They like to "debate" but shut down and get angry the second they get an unexpected question or have to think about their answer.


I had to stop going on r/changemyview because of this. The final straw was when one guy kept discrediting my sources saying they were biased... but wouldn't go into any detail on how they were biased and how that discredited anything I had said. Also these weren't obscure sources one of them was specifically the FDA drug data sheet.


The moment intellectual dishonesty started being accepted as an argument it was the death of any debate ever. It's just the rethorical equivalent of rage quit, it stops any kind of debate while at the same discrediting the other guy's opinion, since you are basically saying he is so wrong that no even he believes what he is saying to be true.


Well, it was biased. Biased towards accuracy rather than misinformation! How dare you use credible sources when all he has is indignation and loudness on his side!


Those debates are often just reiterating some points or a train of thought they heard on the radio, or read online. Source: I do this. BUT, I do it to open up a topic to then hash over with friends.


Now that's actually a good way to open up some more branches of a debate or to get a feel for what sort of ideologies the other person may associate with


Or they debate and not let anyone else speak, and when someone does try to speak the other person just talks louder and faster.


The trend in the past few years of the response "I'm not reading all that" when they encounter an argument they can't counter. Do they realize that acting like it's too many words doesn't make them look smart?


Or, I'm not going to give you specific sources "because Google is a thing."


Oh, yea, that and "Do your own research, I'm not doing the work for you" when they have no way to back up their claims.


Sometimes I've been so pissed off by that lazy shit that I've actually then done the work. "I did the work. Here are seven links, disproving everything you claimed, and here's another three, peer-reviewed studies claiming the exact opposite, for good measure. Now prove me wrong or quit your bullshit."


"The site in link #3 is known to have made mistakes in the past! Therefore your entire argument is flawed!" Meanwhile the site in question is something like Snopes, which, I'm sure has had mistakes, but also cites their sources, which is a hell of a lot better than quite a few other sites... And what about the other 9 links they conveniently forgot?


And then say you're just trolling when you point out their claim is bs


I knew a guy in high school who was into "philosophy" but had no actual philosophical knowledge. He'd mostly just reiterate the same thing when you contradicted him, like he was brushing it off. He was autistic, so he didn't know how arrogant he sounded. I don't know what he's doing now but he presumably continues to promote and create freeware programs.


They hyper-focus on a single source of wisdom or completely ignore their opponent's perspective. Actual intellectuals read broadly, and the best intellectuals read things they disagree with. Edit: Talking about "read things they disagree with"... There is a difference between reading the influential works of opposing movements and browsing social media cesspools. I am disappointed that I have to clutter this post by clarifying.


I'd argue the people you disagree with are probably the most important to read. How else would you find out if you're wrong.


Perhaps equally important is reading people who are critical of their own side. By putting a target on their back they have little to gain other than getting closer to the truth.


That's an excellent point. It took me reading your worst enemy's book cover to cover twice to realize that shit was all made up.


Wait how did you know who my worst enemy is?


They don't call him Horrible Harry for nothing...


I said I read the book cover to cover twice!


remembers me of when i looked in a book in my profs office and 5 pages had about 260 sources as references. you can not be well educated about a subject from a few sources


They can't say they don't know something. When pressed, they will deflect or fake their way through it. Somebody actually knowledgeable (no matter in what area) will also know the limits of their knowledge, and have the confidence to identify it when they reach it.


The biggest difference I noticed between my high school teachers and my college professors was that high school teachers usually (there were exceptions, but not many) insisted on trying to guess an answer to a question they didn't know while my professors are very willing to say "that is outside my area of expertise, and I don't know the answer well, but I'd be happy to direct you to people who do specialize there."


Guessing is an interesting grey area! I don't mind people who will guess at an answer, as long as they identify it as a guess. Someone who knows their stuff will go 'I'm not sure, but based on circumstances i think it might be X'. That in itself can be a mark of intellect! But of course, the pseudo- will guess and pretend it's knowledge.


