It’s Hard To Say, It’s Sad But True…

I’m kind of dumb, and so are you.
– The Last of the Unplucked Gems, The Tragically Hip

I want you to look at the featured image in this post and decide whether you believe that the artist or the Artificial Intelligence is wrong. Whether the artist has failed to identify a pipe, or whether the Artificial Intelligence has failed to account for the artistic intention of the image.

One of the ways in which I’m dumb is that I love cultural junk food and, meanwhile, I’d prefer that you punch me in the face than read me your poetry. Which is to say that I have very little appreciation for art, but I love me some Bachelor. And I was watching Nick’s season, and Taylor was talking about different kinds of intelligence. She was saying that Corrine hadn’t yet developed the emotional intelligence to get married. Corrine interpreted that to mean that Taylor was calling her stupid. And so Corrine retorted that she wasn’t stupid, and the evidence was that she runs a multi-million dollar company. Taylor tried to explain that there are different kinds of intelligence, and that the street smarts it takes to run a business are different from emotional intelligence or even book smarts. But Corrine wasn’t hearing it; ironically because she isn’t emotionally intelligent or book smart. Taylor sounded like a bitch in her interview when she said that the fact of the matter is that she is smarter than Corrine. And she’s probably right. And while Corrine might not have the emotional intelligence to make a good life partner for someone, she sure as shit has the emotional intelligence to manipulate people.

It reminds me of Donald Trump: dumb as a rock and yet possessing an incredible intuition for messaging and manipulation. And the characteristic that most contributes to him seeming so dumb is that he can’t acknowledge his own weaknesses. His ego is so fragile, he can’t concede that his genius is not absolute. Meanwhile, anyone with any sense knows to be deferential to expertise on certain matters where they lack the requisite knowledge or where their abilities are lacking, and knows how difficult it is to acquire those expertise. And anyone who claims to have no weaknesses is some combination of an idiot and a liar, and they’re probably trying to sell you something.

So let me do my part by admitting one of my many weaknesses:

Perhaps related to my inability to appreciate the visual and cinematic arts, is that I have very poor spacial awareness. I can’t draw, I have very poor hand/eye coordination, and I’m bad at organizing spaces. It extends to being very bad at sports; not just because of my physical disabilities, but because I can’t figure out how to get one object to make contact with the other object: bat to baseball, foot to soccer ball, club to golf ball. I used to take intelligence tests, and invariably my spacial awareness scores would drag down my overall mark like an anchor. And when I wrote the LSAT, I needed to score literally perfect on every other section in order to overcome my score on the “games” section.

I am in awe of people who have that kind of intelligence. And I would never undertake to do something for someone that would require those kinds of skills. And it doesn’t make me feel less confident in my other skills to admit that I’m not competent in every skill.

Posted in: Progress

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