December 4, 2011

Newt + Obama = the largest possible "how smart they think they are" minus "how smart they really are"...

... according to Dan Drezner.
"I think they're both actually reasonably intelligent guys, but I think both of them have a much higher opinion of themselves than they actually are."
Okay. Hmmm. Can you think of any other pair of individuals with a greater self-esteem/merit gap when it comes to intelligence?

In my experience — and I'm old, so it's long — people who make a noticeable exhibition of their smartness are not the most intelligent people. They're not the dumbest people. But the smartest people are strategic about displaying intelligence. That's how they outsmart you.

141 comments:

ndspinelli said...

The smartest attorneys I worked for over decades never felt compelled to try and wow you, and liked being underestimated. The stupidest ones[a long line] don't shut up and use more latin than an opus dei priest.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Life imitates Texas Hold Em.

Expat(ish) said...

My dad always told me that if you were in a poker game with someone how claimed not to quite know the rules you should cash in your chips, put your hand on your wallet, and run.

-XC

PS - I love working with MIT guys *except* the ones who wear the big beaver ring. In my experience that class of people are annoying to work with.

Uncle Frank said...

Joe Biden and Al Gore. BTW, Dan Quayle is at worst our 3rd dumbest VP.

Rumpletweezer said...

If I ever find a magic lamp, my first wish will be that everyone become as smart as they think they are. That includes me.

campy said...

I love working with MIT guys *except* the ones who wear the big beaver ring.

Hey, my daughter wears her Brass Rat to work. She's not annoying.

(But I guess she's not a MIT guy.)

pm317 said...

Well, Newt can function without a teleprompter and display his purported smartness. That makes him superior to the current WH occupant.

ndspinelli said...

Expat, Your old man may be right but I hate playing poker w/ most people. They always say..we just play the basic games. Then they start dealing and everyone has a game w/ wild cards, high/lows, etc. I just gamble @ the track and casino now. But, I surmise when you play pickup poker games now it's a good chance it's Texas Hold every hand?

Joe Schmoe said...

John Kerry by a long shot, for one.

pm317 said...

Smart like this?

He says he didn't have much sleep but if he was so smart, he could do this in his sleep, no?

AJ Lynch said...

Mr. Drezner should also direct that question to his Bloggingheads colleagues.

ricpic said...

Play bridge for awhile and you come to realize there are levels of intelligence well above yours. And, most painful, that all the practice in the world won't close the gap.

EDH said...

How ‘brainy’ Frank got Barney-mandered

Redistricting diss took pompous rep by surprise

By Howie Carr

Barney Frank has always been the smartest guy in the room — just ask him...

Joe Schmoe said...

I've struggled through a couple of autobios/memoirs/opinion books by ex-CEOs. Jack Welch and Lee Iacocca think they've got it all figured out.

Joe Schmoe said...

BTW, Dan Quayle is at worst our 3rd dumbest VP.

I disagree. If you said the VP whose image was most distorted by a hostile press, then I'd agree with you.

Everybody forgets about Hannibal Hamlin. He was basically non-existent in the Lincoln team and was bumped for Andrew Johnson on the 1864 ticket.

davis,br said...

But the smartest people are strategic about displaying intelligence. That's how they outsmart you.

Brilliant observation, Ann.

I have a cute (sad?) story about this. But I'm not going to tell it. In public.

LOL.

Joe Schmoe said...

Oh yeah; who's the guy who posts here with his hat on sideways? He gives off a whiff of thinking he's much smarter than he is.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Newt and Obama are "school smart". They excelled at getting grades and working the academic system to their advantage. Like most journalists and other liberal arts academics they overestimate their achievements and denigrate other forms of intelligence. Smart for a lawyer is perhaps fairy stupid for a physicist but perhaps equal to a really good mechanic. Just try telling them that.

pm317 said...

They excelled at getting grades and working the academic system to their advantage.

-----------

So you have seen Obama's transcripts, I presume.

Jay Vogt said...

Among the many excellent possibilities . . . off the top of my head, Al Gore + Ben Burnake should move the needle. This is a lovely and elegant equation.
I'm going to plagiarize it.

William said...

High school kids who are gifted athletes think they can make the turn at a high speed. Those with a past record of bobbled balls stay within the limits. A past record of stupidity gives one some immunity to hubris...I think smart people wildly overestimate not only their own intelligence but the amount of problems that intelligence can solve. Life is not a calculus problem. More of life's problems are solved by affability, sex appeal, inherited wealth, social status, and good hygiene than by raw IQ.....I think Republicans are less prone to intellectual hubris than Democrats. Teddy Roosevelt had a formidable intellect, but he was aware that killing large animals was the true test of a man's worth. Compare him with Woodrow Wilson, who felt that his intellect was unlimited and illimitable. Even after a major stroke, he was certain that his was the mind that should shape the destiny of America and of the world. He was a far bigger jerk than the far dumber Harding.

rhhardin said...

I think they're both actually reasonably intelligent guys, but I think both of them have a much higher opinion of themselves than they actually are.

Editing does its terrible work.

edutcher said...

I don't think GodZero is all that smart - he's one of the most ignorant people in public life and seems to be making a career out of antagonizing people when he could be winning some over. Whether he's gotten a lot of social passes is up for grabs.

Newt, I think, is, as Jeff, says, school smart, but his ego has tripped him up in the past.

PS Agree with Schmoe on Quayle.

bagoh20 said...

Intelligence is not the measure that counts - wisdom is.

There are a lot of very intelligent people who still believe in socialism, despite all the evidence.

Something is missing in those craniums leaving them thar smart people stupid and dangerous.

Charlie said...

Joe Biden would love to compare IQ's with you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyEqyYUGk4I

Charlie said...

That Howie Carr column is hi-larious.

HT said...

But the smartest people are strategic about displaying intelligence. That's how they outsmart you.

So intelligence is a win/lose proposition to be discerned in a game or competitive type situation?

Roux said...

Usually the person who thinks they are the smartest one in the room isn't really that smart at all.

Really smart people know they can't know everything and surround themselves with people that are smarter than themselves.

Obama and Newt don't impress me at all. FWIW Newt is way smarter than Obams.

Psychedelic George said...

Short, fat Ralph Kramden and tall, skinny Ed Norton

bagoh20 said...