My favourite lecturers at university were the ones that went "Hm, I don't know how to do that. Let's figure it out together"


This reminds me of my mom's fiance. Says things as if he understands the topic completely and then when gently pressed, completely crumbles and can't form coherent thoughts.


My God this. If they can't admit to not knowing something, how do I really know that they know anything?


Socrates: "That's the neat part, you don't."


I don’t recall Socrates holding Plato’s head through a subway crash


"...and he also loves...baseball." Go So-crates!


No joke, a guy I knew was this exact person. We worked together so I never really cared to call him on it or press him. One time, while at a party with work people, I brought some beer my dad had made. My dad being himself, went so far as to name the beer, the brewing company, and label these bottles very nicely. I noticed what the label said and thought it was funny so I said “hey, look at this beer label”. He looked for a moment and said “yeah, I’ve had that, it’s too hoppy for me”. Also it was a blonde.


This hurts extra for me because i'm a big beer fanatic and try to not be a pseudo-intellectual about it :D


Can’t believe I left out a major fact lol. He didn’t even drink beer, he was a self proclaimed wine-o and said beer was gross. He looked down upon it.


I grew up with a someone like that and this is spot fucking on. But to add to it, extreme pendantry.


You just defined most of reddit. And your description is spot on btw.


I did not know that.


You dumb fuck, i did!


If they make unsubstantiated claims that they can't back up or, if they use words they don't understand in order to come across as more knowledgeable.


I for one would never use a big word just to make myself sound more photosynthesis.


Idk why I just imagined you dropping on your back and doing the arm and leg thing SpongeBob did


Perhaps your vocabulary isn't as cromulent as other, more embiggened people. On a serious note, one of my friends said "FOILAGE" on the 4th of July. Sadly, it was not a Simpsons joke. He fits this bill. Still love the guy, though.


That’s completely ridiculous, as was demonstrated in an article I read just last week on a web site I can’t remember using a computer I don’t own!!!


They refuse to explain something in an easier/more understandable way when asked


When you present a correction to their assertion, they tell you you're wrong but can't explain why or they say they don't have time.


At the risk of sounding pseudo-intellectual myself, like Einstein said, “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”


And on top of that, if you can’t/refuse to explain something in simpler terms, then you don’t actually care about sharing information, you just want to seem smart ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


YES. Information is useless when it's not shared. So why be secretive? Oh yeah because you can't even explain it.


"I've done MY OWN research, you should toooooooo!"


omg "Do your research!" is the mating call of tge 70 iq social media twit


Also at the risk of sounding pseudo-intellectual, I completely disagree with him there. The skills to understand something, and to teach it is completely unrelated. Some very intelligent people are shit at teaching. (Hello various professors from uni) And other not as intelligent people are great at teaching to newcomers in the field.


I agree with you. Teaching is a really important skill but it’s not the same as understanding. Teaching requires figuring out how to take multi-dimensional ideas and lay them out linearly. It’s not easy.


I can play guitar. I cannot teach guitar. I could easily explain to a child that hitting the strings make noise and the noise changes based on where I put my fingers, how many strings I hit, and how hard I hit them.


This suggests to me that if you were to try teaching some folks, you may discover an even greater expanse of dope guitar skillz of your own


There’s a big difference between explaining and teaching. Especially when you consider the quote is “…explaining it to a 6 year old” and not “…teaching it to a six year old”.


Citing "countless examples"; Can't name one of them.


They always defend popular opinions with "extremely convinced" and a rigid mindset without doing a critical thinking ever.




Spending three minutes on the shitter reading a Wiki page isn't "research", Kyle.


Honestly that would be a huge upgrade.


an intellectual entertains his opponent's views without accepting them, he puts himself in the other's shoes, and from there he figures out where it doesn't make sense, the fake intellectual doesn't seem to have that flexibility of thought.


