Actually I do wonder about myself some days. I’m not unique or anything, like I say J-boy teaches himself astrodynamics for shits and giggles, I know a few other guys who are on that same kind of intellectual level. Here’s me and what do I do for fun? I read shit like The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind or something by Fukuyama, or Kissinger or I read economics or Nature. Then of course there’s the large collection of classics that I have: everything from Aristotle to Xenophon.
I have female friends who simply regard me as genius and yeah my IQ is up there but I don’t really feel like all that often. I just read things that interest me. Like Origins of Consciousness which is quite hard going, well, it’s interesting and boring at the same time, but intellectually only moderately taxing. I came across that while reading something on Wikipedia and immediately I wanted to read it and for probably a year or two I sorta forgot about it and then remembered it and forgot about it again.
I need to read stuff which I feel pushes me. Part of the reason I stopped reading Origins of Consciousness, or rather paused it was because I’m about halfway though and, really, I feel that I understand and the rest of the book just seems to be reinforcement. It’s two or three chapters outlining the hypothesis and then the rest is looking at the evidence for it in different cultures and it feels a bit done to death.
So I’m kinda wondering if maybe S et al are on to something. I am abnormal in my interests. It’s weird. On one hand I can see that I’m very intellectual in my interests; the amount of people on my level who I can sit and have a really good conversation with is small, and nearly exclusively male, but then on the other I don’t always feel it. I often feel quite stupid while at the same time feeling that everyone else is really stupid. I can’t seem to say “No, they’re of average intelligence, you are smarter than them”. Curious.
Even fiction. I’m not that big a fiction reader, I go through phases of wanting to read it and I can never remember plots all that well. So I figure that if I’m going to read fiction it should be the best there is hence I have a decent collection of Penguin Modern Classics building up. Actually, this is not entirely true: I also have a semi-decent collection of classic Sci-fi and absolutely cheesy sci-fi too.
I’m starting to feel more comfortable now when people call me smart or when it occurs to me that I’m smart.