One problem I see with smart people, is the golden child syndrome (which is Obama in spades). They are seen as smart early on, and their family and friends reinforce that self-image (deserved or not). The path they are sent on is one that gives them advantages and often never exposes them to dramatic total failure, which is the most empowering experience possible for a smart person. Nothing creates wisdom like being smacked in the face with being completely wrong and accepting that there are no excuses beyond yourself.

Chip S. said...

Newt had a good idea once--the Contract with America.

Everything he's done since then brings to mind cliches about blind pigs and squirrels.

GMay said...

Not a big fan of Newt and it's hard to say whether or not Newt is truly a deep intellect, however his ability to speak intelligently (and even intelligibly) off the cuff and without preparation is far and away better than Obama's. That's a reasonably objective measure of comparison, so if Newt is even merely "reasonably intelligent", then at best that makes Obama a poor communicator.

Of course this flies in the face of Obama's mythologically transcendent communication ability.

Bob_R said...

Mathematics goes counter to Althouse's experience since pretty much the whole enterprise is an "exhibition of smartness." Part of the reason for this is that it's very results oriented. You can either prove the theorem or you can't. In this sense it's like weight lifting or sprinting or a singer hitting the high notes. I know of only a few mathematicians whose opinion is very far from the consensus of their intelligence. (Lot's of mathematicians (everyone?) differ on the question of the importance of their work, but importance is not highly correlated with degree of difficulty.)

Jeff with one 'f' said...

@ pm317

I almost mentioned Obama's lack of transcripts but the net result is that he climbed the academic ladder by working the system- if he had even mediocre grades the you can bet he REALLY gamed the system. More likely the system gamed itself to move him up the ladder, which is why he's so impressed with his own intelligence- it was all so easy, therefore he MUST be brilliant.

Grandma Bee said...

Picking up on Bagoh20's observation: Intelligence is the ability to gather and process information. Wisdom is knowing how best to use the information gathered. Humility is knowing that I am not God, and thinking carefully and listening to others.

Ann Althouse said...

"Mathematics goes counter to Althouse's experience since pretty much the whole enterprise is an "exhibition of smartness." Part of the reason for this is that it's very results oriented. You can either prove the theorem or you can't."

You're right. I'm in a field where people specialize in making things sound connected and coherent and/or complex and elegant. True/false, mundane/screwy... it doesn't matter. The most elaborate, high-flown stuff is often the worst garbage.

I made up a rule a long time ago that if I have to work at translating what you've written/said into plain English and then when I see it in plain English it's nothing special, I will regard you as — at best — a thief of time. And time's all I've got.

Carol_Herman said...

My Trifecta ticket:

"Someone" will emerge to run as an independent. Do I have a favorite? Yeah! Morry Taylor, who ran against Dole (among the 9-contendahs) ... but who gained only 1% of the primary vote in early states. And, was among the first to drop out, then.

Morry Taylor is called "THE GRIZZ." The original Grizzly Bear.

My guess he'll take off on a vehicle with TITAN TIRES ... And, run as an independent. With plenty of Independent Parties running to put him on their ticket.

The FIrst Place prize may also go to Donald Trump. Who has his own "grissly" In Sarah Palin. Plus, she's got the ONE-NATION bus. Which builds in a party's name.

Whoever comes out ... comes out like Ross Perot did. (I think he came out in June of 1992). It sure ended the elder Bush's re-election bid.

Oh, in Second Place I pick OBAMA. Because I see lots of other demoraps being defeated ... It's Obama without coattails. And, sure. An invitation to congress to impeach him for "funny stuff." Bigger and better than Watergate. But if all he does i play golf ... Congress won't care. He can continuing golfing all he likes.

(Oh. And nominating supreme court justices. Which will make the senate look important. Back when the elder Bush nominated Clarence Thomas, he sqeeked in with 52 votes.)

Politis will change the senate. And, Obama's picks will be picked apart like so much bird seed.

Possible? There will be an impeachment hearing against Kagan for lying to the senate ... to get their approval.

It's gonna look like shooting fish in a barrel. Obama's not smart enough NOT to supply the little fishes.

Third place? The GOP comes in 3rd.

That's my Trifecta.

Not that anyone can predict the future, or anything.

GMay said...

GrandmaBee/Bagoh summed up by a classic:

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.

Wisdom is not putting it in fruit salad.

Joe Schmoe said...

Part of their 'smarts' is the extent to which they rely on controlled environments for their success. Both would have saved the world by now 'if only - (insert unforeseen event or obstinate obstructionist) hadn't happened...'

What both fail to realize is that faculty lounge brainstorms don't survive first contact with reality. They never do. How you adjust after that makes all of the difference.

Maguro said...

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.

Wisdom is not putting it in fruit salad.


Never really understood the whole tomato being a fruit thing. They don't grow on trees, so how can they be a fruit? Help me out here.

Freeman Hunt said...

MILTON
...But don't get too cocky. No matter how good you are. Don't let them see you coming. That's the gaff, my friend -- make yourself small. Be the hick. The cripple. The nerd. The leper. The shit-kicking surfer. Look at me --I've been underestimated from day one. Do I look like a master of the universe? That's your only weakness as far as I can tell.

KEVIN
What's that?

MILTON
The look. The Florida stud thing. 'Scuse me, ma'am, did I leave my boots under your bed?'

KEVIN
Never worked a jury didn't have a woman.

MILTON
You know what you're missing? What I have? This beautiful girl she's just fucked me every way she knows how -- we're done -- she's walking to the bathroom -- she turns back -- and there I am. It's me. And she smiles -- it's like a veil coming down across her face -- and that smile, that's a question mark, because she's looking at me, she's wondering, how did that happen? And see, right there, from that moment on, she's got a secret. I'm the hand up Mona Lisa's skirt. I'm the whisper in Nefertitti's ear. I'm a surprise. They never see me coming. That's what you're missing.

Freeman Hunt said...

But then, that is supposed to be the devil talking.

Freeman Hunt said...

We are masters of rhetorical style, but of wisdom there is a dearth.

As true now as it was in 2009!

Joe Schmoe said...

Hey, I'll propose another test to see if someone fits the 'not as smart as they think they are' profile. Can they laugh at themselves? I bet neither Barry nor Newt are good at that. Contrast with recent past presidents such as W, Clinton, and Reagan. All at least outwardly able to laugh at themselves. Carter? Not so much. What does that tell you?

