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Anonymous 27332

Does anyone have tips on how to be smarter? More sensible and thoughtful, more "mature", I guess.
I'm 19 rn (turning 20 next year) and I'm such, a dumbass. I know nothing of politics or philosophy or ethics or anything.
Please holp CC.

Anonymous 27333

Tip #1:
You are yourself.
You are a perfectly well rounded person.
Not knowing politics nor philosophy does not devaluate you.
Not knowing ethics doesn't mean you can't behave in an ethical manner.
I don't know who told you you're a dumbass. A boy? Hopefully not yourself.
They are wrong, though.
You are you.
And that is wonderful.

Anonymous 27336

There are ways to give a pep talk that don't border on preaching escapism

Read. If you're not used to philosophical books, start with something like Flowers for Algernon, it's 25 pages and educational enough to make you feel good for having read it. Then move on to short but literary stuff, like Hesse, Camus, Kafka. Then either onto regular "proper" literature, like Joyce, Pynchon, Proust, Dostoevsky, or philosophical stuff like Nietzsche, also Dostoevsky, Plato. Once you're done with all of these, read the bible.

Anonymous 27338

I don't know anything better in life than escaping it, and I doubt you can say anything different.

Anonymous 27339

Literally everybody who has ever loved will say something different for the moments in which they loved. Anybody who's cried watching a series they love will say something different about the time they were touched to tears - you may call this escapism in itself, but it is not the delusional kind of escapism that I mean to criticize in your first post.

There are moments where life surpasses your imaginations, work for them.

Anonymous 27340


Flowers for Algernon is better as the full-length book, I think.

I disagree that reading alone is helpful. If one doesn't know how to discuss it or question it, I feel like it's somewhat of a waste. I have a friend who has a Masters' in English and she can't for the life of her express her opinions on shit she's read and she mostly reads YA fiction for leisure. She's incredibly immature in her life decisions as well.

I think it's misleading to say reading is what will lift you out of immaturity or make you smarter. I agree it's a good start, though, but make sure you are not just passing it through your system. Try to get a feel for the background of the book, who was the author and what were their beliefs, and think about how that relates to the book, for starters.

Anonymous 27341


For what it's worth, I don't think thorough knowledge of those topics is necessary to be any of the characteristics you mentioned.

I have posted here before about how lost and hollow I feel in life and anons will say "consume meaningful media" but I already do that to an extent and it still leaves me feeling miserable. I like having something to think over, but sometimes it feels more of a distraction rather than an actual avenue of help, even if the writing is related to my feelings. Maybe I'm just dumb and suck at applying what I read to my life. Oh well.

Anonymous 27342

I reccomend not getting into reading politics if your main goal is some sort of fantasy of going into debates with people (both irl and online) and walking away more informed or even converted the other person. Debates are a waste of time and mental effort. That being said though it is good to be informed about politics as it is useful in your everyday life like the impact it has on your finances, local laws, etc.

As for philosophy it’s also best to self-study and keep your thoyghts to yourself as most people who are in that are pretty arrogant and mean to newcomers; and even resources meant for newcomes (reddit’s /badphilosophy) are dumbed down

Anonymous 27343

The first thing you should ask yourself is are those things you are interested in? You can always force yourself to read, but if you have no interest in the topic, it's not going to be fun, you're probably not going to remember much of it, and it will hardly help you let alone make you a better person. I don't think most people have an interest in topics like that at that age, or even when they're older, and at that age your brain is actually still developing. I didn't start reading properly until I was 23-24.

Definitely don't start by going straight into the harder stuff as it will probably just bore you to tears. A lot of my initial interests on topics came from youtube videos and from there I'd just branch onto books about the topic, which would then reference similar topics that I'd potentially get into. Channels like CGP Grey (https://www.youtube.com/user/CGPGrey/videos) got me interested in a variety of things.