This is a really good one. I think it's almost impossible to reason clearly if you are uncomfortable entertaining a "wrong" view long enough to understand it


Even reasonable folks fall into this trap, i think.


Absolutely. Sometimes I'll hear an argument or idea that I especially don't like for some reason and it's almost a physical discomfort to even just keep listening to it without interjecting how wrong wrong wrong it is.


They're unwilling to provide sources/read your sources. They put more emphasis on how you said something, than the facts.


I think that's my #1 actually. You can have the worst low-down knock'em down drag'em out stupid comments fight on the internet and you'll still come out ahead if you've actually learned something new or found a new source of information. You hone your google-fu that way. If your opponent just nitpicks instead of providing information or reviewing yours then it's just a total waste of time. On the bright side I've actually found that one of the best ways to shut down a stupid argument I'm a little too invested in is to provide sources for my opponent to read. About half the time they can't even be bothered to read them and they don't respond.


Pseudo-intellectuals **love** to drop names of famous experts in the field, and will often do that in lieu of a real explanation when challenged to explain themselves. For example, "If you're not familiar with the research of Lawrence and Krasden in this field, then it's not worth my time to educate you". In general, pseudo-intellectuals don't like explaining concepts, because they're afraid that they'll explain the concept incorrectly and get shown up by somebody else. So they use all sorts of tactics to establish dominance, try to belittle you, and avoid giving a clearly worded explanation of their argument.


I was once trying to show off some of my fancy Film Studies minor knowledge, and I name dropped famous documentarian Jeffrey Weissman. Then I looked it up later, and Jeffrey Weissman was the guy who replaced Crispin Glover as George McFly in Back to the Future 2, and I was thinking of Frederick Wiseman. And he didn’t say the quote I attributed to him.


Nice one. I'd add, for people in academia, the entire concept of mentioning your degrees and using them as a sledgehammer. If you have the degree then you should be able to structure your reasoning properly. If you need to use the "I have a degree in this field" card then you're trying to use the diploma as a weapon to silence dissent, saying "you are not allowed to know, only I can know" rather than construct a solid fundament for your argument.


>for people in academia, the entire concept of mentioning your degrees and using them as a sledgehammer. When working in academia, phds are like assholes--all your colleagues have got at least one of their own too and no one wants to hear about yours.


True 90% of the time, although I would make an exception for arguing with aggressive Internet conspiracy-theorists who are posting utter nonsense and claiming that it's all backed up by "experts". In that particular case, it really isn't worth trying to explain anything to them, because anyone who's dealt with people like that knows that you could post the best explanation in the world and they won't listen to a word of it anyway.


they talk constantly and say nothing


This is my new favorite insult.


¡habla mucho, pero dice *nada*!


When they tell you their IQ. And it's always suspiciously high.


My IQ is yours + 1.


I wouldn’t be bragging about IQ 82




I took an IQ test, and got a perfect 100.


Congratulations! You are at the top of the bell curve.


even if it’s legit, it’s still a pseudo behavior, because IQ is a very contentious topic, and anyone acting like it’s a value neutral, accurate way to measure intelligence is eiter ignorant of the debate or picked the bad side


They say "educate yourself" but don't know the difference between blind peer reviewed studies and YouTube nonsense.


Or people who cite blind peer reviewed studies but completely misinterpret them


Or just read the abstract.


**Fuck** That's how I write all my research papers


I giggled too hard at that because I've read too many papers where that is TRUE. So many of the papers could have been 66% "ipsum lorem" for all the worth their proofreaders were.


“Proofreaders” both under- and over-values peer review. Sometimes the feedback is great, sometimes reviewer 2 is pissed because you picked the wrong topic (I.e. a research question that is uninteresting to them or not in their line). It’s really great when you get two of those and they give unrelated, conflicting edits for your R & R…


Honestly, a good abstract should give you at least a good sense of whether or not their methods are sound (at least in theory). If the abstract doesn't do that, then it's possibly a bad paper all around.


