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To be SMART or RIGHT : What's your preference?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:32 pm
by admin
That question just came to me today, out of the blue. I would like to know what is your take on this.

The opposite of SMART is STUPID.

The opposite of RIGHT is WRONG.

You could think of it as it applies to your personal life. What makes you feel better about yourself? Also, how do you prefer to be perceived by others? SMART or RIGHT?

Of course, you can be both SMART and RIGHT. You could also be both WRONG and STUPID. I am not talking about mutually exclusive options here. However there are a great many situations where one can make the choice between being SMART or being RIGHT.

Generally, a person is considered SMART when he/she has the quickness of mind or the "out-of-the-box" creative thinking ability to take efficient steps to accomplish some objective, such as: becoming rich, acquiring personal power, getting the good grades, etc. A person is considered RIGHT when LOGICAL REASONING (or ETHICS) is on his/her side.

Often being right does not lead you to immediate or tangible gains, but it may lead to the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are right or the later assessment of others who may come to acknowledge that you were right all along.

Would you rather be SMART or RIGHT?

Of course, you can take both, but what really makes you tick?

Are you the kind of person who loves to say "I TOLD YOU SO!", "See, I was right", "Remember my words", "Sonje m te di w", "Se MWEN ki di w", etc.

Are you the kind of person who'd rather flash your acquired wealth, your powers of seduction, or other rewards you have gained by outsmarting your competition?

Would you mind LOOKING STUPID while you stick to your guns and do what you think is right?

Would you mind BEING JUDGED WRONG, so long as you get what you are pursuing?

What do you think?

Drop me a line.


Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:39 am
by admin
What's your view of U.S. President George Bush and his conduct of foreign policy in particular? For the most part, would you say that he has been:

a) RIGHT (in his assessment of what's GOOD and EVIL in the world)

b) WRONG (he got it all backward)

c) SMART (in his endeavor to protect and advance U.S. geo-political interests, regardless of moral standards - or he efficiently advances the interests of whatever his real constituency is: fat cats, multinationals, Big Oil, etc)

d) STUPID (he has no clue and he is actually hurting U.S. interests)

e) both SMART and RIGHT (absolutely the best man for the job)

f) both WRONG and STUPID (what would that say about those who voted to reelect him?)

g) RIGHT but STUPID (he has the correct view of the world, but absolutely could not shoot straight if his life depended on it)

h) SMART but WRONG (he knows exactly what he is doing and he is a high achiever, but could not care less about ideals, moral standards and principles when they stand in his way)

What do you think?

Drop me a line.


Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:22 am
by admin
Harvard, your reply was funny and insightful. I got a good laugh out of it. I now recognize that "smart but stupid" is also a possibility.

To put it better, one can be smart and unintelligent. You are absolutely right.

Hence your conclusion: "bush is smart but not intelligent".

[quote]and he is nice and funny if people are nice to him and can be very angry and nasty if you are not nice to him.[/quote]
I have the feeling that you are right on that score too, though that's a bit scary. [Let's ask Steve Bridges and Stephen Colbert about that. Perhaps Michael Moore too.]

But I have a little problem with the following:
[quote]he is not the man to rule the country which rules the world. complex world needs to be led by a complex brain[/quote]
That sounds like Manifest Destiny. Are you stating a fact or an ideal? Does the U.S. rule the world? Should they? Are they the new chosen people? Does God Bless America before all others?

Anyway, thanks for the laugh.

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:20 am
by Tidodo_

I did not find the question in your first post easy to answer for many reasons. Most of which was I wanted to make sure I fully understand your fundamental question. In your second post, I thought I found a second and different question. The second one is easier and I will answer it first.

Many people have questioned whether President Bush II is smart or not? It raises another question whether those who questioned him are doing it for political reasons? I have witnessed the political process here in the USA for the last 23 years. Not anybody can become president here, like it can happen or like everybody in Haiti thinks. Not only those who really lead the USA won't let someone who cannot defend their interest become president, but also that someone has to be able to outsmart all the others who want to be president and who understand the first principle as well. Now, whether Bush is RIGHT or WRONG, I found out to my chagrin that it is not up to me, but up to the majority of the US voters, including us, to determine that. Every four years, they decide who is right. It turns out, for the last six and upcoming two years, they think he is RIGHT.

Now, for your first fundamental question, let's break it down, first, by defining SMART and RIGHT as I see it. I think there are two types of SMART. There is STREET SMART, which is the reason why there is so much inequality in the world today. Being STREET SMART is a way of thinking that rationalizes any tricks to take control of all available resources in this world, including people, for your personal happiness. And, there is also being SMART, which is as you define it above, meaning being able to learn very quickly and turn the knowledge acquired to benefit – such as earning a living or helping others less capable of doing it - or defend oneself, when needed.

On the other hand, being RIGHT or WRONG is a subjective concept. It varies with groups of people, cultures, races, countries, continents, times, etc., and a combination of any or all the previous variables, because it represents standards set by them. The concept of RIGHT OR WRONG is usually guided by someone's morality, spirituality, etc. What is right for a religious person, in general, is not what is right for an atheist, for example. But both of them can be smart people.

In conclusion, we all would like to be SMART people. Being RIGHT or WRONG will depend on our background and group affiliations, but won't necessarily agree with someone else with different backgrounds or group affiliations. We all try to be RIGHT with the group which we believe we want to be associated with.