Men Not as Smart as They Think

So when the results of this study came out, I’m pretty sure I heard a collective, “Well, DUH!” from the world’s women. I wasn’t sure what was going on at first. I probably just figured Oprah Winfrey said something really well-duh’ish on her show or something. But then I read this story from Newsweek, and it all made sense to me.

Letterman admits he's not that smart to Oprah

I wish I could say I was not one of those men. Testing in high school showed that I had a very logical thinking mind, and that I tended to be logical “to the point of splitting hairs.” Even as a child, I tended to do things based on what seemed to be the most logical path. It would be completely illogical for me to lie about my intelligence.

However, I do have a rather clear memory of speaking with my wife (then girlfriend) back in 1995 about her having taken a test based on real I.Q. tests with supposedly corrected scoring to provide a relatively accurate I.Q. score. I proudly proclaimed that I had an I.Q. of, get this, 140. Yeah. I had never taken an I.Q. test in my life, but there I was bragging about being some kind of super genius.

In my own defense, I didn’t realize that a score of 140 is as high as it is. That, and uh… I’m a man. I really didn’t have a clue what the average I.Q. score was back then. Not very logical of me, huh?

Anyway, the test my then-girlfriend-now-wife took was out of a book she got at the local library. I was so confident in my self-rating (again, hardly logical) that I took the test as my then-girlfriend watched. In the end, I counted up my score with a whopping 127.

Did I learn my lesson? Hardly. I went around telling people I had an I.Q. of 130. In all fairness, I was eventually proved right when I took a more accurate test, though I’m now smart enough to not go around bragging about my lack of intelligence.

So what’s the point? Well, I would disagree with the Newsweek story. Only problem is I just got done proving that it’s true… at least in my case. Yeah, not very logical of me, is it?

However, there is one part of the story that I agree with: Men of average to below average intelligence tend to overestimate their smartiness by the largest margins. Well, yeah! Isn’t it always the dumbest guys that think they know everything? And can you blame them? They’re not smart enough to know that they don’t know anything!

Although, based on this famous quote from Socrates, if you realize your own stupidity you’re actually a genius:

True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.

Yeah. Not very logical is it? Socrates thought he was pretty smart by realizing that he knows nothing. But if he knows nothing, then how does he know that? Because by knowing that you know nothing, you know something. It’s a paradox worse than all the crap they pulled in those Back to the Future movies!

Nobody knew anything in 1985

I know nothing… except that.

2 thoughts on “Men Not as Smart as They Think

  1. Cody Honaker

    The quote by Socrates is very hard to explain or understand because it is philosophy or ones view or understanding of the universe and sinc eno two people think alike only he knows what exactly he meant by that. Unfortunatly he is no longer around to tell us what he meant. To me he his talking about how everything changes there are no facts. Nothing is a known. Gravity is called the theory of gravity because we still don’t know. Understanding this and not allowing yourself to take things for a known and continuing to learn and challenge thought or ideas is true intelligence. Please reply.

  2. Stu Post author

    Socrates was not a philosopher, he was a comedian. This is why he was the main subject of Aristophones’ play Clouds, in which he is portrayed as a sophist.

    G.B. Kerferd said of Greek sophists “they … teach the art of fallacious discourse.” That is to say, comedy. Since Socrates was associated with sophism, it is clear he was a comedian.

    And yet, some people actually took Socrates seriously. Thus his trial for “corrupting the youth.” Same thing happened to Andy Kaufman. But at Andy’s trial, he body slammed the judge (as a joke of course).

    Andy then performed “psychic surgery” on himself and died on the spot, thereby making his death his final, grand joke.

    My ancestor was tried as a witch at Salem because he was so funny and his humor so sophisticated, it was claimed that his knowledge of “fallacious discourse” was given him by the devil.

    When my ancestor was burned at the stake, it is said that his mouth failed to burn and it continued telling jokes. They buried it deep within the Earth to hide it away. Supposedly, the mouth is still telling (incredibly sophisticated and humorous) jokes to this day.

    Rumor has it that Jerry Seinfeld knows the secret location of my ancestor’s jaw and consults with it on occasion.

    Sometimes people take me seriously.


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