Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?

Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 11, 2011, 06:51:06 PM
We hear all the time that through experience and age, people get wiser. Often, wisdom (a rather abstract, intangible construct) is conflated with intelligence. Therefore, people often believe that as they age, they become wiser, and are therefore more intelligent than younger people. Additionally, they believe that their future self is more intelligent (or "wiser", as they like to say) than their current self. During arguments between a younger and older individual (I am not speaking of fruitless parent-child bickering.), the older individual may simply discount the former's opinion, because he is too young. "You'll understand when you are older."... "How old are you?? 18 (with an IQ of 140)? HAH!"

In my opinion, experience, in and of itself, is neutral, though, still a positively-affecting variable. Experience can condition people to act intelligently (defined as using one's faculties to efficiently acquire a personal objective) or irrationally. Additionally, proper knowledge is more important than experience. When combined with experience, quality knowledge on a subject creates an adept quality within an individual, or even expertise. In fact, a college undergraduate who has taken a couple of psychology courses in a quality institution is better than a public school teacher, who with a degree in education, has taught psychology out of a high school textbook for 35 years. The experience, in this case, did not assist the public school teacher. The coursework he teaches was covered in the first two weeks of the undergraduate student's intro class.

This concept can be applied to choices as well. An intelligent person doesn't need to live through idiotic experiences, only to find that their choices led them there; they understand the relationship between cause and effect. People who tout "experience" and "wisdom" would claim that their poor experience with their first spouse (who showed signs of Borderline Personality Disorder--any layperson can detect signs of borderline psychosis) taught them a life lesson. Indeed, they shall never make that mistake again! Someone who is smarter would have ended the relationship, because such a person understands that short-term feelings are not worth future, long-term stress. Cause and Effect.

An intelligent person lives life more efficienty, as they do not have to waste many hours partying, only to realize that the partying detracted from their studying--thereby depleting their grade averages, which depletes their total GPA needed to get that job they wanted. An intelligent person sees the "roadmap" or "layout" of each situation before them. People who waste time with experience end up wasting their life, whilst LEARNING NOTHING. Such a person must live through each bad experience to learn from it, whereas a rational person would have made the correct choice beforehand.

It is a cultural norm to believe that "wisdom", "experience", and "life" are tangible, objective qualities. It seems that many older people use experience as a guise; they like to believe that they are more intelligent than they are. Perhaps, even then, the idea that experience = wisdom = IQ increase is a byproduct (or, even product itself!) of a rationalization: telling oneself that he is smarter than he was "before", because he is older.


tl;dr version: Idiots r idiots 4 lyfe

Re: Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 11, 2011, 08:17:59 PM
Idiots are Idiots but not until they are.

Re: Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 13, 2011, 12:15:49 AM
I really agree with this post.  When my mom told me not to touch the hot stove, I believed her.  Simple as that.  Also, there are these things some of you may have heard of, they're called books.  I actually believe that we are probably closest to a perfect vision and reflection of the universe when we are very very young.  Then we go through life and as we get old and grizzled we brag to our friends fuck man, you think you've seen it all, hell no brother, I'VE seen it all!!  My life's been way shittier than yours!!!.  Secretly everyone wants to be a child again.  In fact, wisdom is actually child-like, not some accumulation of war stories.  I think there was this zen story that goes when I was a child the mountains were mountains and the water was water, then I studied zen for 10 years and the mountains were no longer mountains and the water was no longer water, then I studied zen for 10 more years and the mountains were once again mountains and the water was once again water.

But only nihilistic zen masters will understand the wisdom and insight of such stories.  Everyone else will need to bash themselves over the head with "experience" before they truly believe.

Re: Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 13, 2011, 03:50:50 PM
But only nihilistic zen masters

You seem pretty certain of that. Sounds like intellectual laziness to me.

Re: Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 14, 2011, 12:34:39 AM
Idiots are Idiots but not until they are.

Fixing that:

Idiots are Idiots but not until they are made into Vienna sausages, then they're disgusting but harmless.

Re: Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 14, 2011, 02:57:25 AM
But only nihilistic zen masters

You seem pretty certain of that. Sounds like intellectual laziness to me.
If I sound certain, it's because I am.  Maybe I should have refrained from that finishing salvo, however.  Point taken.

But no, good sir, there's nothing lazy about studying zen for 20 years!  ;)

There's a saying that goes:  smart people learn from experience, wise people learn from the others' experience.  It's kind of a cliche but it's true.

You always hear people say, "well if you haven't experienced it, you can't talk about it, you don't know what it's like."  Really?  That sounds retarded to me.

There was this article on Amerika.org a few months ago about Burning Man, and a lot of the objectors to the article in the comment section basically said to the author, "hey man, you haven't been there, you don't know what it's like, you have to directly experience it to get it."  But then, lo and behold, a commenter came along at the very end and actually said he had been to Burning Man in the early days and that the author totally got it right after all!  Funny how that stuff works.  It also begs the question, if somehow the author was able to definitively prove he had, indeed, been to Burning Man and had written the exact same article, then would it be accepted?  I don't care how you get it right as long as you get it right.  Some people need to experience things to get it, some don't.  Everything is experience anyway.  I suppose you just need to choose your battles wisely.

Re: Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 14, 2011, 04:38:39 AM
Thread title IMMEDIATELY brought baby boomers to mind.

Re: Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 14, 2011, 07:03:45 AM
Thread title IMMEDIATELY brought baby boomers to mind.

The title made me think of RPG games where you can upgrade your character with experience points.

But seriously. Experience doesn't come with age, maturity however does. So respect your elders even if you don't agree with them. Whining about life being unfair is immature.


Re: Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 14, 2011, 09:20:07 AM
Experience doesn't come with age, maturity however does. So respect your elders even if you don't agree with them. Whining about life being unfair is immature.

There's truth to this, but in my experience, nothing is automatic and all depends upon the personal qualities of the individual in question. Idiots learn nothing from the passage of time, nor do dishonest people. It takes someone who can act, analyze the results, adjust their action, and compare results to actually learn. This why the wisest are often those least likely to have found a niche and made it into a groove.

Re: Experience: Excuse to claim "wisdom"?
December 14, 2011, 10:39:02 AM
Experience doesn't come with age, maturity however does. So respect your elders even if you don't agree with them. Whining about life being unfair is immature.

There's truth to this, but in my experience, nothing is automatic and all depends upon the personal qualities of the individual in question. Idiots learn nothing from the passage of time, nor do dishonest people. It takes someone who can act, analyze the results, adjust their action, and compare results to actually learn. This why the wisest are often those least likely to have found a niche and made it into a groove.

I realize that there are plenty of manchildren these days to contradict my statement about maturity. But seen from a purely biological point of view maturity does arrive automatically just like puberty and menopause. Whether people choose to act mature is not automatic of course and todays western society leaves plenty of room for manchildren. But it's a fact of life that people who haven't biologically matured yet will act more on their impulses and be less in control of their emotions.

Let's put it this way: would you rather be in the passenger seat of a 16 year old or a 35 year old? Obviously nobody wants to ride with the 40+ guy who rides a sportscar and has white stuff in his nose that he swears isn't coke. He's the manchild. But generally I'll trust the 35 year old to be a more responsible and experienced driver than the 16 year old.