Dr. Allison had a Rough Thanksgiving, Part 2 (How Intelligence Promotes Wisdom)

Read Part 1 here (it’s kind of required reading for this post to make sense):

So the Smart Crew was back at it this Thanksgiving and Allison, being the trooper she is, took notes for our pleasure and self-growth on all that was discussed over turkey dinner:

– Chinese fleet building in the 1500s

– China’s economy, producing goods for its middle class

– China following the example of Japan in terms of technology (will they one day turn around their image, especially when selling internally)

– Developing cheap alternative sources of energy (also, the continued use of coal as a viable energy source).

– Competitiveness and fraud in Asian countries and the link between competitveness and willingness to lie (e.g., scientists lying about data)

– Globalization, the loss of America as a superpower as developing nations compete

– How dictatorships and repressive communist nations ironically can actually can get things done quite quickly (with brutal efficiency) when compared to all the dithering in a democracy

– Rocket science and the science of how rockets actually launch

– The simplicity of Newtonian physics

– Energy released by the hydrogen bomb and the atom bomb and how they work to spread cold fusion

– Discussion of particle physics: protons, neutrons, electrons, subatomic particles, waves, anti-matter

– What will happen if one days the space between the electrons and the protons collapse (i.e., the end of the world theories)

– Schroedinger’s cat (dead/alive at the same time)

– Quantum Mechanics and the elegance of the theory

– String theory

– The speed of light, various physics equations, cosmology, universe expansion, how the properties of a particle and its twin (which can be a distance away) can be instantly changed just by looking at one (called particle entanglement)

-The Hadron Collider and the search for the God Particle (the Higgs field/boson, the particle that gives mass to all things) and its implications

– Genetics, genetic linkages for traits linked to different races

– Migratory patterns and Evolution of the American (northern and southern) Indians thousands of years ago

– The Taino indians of the Carribean

– How the indigenous populations in North and South America were wiped out by diseases

– The different Hindu gods (Vishni, Shiva, Brahma, Krishna)

– How do we truly know what God looks like and why do we ascribe human characteristics

– Discussion of how we don’t know what truth is, only what we perceive

– Who started monotheism

– Akhenaten (egyptian pharaoh) primacy over Moses

– Ancient civilizations, ancient battles and battle strategies in Persia, Greece, Rome

– Cyrus the Great (not to be confused with the story of Cyrus the Younger)

– A family desire for a “wedge” so they could write in cuneform.

– How much fun it would be to write in ancient alphabets

– Rasputin and how difficult his was to kill

– Princess Diana, Prince William and his fiance

– Conspiracy theories of 9/11 with Israel, Moussad, Iran and Iraq, Shia and Sunni

– How religions spin world events and science to fit their beliefs (e.g., the world being created in 6 days can be translated to a mathematical formula and Einstein’s postulations that time slows down in space that allowed 6 days to be actually fit 12 billions years)

– The rivalry with Stephen Hawking and Dawkins and Hawking’s latest announcement that the universe could have been created without god

– Different types of anaesthesiology potions (Ether, Propofol, etc.)

– Word War I, the league of nations and America’s abstention, Hitler, Germany, various World War II discussions, the entry of American into WII, Pearl Harbor and the conspiracy theories around FDR knowing and wanting to get the US into the War

– Stalin

– Snookie

– King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

-Egyptian gods, Greek and Roman gods, linkage of Jews, Christians and Muslims, the vast power of the Pope and the Catholic church in the past, why religions don’t want their foundations to be uprooted by science, the scandal of popes in the middle ages (discussion of the Borgia Popes and the corruption)

– Ethiopia and the legend as the keepers of the Ark of the Covenant

– The mystery of who burned the famous ancient libraries of Alexandria: Caesar, the Christians or the Muslims? All 3? The legends and the motives

– The ruthless Mongolian military conquerer Tamerlane in the 1300s and his proclivity towards slaughtering tens of thousands of civilians and whole cities and leaving enormous piles of skull

– Taylor Swift

– Larry Hagman and Mickey Mantle and liver transplants (why one died and the other didn’t due to timing of chemo and effect of anti-rejection drugs)

– Psychological benefits of alternative medicine, even if they are sham medications for terminally ill patients

– Global warming

– Sarah Palin’s stupidity

– The political viability of Romney and Huckabee

Normally, this is the time when I get on my soapbox and begin my tirade about wisdom vs. intelligence, how the former is superior and how Dr. Allison’s family has no real format to enhance their lives using their plentitude of I.Q. points. However, one family member added this thought after discussing cryogenics, to which everyone agreed:

“It’s great that we can have such a range of topics to discuss. It makes me feel closer to everyone here. Deep thinking enriches my life, it allows me to appreciate all the universe can offer.”

