Clearly, You're Retarded was the radio show with Adam Avitable and Britt Reints

Learning something from everyone

Can you actually learn something from everyone? Is wisdom taught on the streets or in books or both? Can someone be stupid and smart at the same time?

This is a topic that Faiqa talked about yesterday and Britt and I have argued about before privately. It’s also going to be the topic of tonight’s episode of “Clearly, You’re Retarded”, at 9 PM EST.

Yeah, LOST is on, but you should set it to record on your DVR and then watch it after our show. That way, you can fast forward through commercials!

If you listen live, you can join everyone in the chatroom where there is usually a lively discussion going on that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. You can create an account at Talkshoe and download the Talkshoe Pro software or just listen as a guest.

Before the show, though, I’d love to get your opinion. Do you honestly think that every person on Earth has something to teach you? What’s better – street smarts, book smarts, or a combination of both?

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24 Replies to “Learning something from everyone”

  1. Sarah

    There’s this girl in my class that I swear I will stab with my ruler one day.

    Considering that most of the people I met in college are glorified idiots I’d say any smarts at all would help. But a combo of both seems to work for the people that actually tend to succeed in the world.

    I hope I’m home to catch the show. We’ll see.

  2. Faiqa

    A combination of both is preferable. However, I don’t think a person has to have book smarts to be considered wise or even intelligent. In terms of everyone having something to offer… well, I suppose the number of lessons you learn in a lifetime is inversely proportional to the amount of unchecked ego you possess.

  3. RebTurtle

    I’m sure everyone has something that they could contribute from their prospective or particular knowledge base of education and experiences. Knowledge, however is not the same a wisdom. I know people who know all of the answers in Trivial Pursuit, it doesn’t appear to correlate with their IQ though.

    Everyone may have something to teach, and maybe even worth teaching, but it only matters if the person learning it can apply or build on that knowledge in their own life. Otherwise, it’s just trivia.

  4. SingleParentDad

    Everyone can teach you something, even if that something is only the knowledge that you don’t want to be like them.

    I would go for street smarts, mainly because I struggle to retain book smarts, especially if of no relevance to my existence.

  5. bo

    yes, i honestly believe that something can be learned from every person we encounter. does that mean we SHOULD learn something from everyone? of course not. some people aren’t just compatible, like me and most of the people i work with. but even the village idiot has something worthy of noting – maybe even how to remain president of the united states for 8 years.

    this whole thing assumes that we’re talking about knowledge. if we’re talking about wisdom, i’d say that wisdom cannot be learned – only attained. wisdom is more about picking up pieces from others or from elsewhere and fitting them together with the glue of your own life-experience.

    and dude, you know i think you’re the hottest piece of ass south of the mason-dixon line, but it’s LOST man. it’s the one show i watch. if this choice means i’ll never get that threesome with you and me and a ham sandwich, i guess i’ll just have to live with that.

  6. Turnbaby

    My comment on Faiqa’s blog

    “”To value the ‘earmarks’ (degrees, titles, etc) of education rather than the actual knowledge a person possesses is to value form over substance.

    I know a Harvard educated attorney who is a blithering idiot. My grandmother had to quit school at 16 because her father was killed (he was a policeman who was murdered) and the family needed her income to survive. She ran several successful businesses over her life in a time when not many women did. She was one of the smartest people I’ve ever known.

    The gathering of wisdom comes from many sources.

    Some people have seemingly innate wisdom—some never have it–no matter how much education they have or how many times life smacks them in the face with the ‘wise up’ stick.””

    To which I’ll add

    I have a friend who is a attorney and a prominent politician here. After dealing with some really idiotic folks she made the statement that she just wasn’t going to speak to anyone unless they had a college degree. About two months later her husband–a well respected prominent businessman—had to admit that he never ‘actually’ received his degree from the university he so proudly listed on his resume.

    Was it wrong for me to giggle?

  7. NYCWD

    Yes, you can learn something from everyone.

    You can have tons of street smarts, diplomas out the ass, but if you don’t have common sense then it’s all pretty worthless. I think there has to be a balance in those 3 areas.

  8. Grant

    Formal education has taught me very little that is actually useful in my life. Everything I use, including English and computer skills, I learned on my own. Two things I learned in 16 years of schooling are that Mr. is not pronounced as “mer” and on a mainframe system the Return and Enter keys have separate functions. Otherwise, pretty much useless (although I am enjoying my Japanese lessons, but partially because the teacher is a tiny cute hottie).

  9. Kiefer and Emo

    The question isn’t whether or not everybody has something to teach you, the question is are you capable of LEARNING something from anyone. Kiefer has nothing to teach me, but when I look at him slobber into his beer everytime he tries to pick up a gurl I teach myself – “swallow before you open your mouth.” That way I get laid, and he just gets spittle in his Budweiser.

  10. floating princess

    Yes, I think you can learn something from anyone, provided you are willing to learn in the first place. It may only be an example of what not to do, but it can still be useful. I think the bigger question centers not around the wisdom and intelligence of others, but instead in our own willingness and openness to learning in all, even the most unexpected, forms.

  11. phoenix

    Certainly you can and should take something from everyone you meet.
    Even the most pretentious blithering idiots? The ones who know they are right no matter what? Absoltely. They teach you restraint. Restraining yourself to not throttle them!
    The morons who absolutely can not put a sentence together coherently? Yup! They will teach you sympathy and to pity those less fortunate.
    People who just aren’t smart enough to achieve a higher education because of thier limited capabilities? You know it! They will teach you compassion. Just because we here, typically, have a modicum of intellect, does not mean we shouldn’t feel for those who just don’t. We don’t all need to be evil! :angel:
    And for those who occasionally comment here and may or may not use proper punctuation or spelling (by the way, you need to figure out a way to get spell check for your comment section for your sanity as well as my dignity!)? Well I can teach you that not all girls from Ohio are duds! We Buckeyes Kick Ass!

  12. Jay

    Having a formal education and lots of degrees is nice. But, it’s also useless if you don’t have the ability to tell when the professor is a self-important asshole who has no real world experience or the textbook you are using is total crap.

    “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain

  13. Stephanie

    Preferably a combination of both. I think that you can learn something from every single person on earth, even it it is something you don’t want to know, don’t care to know about, or think is stupid…you are still learning. A truly wise person listens more than they speak.

    You can steal that and needlepoint it on a pillow, if you’d like.

  14. NYCWD

    I don’t know how the show went from the topic above to the difference between wisdom, intelligence, and stupidity… but had there been time here is basically what I would have said:

    I can understand why you would consider someone who has no direct affect on your life as having no value, but I think that is extremely short sighted. I also think that Wisdom is not about being intelligent/unintelligent… be how you apply your knowledge/solve your lack of knowledge. Wisdom is often described as a noun but in practice it is more verb like.

    Interesting show otherwise… but I it didn’t give me the urge to scream.

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