Meeting smart people.

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Benny the Bear
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Meeting smart people.

Postby Benny the Bear » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:46 am UTC

I want to meet smart people. As in, people that read the news smart.

However, I'm 15. This will be be difficult.

My school doesn't have many of these people unfortunately, so I'm guessing I'm looking for out of school activites. I recently did a Summer School - this was a haven for me and I did meet some people. It was rather swell actually :)

Suggestions?

My interests include computers, modern history, science, problem solving, basically brain stuff.

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby __Kit » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:51 am UTC

Geez I'm still at the find people who ain't complete assholes part of the pyramid.
*ahem*
I could suggest trying to meet as many other people as possible, how about start wearing some sort of geeky/nerdy shirts, to attract other geeky/nerdy people?
=]

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Zohar » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:14 am UTC

__Kit wrote:Geez I'm still at the find people who ain't complete assholes part of the pyramid.
*ahem*
I could suggest trying to meet as many other people as possible, how about start wearing some sort of geeky/nerdy shirts, to attract other geeky/nerdy people?

This actually works. When I wear my xkcd shirts I get responses for them (both in uni and out of it). I haven't actually remained friends with anyone so far, but it's certainly a nice experience.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Benny the Bear » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:23 am UTC

Well I don't own any xkcd t-shirts, but I think I'll buy some to support the xkcd anti-raptor war effort to support Randall.

Well I'm in high school so I can't wear these shirts at school, but I'll give it a shot when I'm out :)

Any more suggestions?

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Unicyclist » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:31 am UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:Well I don't own any xkcd t-shirts, but I think I'll buy some to support the xkcd anti-raptor war effort to support Randall.

Well I'm in high school so I can't wear these shirts at school, but I'll give it a shot when I'm out :)

Any more suggestions?



I wear my "No Raptors" shirt to school almost weekly, though the only person I know of that recognized it was already a friend of mine... D:
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:45 am UTC

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby no-genius » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:02 pm UTC

Are there any chess clubs near you? Smart people generally reside can be found within them.

U-unless, the smart people are avoiding you, which would mean that...
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Benny the Bear » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:10 pm UTC

no-genius wrote:Are there any chess clubs near you? Smart people generally reside can be found within them.

U-unless, the smart people are avoiding you, which would mean that...


I'm terrible at chess. And I know the chess players, I don't like them.

Is there such thing as a programming club? IRL? :P

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Toeofdoom » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:42 pm UTC

Normally all schools should have a fair few smart people, unless it's very small or it really is full of idiots...

I would think that smarter people would be in the higher maths/science classes when you get to choose them later on... if you get to choose them...

Anyway, generally at my school the nerdy people (games type nerdy) would hang around in the library or chess club, whereas the intellectual nerdy people would be in small groups generally away from any places people were playing sports. Try looking around in these places, although it can be rather difficult to tell the intelligence of a person from a glance.

If you really get stuck, does your school have a newsletter or anything that lists prizes people in the school got? That can be a good indication of peoples interests/talents.


I dont really know, personally I got my interests mostly from my friends, apart from maths/science, but it was fairly clear no-one else at the school was as good as me at maths and science anyway. I never had to go looking for smart people, they make themselves fairly obvious usually.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Hammer » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:25 pm UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:I want to meet smart people. As in, people that read the news smart.

Reading news is not the same as being smart. You might want to refine your criteria a bit. That said, if you want that particular kind of person, try the debate club. Debate competitors tend to keep up with news.

FWIW: I've found that almost everyone I meet has something of value to offer. They may not be able to spell as well as I can, but they understand horses or can build things out of wood or do math that is way over my head or can tell me every detail about a particular kind of old airplane. It doesn't have to be about raw intelligence or a choice to focus on current events.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Bored in the North » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:29 pm UTC

It depends what you mean by "read the news". I read the news on a radio station, but I'm not smart by anyone's standards. And I couldn't care less about most of it.

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:32 pm UTC

Maybe look for intelligence instead of stupidity in people? This worked for me when I first got to college and started realizing there are many different kinds of intelligence.