Joe Schmoe said...

Freeman, good stuff. Much better than the creepy George Michael lyrics!

Chip S. said...

@Maguro--The point is that there's a big difference b/w the definition of fruit in terms of reproductive function (in which case, squash, corn, and all kinds of things are fruits, b/c they carry seeds) and culinary function, which has everything to do with sweetness.

Of course, then there's the lemon....

EDH said...

Do you really think the media would even allow an Obama-Gingrich race to be a straight-up match up of intellects?

Axlerod has other plans.

Maguro said...

@Chip S - I get what you're saying, but for some reason you never hear people saying that a pepper is a fruit or that an eggplant is a fruit. It's always "Did you know that the tomato isn't really a vegetable, it's a fruit?"

Just thought there might be something special about the tomato that prompted people to say that.

GMay said...

Pffft, way to overthink it Maguro.

Or was that on purpose given the subject matter? Ahhh, I see what you did there. Very subtle!

pm317 said...

12/4/11 12:10 PM
Blogger Jeff with one 'f' said...

@ pm317

I almost mentioned Obama's lack of transcripts but the net result is that he climbed the academic ladder by working the system-

---------------

In the universities he went to -- Columbia and Harvard, you don't have to be smart nor academically strong to get a degree if you have connections and money (heck, I have seen that kind of skulduggery in a smaller place like Georgetown and a woman prof hounded out of her tenure-track position because she refused to pass a chosen golden child). He doesn't really have the smarts (if he did, his ego would not have let him seal the transcripts and put in a lock box) so where did he get the money?

Mary Beth said...

I made up a rule a long time ago that if I have to work at translating what you've written/said into plain English and then when I see it in plain English it's nothing special, I will regard you as — at best — a thief of time. And time's all I've got.

I'm impressed when things are in plain English to begin with. Sometimes it seems language is used more to obfuscate than to communicate.

Charlie said...

1) Re bagoh20: “There are a lot of very intelligent people who still believe in socialism, despite all the evidence.”

Intelligent people are attracted to socialism because they think they, and people like them, are smart enough to understand and manipulate the economy. Really smart people like Hayek, Adam Smith, and Friedman (Milton, not Tom!), understood that the totally of interactions among individuals and the economy that emerges is a complex adaptive system. Putting a small group of smart people in charge of the economy is like putting the ten smartest cells in charge of your brain.

2) Re Ann Althouse: “I made up a rule a long time ago that if I have to work at translating what you've written/said into plain English and then when I see it in plain English it's nothing special, I will regard you as — at best — a thief of time.”

Hmm… Physics is hard to understand, and it is important. If I write something that is hard to understand, it will be important too.

jgm said...

Jack Benny comes to mind. He had a 50-year career as the smartest, funniest comedian in America, and he did it with radical humility. He was the butt of every joke, his whole cast (all wonderful comedians in their own right) mocked him constantly, he was the dumbest when he thought he was the smartest, and he was an epic blowhard. He was, in short, Joe Biden, if Joe Biden were self-aware. That's smart.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that one of the big reasons that Newt is showing so much support right now is that a lot of people are just drooling to see an Obama/Gingrich debate this time around, and to see Obama handed his head.

The thing that Gingrich does have is that he is one of the best around at that level speaking and arguing on his feet. And, that is one place where Obama is not all that smart - he is much too dependent on his teleprompter (and too lazy to memorize even short speeches). Gingrich taught himself this after getting some tips from the master - Ronald Reagan, starting back in, I believe, 1976.

I belonged to Toastmasters for several years, and, yes, the ability can be taught. Pretty much everyone in my club was much better than I at this, and those at the regional competitions were even better. And, I was better after two years, even though still marginal at best.

I have seen no reason so far to believe that Obama is smarter than Gingrich, but one guy who may be smarter than he is, is Romney. This is a guy who has two Harvard graduate degrees, then used them plus his brains and a lot of hard work to make a lot of money for his customers and himself.

Yet, no one is saying - "Mitt is so smart". And, I think that that is because he isn't the type who goes around essentially bragging about his smarts. Instead, he just does the work and gets paid, a lot, for it.

That is part of why, despite the fact that I too would love to see an Obama/Gingrich debate, think that Romney would probably do the best job as President. He comes across as far more disciplined than either Obama or Gingrich.

bagoh20 said...

"Putting a small group of smart people in charge of the economy is like putting the ten smartest cells in charge of your brain. "


I like that, and I will steal it.

Q: How do the smart cells convince the others to let them take charge?

A: They overstate their own ability while understating the others'. They call them bitter clingers.

jgm said...

Da-da-da-da-dee-da-da-da-da . . .

Chip S. said...

@Maguro--That's a good question. Could it be b/c the tomato is the juiciest vegetable?

traditionalguy said...

Newt is very intelligent man but in the past he has run into trouble when he has started to believe his ideas control the future. He then has jumped to a belief that he controls the future. And that ruins everything for him and the teamwork he needs.

Newt must learn to humbly ride his good ideas through their process and not boast about them before they come to pass. Then he will be a success.

Obama is highly skilled at play acting a role written for him by others. He is a technician, and that not anywhere close to being an intellectual.

wild chicken said...

"They don't grow on trees, so how can they be a fruit? Help me out here."

strawberries don't grow on trees either.

Bruce Hayden said...

Hmm… Physics is hard to understand, and it is important. If I write something that is hard to understand, it will be important too.

I think that you are onto something here.

The problem with intelligence is that it has a lot of different components. One of those is simplifying that which is complex. Another is understanding that which is complex. And, yet, another is understanding the complexity in what many others see as simple.

Something like Rumsfeld's known knowns, known unknowns, etc. (And, yes, I think that both Rumsfeld and his old buddy Cheney are very bright).

I think that I have always been one of those whom Ann would consider a waster of her time. I can readily understand fairly complex subjects, whether in law or technology, but am often at a loss of how to simplify for those who need or want it simplified.

This used to drive my old boss crazy. He is one of those who is extraordinarily smart, but can simplify. So, he would ask me a question. I would start to answer. He would interrupt to say that he wanted a yes or no. And, I would be at a loss, because the answer really was that "it depends".

pm317 said...

