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  • “Benign Arrogance”

    Posted by David Foster on August 13th, 2013 (All posts by )

    Interesting stories and thoughts from Kathleen Fasanella:

    “I thought you meant everybody el….”


    5 Responses to ““Benign Arrogance””

    1. Bill Brandt Says:

      Interesting thoughts in that article. Of course the world is full of benignly arrogant people for whom the rules don’t apply . Perhaps they are used to the people they confront for breaking the rules – perhaps they are used to them buckling under.

      And the comment that if 2 people are more than “30 IQ Points Apart” – they can’t communicate?

      I would say that it is not so much that they can’t but the one who presumes he is smarter won’t communicate, thinking it is beneath him.

      Of course the truly enlightened – I would believe – know that one can learn something from almost everyone and the truly smart and talented in an endeavor can explain what they do to the layman.

      And I believe there is a lot more to true intelligence than solving puzzles on a Mensa test.

    2. David Foster Says:

      Bill…”And the comment that if 2 people are more than “30 IQ Points Apart” – they can’t communicate?”

      Yeah, I think the problem tends to be more attitude than some inherent inability to communicate. I think it was William F Buckley who said there are very few people from whom you can’t learn something by spending an hour with them.

    3. MikeK Says:

      Two comments: Atul Gawande is a surgeon who writes on health reform and who I usually don’t agree with. Like most physicians who opine on reform, he has no experience in private (front line) practice. They are all in university settings where they have no connection with running a business. However, he has a piece in The New Yorker (I think) on coaching in surgery which is very good. It (a copy) was given to me by a tech at the recruit center where I do exams. He writes about the discomfort of having another, presumably more experienced, surgeon watch you operate and provide criticism. It’s an excellent piece and makes a good point about being observed and criticized.

      My daughter went through the FBI Academy with another woman in her group that intimidated her with her credentials. Multiple languages, a PhD, etc. The woman made her feel inadequate until they got near the end where they began to do practical exercises, much like my medical students do with actors. In one setting, they were to arrest a white collar criminal who was not expected to be violent. Suddenly, the actor began to resist. The students had procedures they had learned to handle this but the highly accomplished woman freaked out and curled up into a fetal position.

      Intellectual life and real life are sometimes two very different stages of existence. Unless you spend your life in a cocoon, which many of our elites do, it can be difficult to handle the transition.

    4. MikeK Says:

      That should have been “if you…”

    5. renminbi Says:

      Ah,Mensa. A bunch of third raters who like to imagine they are second rate. There were some people I met there, who were interesting and worthy of respect, but many felt they had to prove something. The really smart people I met were not in Mensa.

      Mikek , your daughter’s colleague- the term is “credentialed, not educated”.

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