Why do seemingly smart people do some of the most stupid things in their daily lives? I have asked myself this question on more than one occasion. I know many smart people, I also know many people I would classify as not being the proverbial “sharp tool.” But it amazes me when I see someone who I believe operates on a more cerebral level, actually go ahead and stick a knife into a toaster which is still plugged in!
What’s up with that?
It also blows my mind when people I think are of even average intelligence religiously read and believe their daily horoscopes! Why don’t you religiously go to church…I would take more stock in God then in the horoscope writer of your local newspaper. Or how about those who talk on a hand held cell phone while driving in their cars? These people truly believe that the odds of repercussion due to bad judgment on their part, is surely a long shot for them. “That’s not going to happen to me, I won’t get caught by the cops or cause some sort of horrible accident…that will be the other guy, not me!”
What about people who smoke…I know lots of intelligent people, many of them healthcare professionals, who smoke like chimneys and again figure that “I won’t be the one to get cancer or emphysema from smoking” or say “Just one more cigarette isn’t going to hurt.” I drop my jaw when I hear this one…it’s not the “one more” cigarette it’s how many “one more” you decide to puff on that will due you in!
Or have you ever done something and then thought to yourself, “Well that was incredibly stupid of me, why the hell did I do that?”
So why do the smart and even people of average intelligence do stupid things? Well I for one am of the belief that there is a difference between being intelligent and intelligence in the real world, also known as “common sense.” Many intelligent people cannot think in rational thought, kind of like the Robot from Lost in Space telling Will Robinson “It does not compute” whenever rational thought was implemented in Will’s actions. Or Mr. Spock’s frequently repeated statement, “That would not be logical Captain” if human emotion or gut feeling was used as the deciding factor in the fate of the USS Enterprise. And some people are so intellectually smart that they cannot grasp simple ideas. I once had a math genius for a professor of a freshman math class I took in college, and can I tell you that he was utterly inept in teaching basic math concepts…throw linier algebra at him and he was a wiz, talk 5th grade geometry to him and he was completely lost.
So in conclusion, and in my opinion, you can be intelligent without being a rational thinker (or possessing common sense), and you can be a rational thinker without being especially intelligent
And that is why I believe some very smart people can and will continue to do some very stupid things!