@Ann I made up a rule a long time ago that if I have to work at translating what you've written/said into plain English and then when I see it in plain English it's nothing special, I will regard you as — at best — a thief of time. And time's all I've got.

--
Reading that makes me smile. Ann, did you ever translate all the hopey-changey gobbledygook that Obama threw at you into plain English? Some of us did and came up empty which is why we didn't vote for him.

traditionalguy said...

The famous General George Patton was said by other jealous Generals to be a shoot from the hip man who just got lucky.

What the would not understand was the years of intense preparation and self learning about strategic planning, exercise of authority over an Army, and battle tactics that Patton had made himself do while the others had been lollygagging around enjoying their high ranks and social status in peace time.

The man who has a quick answer that is right is the really intelligent man. The cautious man exhibting a fear of leading is the ignorant man.

Intellectuals are usually cautious men exhibiting a fear of leading.

Bruce Hayden said...

Hey, I'll propose another test to see if someone fits the 'not as smart as they think they are' profile. Can they laugh at themselves?

I am not sure that this is totally a matter of intelligence. But, I will say that I do trust the person who can laugh at themselves far more than I can trust the one who cannot. Which is just another reason that I do not trust Obama, and maybe not Gingrich.

I think that laughing at yourself requires a bit of self-analysis and self-awareness, and not everyone is temperamentally able to do this. I am not sure that that boss I mentioned in my last post, who probably does have a bunch of IQ points on most everyone, including me, ever paused to laugh at himself.

It may be ego, but then it may be something else. I have a good woman friend who appears to have Asperger's (AS). And, I don't think that she really has ever laughed at herself in her entire lifetime. And, is hurt when someone laughs at her, while being willing to laugh at others. Except that after a decade, she at least knows when I am tweaking her about her OC behavior (like moving her stuff around just a little, but enough for her to notice). But does she really have awareness that her OC behavior is weird, or at least different?

I say this because Simon Baron-Cohen has argued that Autism, AS, etc. may be evidence of an extreme male brain (which may be why they are so much more prevalent in males). These politicians who don't seem to be able to self-analyze and don't seem to be all that self-aware, seem to be predominantly male. And, this may be a factor. And, then, maybe not. After all, there is always Nancy Pelosi, who still is claiming all sorts of Keynesian multipliers for future stimulus slush funding, despite the miserable failure of such to work as advertised during her Speakership.

In any case, I am much happier hanging around with people who can laugh at themselves. Its a bonus if they are smart. But not a requirement.

Ralph L said...

You can either prove the theorem or you can't.
I took the Putnam Math Exam twice in college. It's a national competition of six problems in which the median grade is zero--the first time I just ground my brain against the desk for three hours.

But they give partial credit!

I got a congrats note from the college president for getting a positive score the second year, without actually finishing a problem.

My great-grandfather played the country hick lawyer successfully in NYC for a few years. Not easy when your first name is Augustus.

DADvocate said...

The smartest attorneys I worked for over decades never felt compelled to try and wow you, and liked being underestimated.

My attorney sister took that approach. She would play the dumb blonde and then, wham...!

When I was began the eighth grade, I switched to a new school and dumbed myself down in order to fit in better socially. One tactic was to avoid suing multi-sylla.. er, words with lots of syllables.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

You know I wondered if Perry couldn't remember the Dept. Of Energy because his last foe, Bill White in the Texas gubernatorial election, in a way emerged form there and perhaps Perry isn't comfortable with the emotion of having competitors. Just today in the Dallas Morning News there is discussion of his packing boards with cronies. At the time, I suggested you needed in a commander in chief and president someone emotionally like Muhammad Ali who would say, 'Down goes Frazier!' The picture of George Bush reading to the kids on 9-11 has a visual subtext of being critical because the U.S. isn't in kindergarten. And the president aint no anonymous hustler playing poker either.

GMay said...

"[Romney] is a guy who has two Harvard graduate degrees, then used them plus his brains and a lot of hard work to make a lot of money for his customers and himself. "

Mitt comes from money, he's not necessarily self made. And graduate degrees from Harvard just ain't what they used to be.

Not that Mitt isn't intelligent, but I don't think his credentials are necessarily indicative of it.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

I'm in a field where people specialize in making things sound connected and coherent and/or complex and elegant. True/false, mundane/screwy... it doesn't matter.

Well - now you and Glenn have both admitted it. Good. I like clarity. Thanks for providing it, even if by accident:

Law professors ARE the ethically-challenged.

Bruce Hayden said...

What the would not understand was the years of intense preparation and self learning about strategic planning, exercise of authority over an Army, and battle tactics that Patton had made himself do while the others had been lollygagging around enjoying their high ranks and social status in peace time.

And, to Newt Gingrich's credit, that is why he is so good in debates. It has been 35 years since that car ride with Gov. Reagan, where the later told the aspiring politician how he was able to do so well on stage. Part of it was that he never quit pushing himself when speaking in public. When speaking most times, he would pull out his stack of 3x5 note cards, pick maybe 5 at random, shuffle them, not look at their order, and then use them for a 45 minute speech. Never knowing what he was going to say, or in what order, always kept him on his toes and a bit nervous.

That was 35 years ago, and Gingrich claims to adhere to much of this to this day. Still pushing himself, and not allowing himself to become comfortable, after thousands and thousands of speeches.

That said, I think that much more is needed for a good President than just being great at public speaking and debate.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



I think Obama and Newt are “Clever.” Clever people know lotsa things…As Trooper York says, “The hedge hog knows one BIG thing.” Clever people like to show how clever they are….The hedge hog doesn’t need or care to.

Lastly, Newt has a large ego (Not saying Obama doesn’t, just that his is more fulfilled) and Newt (from a nice commentary elsewhere) thinks he’s a “statesman.” And “statesmen” are ALWAYS doing great things, making grand bargains, “Going to China, as only Nixon could.” So Clever Newt runs around pal’ing around with Al Sharpton or Nancy Pelosi. Moving from issue to issue, always with the need for a “brilliant, unorthodox answer” to demonstrate how clever and “large-thinking” he is.

Regan, Dubya, more the Hedge Hog…focused on the one BIG thing they know…defeating the USSR, winning the War on Terror, and the like.

Yeah I prefer the amiable dunces/Hedge Hogs to the “Brilliant” statesmen like Newt, OR Obama.

Ralph L said...

Crack, I think she was referring to her students. She has to sort through their manure to find the pony.

James Graham said...

Never confuse intelligence with shrewdness. Although I've been clocked in the high 90s (percentile on IQ tests) I've been outsmarted more times than I can count by not-as-intelligent people who possessed superior game-playing skills.

Bruce Hayden said...

Mitt comes from money, he's not necessarily self made. And graduate degrees from Harvard just ain't what they used to be.

Then, again, what are Obama's claims to intellectual fame than his paper credentials?

Also, I would suggest that a Harvard degree is probably more impressive today, than 50 years ago. Why? Because when Teddy Kennedy and Al Gore were going to Harvard and George W. Bush (and his father for that matter) and John Kerry going to Yale, admission was much more based on family connections than on ability. Indeed, I don't know if guys with the sorts of SATs that Gore (and I think Kerry) had would get into many state universities today. Likely not the University of Colorado here, and I suspect not Wisconsin there in Madison.

That said, Romney made much of his money through the various Bain companies and partnerships. His reputation was apparently for a lot of hard work, both in identifying companies to buy, and then in turning them around. Some of the longest hours in the office, while raising 5 kids. Again, somewhat like Patton, above, all that hard work making it look easy.

Indeed, Romney's reputation at Harvard was of a grind. The guy who got good grades by working harder than anyone else. Of course, not being able to drink probably helped there too.

Sam Hall said...

Steve Jobs. He thought he was the smartest guy in the room and it killed him.

Valentine Smith said...

I have never seen an adequate definition or description of intelligence. It's like porn, you know it when you see it. If you're smart enough. Ohh wait ...

Cedarford said...

Bruce Hayden said...
I think that one of the big reasons that Newt is showing so much support right now is that a lot of people are just drooling to see an Obama/Gingrich debate this time around, and to see Obama handed his head.
======================
Yeah, and that is pretty short-sighted by the brain-dead conservative faction.


Wha'll y'all might be right about ol' Newt being a terrabul leader n' manager! But it would be worth losing the White House for another 4 years if it means he can make Obama look like some fool in the Big Debates and tell that librul media Elite what's what! Wha'll, ol' Newt could give us conservatives some great zingers even after Obama's 2nd Inaugural! Yessiree!!

It is disconcerting to hear from person after person that got into Congress in "The Class of 1994" thanks to Newt's Big Idea - that while grateful, they saw a man who they would never support as President over just about any other Republican candidate.

E.M. Davis said...

Are we going to have to see Amazon posts past Christmas? Just wondering.

GMay said...

"Then, again, what are Obama's claims to intellectual fame than his paper credentials?"

You'll get no argument from me on that one. I have seen absolutely nothing from the man that suggests he's anything more than a slightly above average intellect. He was basically the last of many nails in the lid of the coffin of Respect for Credentials for me.

I'm not saying Romney hasn't done well for himself and hasn't performed in the private sector, however, when you have the massive head start he did in terms of capital, it becomes exponentially easier to achieve wild success.

Indigo Red said...

Maguro said - Never really understood the whole tomato being a fruit thing. They don't grow on trees, so how can they be a fruit? Help me out here.

Fruits are the ovaries of the plant, developing from the flower(sex organ), with the seeds(eggs) on the inside. Vegetables are usually the edible leaf, stem, and root.

The part of both fruit and vegetable that we eat is called flesh or meat, but neither is fish, fowl, or mammal. What's up with that?

The term sweet originally meant 'without salt' rather than the sugar sweet understanding of today. Savory described the slightly salty taste in foods and also appetizing and desirable. Unsavory people, then, are sweet and should be avoided.

What I don't understand is whether or not bananas are a herb.

Our language makes no sense at all.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ralph L,

Crack, I think she was referring to her students. She has to sort through their manure to find the pony.

But what you think she's saying has nothing to do with what she said. She spoke of her profession - law professor - just as Glenn did. Neither mentioned their students (Since when are students thought to "specialize" in anything?) Like all lawyers, they will say anything to make a case - "making things sound connected and coherent and/or complex and elegant. True/false, mundane/screwy... it doesn't matter" - this, too, correlates perfectly with what we know of lawyers.

My specialty - which has frustrated every lawyer I've ever encountered - is spotting and stating the obvious:

What he does is articulate soul-knowledge, those truths we hide from or can't find the words for. You listen to it with mouth agape, not because it's radical in content but because it's raw and honest, unconcerned with the truth-gagging politics of celebrity -- which perhaps makes it radical after all.

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe said...
(The Crypto Jew)

I think Obama and Newt are “Clever.” Clever people know lotsa things…

I have always said that "clever" ain't worth shit,...

The Crack Emcee said...

In my experience — and I'm old, so it's long — people who make a noticeable exhibition of their smartness are not the most intelligent people. They're not the dumbest people. But the smartest people are strategic about displaying intelligence. That's how they outsmart you.

Don't forget:

These are the words of an Obama voter,...

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



Carol Herman-sized posting, be warned.

As to Romney, I think he IS smart….and ambitious. Romney will say anything to get ahead…Thank Yhwh, because now it’s come back to haunt him in the two biggest races of his life, 2008 and 2012.

Romney is a Conventional Wisdom Technocrat. That works(ed) well at Bain Capital. You run your numbers, you create a Business Plan, you work hard and Voila Increased Shareholder Value and a tidy profit for you. Listen to what Romney says about RomneyCare…it was crafted by some of the SMARTEST people, he could find and get together. Sure he put the Big Brains together and this was their plan, it MUST be good, Smart People, Running the Numbers say it MUST be good. The fact that it makes a tremendous number of assumptions (Keynesian) and violates the tents of a Liberal Democracy, by mandating that a citizen (now a SUBJECT) to buy a good or service; is irrelevant. Before there was ObamaCare there was RomneyCare and the Cato Institute was writing prescient take-downs of RomneyCare, pointing out its flaws, upon its adoption. But, Smart People put RomneyCare together, and Romney can’t seem to grasp that a bunch of Smart People can’t make tremendous gaffes…”We rant he numbers.” It’s the same sort of thinking that led to the debacles at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Securitized Mortgage Debt.

