Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 30, 2013

Email: Instinct is ‘bad’ versus intellect is ‘good’

Perhaps one of the biggest lie in modern culture is the idea of bad instinct and good intellect, “instinct” in our time has too many negative attributes, people see it as something primitive, savage, and uncivilized, as if something unsuited for existence. To most people, the term “instinct” only implies that “4 letter thing”. We often hear the word “destructive instinct” or “outdated instinct” as catch phrase for criminal behavior and vulgar entertainment. It seems that modern intellectuals are upset of how most people act on their instinct instead of intellect, they always wanted to remove instinct from men, so they can become truly “civilized”. We were told directly or indirectly from media and school about the good of intellect, how intellect is the hull mark of civilization of mankind as opposite to the wild and savage instinct. And we grown up with the impression of instinct=wrong while intellect=right, we often get told to look down on those makes money without a degree, while we should look up to those starving people that write books. It was this blind intellect worship that motivated so many people to blindly attend college and end up with worthless degree and stay unemployed. The truth that never told was instinct is essential and intellect is peripheral, intellect cannot replace instinct as a man’s guide for action, such attempt is at least dysfunctional if not fatal. If one thinks careful one can discover the loop hole in the intellect supremacy argument, if instinct is destructive or outdated, then how can mankind survive to this day without getting destroyed by the destructive instinct before the intellect salvation of the late 20 century? How come the “unenlightened” high school diploma gets healthy while the mighty prestige degree that told you so much “how society should works” left you two penny rub together? What was the fine art of the 18 century vs what is the fine art of the 21 century? Isn’t the later wrote more books than the former? Why was the drop outs like Bill gate and Steve Job become more respected than their more intellectually experienced professors? How many of the mankind’s mile stone progress was made by men with a prestige degree of progressive ideas? Why those people with social science degree become more socially withdrawn and incapable to communicate? The truth is that instinct is an accumulation of experience, a conclusion of the past, it is time proven to “work”. It does not make promises, it only fulfill its mission. Intellect is full of promise, it makes promise faster than it breaks them. Intellect should be a mean for men to acquire new instincts, but the intellectuals had twisted the intellect for their goal of “take over the instinct”. Despite every time it try to “take over the instinct” it fails, intellectuals never give up on criminalize instinct.

 
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It is a good question to ask, “What is smart?” today. I have a relative who plans on getting her doctorate so there would be ‘two doctors in her family’. The other doctorate is one in electrical engineering. The doctorate she wants to pursue is in communications. Is a doctorate in communications the same in intellect as a doctorate in electrical engineering? Of course it isn’t.
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Is being ‘smart’ how many certifications you have by your name? The guys who completed the Manhattan Project were very smart. They had no certifications and were in their twenties. So what is smart?
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I think many people mistake doing things easily or quickly as being ‘smart’ in them. Mozart is very talented to be able to play the piano and write symphonies at an early age. But Mozart also worked extremely hard. He spent many hours practicing, writing, and crafting. There was much effort on his part. There is no such thing as ‘effortless’ work. It only came after much effort.
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I think many people believe ‘smart’ is something where things are ‘easy’. So when they go to college, they find something they think is ‘easy’ to them which they think means they are ‘smart’ in. Since basketweaving classes are easy, they assume they are ‘smart’ in it. But what if ‘smart’ doesn’t mean doing things easily?
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A good example of ‘wrong definition of smart’ is that stupid movie, Good Will Hunting. In it, the kid is ‘smart’ because he reads fast and does homework fast, but mostly because he does math fast. The movie emphasizes the math part. The kid is ‘smart’, yet he can’t leave town, has a very long criminal record, and doesn’t know how to apply himself. If you met the Good Will Hunting kid in real life, he has all the marks of the loser. But the movie says, “He must be smart because he can solve math problems very fast.”
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In my family, there is a doctorate of nuclear science, another doctorate of electrical engineering who helped design the International Space Station, we know astronauts, colonels who work in the Pentagon, and others that are universally said to be ‘smart’. In all these people, I notice they work very hard. They put forth a ton of effort. There is nothing they do that is ‘effortless’. The reason why they work very hard is because they like what they do. I don’t think it is a ‘find your passion’ and then they worked hard, but more of they like mastering. It is not unlike a gamer wanting to totally master a video game. Do you really like the game or do you really like being very good at the game? Or am I asking the same question?
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If anything, intelligence seems to be the desire to put forth effort, a desire for mastery, and an ability to identify the bullshit. Identifying the bullshit tends to trip people up. As I was saying about my relative who wants to get a doctorate in communication, she apparently just wants the ‘Dr.’ title. The quality of the education doesn’t matter to her. She doesn’t seem to care if ‘communication’ is bullshit. A highly intelligent person would not be studying classes on ‘communication’.
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If I ever had a conversation with Shigeru Miyamoto, we wouldn’t discuss 2d and 3d Mario, Zelda, or any of that. We would discuss Shigeru Miyamato’s degree which is in Industrial Design. So many kids today get a degree in ‘gaming’ or such that has no connection to the industrial world. If an industrial education was good enough for Shigeru Miyamoto, it is good enough for you too. Society has made welders, electricians, and other tradespeople invisible. They are heroic. They build our civilization. The paper pushers do not. So why are the paper pushers being glamorized on TV and not the trades people? Why is it on nearly every college campus, the industrial trades are relocated to a ‘special campus’ away and distant from the ‘normal campus’ which is full of kids spending their parents’ money on their ‘art degrees’ and ‘biology degrees’ and such? Why have high schools completely done away with the industrial classes? Those skills are the most in demand in the job market. Not just locally but globally. The welder can write his own ticked. And for the ‘artists’ out there, know that it used to be called the ‘Industrial Arts’. The welder was seen as an ‘artist’.
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Someone like the welder or electrician do a job that society needs and demands and get paid very well at it. Yet, people say they are stupid. Are they?
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From all my years on Earth, I know one thing to be true: everything worthwhile requires work. So to college students out there, just because you need to study for your math class doesn’t make you ‘stupid’. What makes you ‘stupid’ is taking the math class when you don’t need it. If a college class isn’t boring or hard in some way, you’re probably wasting your time. I think people are thinking of high school (which is a joke anyway) where doing things fast and having easy classes meant you were ‘smart’. If you’re in college and you’re doing things very fast and the class is easy to you, then you’re wasting your time being in that class. The process of learning is pushing yourself.
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It’s like the gym. If doing weights is effortless, you are wasting your time. The great bodybuilders in the gym aren’t there because they ‘like’ weight-lifting (why would anyone ‘like’ this torture?). They aren’t there because they were ‘fast’ and ‘naturally good’ at lifting weights. They are there because they desired mastery over their body and knew how to PUSH their limits. They kept focusing on pushing their limits where they outgrew everyone else. This metaphor also applies to financial intelligence.
With general intelligence, it has to be the same. People who know their Shakespeare didn’t know it because it was ‘easy’ and they were ‘fast’ at reading it. To the contrary, they PUSHED themselves to read it, to master the language.
If you wish to have an interesting life, you can’t make yourself feel comfortable. Winners are never people who choose the comfort view of life. Who likes comfort? The losers. It is UNCOMFORTABLE to go to class, read junk, and take tests. That is not because you are stupid. That is because you are smart. The stupid people think they should be comfortable in class. So they take worthless classes.

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