Anonymous 27344

To be honest most people don't know nothing about anything, especially the ones that say that they do on the internet. Age and trying to educate yourself might fix this problem somewhat, but you have to realize that humans aren't very logical despite their delusion that they are so. We just subscribe to opinions based on emotions and because our peers, people we look up to, "our tribe" has them also.
Just look at what people 100 years ago believed, or what people you disagree with politically do, and realize that they see you as much as an idiot as you see them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you learn your whole life and you'll always be a dumbass to somebody

Anonymous 27345

>as most people who are in that are pretty arrogant and mean to newcomers
Personally I've found that people with a hobby interest in reading philosophy are some of the chillest out there. You can only read so many reminders to be humble until it eventually sticks.

Anonymous 27346

also lol just lol at the thought that being into politics makes you “mature”.

90% of the people (many of them mature with their own mature obligations) don’t care much about politics beyond sound-bytes that can be recycled on late-night satirical tv or glossing over the newspaper. Its not that they’re ignorant but by their own admission they just don’t care much.

Rest of the 10% do admit that they’re “a person into politics” but that mostly dissolves into either someone who posts nothing but politics stuff on their fb/twitter and annoys everyone or posting a selfie from some protest everyone will forget 2 days later. They do read heavily into media (and the occasional book) about politics as it’s a interest to them but herein lies a problem. Most of the popular media covering politics (at-least in the English speaking west) is awful in terms of depth and lacks sophistication. And this is not some self-serving rant trying to make myself look into some galaxy brain intellectual. Most articles by “journalists” these days are written by 20 something youth who usually majored in journalism, communications etc and usually lack experience in the field they are covering (ie not “mature”); this is especially true for finance/econ. It’s not to say you need to read a whole academic paper to understand the effects of climate change for instance; but having a quick infotainment article trying to explain the tax-code in a tweet with emojis is another problem. There are also the academics who read more than anything else but they usually dont try to communicate their thougts to the public due to a variety of reasons.

Online communities dedicated to discussing politics usually dissolve into flamewars and restrictions put into place where one side calls censorship or circle-jerks around one specific ideology/interest.

Sorry for the rant but it just bugs me how people would just pick up a copy of “economist magazine” and act sophisticated and informed (“mature”) just because they gloss over it. Never minding the fact that most of it’s articles are written by naive undergrads and could easily have been written by a high-schooler

Anonymous 27356

Read Marx.

Anonymous 27357


Do you smoke? You're close enough for me to feel obliged to offer a cigar.
News are meant to seem incompetent.
Incompetence breeds complacency.
Under the cover of complacency smuggled is corporate/government propaganda.
Look no further than Vietnam for this. But should it interest you? Iran, 1953, BBC Persian. The Vietnam war in the US. Elections in Guatemala, Nicaragia, El Salvador - look at how they treat dictators convenient and democracies inconvenient.
The Bulgarian Connection, where media plainly lied about the Soviets ordering a hit on the pope, knowing very well what they were doing.

Normally you finish a post like this with a line like "the truth is out there". Wish I could say that. It fucking isn't.

Anonymous 27359

The most obvious place to start would be History. Just grab a few nice and informative books (none of the attentionwhoring bullshit) and start reading.

Also, some solid literature that survived the test of time can never be bad.

Just be interested in the mechanics of things and enjoy reading up on them.

Anonymous 27360


Hi anon i know exactly where you’re coming from, i’d always see political/philisophical references and feel like a brainlet because i’d never get them. i mean im still a brainlet but..
If you’re interested in some beginners philosphy you can start with Camus. The Stranger is a pretty easy-to-digest book. I liked The Plague too. Neither of them were overly abstract/complex and I grasped the message of both of them. I didn’t need any prior philisophical/political/historical knowledge to “get” them either.
Ignore any sort of elitism and don’t feel intimidated to get into stuff like this. There’s nothing wrong with self-improvement and trying to learn more. You’re not a dumbass. <3

Anonymous 27361

It comes with age and by extension experience. The more different situations you put yourself in, the more you will mature. Reading books will get you stuff to talk and think about, but it won't make you a more mature, stable individual than you already are. It's just random information.
Learn new skills and languages, go out and experience different things, make friends from all over.

Anonymous 27362

This anon speaks truth. Book learning and experience are both valuable, and neither one is a substitute for the other.

