Intelligence vs. Education: When Education Fails to Equate to Practical Smarts
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Believe it or not, having a high level of education doesn’t always equate to being intelligent or, in some cases, having common sense. While education can provide individuals with knowledge and skills, it doesn’t guarantee a person will possess the critical thinking, common sense, and practical intelligence required to navigate the real-world and situations effectively.
A Redditor shared, “I had a boss who was an engineer who put a couple of hundred dollars in change in a bank’s pneumatic drive-through tube where it got stuck. The bank had to use a jackhammer to get it out. He was upset that the bank was charging him because he didn’t know this would happen. They had large signs saying not to put change in the tubes, including on the tubes themselves.”
This Redditor said, “My professor, a brilliant neurosurgeon, once decided to directly smell a bottle of ammonia. He then told me, “Don’t smell that.” I did not plan to!”
A user shared, “My ex-boyfriend’s mother was a linguistics professor and knew over 10 languages. She was also one of the dumbest people I’ve ever met. Some examples: she believed that in an emergency, stewardesses catapulted out of the plane. My favorite one was when she said her son’s orthopedic problems are not a result of a serious injury he had but that his knee hurts because he eats too much ketchup.”
Being An Expert
This Redditor stated, “I have a Ph.D., and I work with a bunch of Ph.Ds. Basically, a lot of them think that because they succeeded in one area, they are an expert in every other area of life. And they always have strong opinions about everything. I think it’s also called a Ph.D. syndrome.”
A user said, “My first call at my first IT job was in a medical laboratory. There was a doctor who called saying her computer would not power on. I walked her through some troubleshooting, and nothing worked. I go up to her office, and indeed the computer is plugged into a power strip which is plugged into itself. The Dr. plugged the power strip into itself, thinking that as long as it was plugged in, that’s all she needed.”
A user shared this story, “My wife’s stepfather was a chemist who currently has diabetes. One night he went to the ER because his blood sugar was dangerously high. He claimed he was eating well (he normally doesn’t), so there’s no reason why his blood sugar was high. In his car was a 2-liter bottle of ginger ale mixed in with grape juice. He said that the two canceled their sugars out, and we didn’t know what we were talking about because he was a chemist and he knows how to combine things.”
Living In A Bubble
A Redditor stated, “I work in pension administration, and one of our clients is one of the best universities in the world! Some of the professors I deal with have clearly graduated college, done a Ph.D., and then went straight into teaching – and they just have no understanding of how the world works outside the framework of a university.”
Same Way Out
This Redditor shared, “My favorite was probably when an entire group of geology professors and Ph.D. candidates got “stuck” for a good few minutes in an entryway because they didn’t think to check if the door required a pull rather than a push. Bearing in mind that they’d just entered with that same door not an hour before.”
A user said, “My ex had a real lack of knowledge and common sense when it came to children. She’s currently completing her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology. She was confused one time when I said I couldn’t go out after putting my toddler to bed as I had no one to babysit. In her mind, once my daughter was asleep, she no longer needed anyone here to care for her.”
Read The Directions
One Redditor shared, “I worked at a tech company and was made team lead. One of our team members was a Ph.D. in astrophysics. He would ping me constantly for how to do things that we had well documented. How to install certain programs, and how to gain access to servers or code repositories. Literally, we would sit in Zoom calls together, and I would just read the instructions out loud and watch him do them. I was utterly confused as to how he could breathe by himself.”
Attention To Details
This Redditor recalled, “A long-time good friend, absolutely brilliant. Can literally beat you at chess blindfolded. Engineering in college and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. But he’s a big-picture guy, sees how things develop, and has great long-term vision. Incredibly successful. But little things? Not so great at them. He was making boxed Mac-n-cheese and couldn’t figure out why it was so watery. He didn’t drain the water after the pasta was cooked.”
A user shared, “My wife has two Masters and a Ph.D., is internationally recognized in her field, and is an absent-minded doofus. My role in her life is to ensure that her car works, that she takes her meds, and that she eats things other than yogurt and eggs. She can be brilliant one minute, then walk into the side of a moving bus the next.”
Just Add Water
This Redditor shared, “My uncle is smart as hell! He has multiple master’s degrees in education and science and constantly wins awards for his teaching and high averages from his students. Tell me why this idiot needed me to remind him how to make Ramen several times over?”
A user stated, “My grandfather has a doctorate in biochemistry from Cal Tech and spent his professional career in academia doing research and teaching around the world. In this area, and some others, he is incredibly smart In many other respects, he has the common sense of a toddler, and sometimes it seems amazing that he ever made it to his 80s.”
Finally, a Redditor shared, “My idiot ex was a highly-educated engineer with a job as a D.o.D. contractor. Two weeks after I dumped him for being an idiot, he married some chick he knew from high school and had a kid a little later. When she eventually dumped him for being an idiot, the ensuing custody battle was bitter. Since he made significantly more money than her, his idea was to file multiple frivolous motions in court in order to run up her legal bills and force her to give up the kid. The judge was on to him, though, and after multiple warnings, slapped both him and his lawyer with massive sanctions.”
Redditors disccussed Richard Feynman’s quote “Never confuse education with intelligence” and agree that formal education can often make you smart, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be an idiot.
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