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Old 12-01-2010, 07:02 PM   #61
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Whatever you think of Stein, that text that MasterBlaster posted is a great motivator, and I'll bet it convinced at least one young person to change his/her ways.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:11 PM   #62
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I saw Ben Stein on TV ads a few times, but that was it. I do not watch much TV, hence did not know he was that well-known and such a controversial figure. I guess ignorance is bliss, when it comes to this stuff.

About calling someone an idiot, I have refrained from that as I get older. Most often, it is simple ignorance, and who among us knows everything?

Bigotry is really something else though. But even then, good grief! I would have to call anyone who disagrees with me on anything an idiot. There are just too many of them out there.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:23 PM   #63
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[Idiots] There are just too many of them out there.
Well... Yeah.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:33 PM   #64
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For example, well regarded college professors that have a weird blind spot and speak with authority on something they know nothing about
When I was teaching law part-time, I was included in the university's list of "experts", which was made available to the media. Although my areas of (supposed) expertise were clearly indicated, I received numerous calls from reporters who wanted me to comment on other topics of which I had no knowledge. What was bizarre was that they were in no way discouraged when I pointed this out. It was apparent that they simply wanted to fill air time or column inches, and the quality of the content was essentially irrelevant.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:54 PM   #65
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There are idiots everywhere. I know first hand idiot lawyers and idiot doctors. I am sure that there are idiot engineers. I know professionals that have severe mental health issues which impaired their work.
One name immediately comes to mind....
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:09 AM   #66
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...
I've been in private practice for a fair number of years now, and I disagree. Most lawyers are reasonably intelligent, but there are certainly some dimwits out there.

....

Most people that move into graduate level education are generally intelligent.

There is probably a normal curve... likely skewed in the professions... such that they are above the norm compared to the general population because of education level.

However, it all depends on the subject matter! A smart lawyer can be an idiot in other areas... even in their own life decisions.

What makes one appear smart to those that are not in a profession is ignorance of the important details!


I know plenty of half competent technical and engineering people, I have no doubt that the same patter prevails in other professions.


This comment is not targeted at you... in every job, profession, whatever... the truly capable people can spot a mediocre peer quickly. If one believes most in their peer group is "really good"... chances are they are dead square in the middle of of being mediocre themselves... unfortunately they are in denial or worse... don't know the difference.

IMO - it often does not come down to brilliance, but one's drive and enthusiasm for their job or profession. Most mediocre people are that way because they spend more time trying to avoid something rather than embrace the challenge! Often the root cause is laziness or a profession mismatch.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:27 AM   #67
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About calling someone an idiot, I have refrained from that as I get older. Most often, it is simple ignorance, and who among us knows everything?
I would love to add this to my wise quotes collection, if you don't mind being quoted once in a while.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:30 AM   #68
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What was bizarre was that they were in no way discouraged when I pointed this out. It was apparent that they simply wanted to fill air time or column inches, and the quality of the content was essentially irrelevant.
That is what gets Ben Stein in trouble. He comments on things for which he has no training. And people quote it as if he is insightful. Just because he achieved some fame in some past life.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:56 AM   #69
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He comments on things for which he has no training. And people quote it as if he is insightful. Just because he achieved some fame in some past life.
Hang on. He has an economics degree from Columbia and was valedictorian at Yale Law School. He's got plenty of credentials to tackle economic and personal-finance issues.

He's made some goofy commercials, but I think he's just a good capitalist. Go Ben!
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:03 AM   #70
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Most people that move into graduate level education are generally intelligent.

There is probably a normal curve... likely skewed in the professions... such that they are above the norm compared to the general population because of education level.

However, it all depends on the subject matter! A smart lawyer can be an idiot in other areas... even in their own life decisions.

What makes one appear smart to those that are not in a profession is ignorance of the important details!

I know plenty of half competent technical and engineering people, I have no doubt that the same patter prevails in other professions.

This comment is not targeted at you... in every job, profession, whatever... the truly capable people can spot a mediocre peer quickly. If one believes most in their peer group is "really good"... chances are they are dead square in the middle of of being mediocre themselves... unfortunately they are in denial or worse... don't know the difference.

IMO - it often does not come down to brilliance, but one's drive and enthusiasm for their job or profession. Most mediocre people are that way because they spend more time trying to avoid something rather than embrace the challenge! Often the root cause is laziness or a profession mismatch.
I cannot agree with this more!

Regarding the statement that "the truly capable people can spot a mediocre peer quickly", my experience is that even lousy engineers can spot a good engineer. Heck, that's how some lousy engineers can become good bosses! Of course I don't know about other professions.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:21 PM   #71
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Ben Stein is a YEC.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:00 PM   #72
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Hang on. He has an economics degree from Columbia and was valedictorian at Yale Law School. He's got plenty of credentials to tackle economic and personal-finance issues.

He's made some goofy commercials, but I think he's just a good capitalist. Go Ben!
Have you any track record recently that would justify that comment? I don't care what he got his degree in. What has he done that would justify a claim that he is a good capitalist? This is the problem!
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:20 PM   #73
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Boy! There are a lot of weird things about these celebrities. But again, it's a good thing I do not follow to know much about them. I guess I just do not care. Any celebrity can only cast one vote, same as you and I.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:03 AM   #74
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What has he done that would justify a claim that he is a good capitalist?
I was talking about the money that he made from his commercials.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:37 AM   #75
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I was talking about the money that he made from his commercials.
Sometimes referred to as becoming a shill for money...he can be rented.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:48 AM   #76
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When I was teaching law part-time, I was included in the university's list of "experts", which was made available to the media. Although my areas of (supposed) expertise were clearly indicated, I received numerous calls from reporters who wanted me to comment on other topics of which I had no knowledge. What was bizarre was that they were in no way discouraged when I pointed this out. It was apparent that they simply wanted to fill air time or column inches, and the quality of the content was essentially irrelevant.
Well, part of it is the Halo effect. You must be smart in one area so you should have figured out all areas. I also think that most people don't have the time to understand specializations so if they see that so and so from Harvard said x, then it must be true. It doesn't matter if the person got a history degree and is discussing chemistry it was Harvard.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:21 PM   #77
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Any celebrity can only cast one vote, same as you and I.
OTOH, they can often influence a lot of other voters.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:31 PM   #78
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ANd sometimes they use their name recognition to become Presidents and Governors, etc.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:48 PM   #79
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OTOH, they can often influence a lot of other voters.
But thank goodness, in politics, there is a parallel to Newton's Third Law of Motion "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction", which I shall state as follows.

"For every idiot, there is an equal and opposite idiot making a counter statement". -- NW-Bound

Oh, no! I just use that word *d**t! But what I mean is that each side of a debate is called *d**t by the other side's backers.

And if you watch enough of these, you often find a case where you would want to call both sides *d**ts.

I prefer to tune my TV to the Food Channel or the Travel Channel. I have not been watching either one much lately.

Oh, I also like to catch a bit of CNBC in the morning to see Melissa Francis. Her smile and her big eyes never fail to make me feel happy, no matter what she says, and I even tell my wife that. Please, nobody shall call her any name!

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Old 12-03-2010, 07:04 PM   #80
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Oh, I also like to catch a bit of MSNBC in the morning to see Melissa Francis. Her smile and her big eyes never fail to make me feel happy

She is indeed attractive, but let's talk about real beauty.

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