One of my favorite sayings of all time is that there is a difference between wisdom and knowledge and far too often, gaining one comes at the expense of the other. While this saying is traditionally applied in a religious context, in terms of life lessons learned, I find it more and more applicable to everyday events the older I get.
The next bit of news I am going to talk about has already been around for a few weeks now, but for some reason I keep hearing more and more about it everyday. This would be the “news” that a recent empirical study has somehow directly correlated swearing as a sign of higher intelligence. Meaning that, according to the research, people whom swear at higher frequencies allegedly tend to possess higher IQ’s than people whom do not.
While the results of this study have indubitably been twisted to fit a certain narrative and fill dead air space, it is not entirely false. According to the researcher themselves though, not the news outlets which have gone on to report about it, the study found that persons whom desire to expand their vocabulary naturally tend to posses higher IQ’s than those whom do not. Essentially, it is being argued that by choosing not to swear, you are deliberately choosing to limit the full range of your vocabulary, in theory making you dumber because other people use a wider array of words to express themselves, regardless of what those words actually happen to be. So, as you can see, it is a bit of a stretch to confidently say that swearing actually makes you any smarter – you dumb F*CKS! 😉
Read The Study for Yourself: https://campuspress.yale.edu/yrurp/files/2016/05/Giordano-rg5y5r.pdf
With that out of the way, the premise of the reporting on the study actually got me thinking about how the deep web and anonymous internet chat rooms can change your perspective on people and the world. I say this because you see and experience things there that you would never see or experience otherwise. At times it can be scary, other times extremely disturbing and still at other times, truly enlightening, but that is my point. The more experience you have and the more you experience, the wiser you naturally become – in theory.
The other day I got bored and decided to visit a chatroom I used to regularly frequent before retiring from internet activism. While I did not engage in any conversations, I remember reading a statement from a person who was talking about their experience on 4chan and how it had desensitized them to the world. Meaning that they had seen so many crazy, bizarre and extreme things there, that small things that normally get the average person offended or upset online don’t even seem to faze them anymore, something I can personally relate to.
While I plead the 5th on everything I have done online in the past, it has no doubt had an immeasurable impact on the work I do today, in my view for the better. If you have browsed through my website to date, you will see that I regularly report on hacking, terrorism, war, war crimes and humanitarian crisis. Admittedly, these issues are hard to talk about and in my experience, I have found that my subject matter is sometimes too “controversial” for some readers and has a tendency to turn people off from my site. Despite the importance of these issues and events, people seem too timid, afraid or hesitant to get involved and learn more about them. In many ways I find it funny when people call me controversial, because in my opinion, I believe they are just too sensitive and weak minded.
One of the first issues I remember covering for my site were War crimes which had been carried out in Yemen by Saudi forces, whom had bombed a hospital there the day before. To give people some perspective about what had actually taken place there, I included pictures from the bombing itself, which happened to include images of the dead bodies of children. The next day I was confronted by a man in the local gym whom told me that I needed to clean up the content on my site, because he was disturbed at the pictures he had seen there and did not want to see that sort of thing in the future. While I understand his point of view on the matter and realize the pictures were disturbing to look at, that was also exactly why I included them in the article in the first place.
Whether people like it or not or want to learn about it or not, these events are very real and are happening all around the world right now. Perhaps I am a victim of my own past and experience, but I will never understand people refusing to learn about something new or important, just because it hurts their feelings or makes them feel uncomfortable. This is also why I argue that seeing some of the more disturbing people and places around the internet in the past, through Anonymous blogs and some of the deeper recesses of the web, has actually made me a better and wiser person today. I am able to learn, understand, digest and intellectually talk about issues that most people wouldn’t touch with a 29 and a half foot pole, making me a more intelligent and mature person as a result.
I go back to a disclaimer that I was once forced to put on the front end of my Facebook Page, which I think still hold true today. It reads:
“I realize I write about controversial subjects and there are a lot of happenings around the world that are hard to talk about, but you can not make everyone happy all the time, no matter what you ever say or do. Quite frankly, people need to start talking about things that are hard to talk about, it builds character, strengthens your convictions and builds intellect and/or awareness. I put all of this information out there to get people to think more critically about the world around them, not to tell them how they should feel about it.”
Categories: Tech Stuff