It stopped working for me when I started thinking some brands of intelligence are a complete and utter waste of brain power. But I think its best to give people a chance. They often say things that surprise you.

Like, River Tam pre-Serenity, vs River Tam in Serenity.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Robin S » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:53 pm UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:Is there such thing as a programming club? IRL? :P
There's one at my university, but you might be hard-put to find one at a school with only a few hundred students (or perhaps a thousand or so; I don't know the size of your school).

I'd like to second what Hammer and Izawwlgood have said. If you dismiss most people's areas of knowledge or interest, you'll end up looking only for people who are very similar to yourself - which generally isn't a good thing, both because they'll be rare and because you might not be the sort of person you'd get on with. I know I couldn't stand myself if I was someone else.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:57 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:I know I couldn't stand myself if I was someone else.


I'm sure I'd hate peanut butter if I was someone who hated peanut butter, but I'm not someone who hates peanut butter; I am me, and I love peanut butter.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Robin S » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:59 pm UTC

Ok, I said that in a misleading way. What I meant was not "If I was another person and I met a person like myself, I would probably hate that person". What I meant was "If I remained myself and met another person like myself, I would probably hate that person".
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:09 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I'm sure I'd hate peanut butter if I was someone who hated peanut butter, but I'm not someone who hates peanut butter; I am me, and I love peanut butter.


Thats why you so cray-zy.

Over time I developed a dislike for those who's primary source of intelligence is a vast pool of sports statistics. In the same vain, I dislike those who have memorized the form and function of every D&D ruling, Magic Card, MMO skill/item info, etc...
I have vast respect for those who have a limited, or rather, reasonable amount of knowledge about a couple different fields, and know the two connect, or at least how to draw connections. ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE can know a shit ton about SOMETHING, but it takes true intelligence to know how to do something with that knowledge.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Not an Evil Robot » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:15 pm UTC

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ah... So thats my problem!

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:22 pm UTC

I know plenty of average-or-less-intelligence people who read the news, and plenty of smart people who don't.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby El Senor Fruit Swing » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

Start smoking out of a corn cob pipe wear a
images.jpg
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and have an eye lens...smart people will find you!
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Benny the Bear » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:08 am UTC

I didn't expect that to be taken literally - what I meant was not just someone who plays games a lot. I don't mean to sound pompous.

The people at my school aren't bad, the normal sort, I'm just looking to expand my social circle.

I guess I'm just after out of school activities that attract the sort of people you'd find in debating. I could do out of school debating but at the moment I'm in two debating teams (in school) so that'd be an overload. Maybe after one of those has wrapped up? Debating is actually a perfect example of the sort of thing I'm after.

I'm gonna look at finding some group lessons on programming. :)

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby btilly » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:58 am UTC

Meet online, or IRL?

My experience has been that it is a lot easier to meet smart people online than in real life. And whatever your interest, it isn't that hard to find a place online where that is discussed.

For a random example, if you want to learn more about Perl programming, go somewhere like http://www.perlmonks.org/ and hang out. You'll find lots of relevant discussion, and a reasonable fraction of people there are pretty bright.

But in real life you're fighting the law of averages. Suppose that you live in a city of, say, a million people. If you want to meet people in the top 1%, you only have 10,000 to choose from. Let's say only about 10% are in an age range where you can be friends. We're down to a thousand. Let's say only about 10% share a particular interest with you. We're down to 100. Let's say about 10% of those pursue that interest. We're down to 10. Let's say that 10% of them live close enough that you would go to the same place to pursue that interest. We're down to 1.

So you have to resign yourself in real life to the fact that anywhere you go that there may or may not be anyone you're particularly interested in who are doing what you want to do. But online, of course, lots of people can share the same "space" so it is easy to have lots of interesting people available in one forum.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby El Senor Fruit Swing » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:09 pm UTC

btilly wrote:But in real life you're fighting the law of averages. Suppose that you live in a city of, say, a million people. If you want to meet people in the top 1%, you only have 10,000 to choose from. Let's say only about 10% are in an age range where you can be friends. We're down to a thousand. Let's say only about 10% share a particular interest with you. We're down to 100. Let's say about 10% of those pursue that interest. We're down to 10. Let's say that 10% of them live close enough that you would go to the same place to pursue that interest. We're down to 1.