>I reccomend not getting into reading politics if your main goal is some sort of fantasy of going into debates with people (both irl and online) and walking away more informed or even converted the other person. Debates are a waste of time and mental effort. That being said though it is good to be informed about politics as it is useful in your everyday life like the impact it has on your finances, local laws, etc.
Seconding this as well. I've found that most people who are super into debating politics are mainly in it to win an argument, not to learn anything. There's nothing inherently wrong with discussing it, but there's a time and place for it - political issues affect people's lives in very personal ways and you can expect that it may stir emotions. (Hence why people who love to win political debates pick topics that don't affect them, so they can be detached and neutral, and then when the other person gets upset they take it as validation of their superior debate skills and correctness of opinions.)

Personally I like to just seek out different opinions online and read others' discussions - it gets me a wider range of opinions and gets me out of my bubble a bit, and I can examine my own views and keep, modify, or discard them without feeling obligated to debate them right there on the spot.

Anonymous 27364

I'd like to get better in more subjects, not just the ones I listed by the way.
E.g. how do I come up with an interesting way of speaking? I always feel so silly after I read over what I write, it's part of what makes getting friends online so hard.

Anonymous 27366

>how do I come up with an interesting way of speaking?
Reading is the only option, I know it sounds cliche but read anything you can get your hands on.

Anonymous 27422

What a load of bullshit
You try to live life with this philosophy and it will kick you in the teeth
Either improve yourself or other will walk over you

Anonymous 27428

Kierkegaard is the only philosopher I've ever read who I felt changed my life and offered genuine life lessons the rest are just systematists and pseuds who talk about things very detached from our lives.

However that is tough. Anyway, books aren't necessary to be a good person. Intelligence is an accident and super overrated.

Anonymous 27430

I'm not sure you can force yourself to be interested in something to learn about it, like politics for example. But it seems like you are so you might come around. As for being more sensible and thoughtful, people usually use meditation to self reflect. I self reflect constantly, thinking about details of how things will work out, why I do certain things, why other people do the things they do. So I guess putting in more conscious effort to be "mindful".

None of this implies that you're a dumbass btw.

Anonymous 27438

??? How is, for example, Marcus Aurelius - Meditations not relevant to everyday life and struggle?

Anonymous 27604


>read the bible

Anonymous 27605

Atheist here. She's not wrong.

1)Le retard inbred southern Baptist meme stereotypes don't even read it.

2)At least from a cultural standpoint it influenced western thought, literature and art for centuries. It's considered an important read just for context.

Anonymous 27607

The bible is the cornerstone of western civilization and the most influential book ever written. Everyone, religious or not, should read it.

Anonymous 27611

Maturity comes from experiences, not books. You could read all the books in the world but you could still be immature and they wouldn't make you street smart. Some of the most intelligent and interesting people I know rarely read. I know that doesn't answer your post but I think it's important to note. Anyway, some things that might help you:

>Start reading newspapers or online articles. Keep your favourite news sites saved to your bookmarks bar to remind yourself to check them daily or every few days. Stick to neutral sources that provide facts, nothing biased or sensationalised (maybe some US anons could give some suggestions, assuming the OP is american?). Knowing what's going on in the world is so important and will instantly make you seem more intelligent.

>Alternatively, listen to the radio or watch TV news channels while getting ready in the morning or making dinner. Even if you don't read anything, you'll be aware of the biggest news stories of the day and you can still bring them up in conversation.
>Listen to podcasts while on the bus/working out/walking. They normally condense really complex news stories (that could take place over multiple days/weeks and are exhausting to keep track of) and it's nice to hear people give their opinions on them to help you formulate your own. There are podcasts about absolutely everything (history, politics, science, philosophy, languages, tech, sex, music…) so even if you don't have time to read, it's a great way to inform yourself.
>Don't stick to one source. Being well-informed involves being able to see both sides of a story and to be able to argue for both but ultimately having your own unique opinion. It also just makes you an all-round better person to be able to see the other side, even if you don't agree with it. Read something you don't agree with just to see if it changes your mind or even strengthens your beliefs on something. Also, read news stories from abroad and not just from the US. Intelligent people know what's going on outside of their own little bubble.

