Intellectuals needn’t be smart, though they can be. Tegridy Farms doing Cocaine Friends TV show shirt, sweater What distinguishes an intellectual from an “Average Joe” is that the intellectual lives a life of the mind. He loves thinking about and discussing heady concepts and abstract ideas, whether he discusses them smartly or stupidly. For some people, ideas are mostly of use if they’re applicable to some real-life tasks. I actually prefer ideas that are free-floating, which are “just interesting.” It never occurs to me to ask, “Okay, but what’s the point of this?” The IDEA is the point. My experience is that most “real-life” conversation is centered around that sort of “noise,” and in fact, it’s not noise in those conversations. What I’m calling noise is the whole point, and the intellectual ideas (if there are any) are just there to get the social-ball rolling.
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There’s noise on Quora, but there’s the Tegridy Farms doing Cocaine Friends TV show shirt, sweater POSSIBILITY of true, intellectual discourse. And for me, that’s where the crack comes in. When someone holds out that possibility to me, I react like a dog that sees someone holding out the bacon. Whump! I’m on it. And I don’t want to let go of it. And, of course, the other acid test is whether your goal is to discuss or to be right. Does it fascinate you or irritate you when someone points out a flaw in your argument? I love it, because it gives me a chance to refine my argument or discard it, either of which will bring me closer to real insight! Which is orgasmic for me.