That one being the bear who made the thread?
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:34 pm UTC

btilly wrote:My experience has been that it is a lot easier to meet smart people online than in real life.

It's a lot easier to meet any given group online, since the internet tends to organize itself by similar interest. It's also easier to break the ice online for most people. It's also easier to give the impression of intelligence online than in real life. (Just saying. Draw your own conclusions.)
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby e^(2*ln(2))*(cos(0)) » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:40 pm UTC

I feel you. I'm at the 'meet people who aren't complete racists' section myself, which intersects both the stupidity and the asshole sections.

College has really helped though. I'm meeting more likeminded people here, which is nice.

Oh, I'm also looking to meet people who's eyes don't glaze over when I mention CERN, for example.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby cypherspace » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:43 pm UTC

Smart people are overrated. Look for interesting people rather than smart ones. Just because someone's intelligent doesn't mean they'll be worth talking to.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby e^(2*ln(2))*(cos(0)) » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:47 pm UTC

cypherspace wrote:Smart people are overrated. Look for interesting people rather than smart ones. Just because someone's intelligent doesn't mean they'll be worth talking to.


Oh I agree, though I do think there tends to be some correlation (most of the interesting people I've met have been 'smart' in one way or another).

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby lowbart » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:57 pm UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:I want to meet smart people. As in, people that read the news smart.

However, I'm 15. This will be be difficult.

My school doesn't have many of these people unfortunately, so I'm guessing I'm looking for out of school activites. I recently did a Summer School - this was a haven for me and I did meet some people. It was rather swell actually :)

Suggestions?

My interests include computers, modern history, science, problem solving, basically brain stuff.


What sort of area do you live in? Geographically? Population density? Culturally?
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby aleflamedyud » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:03 am UTC

e^(2*ln(2))*(cos(0)) wrote:More than happiness, more than security, more than glory, more than adoration, what I really want out of life is to be perpetually amused.

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Best way to meet smart people is to go to college and get involved in stuff while you still can. Admissions at a good school eliminates the outright stupid (or a couple of failed semesters does), while the concentration of people creates the population density necessary to support interesting events and clubs and things.

That, or live in a smart-people-profession city.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby btilly » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:16 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:
btilly wrote:My experience has been that it is a lot easier to meet smart people online than in real life.

It's a lot easier to meet any given group online, since the internet tends to organize itself by similar interest. It's also easier to break the ice online for most people. It's also easier to give the impression of intelligence online than in real life. (Just saying. Draw your own conclusions.)

It is easy to give the impression of intelligence online - just cut and paste a response from someone who is smart.

It is as difficult to sustain an impression of intelligence online as anywhere else.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Flying Betty » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:44 am UTC

Any tips on how to meet interesting people once you've graduated? I live in a small/medium sized city in the Midwest and know no one. It's ridiculously easy to find friends in college, but now I'm floundering. And lonely :(
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Angstrom » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:47 am UTC

Get a binary watch, instant conversation starter.

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:50 am UTC

Angstrom wrote:Get a binary watch, instant conversation starter.


http://www.xkcd.com/191/
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Benny the Bear » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:19 am UTC

I live in Melbourne, Australia. It's a very good city, large population, many schools, I think you could find people of nearly every subculture if you looked hard enough.

Well again we're defining 'smart.' What I mean is, I guess, is 'thinkers', not someone who gets high marks necessarily. I think getting my point across without sounding like a pompous cock would be like driving a wagon across the ocean.

I found some IRL programming courses online, one is a uni night lesson thingy on starting Java, I'm probably beyond it but I would like to meet some programmers face to face, the other is a class for teens on making games, which I haven't looked into to any great detail yet.

And frankly people you meet online you just don't know, I think I could be an online pal with someone I hate irl and would never notice it. I'm not opposed to it all, but I just don't think you can go beyond 'friend status' online.

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Military » Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:04 am UTC

El Senor Fruit Swing wrote:
btilly wrote:~~

That one being the bear who made the thread?
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I've found its a lot easier to just talk to yourself if you want stimulating conversation but don't want to be upset that not everyone agrees with how inherently right you are.

I Would say that most people* going to have opinions on a lot of interesting topics, maybe not on the seti program but you can find a common interest with most people and have a good friend and good discussion.

*most people meaning that small amount however smart, that you can actually exchange words with, and not want kill them

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby flying_potato » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:20 am UTC

I think that to meet people you can't set out with expectations...If I though someone was befriending me simply because they thought i was 'smart' I'd think they were a shallow wanker who needed to get a life, and therefore wouldn't want a friendship with them. (no offence, but liking someone just because they're smart is just as shallow as liking someone because they're pretty)
What I mean is, you're going to encounter a lot of people in your life, and most of these meetings will be by chance. First impressions often suck, and it takes a while before you actually realise who someone is and whether they're genuinely intelligent or smart or interesting. ANd people will always suprise you. I constantly underestimate a friend of mine- she always dazzles me with a really insightful or intelligent comment, before I remember that i shouldn't be surprised....
I have some friends who didn't do well in VCE, but could discuss world politics/philosophy/life/science etc in great depth, or who did really well in VCE but have never said anything interesting or genuinely original and intelligent in their life
I think you should just relax, open yourself to new experiences and new people, and give everyone a go. Your profile says you're 15, so you've got a few years of school left ahead of you, so you may still realize that some of the people at your school are 'smart people'. Most of them will of course be morons, but hey, find a way to be amused by that....you might find that mocking others has a tendency to attract other intelligent beings who like to mock others...or you might not. Whatever, you can always seek refuge in the forums of website like this. Good Luck

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby Toeofdoom » Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:44 pm UTC

^ Hey... VCE says you're in victoria... and you're doing an arts degree, and are named el. That sounds like someone who went to my school, only she would be 19 (I think).

Anyway. Exactly what alot of people have said, people are much smarter than they are given credit for alot of the time. Even the exceptionally smart/dumb ones. Of course, I'm not sure if that applies in high school so much, as I only noticed this after leaving high school.

But then, you could always talk to teachers. >.>
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby cypherspace » Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:58 pm UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:Well again we're defining 'smart.' What I mean is, I guess, is 'thinkers', not someone who gets high marks necessarily.

I think that's almost exactly right. I know people with degrees and hugely high marks who are among the most vacuous people I've ever met. Similarly some of my best friends and the most interesting people I've ever met left school at 16, but are interested in everything. Academic prowess is no indicator of someone interesting or that they're interested in what you are.
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby The Spherical Cow » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:13 pm UTC

My advice would be to meet lots of people. Speak to random people, go to events, get involved with clubs (both in and out of school). Sure you might meet a lot of people you don't like, but your chances of meeting someone interesting will increase.

Despite what you say, I think they're are probably more interesting people in your school than might appear obvious. Lots of kids suppress their unusual, or "mature", interests for the sake of an easier time.

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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:06 pm UTC

I'm going to be the one to say it.

Intelligent is not the same as Interesting. Or Entertaining.

And.. it's not like computer geeks and history buffs walk around with signs on their necks listing their likes and dislikes. All that being said.. got a nearby comic shop or something like that?
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Re: Meeting smart people.

Postby El Senor Fruit Swing » Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:50 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I'm going to be the one to say it.

Intelligent is not the same as Interesting. Or Entertaining.

And.. it's not like computer geeks and history buffs walk around with signs on their necks listing their likes and dislikes. All that being said.. got a nearby comic shop or something like that?


Jus because I like to mess with second talon..

Spoiled for size

Spoiler:
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Raiku wrote: Oh, I 'Falcon Punched' a tree for the hell of it, and it's still quite bloody...


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