Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Stupidity is written on the face but genius is not

  1. May 20, 2012 #1
    in the movie amadeus salerie asked himself if he could identify mozart from among the 100 guests because perhaps genius is written on the face. much to his surprise he found out that it was not when he saw a crude mozart, giggling on the floor, telling dirty jokes. i have the same feeling. when i watch documentaries of these ingenious physicists, steven weinberg, michael green, edward witten, michio kaku, lisa randall to name just a few perfectly at random, they look like completely ordinary people, nothing special about them, no genius is written on the face. on the other hand, sometimes you can tell someone is stupid just by looking at them. i realize that it's not politically correct to say that, but it's true.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    How do you know a genius is not just making a stupid face? Or he just got back from the dentist?
  4. May 20, 2012 #3
    you don't have to be right 100% of the time. it's just a general trend. socrates looks rather stupid.
  5. May 20, 2012 #4
    I look pretty stupid when I wake up
  6. May 21, 2012 #5
    What's not politically correct? To say someone is stupid, or to say you can tell they're stupid by their face?

    The first is easily fixed by replacing "stupid" with, "of lower than average intelligence." Suddenly it is PC.
  7. May 21, 2012 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    :bugeye: Preposterous!
  8. May 21, 2012 #7
    Prove that it's preposterous.
  9. May 21, 2012 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I once knew someone who I thought was very stupid. Facial features were classic idiot. Massive under-bite. Cheeks that looked like he had a pound of tobacco on each side. Low Brow. Borderline microcephalic. Eyes with no expression. Talked like an imbecile.

    One day I was talking to him, and it struck me that he had a perfect comprehension of the world around him. He wasn't an idiot at all. He just acted that way. It was a facade to match his features.

    I thought it was very strange, and very sad, that there might have been a possibility that he acted like an idiot, because that was what the world had projected onto him his entire life, because he had stupidity written on his face.

    Anyways, here's something written by someone, anomalous in a different way:
  10. May 21, 2012 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    P1: preposterous is defined as contrary to reason
    P2: an effective sum of all statements that excludes a disclaimer specifying the confidence and value of the expected outcome (or set of outcomes) is only true if all of it's elements are true.
    P3: a false statement is contrary to reason.

    C: A set of statements which contains one or more false statements is :bugeye: preposterous!
  11. May 21, 2012 #10


    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    "you don't have to be right all the time is preposterous"

    P1: preposterous means contrary to reason
    P2: "you don't have to" implies "you don't have to, to live comfortably"
    P3: I have to be right 100% of the time to live comfortably
    C: Not being right 100% of the time is :bugeye: preposeterous!
  12. May 21, 2012 #11
    You're committing the fallacy of equivocation. You're using the word preposterous in a very narrow technical sense, you're not using it in it's popular usage. When you're making generalization about humanity there are always going to be exceptions. Take any simple slogan that attempts to capture some truth about humanity and there will be a host of exceptions to it. Let's take one chosen virtually at random: freedom isn't free. For many people that are born with silver spoons in their mouth, freedom is tantamount to free, meaning they barely had to lift one finger to obtain a broad range of freedom.

    And by the way, if you think I care about a tedious debate regarding the meaning of preposterous, you're wrong, this is far as I go with you.
  13. May 21, 2012 #12
    So, you lead a pretty uncomfortable life, then.
  14. May 21, 2012 #13
    He's playing around; following an absurd train of logic to be funny. Happens a lot around here.
  15. May 21, 2012 #14


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  16. May 21, 2012 #15


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Oooh, sorry, no, you're wrong! Google "define: preposterous". Google is the true Oracle.
  17. May 21, 2012 #16


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Does this look like the face of genius :rolleyes:


    In all seriousness though people probably transpose some of their expectations of "betterness" onto the question. For some people if you asked them to think of a genius they may conjure up images of an old white man with a stern face wearing a blazer with elbow pads writing on a chalk board. Others may conjure up images of someone in a Parisian attic flat madly painting on canvas whilst classical music plays in the background.

    It's mostly a cultural thing I'd say.
  18. May 21, 2012 #17
    Oh, don't purple face me! You just about painted a bullseye on yourself and aimed my gun for me.
  19. May 21, 2012 #18
    One of the more absurd posts I've seen to date.

    You have yet to prove that your sample of "people looking stupid are stupid" is a true statement. But to make it even worse, you drew your conclusion as a true one thus creating a fallacy of ignorance. To drive it home, you ask someone else to prove your claims false.

  20. May 21, 2012 #19


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It's blue! Get off my qualia!
  21. May 21, 2012 #20
    I know it's blue, but you can just see it wanting to be more purple. Purpularity is written on the face, but blue-ness is not.
  22. May 21, 2012 #21


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If you can see purpularity then there must be some blue-ness too...it's mixed with redicidity.
  23. May 21, 2012 #22
    A common social problem that many people have is they tend to act differently to not be considered stupid, ignorant or to be idiotic farmers. No one ever wants to draw on their face a dumb word. Many always tend to act as if they knew a problem better and they "teach" others. Many, many more. It's a necessary social skill to deal with such a common "single minded" person who is trying to prove himself more "open".

    I once asked my mother: "Mom, what do you think if today I wear a shirt and a trouser to work ? " and my mother laughed "Whatever shirts and trousers you put on, you are still you."
  24. May 21, 2012 #23
    Lol, sometimes a mother can be a bit too honest.

    Being seen as competent within your area of work is much better than attempting to be seen as intelligent. I know I am not the most gifted of people, or the smartest, I tend to make horrible mistakes, and am mostly absentminded more times than I am focused, I also have a light grip on reality. So teaching isn't something I would be necessarily good at doing, but I am good at working alone, which is why research is a good area for me to place my efforts into.

    But what is, "attempting to be smart"? Smart people, from my own estimation, were the ones who connected the dots really fast, and could grasp the hardest things much quicker than those around them... At least, that is what I judge smart by. But intelligence can be had through work and experience. I don't really value parroted intelligence too much.

    But back to the person above, I know my limits, those attempting to not have limits are delusional and are often the ones falling on their own sword. Lying to yourself and deceiving those around you isn't too good, you then create various false perceptions of yourself and those around you, and sooner or later, you will enter into a loop. "Why aren't you successful, you're so smart?! Well there are idiots around me and I wasn't lucky or as stupid as anyone else." That melds ignorance, stupidity, and arrogance into one which is why its a loop.
  25. May 21, 2012 #24
    I think what you mean is the Mark Twain and George Elliot quote: better to be a keep silent and be thought a fool then open your mouth and prove it at once.
  26. May 24, 2012 #25
    Perhaps someone should construct a composite face of 20 or so of the world's greatest geniuses and see how it looks.

    Making a composite image of people with very low intelligence would not turn out well. For starters, you'd have a hard time finding well known people to put on the list. Additionally, you'd want it to be something useful, and thus not just grab people at the bottom—otherwise you'd end up with an image that just averages all genetic disorders affecting intelligence.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook