What constitutes being dumb???

dunce-capAround here we all like Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader.  Paul, I and my brother Darryl really like it.  When I know he’s coming for the weekend, I’ll save a couple weeks episodes just so we can watch it together.  I think it’s all about just trying to answer the questions.  We like that.  We play Wii bowling and watch that.  Boy, we are a bunch of Wild ParTAY animals.

Anyway, it entertains us.  I was thinking though, we aren’t all good at the same subjects.  We’ve seen people on there and said to each other “what a dummy!”  It got me to thinking though, is anyone “really” dumb? Or do some of us just know more about different things?

Paul and Darryl are both very good at the science, math, geography and measurement questions.  Me, not so much.  Does that make me “dumb?”  But I’m the one who pulls through with the english, spelling, arts and animal science questions. So does that then make them “dumb?”  Just because I don’t know the capital of a country that I never heard of or they don’t know what “family” a flute belongs to, I don’t think that makes any of us dummies.

I don’t know if you have ever seen this video.  I remember seeing it live.  It’s pretty humorous.  It’s Kelly Pickler from American Idol and she was the talk of the town after this aired.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the 3 1/2 minutes.  I sure wish you could see it SKL, you’d get a kick out of it.  The question was “Budapest is the capital of what country?”  The first words out of her mouth were “I thought Europe was a country!!!”  She goes downhill from there. 

There was talk at first that she acted “ditzy” like this on purpose but I’ve seen her on other things and she does talk first and think second but I kind of find her endearing in a way.  I think her biggest mistake was just not saying “I don’t know” and left it at that.  Did you see the way those 5th graders were looking at her?  Like they couldn’t really believe what they were hearing her say.  I think someone finally had Jeff Foxworthy speechless.

I also think on this show that people just way over think.  Instead of just going with what you think is the right answer right off the bat, they try and “figure” it out when they probably knew the answer to begin with.  They end up talking themselves out of the right answer.  If that makes sense.

I know a lot of “smart” people who aren’t really very “smart.”  Book smart and street smart are equally important.  I mean, sending a man to the moon and figuring out all that “scientific” stuff is all very well and good but if you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time or open yourself up a can of soup so you can eat, you could be in a bad way.

Have you ever judged someone because you knew something that they didn’t without thinking about the things they may know that you don’t?  Do we know more about the things that we enjoy and interest us more?  One last question, what makes us retain certain things we’ve learned and not others?



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19 Responses to What constitutes being dumb???

  1. shane says:

    I think she would of been better off just saying I don’t know instead of making a fool out of herself. She reminded me of Paris Hilton. I wouldn’t call her stupid but she needs to take some geography classes. And to your last question, people remember things that there interested in.

  2. Scientifically, there is actually an answer to your last question – some of us just have brains that have stronger left or right hemispheres and thus we’re better at mathematics and logic or at all things creative.

    The question of who is dumb and who is not is a good one. I think that dumb and stupid are two different things – dumb is being trully clueless, while stupid is maybe not putting things together right or knowing how to act or what to say in certain situations. But I’m making a muddle of it all…
    I think many of us judge to quickly about who is dumb and who is not – but I, for one, feel justified in it sometimes if only because people actually laugh at me for being a big reader, and this drives me crazy, so I have no problem deeming them “dumb” for thinking that reading is stupid. But then again, maybe I’m just taking my vengeance on their opinions in just as shallow a way?

  3. javajunkee says:

    LOL well you know how I feel about “stupid” people. 🙂

    so dumb/stupid to me equals people who don’t use common sense. I know something about a lot of subjects but somebody could ask me a question and I’d appear stupid about it because maybe I don’t know something in that particular region about that topic. Does that make sense?
    I think all people have their weak and strong areas….so if you see me talking about dumb and stupid people it’s lack of common sense stupid/dumb

  4. Elena says:

    Wow, lots of great questions, Joy!

    I’m going to answer the judgment one and say, yes, there are things that if someone doesn’t know how to do it, I think less of them. I know it isn’t right, but that’s how I feel. Cooking, for example. Occasionally I run across someone who can’t make any basic meal unless it’s straight out of the freezer into the microwave, and I just have to bite my tongue. That’s the main area that I’m overly judgmental in.

  5. nikki says:

    For one I hate the words stupid and dumb and I’ve been trying not to use them. They can be more hurtful then we think. I think some people are more intelligent about certain things maybe because that subject may interest them more. Shane said that first and I agree. Some brains are just wired different. Some people are smarter than we think only because when they get that spot light on them they freeze. I’m that way, I wouldn’t be good on any game show because under pressure I don’t do well. That doesn’t make me stupid. I was also raised to have street smarts, I needed that to survive. So no, I’m not the smartest person when it comes to book smarts. For anyone to jokingly remind me of that will for sure get the evil eye. Now ditzy people are a whole other thing! It can be endearing to a point but when it comes to a point when you just look at them and wonder…”REALLY?? are they THAT clueless???” I tend to laugh but I know I shouldn’t, it’s probably not their fault! It is the lack of common sense that gets under my skin.

  6. Doraz says:

    I feel that most people know and learn what they need to know and understand for the situation they are in at that point and time in their life. I feel that because of our instincts to protect our mental health, we do what we can to survive those situations. So, when we apply our current status of intelligence to this approach, you have my opinion on why some of us “appear” more knowledgeable than others on certain things! Great post!

  7. Just a Mom says:

    I am one of those people who knows a little bit about a lot of things.
    We have a rule in my house that there is no such thing as a dumb question or a dumb answer! In my opinion, if you attempt to give an answer even if it is wrong, to me that is better than not even trying to answer at all.
    As for retaining things, I am a master at pulling random things out of my noggin!

  8. mssc54 says:

    “It got me to thinking though, is anyone “really” dumb?”

    Ummmm, check out this link then you tell me.

    http://www.darwinawards.com/

  9. megan says:

    That was pretty excruciating to watch.

    I don’t think it’s a question of being smart. I think it’s a question of studying. I consider myself smart, and I once knew the answers to the questions on a fifth-grade test. But because I was actively using that information I could easily appear smart. It’s like most anything: if you don’t practice using that knowledge, it doesn’t come so readily. If I knew what I was studying for, I could probably do pretty well on that show.

    That said, though, in this chick’s case I’d have to lean towards just plain dumb. Poor thing…

  10. I agree, Joy, that we all have different levels and types of intelligence. I totally suck at geography, besides the US at least, and it is embarassing when our daughter knows so much more than me. However, give me anything with simple number equations, human behavior, psychology, music, tv, etc, and I am all about it.

    I am with Nikki; I HATE the words “dumb” and “stupid”; it just demeans people……….. I don’t think there are any dumb people, just smarter about certain things more than others.

  11. SKL says:

    I do believe there are some people who have a lower net amount of intelligence than others. However, some of these people are actually very wise. Maybe it’s because if you have less crap and clutter in your brain, it’s easier to keep house up there. Easier to know what’s important, ya know? In fact, maybe some people are born with such a good sense of what’s important, they reject a lot of stuff before it can even get into their brains. Does that make them “dumb” or smart? Hmm. I can think of some folks who are not “bright” but I truly enjoy spending any amount of time with them, because they may forget how to spell a word, but they never forget how to be kind and courteous.

    One related observation to what Joy is talking about. Did you ever notice that the people with true, well-rounded intelligence are usually really humble? Why do you suppose that is? I think it’s because the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.

    I don’t think I’m a person who judges others based on which type of knowledge their brain is filled with. People never cease to amaze me. Everyone has something they can do that I can’t, and I’m not exactly a retard. I’m just really glad we’re all wired differently.

    One thing that always reminds me not to judge is my struggle with foreign languages. I know more about foreign languages than most people in the world, yet I am not “fluent” in any. When I deal with someone who struggles with English, I assure them that their English is better than my [Spanish or whatever]. I try to put myself in other people’s shoes.

    Another thing I noticed is how my kids sucked my brains out once they came home. Well, I’m hoping my brains are still there, but the need to focus nearly completely on the kids’ needs does a number on one’s ability to participate in more adult discussions. For the past 16 months, I have had more discussions about potty training than I care to admit. Hopefully this is temporary, but it does help me to understand how some people can be so incapable of intellectual conversation.

    Now, if someone is being arrogant and telling me that I’m stupid, all that tolerance stuff is out the window.

  12. SKL says:

    I should add that my family is full of people who look a lot dumber than we are! Myself, I have a brain connection that turns off when I’m under social stress. Which is every time it actually matters for me to look smart! Ha! My older brother is a total “absent-minded professor.” It was funny when my brother and I took the ACT and they announced the top 3 scores on our high school PA system. My brother was #1 and I (2 years younger) was #3. Everyone’s jaw dropped. I think that up to then, they thought we were both barely staying out of special ed . . . .

    The true test is whether we were ever able to put that knowledge to use. We were – but if we were more socially “smart,” we could have done so a lot more successfully / at an earlier age. Oh well, nobody’s perfect . . . .

  13. Amber says:

    Great Post Joy…. seriously. Loads of things to think about. And Kelly can’t be that dumb… look at where she is. Come on now.

  14. darryl says:

    Great post, Not sure where to start. If you talk to me about history or literature or arts It just doesen’t interest me. I know I should be interested in History but no it doesn’t sorry. I love nature, Science, math. I saw on 60 minutes those people that can play the piano or remember a song and play it better than anybody, but can’t tie their shoes or go to the bathroom on their own, I believe they ar called a Savant. I dont know how to put a link in here I must be stupid LOL. This is about twelve minutes long but to me it is one of the coolest things I’v ever seen. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4484053n

  15. darryl says:

    Hey It linked LOL

  16. Joy says:

    Darryl, your not as dumb as you thought you were!! LOL!!!

    That was pretty interesting. No wonder you know all the science questions!! I should have known it was from your 60 Minutes!!!!

  17. Tessa says:

    JOy,
    I think you are totally right that some people are smarter than they appear. What we know and what comes out of our mouth can be night and day! It’s true that we only remember well what interests us, at least for me. There definitely are different types or smarts or intelligence. I am very intuitive to others thoughts and feelings-can read people very well- but am not street smart or book smart! I react very well to a crisis situation but cannot remember boring facts.

    I agree one should not speak of which they are uncertain. I don’t know is a great response, but many feel they have to know everything or feel dumb. It’s a low self esteem thing!

  18. SanityFound says:

    Brilliant post huns and as many have said, many thought provoking questions. For me I guess, similar to the other post I answered, a bit close to home right now.

    We all have intelligence just for some, as you said, in different areas. EQ and IQ are great but can only get you so far, perhaps that is why these days there are so many “Q’s”… TQ for technical intelligence, EQ for emotional and then the boring Intelligence one that is now almost equal in importances as the others.

    What makes us remember certain things? I don’t know but perhaps it has to do with our natural talents – again like you said 🙂

    Incredible post wowows!

  19. Joy says:

    Thanks Auds 🙂

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