Where did that come from? Do you think her family read last year’s post to gain greater insight and self-awareness? My money is on yes. ShrinkTalk.Net is in like the top one million websites in the world, and I’m guessing Allison’s family actually reads them all. But, more importantly, Allison’s family has moved from one of “learn, learn, learn, make money, save it, learn more, tell everyone what you know, be smart at all costs” to a deeper appreciation of why knowledge is important. Although they can run circles around most people with their countless topics of expertise, they have actually abandoned the rat race in this regard and began to focus on using their brains to increase their sense of community and overall well-being. This, my friends, is wisdom at its finest, so I owe the family either an apology for bashing them last fall for being short-sighted geniuses or an applause for gaining deeper insight into true happiness. Probably both. And, speaking of happiness, I spent Thanksgiving in the top row of a freezing New Meadowlands stadium, bitching about the Jets’ lack of a pass rush as I drank light beer from a plastic souvenir cup. I know, I’m just too intellectual sometimes.

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10 Responses to “Dr. Allison had a Rough Thanksgiving, Part 2 (How Intelligence Promotes Wisdom)”

  1. Franky says:

    So, basically, they’re a bunch of nerds who thoroughly enjoy and indulge in mental masturbation. That’s hardly unique.

    I was using the Facebook Social Graph application a while ago, and could single out at least two closed subsets of my friends with whom I’ve had very similar conversations. Sometimes it’s just a pissing contest over who’s got more knowledge, but every now and then it’s a worthwhile give-and-take endeavor of alternately teaching and absorbing knowledge.

    I guess what makes this so special is that they’re all part of the same family.

    I’m really curious about something. If, for example, they’re discussing Taylor Swift, are they discussing music or her place in pop culture?

  2. DrRamblings says:

    One of those topics is not like the others….”Snookie”. I am ashamed that even egghead academics who of her and thought it relevant to TALK about her. Our culture is going to hell in a hand-basket.

  3. Celestine says:

    I was thoroughly impressed until I saw Snookie on the list. She complete invalidates all the rest of the intelligent discourse for that day.

  4. I suspect the family is no different than before. More likely that member of the family knows there is a lack of human connection, and then figured out how to explain away the problem.

    Even Data on Star Trek knows which music is beautiful and the emotional response it is intended to produce, but not because he enjoys the music or feels anything, but simply because he has just accumulated facts about music.

    How often do people just voice their feelings like that? More likely he’s trying to convince himself that it’s true, and wants confirmation from the others to support his belief.

  5. Amber says:

    I love how Snookie and Taylor Swift were just randomly tossed in there.

  6. Julene says:

    They’re smart, not completely socially isolated. I’d be confused if there weren’t a few “off” (but currently relevant) topics thrown in.

  7. "Dr. Allison" says:

    FYI, I assure you Snooki came up in conversation for about 5 seconds purely in disgust and disbelief on how she and her show are so popular. We do happen to see commercials on the tv sometimes and are aware of pop culture!

    They just love to discuss the world and revel in it; it brings them genuine joy as they try to understand the forces of nature and culture and the context of the world. They also travel to the places they talk about, enjoy music and concerts, delight in nature and enjoy connecting with people and work in professions that help children. So despite the esoteric holiday talk, they are more rounded than they appear.

  8. Shay says:

    I kinda wanna sit in on these turkey day dinners.

  9. JP says:

    This post pretty much sums up about what I think about on a daily basis.

    I actually posted a blog post on this one:

    “The speed of light, various physics equations, cosmology, universe expansion, how the properties of a particle and its twin (which can be a distance away) can be instantly changed just by looking at one (called particle entanglement)”

    See “Street Rat Crazy Saloon” for further details.

    I spend most of my life bored to death.

    However, I alleviate some of this boredom by commenting on psychology, theology, economics blogs these days.

    I’m in BL1Y’s most hated law job: The Social Security Representative.

    It beats drafting aircraft engine patents for GE (financially speaking), which was what I was doing previously.

    That’s where I discovered that there really was a need for psychiatry and psychology. There’s nothing like representing a person with major depression and borderline personality disorders.

  10. Viessman says:

    There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into factor. That is a great issue to take up. I offer you the ideas above as general motivation but plainly there are concerns like the one you deliver up where the most important thing will be operating in honest good faith. I don’t know if best practices have surfaced all-around things like that, but I am sure that your job is obviously revealed as a reasonable game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moments satisfaction, for the majority of their lives.