Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Intelligent ≠ Heavy Drinker

See, sometimes even English teachers are good at math.

Today I read an article that opined that smart kids tend to grow up to be heavy drinkers. This is one of the more ridiculous things I've read, since most of my college-educated friends (many of whom hold advanced degrees) are not heavy drinkers; a few have never touched alcohol. Anecdotal evidence, I'm sure; yet article was filled with more presumptions that one could shake a stick at.

There were a few reasons given for why smart folks might drink more; the "early adopter" argument might hold some weight, although it strikes me as weak. (I know of less stereotypically "book smart" intelligent people who routinely get drunk more often, with more regularity; such behavior strikes me as immature, especially now that my friends are in their late 20s, 30s, and older.)

Drinking because you are trying to make up for the fun you didn't have when you were younger? I can think of a few other ways of having fun that don't make you feel ill the next morning. I guess alcohol is comparatively cheap, but I'd personally rather travel or eat something I'd not had before.

The argument that was most irritating stated that drinking was the only way to "deal with morons." Apparently, smart people drink so they can tolerate everyone else; that when sober, smart people take people's responses at literal face value. This, of course, implies that all intelligent people have the exact same type of intelligence, and fall into the stereotype of the geek who does not have social skills or the ability to differentiate the subtleties of tone, who can't read people (the classic "smart person" being portrayed as a Bill Gates-type whose own facial expression rarely changes, and who lacks social intelligence). 

I don't consider myself any more intelligent than my friends, but I do recognize that I am intelligent in some ways that my friends are not, just like they have intelligences that I lack. Some friends may have stronger intelligences than I, but I still posses skills that are they don't have. Yet I have never felt the urge to get drunk; it does not appeal to me in the slightest.

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