>Get a job (if you don't already have one) or a part-time job if you're still studying. Service jobs are a good place to start because they're some of the most difficult out there but they'll help you to become more responsible, learn to manage money, socialise with co-workers, you'll expose yourself to lots of different clients and it'll teach you how to handle stressful situations. I've noticed that friends with a really mature air to them have often worked part-time jobs as teenagers for pocket money, were forced to work as a cashier/waiter in their parents' business, did some kind of voluntary work during the summer or were responsible for kids as au pairs or babysitters.

>Take up a class. If you're working/studying you could opt to do an evening course once a week or an online one. There are actually a lot of free courses on offer for people looking to retrain or who didn't get a great education to begin with. Listening to a lecturer talk in-depth about something they're really passionate about is really enjoyable. If you're genuinely interested in politics or philosophy, why not take a class in one? It'll teach you how to analyse different pieces of media for yourself, you'll be encouraged to form your own opinions on the topics/material you're covering and it'll give you a good idea of where to look next if you want to learn more.

>Watch documentaries about where your food comes from, crime, cults, events in history, wildlife, interviews, political events and whatever else sounds interesting to you.

>Always be curious. Ask lots of questions.

Most importantly, don't follow any of the advice we have posted too closely. Just use them as suggestions. If you try too hard to conform to someone else's idea of intelligence, you'll be extremely bored and you'll give up quickly. Just find out what topics interest you and branch out from there.

Anonymous 27620

Kek at this showing how ignorant you are.

Anonymous 27627

I don't think OP wants to be street-smart necessarily, but I might be wrong

Anonymous 27628

>comes from experiences, not books

What a load of crap. You can't base your entire worldview on books, sure, but they can teach you a great deal. I mean 'books' is such a vague term- are you talking about Harry Potter, scientific textbooks, or religious texts or what?

One thing 'books' have taught me is not to trust anecdotal evidence like "Some of the most intelligent and interesting people I know rarely read" as if that's axiomatic.

Anonymous 27629

I wouldn't mind becoming more street-smart.

Anonymous 27730

Literally just start using your brain, start thinking of shit and do problem solving like mathematics and programming. Maybe start playing some puzzle games or do crosswords or some shit. Shit that forces your brain to think and come up with sensible solutions to stuff. It might be hard at first if you are a brainlet but everyone starts from somewhere. To get good at logical thinking you need to start doing stuff that require it.

Start generally educating yourself, start reading and become analytical of your surroundings and entertainment you consume (again, this make you use that brain which is essential if you want to get smarter). If you want to be more mature and thoughtful I think knowing about history is going to be good. Knowing what has happened in the past and what things has lead the world to its current state is really thought provoking shit I think. As is philosophy and civics.

People consider me smart but honestly, I do almost none of the shit I just wrote here, except one: I am very analytical. Even though I'm just a NEET that plays vidya and watches anime/movies/other series all day I analyze the fuck out of all the entertainment I watch. I also ponder a lot of bordeline philosophical shit too because I'm very bored. I guess that has improved my brain to some extend or some shit.

Anonymous 28252

have you read the greeks

Anonymous 28272

I haven't, how so?

Anonymous 28387

Understanding you're dumb as shit in the grand scheme of things is probably the best realization a person can have, Plato being probably the most famous example for coining an understanding that the more you know, the more you realize you don't know. Just making a conscious effort to learn from your own or others mistakes is a great start. When a problem blindsides you, think about why it happened and how it could prevented from happening again in the future.

You probably know more about your own philosophy/ethics than you'd realize, but don't know or have read enough to properly express it or describe in detail. So don't really fret about needing rush through all the classics, except the Odyssey tho since it's required

Anonymous 28458

Try reading anything you find interesting and listening to lectures or audiobooks on youtube! I'm much more of an audio person myself and cant read long without getting bored.

Also if you think its boring it helps to increase the speed of the video. I can't watch any conversation not at x2 speed.

heres some suggestions

Biology (robert sapolsky is bae): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9g6fA&list=PL150326949691B199

History/Philosophy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERNTygChpXw

WARNING: If you want to get into philosophy it would save you a LOT of time to know a bit of the history of how its largely divided between people who believe in objective reality and those who do not (further gone into in the video).