Romney would make an excellent EXECUTOR, but I think he’ll make a lousy LEADER. Romney would be a FINE Executive Officer/CFO/Quartermaster General or Deputy Quartermaster General. Smart, detail oriented, capable of executing a plan, but LACKING A VISION. As long as there is a talented CEO/Officer-Commanding Romney would flourish and be an asset. But, when HE’S the Officer-Commanding you get detailed, flawed plans, because Romney operates inside the box and by the numbers. You want a POTUS to bring the Great Society to its fullest, most efficient, effective extent…hire a Mitt Romney. HOWEVER< as a Mitt Romney to create an ALTERNATIVE to the Great Society…Fuggettabout it!

Again, I’ll take “Transforming the Middle East” or “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall/Making Nuclear Weapons impotent and obsolete” over Newt, or Romney…..

Astro said...

Ralph L said, "I took the Putnam Math Exam twice in college. It's a national competition of six problems in which the median grade is zero..."

So roughly half the takers got negative scores? Wow, that would suck to be so bad in math that you got a negative score.

Ralph L said...

The joke in 1976 was that Muskie lost his chance to be the VP nominee when he visited Plains and asked to see the peanut trees.

Titus said...

I just ate an organic clementine from the fabulous market Saveners in my very expensive and exclusive hood.

My taste buds are dancing.


Thank you and good day.

Ralph L said...

No, Astro, more than half got zero. Don't forget the "or equal" in the half less than/half more than definition of median. Or were you thinking of the mean?

It was a tough test. I was thrilled to write down something that made sense.

Seven Machos said...

Here's something vital to remember for all us McCain voters who think we are so smart because didn't vote for Obama: we are McCain voters. How smart, really, is that?

pm317 said...

@Seven Machos, my vote for McCain was a protest vote.

Seven Machos said...

My vote for McCain was a labor of obligation, like going to somebody's funeral. Nothing more.

Seven Machos said...

...Somebody's funeral who I wasn't close to but feel obligated to attend the funeral.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)




Cracks give it a rest.
1) It’s rude to come to the Hostesses’ Front Parlour and insult her, or at least her profession.
2) Lawyers ARE valuable, just like Mathematicians. We’ve seen the World as Run by Mathematicians…it’s called COMMUNISM. We’ve looked for and “found” the ineluctable, inevitable “Laws of History” and the result was about 100,000,000 million dead, economic, spiritual, and ecological catastrophe. The idea, that SOMEHOW, society can be made into a formula and operated is a dangerous conceit.
Societies need to be operated by POLITICIANS, with the aid of lawyers. Glowbull Warmening shows what happens when you let “Scientists” run things….

In my rambling way, I’m trying to say as the Christian Bonze said, “We are many parts, we are all one body.” Your contempt for lawyers is misplaced, and probably derives from your ill-fated marriage. The problem is NOT lawyers; it’s an OVER RELIANCE, upon lawyers. To put into your terms, Mathematicians arrive at conclusions, based upon ASSUMPTIONS, and their conclusions may have NO RELATIONSHIP to the real world…gee all they are, is a bunch of rigorous dreamers!

pm317 said...

@Seven Machos, one more thing, we are smarter for seeing through Obama and not voting for him (unlike the good professor).

Seven Machos said...

I don't think I am smarter for having voted for McCain. I do think that my cynicism in 2008 has been roundly justified, though.

If I wanted to be cute, I'd say that cynicism is wisdom, distilled to all the bad parts.

The Crack Emcee said...

Seven Machos,

Here's something vital to remember for all us McCain voters who think we are so smart because didn't vote for Obama: we are McCain voters. How smart, really, is that?

Very - he was, still, the only "choice" available - to insist on not seeing that is,...well,...

Joe said...
(The Crypto Jew)

Cracks give it a rest.
1) It’s rude to come to the Hostesses’ Front Parlour and insult her, or at least her profession.


Saying law professors are ethically-challenged isn't an insult - it's a fact they're admitting themselves. They will say anything, and if anything, the insult is to think the bullshit they spout will fly over my poor widdle head undetected, like I'm the rube. I mean, here's an Obama voter telling us she can spot smarts. Huh? Really? (She voted for Gore, too, right?) Maybe, just maybe, if there was more emphasis put on critical thinking, such contradictions wouldn't be so readily apparent but Ann "specializes" in them - like being a free speech advocate but shutting down comments on her Amazon posts (I haven't criticized her marketing, BTW,...)

Sorry, but the desire to paint the world, as other than what it is, is a boomer trait I do not share. Like everyone admitting the, oh so religious, George Harrison was an adulterous asshole after he's dead - not when he was alive and it could've done some good to spare others his self-delusion - I think it's better to discern the truth, now, while people (such as yourself?) are enthralled with tall tales, and those who tell them, for whatever reason.

More of that and this country wouldn't be in the precarious position we're in today.

Your admonishment to stop is precisely the reason we are - again:

Sorry but there's a LOT of Emperors walking around in the nude,...

Mick said...

It takes a lot of brains to Usurp the most powerful political office in the World!

ricpic said...

I just ate an organic clementine from the fabulous market Saveners in my very expensive and exclusive hood.

Let's hear it for Titus, he just ate an orange!

HT said...

James Graham said...

Never confuse intelligence with shrewdness. Although I've been clocked in the high 90s (percentile on IQ tests) I've been outsmarted more times than I can count by not-as-intelligent people who possessed superior game-playing skills.

12/4/11 2:52 PM

___

This is what I was trying to say.

Was Ann really equating intelligence with who wins the game?

Go Packers!

& RTR

The Crack Emcee said...

Mick,

It takes a lot of brains to Usurp the most powerful political office in the World!

I'll hand it to the guy:

He kept his mouth shut when all that "messiah" talk was going around, which I would've shut down - immediately.

Guess I'm not that "bright" - or duplicitous - and isn't that what smarts amounts to under boomers? Who can pull the wool over the most eyes for the longest? I get hard pressed to think of many who didn't "make it" that way - George Carlin comes to mind - but the vast majority sit on vast wealth they neither really earned or deserved. And they've created a world where, if you don't indulge in the subterfuge, you can get seriously hurt - just as you can if you do.

Anything - ANYTHING - but just telling the truth,...

The Crack Emcee said...

ricpic,

Let's hear it for Titus, he just ate an orange!

Exactly.

hombre said...

John Kerry and John Kerry. In a class by himself.

hombre said...

La SeƱora points out that Al Gore is right up there too.

jacksonjay said...

