There are people in this world that are really smart. I mean wicked smart. So smart, that they have to prepare themselves in order to communicate at levels that other people like me understand. I know this because often their unprepared comments and scholarly writings are too tough to understand, yet analyses by others reveal awesome cognitive depths, or hindsight uncovers the smartness after the fact.
The ones I know about are usually also excellent communicators, and high-profile. I am a normal guy when it comes to the day to day, with a wife and kids and regular work, volunteering with the PTA and belonging to a few activity clubs. Even when I lived in NYC I didn’t frequent Village coffee shops where one might actually encounter one of these super-smart people live, in person. I often wish I did… I often wish I was artistic enough to throw traditions to the wind and live an alternative lifestyle, because I just know I would end up hanging with brilliant minds, and I would appreciate it.
Anyway since that’s not reality, I read and pay attention to alternative media where I do get exposure to really smart people. Since it’s like a hobby of mine, I will start listing them here. The following are people I have experienced through writings or interviews or newsworthy events or perhaps in person, whom I consider wicked smart. I don’t always agree with their politics or opinions or expressed views, and I am not saying they are correct in their various “understandings”, nor that I condone their actions, but I am convinced these are way smart people worthy of my awe. Of course, like the story of Albert Einstein failing to master the art of Tying the Shoes, sometimes gifts come in lopsided doses. Many of these people can be considered warped, too.
In no particular order, and as part of a list that will grow over time as I have tie to add to it, these are wicked smart people:
- Charles Krauthammer – neocon, former psychiatrist turned political “activist”, but a brilliant thinker anyway. Scary if you ask me. I listened to some older speeches he gave, and he clearly understands people way in excess of how he reveals.
- Noam Chomsky – the guy is brilliant beyond expression. It must hurt. It must hurt to have lived his life and be where he is now, but it also must hurt to just exist inside that brain. Kudos for having made it this far.
- Chris Hedges – this guy reeks of brilliance, and has followed a life path that suggests he’s running from demons. Amazing brain. He seems to try really hard to communicate through the popular media, as if he is working really hard to make a difference, but people don’t listen very well and he ends up repeating sound bites that betray his brilliance. I know I would never have the patience to keep trying like that, but again, he’s driven by something.
- Jon Stewart – You just know he’s a comedian because in these times, that is the second best way to reach the people. The first best way being a member of the ruling party, and the third best way being a member of a dissenting party. He also seems to have followed a wandering path, but according to wikipedia he tended bar at the Franklin Tavern in New Jersey …. where I have slipped away for a mid-day beer more than a few times.
More to come as I spend time on the hobby….