led to more warming / ecosystem disruption and MORE methane going into the air & water which eventually made the oceans a hot, soupy mess of archae mostly devoid of oxygen. And here we are SURPASSING every single factor that led to the P-Tr happening in the first place. Keep in mind as well that the P-Tr took place over a course of tens of thousands of years. We've long overtaken it in only a couple hundred years of industrial activity. If that statement alone doesn't knock you right over onto your ass then I don't know what will. To say that hell on Earth is coming is a massive understatement. The reality will be much, much worse. Just another reason for one to kill themselves, I suppose. Get out while the getting's good, so to speak. Or, if you can, just sit back and enjoy the show. What a privilege it will be to see the curtain finally come down on all this horror.


These Extinction events happen, yes we are causing our own demise by burning carbon based fuels and by all scientific accounts even if we stopped all carbon burning now the acidity in the ocean will rise and most plankton will die.
Ocean acidification has already sealed the fate of the world's oceans. The last time the oceans got this acidic, this fast (P-Tr) 96% of all marine life went extinct. And again, we're doing it AT A RATE ONE THOUSAND TIMES FASTER THAN THE P-Tr FUCKING DID! To say the oceans will be an anoxic soup of toxic sludge before the end of this century is pretty much like saying the sun will rise tomorrow. Over half of the ocean's marine biodiversity has already vanished. Corral reefs the world over, one of the richest sources of marine biodiversity, are critically bleached turning them into barren underwater graveyards. Extinction rates overall are happening at 1000 times the natural background rate. Amphibians in particular are experiencing extinction rates at 45,000 times their natural speed. The fact of the matter is we, as a species, have committed suicide. Our greed & myopia led us off the cliff a long time ago. Pathetic yes, but at least we're sterilizing the planet before we go.

But eventually the ocean will absorb the co2 over 10's of thousands of years.
Do you really know what that means, though? Do you have any idea of the nightmarish wasteland that this will look like? On a world 5C above pre-industrial levels, the oceans will be effectively dead and we'll be seeing "dead zones" (areas devoid of oxygen everywhere). Also, oxygen producing phytoplankton (the main lung of the Earth) will be extinct (thanks to all that carbonic acid having been absorbed by the oceans). Afterwards comes a total collapse of ocean circulation, and a two thousand year interval for the ocean basins to go completely anoxic and stew with sulfur-loving organisms. Then, allow another 500 years for the photosynthetic zone to fill with green & purple sulfur bacteria. This will, again, essentially all lead to a repeat of the "P-Tr" (Great Dying). The Earth will basically become a toxic soup of ionizing radiation from nuclear reactors gone into meltdown due to the lack of maintenance given the absence of any sort of organized human life and hydrogen sulfide being spewed from the now dead oceans. That's what 5C, or higher, really means.

I forgot to mention, that there's also the "Clathrate Gun" element in play here. Methane hydrates, aka clathrates, which tend to become unstable during periods of rapid climate warming. They store trillions of tons of methane, and when they start to disintegrate, they become a HUGE positive feedback in the climate system, causing more warming and more methane release. If the climate warming is slow, then the methane doesn't have a chance to build up in the atmosphere all that much. But if the climate changes too fast for the biosphere to adapt, then you're in deep fucking shit. Like throwing a tanker full of gasoline on an already towering inferno.




A lot of people don't realize that natural selection isn't something that works by ensuring the universe will eventually create the perfect beings when it comes to strength, intelligence, beauty etc... But merely, software programmed to ensure the universe keeps creating whatever shit that can survive and pass on it's DNA.
Yep. Evolution is an unconscious engine of pain that isn't going in any direction whatsoever. If it's "perfecting" anything, it's the many tools that each organism has to inflict pain, whether it be on one another or even on the creature itself just by its mere survival. Your comfort as an organism is simply not a requirement for DNA replication. This world won't be missed. Good fucking riddance.

 
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Numbtopain97

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Intelligence becomes a curse when you start noticing every single thing wrong with this World in details.
 
a_strange_day

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from my experience people who are genuinely intelligent can see things more objectively, especially their own stupidity
I started to be slightly less stupid from the day I stopped believing I was the only one who could understant how the world should work
 
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riverstyx

riverstyx

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It's not a simple yes no question. It's really up to the individual how they choose to live their life, and how they use the resources life and nature has given them.

A high IQ can certainly be a blessing if you use it to get a STEM degree, or start a successful business.

Sure, the world is quite insane seen through an intelligent persons eyes. The question is, do you capitalize on other peoples stupidity or do you despair?
 
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Vegrau

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It's not a simple yes no question. It's really up to the individual how they choose to live their life, and how they use the resources life and nature has given them.

A high IQ can certainly be a blessing if you use it to get a STEM degree, or start a successful business.

Sure, the world is quite insane seen through an intelligent persons eyes. The question is, do you capitalize on other peoples stupidity or do you despair?
If you put it like that then it became a moral questions. To take advantage of everyone else with your intellect or fall into despair knowing the world could be so much better for everyone else. Or to know that no matter how hard you work. How much you do. It wont amount to the collective madness of this place.
 
I

IveHadEnough

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I've been thinking about this recently, and I wonder if it makes any sense to you, guys and gals. I read somewhere that intelligent people tend to be more dissatisfied in life than less intelligent people. This makes sense to me. If you're intelligent enough to know your life sucks, then you know it COULD be better, and just knowing that is enough to depress you. If you're lucky enough to be in a situation where actual change is possible and doable, then you can change it. But, if you're in a situation where it's impossible to change anything, or where you've tried to change it so many times you just feel like a broken vase that's been glued back together a million times and now you can't even make out the design that you had in the first place, then you feel hopeless and you want to end it.

Knowing you have choices is also excruciatingly painful, at least for me. I often think if I didn't know all the possibilities, and I were convinced that this is how life is supposed to be, nowhere else to go, then I would be content, right? If I knew from the second I was born that my life was going to be so and so, and there is NO WAY to make it different, then there would be nothing to feel sad about, right? When you know you have a million choices to make, and you've made some that turned out horribly, and you're afraid because you KNOW every choice you make could make it all so much worse, then you panic.

What do you think about this? And, is there a way to dumb yourself down? Other than abusing alcohol or drugs. I don't want to die an alcoholic, because of my personal story, but I would like to be stupider, to not know all that is out there and just be content with whatever comes my way. Is that a possibility at all?
I don't think so. Honestly I'm dumb as a rock and this hasn't made life not a bit easier for me. Being stupid is a big stress, people constantly expect you to be smart/average in all this, and start to despise you if you don't fit. And yeah, lack of choice isn't something really pleasant for most of us...
 
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