Tim Tebow continues to use his alleged inability to pass to beat his opponents! Go ahead and misunderestimate him!

Ralph L said...

the desire to paint the world, as other than what it is, is a boomer trait
I'd say it's universal. We're just a bigger cohort and have the microphone.

Krugman + Friedman
Though sometimes I sense F realizes he ain't all that.

It takes more self-confidence than I've got to appear on national TV doing anything.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Saying law professors are ethically-challenged isn't an insult - it's a fact they're admitting themselves. They will say anything, and if anything

And it’s YOUR job to discern the competing truths being advanced by lawyers! Grow up stop blaming “lawyers” for being able to make a good case, and blame yourself OR the Judge/Jury for buying it, or blame yourself for not getting a better lawyer to make YOUR case!

Oh and spare me the “Worlds as it is” Bullsh!te! We don’t know what the world is, we just like to tell ourselves and others, “How the world is.” YOUR WORLD has no Yhwh, what a crock, your world is full of anger and bitterness…My world not so much, don’t try to tell me YOUR world is MY world….

“The world as it is” is just an ARROGANT statement, no better than any New Age Pronouncement…you are merely telling us YOUR opinion of the world, not the STATE OF WORLD ITSELF. Your “world as it is” is merely an insight into the inner world of Crack Emcee, not necessarily the “world” a much bigger and more complex world than the world of Crack.

Maguro said...

@Indigo Red - Thanks for the explanation, I understand now. I think.

Cedarford said...

GMay said...
"[Romney] is a guy who has two Harvard graduate degrees, then used them plus his brains and a lot of hard work to make a lot of money for his customers and himself. "

Mitt comes from money, he's not necessarily self made. And graduate degrees from Harvard just ain't what they used to be.

Not that Mitt isn't intelligent, but I don't think his credentials are necessarily indicative of it.

=============
GMay - The money Romney came from was a Dad who left Mexico with one suitcase and no money, lived in dirt floor houses and was trained as a lathe and plaster carpenter before going on an impressive rise as an extremely bright guy. But he never finished college. His Mom was an MGM film studios dancer & starlet from a middle class Mormon family.
Mitt Romney was an impressive academic throughout and called by his Harvard business profs "an electric intelligence we are lucky to have 1-2, of every 3 years". The guy was heavily recruited for executive track in a range of industries...picked one his Dad had no involvement in, was also selected for leadership spots in his church at a young age and as the guy his former bosses wanted to head Bain Capital barely in his 30s.
By age 35, he was worth more than his Dad. He took no money from his parents in amassing his personal fortune

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe (The Crypto Jew),

It’s YOUR job to discern the competing truths being advanced by lawyers! Grow up stop blaming “lawyers” for being able to make a good case,...

First, get a grip on yourself (How many exclamation points do you need?) and, second, they don't make "a good case" - I can see through them every time, without much effort, and am appalled at the lack of skills involved in constructing such tripe. I expect more from so-called "smart" people,...

Oh and spare me the “Worlds as it is” Bullsh!te! We don’t know what the world is, we just like to tell ourselves and others, “How the world is.” YOUR WORLD has no Yhwh, what a crock, your world is full of anger and bitterness…My world not so much, don’t try to tell me YOUR world is MY world….

“The world as it is” is just an ARROGANT statement, no better than any New Age Pronouncement…you are merely telling us YOUR opinion of the world, not the STATE OF WORLD ITSELF. Your “world as it is” is merely an insight into the inner world of Crack Emcee, not necessarily the “world” a much bigger and more complex world than the world of Crack.


See what I mean? That's just a dumb statement, but you still expect me to go for it - like I'm as gullible as you are - which is insulting. I'm not. You can "believe" it but, as you know, I don't do the belief thing. Instead, I'm stuck here - angry and bitter and ARROGANT - because I have to take insane rants, totally disconnected from reality, by the proverbial bag of hammers like you. (Really? Me? Falling for something that's "no better than any New Age Pronouncement"? Good luck trying to advance THAT one, counselor,...)

Another boomer trait - the unwillingness to admit when you're wrong - seems to unravel every argument the boomers have ever made. Like the claim your world is "not so much" filled with anger:

Yeah, your post most definitely proves how true that is,...

David said...

Al Gore is in a category of his own.

David said...

Why we love Althouse:

"The most elaborate, high-flown stuff is often the worst garbage."

ea0b6426-0b69-11e1-95f4-000bcdcb471e said...

Part of me wonders if a Democrat didn’t start the “Obama needs a teleprompter” meme. Most here recite it like schoolchildren and I hope you continue to do so. It guarantees that if Obama and Newt tie a debate, Obama will be seen as the runaway winner.

I’m also shocked at the short memory on display here. Obama won the nomination over Hillary (no dullard) in large part due to the debates.

Seven Machos said...

Obama won the nomination over Hillary (no dullard) in large part due to the debates.

Obama did not win because of debates. He won because a bunch of goofy, college-educated white people gamed the caucus system. Clinton beat Obama handily in the primary states, and actually received more actual Democratic votes than Obama did.

Certainly, a shallow person such as yourself does not understand what a caucus is, or how it is different from a primary, or in fact be able to take anything of value from this. So carry on.

ea0b6426-0b69-11e1-95f4-000bcdcb471e said...

" He won because a bunch of goofy, college-educated white people”

I see no reason that being goofy, college-educated, or white should be considered bad things...but Obama’s debate performance was cited by many of those people you’re accusing of “gaming the system” (due to their participation therein) as the reason for their votes.

Attend your state’s caucus and you’re gaming the system? Your definition of democracy differs from mine.

The Crack Emcee said...

ea0b6426-0b69-11e1-95f4-000bcdcb471e,

I’m also shocked at the short memory on display here. Obama won the nomination over Hillary (no dullard)...

Speak for yourself. I have never heard an impressive word come out of the woman's mouth. But I have heard lies about women Bill slept with, and a "right-wing conspiracy" to get Bill, and on and on and on. Each one hoarier than the last. (Did you know, when your husband is caught lying about his cheating, including rape, the appropriate thing to do is attack the women as liars, consult a psychic, and then declare "there are worse things than adultery"? Tell your daughters,...)

One of the biggest untruths floating around out there is there was EVER anything impressive or smart about that woman:

Next to Obama, she's the Democrats' ultimate Affirmative Action baby,...

