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Why don't some clever people possess any common sense?

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    The other day, I politely asked a girl on the bus to open the window above her. The girl was one of those types who excelled in any academic subject you throw her in, I know because we attend the same school. It should also be noted that the bus window was a simple mechanism which just had to be pulled by the handle to open.

    The girl replied simply and honestly, 'Sorry, I don't know how.'
    I then proceeded to walk the whole 1m to the window to expertly pull the window towards me to allow fresh, cool air into the humid bus.

    Another instance was with a similar person, a friend in fact.
    I was cooking dinner, and I asked my friend to peel a few potatoes. As most know, peeling potatoes is not one of the most challenging cuisine tasks.
    This person replied, 'I've never peeled a potato before, wouldn't know where to start.' The person then went on to tell me a riveting story of how Food Tech was never her favourite subject, and this somehow applied to her not being able to peel a potato?

    Is it that these academics spend so much time in the libraries broadening their knowledge they've never experienced real life situations and problems? I've heard stories of Oxbridge students asking where the toast is in Tesco.
    I feel for these people who lack the skills needed to get through life, while them being 10x more intelligent than me academically makes me wonder...


    Good people of TSR, please share your views on this matter.
    Share your stories of similar people, or if you are one yourself, please share your thoughts.
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    Because intelligence is not solely based on your mental capacity, it is also based on the knowledge you have gained from life situations.

    Also, the girl on the bus could have just been lazy. As could your friend.
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    (Original post by Guybrush Sheepgood)
    Because intelligence is not solely based on your mental capacity, it is also based on the knowledge you have gained from life situations.

    Also, the girl on the bus could have just been lazy. As could your friend.
    They're not lazy people though.
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    I have to agree, and I've said the same myself previously. Some people possess a lot of academic intelligence but next to no practical intelligence.
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    I've noticed this a lot. People who excel academically are completely lacking in common sense. I've known a couple of people like that (used to be best friends with a girl like this). It's a peculiar but very real phenomenon.
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    (Original post by PinkMobilePhone)
    I've noticed this a lot. People who excel academically are completely lacking in common sense. I've known a couple of people like that (used to be best friends with a girl like this). It's a peculiar but very real phenomenon.
    It's down to life experience and exposure to real situations.
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    There are plenty of people who don't excel academically who have no common sense. It's just more noticeable when someone intelligent does something stupid, because you don't expect it of them.

    Also, people who are doing other things rather than observe the world around them don't pick up on stuff - when I was younger I never knew where I was going because I always had my head stuck in a book, whereas my brother could tell you how to get home from my gran's (a good 30 mile drive) at the age of 3. Maybe that's similar with very clever people - they're so caught up in pondering academic things that they don't notice how to open a window, or something?
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    'Common sense' is, in the majority of cases, the antithesis of logic and critical thought. If an intelligent person struggles with something that causes no problems for a lesser mind, it's usually because that activity makes absolutely no sense, and possessing less intelligence allows a person to more easily put this fact aside and 'do what's supposed to be done' in the situation.

    However, that said, in most cases intelligent people possess common sense in quantities not noticeably different to others, but people pick up on it far more due to a combination of it being more remarkable when a capable person fails, and a desire to rationalise superior talents in one area as offset by inferior talents in another.
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    Common sense requires practical experience and/or honed raw intuition, tho things that are often lacking in those who spend their lives with their heads buried in books, prior to graduating from 'the university of life'. Conversely, those of us who 'live by our wits', and prefer to surmise things intuitively than through handed down knowledge and insights, have highly developed capacities for practical intuition and thus a great deal more 'common sense'; both states have their pros and cons, and some degree of balance is probably most desirable
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    (Original post by elia)
    The other day, I politely asked a girl on the bus to open the window above her. The girl was one of those types who excelled in any academic subject you throw her in, I know because we attend the same school. It should also be noted that the bus window was a simple mechanism which just had to be pulled by the handle to open.

    The girl replied simply and honestly, 'Sorry, I don't know how
    She was probably a bit unhappy about having to do a favour for you, which is a shame, because it's a sign of the times when someone can't help out in the slightest way. As for the friend with the potatoes, they were just being lazy and unwilling to showcase their skills.
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    (Original post by PJAdams)
    She was probably a bit unhappy about having to do a favour for you, which is a shame, because it's a sign of the times when someone can't help out in the slightest way. As for the friend with the potatoes, they were just being lazy and unwilling to showcase their skills.
    I wouldn't be so sure. A few academically intelligent people I know have very little in the way of practical intelligence and common sense.
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    (Original post by elia)
    The other day, I politely asked a girl on the bus to open the window above her. The girl was one of those types who excelled in any academic subject you throw her in, I know because we attend the same school. It should also be noted that the bus window was a simple mechanism which just had to be pulled by the handle to open.

    The girl replied simply and honestly, 'Sorry, I don't know how.'
    I then proceeded to walk the whole 1m to the window to expertly pull the window towards me to allow fresh, cool air into the humid bus.

    Another instance was with a similar person, a friend in fact.
    I was cooking dinner, and I asked my friend to peel a few potatoes. As most know, peeling potatoes is not one of the most challenging cuisine tasks.
    This person replied, 'I've never peeled a potato before, wouldn't know where to start.' The person then went on to tell me a riveting story of how Food Tech was never her favourite subject, and this somehow applied to her not being able to peel a potato?

    Is it that these academics spend so much time in the libraries broadening their knowledge they've never experienced real life situations and problems? I've heard stories of Oxbridge students asking where the toast is in Tesco.
    I feel for these people who lack the skills needed to get through life, while them being 10x more intelligent than me academically makes me wonder...


    Good people of TSR, please share your views on this matter.
    Share your stories of similar people, or if you are one yourself, please share your thoughts.


    "The girl replied simply and honestly, 'Sorry, I don't know how.'
    I then proceeded to walk the whole 1m to the window to expertly pull the window towards me to allow fresh, cool air into the humid bus."

    LOL!
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    (Original post by elia)
    The other day, I politely asked a girl on the bus to open the window above her. The girl was one of those types who excelled in any academic subject you throw her in, I know because we attend the same school. It should also be noted that the bus window was a simple mechanism which just had to be pulled by the handle to open.

    The girl replied simply and honestly, 'Sorry, I don't know how.'
    I then proceeded to walk the whole 1m to the window to expertly pull the window towards me to allow fresh, cool air into the humid bus.

    Another instance was with a similar person, a friend in fact.
    I was cooking dinner, and I asked my friend to peel a few potatoes. As most know, peeling potatoes is not one of the most challenging cuisine tasks.
    This person replied, 'I've never peeled a potato before, wouldn't know where to start.' The person then went on to tell me a riveting story of how Food Tech was never her favourite subject, and this somehow applied to her not being able to peel a potato?

    Is it that these academics spend so much time in the libraries broadening their knowledge they've never experienced real life situations and problems? I've heard stories of Oxbridge students asking where the toast is in Tesco.
    I feel for these people who lack the skills needed to get through life, while them being 10x more intelligent than me academically makes me wonder...


    Good people of TSR, please share your views on this matter.
    Share your stories of similar people, or if you are one yourself, please share your thoughts.
    Peeling a potato isn't really "common sense", per say, more of a basic skill.

    I guess you probably notice it more when a "smart" person does/says something you'd normally associate with less intelligent people, though it does seem to occur quite a lot with people who excel academically...
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    Yeah, I agree with justinawe that those things aren't really "common sense", but are just basic skills. A lot of "intelligent" people lack basic skills because they grew up in a household where they never had to do those activities.
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    I think you need to whip her anus into shape - if she's flaunting her intelligence...she should at least have opening a window to show for it!
    Goodday!
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    It's immensely frustrating. Same with a lack of general knowledge though: oh, you have 10+ A*s at GCSE but think Dutch people come from Denmark, don't know even vaguely what decade WW2 was in and think they had mobile phones in the 1920s? Ah, I love my friend.
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    I'm one of these people haha but I'm tryna get better because it's kinda stupid...

    :P


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    (Original post by Lovefoxxx_93)
    It's immensely frustrating. Same with a lack of general knowledge though: oh, you have 10+ A*s at GCSE but think Dutch people come from Denmark, don't know even vaguely what decade WW2 was in and think they had mobile phones in the 1920s? Ah, I love my friend.
    I think some people's A*s just stem from them having the ability to retain information! ... Not actual intelligence level! :P

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