Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Acting dumb

doing 'brain exercises' such as (sudoku)... can make us all up to 40 per cent cleverer within seven days, according to research (reported in) a BBC programme this week. Observer yesterday.

If IQ is so malleable then this blows any previous research on IQ and genetics (and IQ and socialisation) out of the water. Because the variations associated with (stuff like) twin studies, race studies, richness of language, are variations of a few tens of points at the most.

What this research would imply is that a short-term change in attitude (some kind of energetic engagement) produces quick gains that dwarf this subtle variance.

I often feel that intelligence doesn't vary as much as it appears to. Or, to be blunt, people aren't really as stupid as they act. I think being stupid is a role that people play: it presents them as non-threatening within a social hierarchy.This is why it grates me when women act dumb. I feel like saying 'pull yourself together luv'.

Funnily enough (hem hem) I don't feel this way about myself. Oh no, when I'm thinking about myself my ego says, it's not a question of pretending, it's a question of not trying. Like at work, being bored, making a mistake. Blending into the Gemeinschaft.

In short I do exactly the same thing - acting dumb - that I get annoyed about in other people. And my guess is that everyone does. The optimistic corollory is that when we try we can act much cleverer than that.

One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn't understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid. He was renowned for being amazingly clever and quite clearly was so - but not all the time, which obviously worried him, hence the act. He proffered people to be puzzled rather than contemptuous. This above all appeared to Trillian to be genuinely stupid.

One of my favourite paragraphs in anything.
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