Seven Machos said...

Your definition of democracy differs from mine.

A caucus is an oligarchical form of democracy -- a series of smoke-filled rooms. A primary is an actual democratic vote. Clinton won the actual vote.

Anyway, as I predicted, you are stupid and useless. Have fun supporting Obama this year, you goofy bastard.

ea0b6426-0b69-11e1-95f4-000bcdcb471e said...

"Have fun supporting Obama this year, you goofy bastard.”

Every second of it, thank you!

Joe Schmoe said...

Krugman + Friedman

Amen times ten, Ralph L. Good one. And throw Maureen Dowd in the middle to make the ultimate shit sandwich.

pm317 said...

Thank you, Seven!!

Who is that other joker? Hillary got more delegates than Obama and they had to steal some away from her to give to him -- what do you think they did with MI, FL delegates? She also got more popular votes. Caucuses were run by non-resident bussed college bullies who shut out true residents -- case in point was Texas which had both a primary and a caucus -- she won the primary handily and then they stole the caucuses. It was a total disaster of an undemocratic process that brought him the nomination. As a naturalized citizen, I was ashamed to see that I gave up my other citizenship for this sham in 2008.

bagoh20 said...

"I have never heard an impressive word come out of the woman's mouth. "

I never really thought about it before, but you're right. I've heard her speak plenty, but none of it was ever thought provoking inspiring or worth remembering.

There is no doubt that Obama is a much better bullshitter, and if you fall for that stuff you probably voted for him. For example, I can't really see Hillary spouting that line about halting the rise of the oceans. She's wrong about stuff, but she's not that shameless and silly.

Joe Schmoe said...

I have never heard an impressive word come out of the woman's mouth.

I agree. Also the trend in polling seems to be that parties are scared to death of running a woman who can be perceived as an asshole (a la Hillary, Palin and Martha Coakley, who lost an unloseable Dem Senate seat). They think high negatives are the kiss of death in a general election.

pm317 said...

bagoh20 said...

-------------

I think you have to be one heartless bastard to say that. Her closing in the last debate was so poignant that it brought tears to many of us who were listening. I guess if you have that much hatred in your heart, it is difficult to be objective.

bagoh20 said...

An Obama voter said:

"I see no reason that being goofy, college-educated, or white should be considered bad things..."

Well, the white people voted for Obama's white half, but the goofy college-educated ones chose him for his policies and extensive experience.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

"I think you have to be one heartless bastard to say that."

Maybe so, if I ever heard it - I haven't.

And I've never seen it quoted, or even mentioned before now. Why?

Seven Machos said...

Bag -- There was considerable coverage of Clinton's speech.

I wasn't moved to tears or anything. But it was very eloquent. The general sentiment at the time was, in fact: where was this person on the campaign trail?

B said...

'More likely the system gamed itself to move him up the ladder, which is why he's so impressed with his own intelligence- it was all so easy, therefore he MUST be brilliant.'

That is an intriguing theory that would account for Obama's aoutomatic expectation that everyone agrees with his high opinion of himself. I believe the same holds true for Michelle Obama. I don't think either is stupid,, but I don't think either appreciates the difference between true achievement and being enabled.

When the first President Bush, a very intelligent man, lost to Bill Clinton he had his regrets about his campaign, but saw the failing as his own. It allowed him to be very gracious to President Clinton. If Obama loses I expect no such introspection and definitely no graciousness in defeat from him. I expect a total public meltdown from Michelle Obama.

JAL said...

@AA people who make a noticeable exhibition of their smartness are not the most intelligent people. They're not the dumbest people. But the smartest people are strategic about displaying intelligence. That's how they outsmart you.

Perfesser --

Weese talking' bout politeecians here.

bagoh20 said...

You need to understand that if you are a free market, libertarian, boot straps kind of fanatic like me, the stuff liberals find inspiring is pretty weak sauce.

Maguro said...

In fairness, Hillary's black accent was pretty impressive.

Ah don'f feel no ways tired...

bagoh20 said...

People do a have a tendency to outperform once the pressure is off. Surrender speeches are often pretty good.

Seven Machos said...

The best speeches in all of history are almost always eulogies of some kind. It's so easy to say nice things about the past.

bagoh20 said...

Also, I'm not very well informed - all I read is Althouse, so it's your fault if I don't know something.

Joe Schmoe said...

I think you have to be one heartless bastard to say that.

pm, it's a nice sentiment, but look at the whole body of work.

Al Gore made a wonderful concession speech after the 2000 recount. Taking into account all of the other bullshit he said prior, I felt like somebody finally got hold of him and talked some sense into him. I don't think he got there on his own.

Same with Hillary. So much of what she said before that was krep (or outright wrong). I'm not saying she was completely disingenuous, but she was desperate.

Seven Machos said...

Bag -- I will do better. I'm sorry to have let you down previously.

bagoh20 said...

Don't most of these people just read what someone else writes anyway. I know Reagan wrote his own, but if the politician didn't write it, then we are comparing talking heads here.

The Crack Emcee said...

B,

I expect a total public meltdown from Michelle Obama.

And it's going to be,...GLORIOUS.

The Crack Emcee said...

Maguro,

In fairness, Hillary's black accent was pretty impressive.

Ah don'f feel no ways tired...


Dude, not while I'm drinking - it shot up through my nose!

cubanbob said...

Crack, Joe, not to get in between a spat but in the many worlds debate lets say if both of you were in front of me right now and I happen to have a gun pointed at both of your heads, your world will instantly become my world.

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

cubanbob,

Crack, Joe, not to get in between a spat but in the many worlds debate lets say if both of you were in front of me right now and I happen to have a gun pointed at both of your heads, your world will instantly become my world.

How do you figure? I don't know about Joe, but I've been in that situation - more than once - and I'm still here, world intact. Guns are one thing, brains are another, and unless you're willing to spill some, holding a gun is no advantage at all in the long run. Look at the Soviet Union - awesome military, no common sense. Doomed to failure.

The simplicity others think with, sometimes, is staggering,...

Spread Eagle said...

I'm thinking that it may be a dirty little secret to most, but if we could strap Obama down to an IQ test and let 'er rip we'd find he isn't very smart. Average normal at best. Smoke and mirrors raised to an art form.