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Lonerism and social compatibility

  1. Jan 23, 2007 #1


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    Recently I commented that there seem to be very many threads about pets, perhaps too many. A response I got basically told me I should accept it or go elsewhere.

    Well I've been thinking about this and because exceptional people are exceptions and thereby few in number and usually unique in some aspect, we might say that they would typically not have anywhere to go, or at least not easily find a group which is socially compatible with themselves.

    I think that it would be fair to say that these two dynamics are at odds, intelligence versus social compatibility. Like Say's law in economics, we might imagine that people would typically inhabit the region where the two lines meet. (Picture the supply/demand graph but imagine social compatibility is to the left and intellectuality is to the right). I would say that loneliness can drive philosophising but also that philosophising can drive loniless.

    And many do follow one of the extremes of this system: many forgo the intellectual as far as possible apart from practical concerns, however it seems that hardly any forgo the social in favour of the intellectual. In fact, this is seen by most as a flaw, that too much intelligence is a bad thing, when really I think one can't separate the two forces: perhaps an extremely intelligent person would tend to be lonely but is that because their intelligence made them socially incompatible or because their social incompatibility drove them to the intellectual instead?

    And really, this common pragmatic concession to practicality in education is a symptom of the biased situation that we find ourselves in: the majority are on the social side of this equilibrium.

    I think the distance between these two sides can be reduced, but only by the socialites learning to accept the loners and the loners learning to put up with the socialites. I think both have to make improvements, but before fingers start pointing, we should probably look at the situation a little closer.

    Unfortunately, it seems to me that many who are on the intellectual side move that way because they wish to take advantage of those to the left of themselves. Having become more intelligent, they then seek to use that power to control others. An unfortunate result of that process is that these users don't have any interest in moving the balance to the right, they merely wish for many people to be to the left of them.

    So in fact, those intellectuals who wish to bring about a shift to the right must work not only against those socialites who seek recognition from their peers but also those who seek to lead those followers for their own purposes.

    Certainly the situation is skewed at present, and another hurdle is that the social bias feeds back because the young are brought up in that same environment where lonerism is shunned, where using one's brain should only be done for practical reasons. This feedback loop must be slowed, and a good place to do that would be via the media, but of course the media is run by the power-craving right (those intellectuals who want to control).

    So I think the plan of attack must be against those who seek to control, those who use the intellect as a tool of control. The only way I think it can be done is for those of us who are aware of the situation to lead by example. Those of us who choose the intellectual for it's own worth must be staunch in our pride. We are intellectuals, we choose it before the social. For us, the social is subordinate to the intellectual.

    But again I make the point that we must extend our understanding to those who choose the social. To those that choose the social acceptance and comfort of religion we must not be offensive or mocking. We must show that ours is a good life, not one where we need ridicule others or pat ourselves on the back but one whereby we live fulfilling lives, in peace with others.

    We are not better but merely different. 'Better' is an extremely subjective term, almost entirely useless. Between any two groups, the subject group is typically considered to be better. This elementary distinction between better and worse is that whereby the controllers derive their power, and nothing can alienate people quicker than telling them you are better than they are.

    Our task is not to alienate but to come together in mutual respect. I don't think tolerance is sufficient; only by showing respect can bridges be built. By showing respect, we show an alternative which will be worthwhile for many.

    Let me end with a quote from Epictetus' Enchiridion:

    Let us show the digested results of our intellectual choice.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2007 #2


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    She was just being facetious. :tongue: This is why smilies are so important. And you can't have too many threads about pets, they're a huge part of most of our lives. :approve:

    not to mention it was my kitten thread :devil:

    There are too many reasons why people choose not to be "sociable". They may want to socialize, but are too shy. They may feel superior or inferior to the "group". They may not like the people in the group. They might prefer activities they do alone, like read, to "hanging out" with a group. They may have phobias that make socializing difficult, if not impossible. I need to work on this response more when I have more time.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  4. Jan 23, 2007 #3
    Most people who choose the social path know that they are missing out on certain benefits, and that they are avoiding certain struggles.

    The problem is that when they think of the struggles, they exagerate them, and when the think of the benefits they underestimate them. This is the problem that the saying "journey..10,000 miles...begins...single step" is attempting to correct, that you will never know X if you do not try X and that as soon as you try X (X being some reasonably common human activity) you will find that the downsides of X are not as bad as you originally thought, and that the benefits of X are in fact concrete.

    Although I agree with you that "...we should not mock" and that we should "show the digested results of our intellectual choice" I think this is only a partial solution at best.

    You may be interested in Confucian philosophy. It is historically the most successful attempt to convince the mainstream that the power to effect others comes from being a good person.

    All that needs to be done is to make intellectualism sexy, and all that takes are the appropriate role models.
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