Why is so much of philosophy so hard to understand? Because a lot of it literally doesn't make any sense because its not supposed to make sense, some of the most intelligent minds throughout history have devoted their efforts into making things more confusing so that they can get away with believing in whatever they want.

Stoicism (Straightforwards and helps you attain happiness) https://youtu.be/9pOHmcOHT48

Politics/Philosophy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9D0vzQyomI

Anonymous 28554

Hi I want to learn more about metaphysics and ethics but I don't know where to start. I really liked reading those texts in my highschool books but now I don't know what to read or what even there is to read… so I thought you people here might be able to help me. I haven't read any full books, only snippets from my schoolbooks that I mentioned.

Anonymous 28623

Nichomachean Ethics and Metaphysics by Aristotle are must reads

Anonymous 28628

I feel you, OP. I'm studying an History degree and I still feel like an uneducated kid. I compare myself constantly to my classmates and friends and I feel so… shallow. Idk.

I'm picking some of the suggestions here, thank you!

Anonymous 28708

Late, but do you have any tips for analyzing media?

Anonymous 28727

Seconding this.
I’ve watched enough video essays to get a basic grip on what I should be looking for but I look stupid trying. I don’t know where to start to tie it all together and haven’t had an English class in years.

Anonymous 116203

I made this thread, kek. Hate to blame the ongoing plague for everything but Covid set me back a bunch.
I'm comfy with my…"dumbassery" now, though. Especially since I no longer idolize the schizo side of twitter.

Anonymous 116240

1. Argue with other idiots on the internet
2. Obsessively google information to win pointless internet arguments
3. ???
4. Know a handful of useless facts and master the art of being supremely smug and self-assured

Anonymous 116242

Find explanations for the kinda stuff that bothers you. Especially if it's something about society.

Anonymous 116264

Its better than having no discourse about anything at all. At least the person has made strides to think for themselves, even if they do get carried away. People who never engage intellectually are just boring af no offense.

Anonymous 116265

I know this thread is old as fuck but if you don't know shit about politics or ethics or philosophy literally read books about it. It's that easy. Don't browse the internet, too much potential for misinformation.

Anonymous 116296

But do books really contain less misinformation than the internet?

Anonymous 116298

NTA, but books tend to go more depth. They have hundreds of pages on the subject while you’re unlikely to find a hundred unique pages about a topic on the internet. A book will also have been read and approved while misinformation spreads easily on the internet. Plus people writing books are doing it as a job and so have to be good at it and know what they are doing (usually) and will often have carried out unique research. Anyone can throw up a page on the net without too much knowledge.

Anonymous 116652


Don't use the internet too much, and when you do use it focus on one thing at a time instead of clicking on different tabs every 30 seconds. It really clouds your mind and fucks up your ability to concentrate on stuff.

Also I found that reading books about critical thinking and logical fallacies helped me a lot. Like pic related, the title is kind of cringeworthy but they explain a lot of logical errors commonly found in STEM.

Anonymous 116654

i LOVE flowers for algernon. my friend recommended to me and im so glad it was one of the best books ive read. yes yes yes. intelligence is not important at all for virtue.

Anonymous 116655

>I think it's misleading to say reading is what will lift you out of immaturity or make you smarter. I agree it's a good start, though, but make sure you are not just passing it through your system. Try to get a feel for the background of the book, who was the author and what were their beliefs, and think about how that relates to the book, for starters.
Shit's pointless. Death of the author should be applied in full. If the work can not stand alone it is not structured well. I can get having background may make you appreciate certain elements better, but at the end of the day it's not needed, relevant, or even helpful most of the time for the the subject matter.

Anonymous 116656


hmm, what's a good one for helping a person make connections between ideas/concepts easier?

I always thought I was the most uncreative person ever but it turns out I just never think about things. Sometimes, intuitively, I can do something creative.

Anonymous 116658

>in STEM
If it made any major notes about the soft sciences as well maybe I'd consider it.

Anonymous 116744

Go through something so awful it makes you angry to the point you obsess over it. Though I don't know why you'd wish for that. You pay attention to what interests you. Sure you can develop interests but its harder that way.

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