Honestly, my theory on this is as follows. They've gotten so sick and tired of being wrong when scientific publications and such are cited against their positions, that they've decided the only response is to finally go out and get some sources to cite. ...And in typical monkey-see-monkey-do, they are just aping the process of getting sources and literally have no idea what the difference between a peer reviewed study and a YouTube video is, which then leads into further frustration for them when they are told "That's not a real source!" because, since they don't understand the difference, it sounds like you're just changing the rules again on them.


Even among the people who *do* know about peer reviewed papers…reading the abstract and picking out the one sentence that kinda sounds like it’s supporting your point is not the same thing as *actually* understanding the paper.


Really intelligent people are very secure in their intelligence but fakers will most likely be trying to put others down to seem smarter.


Jokes on you, I put myself down to seem dumber.


This one is the one I've seen multiple times. Confidence is quiet, insecurity is loud.


"the definition of insanity is...."


They repeat what you already said, in a slightly different way, and act as if they're adding to the discussion. They defensively tell people to "read a book" instead of answering a question.


> They repeat what you already said, in a slightly different way, and act as if they're adding to the discussion. Me trying to fulfill the participation requirements in high school English classes.


My boss recently interjected in a meeting saying “let me answer your question with a question” then talked in circles for a few minutes then asked the same question…


When I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, I was dragged along to my dad's union meeting. The leaders were on a platform at the head of the room and one of the members in the audience asked a question. One leader started to answer, "Well, I don't know what your question is, but I'm going to answer it anyway" at which point the room exploded in outrage at the guy for trying to dodge the question and my dad went up to the audience microphone and chewed the guy's ass out. It was a pretty cool to see dad that way as a kid.


Just to clarify if they take what you said and just, rearrange the words without adding in anything it's just a fake way of jumping into the conversation when you know nothing.


Did you take what the last person said and rearrange the word without adding anything just as a fake way to jump into the conversation?


But why would anyone take what the person said last and rearrange the word without adding anything just as a way to fake jump into the conversation?


I dunno man, read a book.


I do read a book I read a book all the time many books. Big books


The best books. And no one reads them like me. No one- I’ll tell you about my book- no, more than a book. The book of all books-and it’s mine.


In fact I was the first - one of the first - and you never hear this, people don't wanna hear it, but I'll tell you now: I was one of the first books. The first to read books. Certainly sooner than anyone else up here. And all the smarty-pants people - you know who, they hate when I bring this up - all of them told me: look, why are you doing books? Books just don't matter anymore. And I said to them; of course they don't matter. I wrote a book, you don't need to tell me. But now all those same smarty-pants people who are reading all their books and writing about - "he's wrong, he can't do it" - well, those books can't believe that my polls are up, every day, up up up. Maybe they're not so smart after all.


That's an important point. If you really want to jump into a conversation all you need to do is reiterate the previous point with different phrasing. No need to actually know anything about the subject matter.


to clarify if they Just take what you said rearrange the words and just fake a way into the conversation without adding in anything just when you know nothing


Yeah, it is as if they contribute nothing to the conversation and just repeat everything that was said before. I don't like that at all about people.


I think you're forgetting that most importantly, what pseudo-intellectuals are oft prone to do is to repackage ideas that they've absorbed from you and then have the gall to present these revelations as their own creations and then they laud themselves as having made an impact on the discourse. A pseudo-intellectual would, to protect their own inadequacies, direct you to edify yourself independently rather than supply you with the superior knowledge they supposedly retain!


This thread got real Reddit, really fast.


Yeah…what this guy said.


I'm not duplicating what you already said, you need to read this to understand where you went wrong: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_died_on_the_toilet


> They repeat what you already said, in a slightly different way, This is just a basic technique to show someone you're listening.


To demonstrate your attentiveness to the conversation at hand you can recapitulate the salient points of the discussion.


They parrot talking points without being able to discuss or understand the details of their arguments. Seen it all across the political spectrum. If all you are able to communicate are Twitter-length bullet points, then there is something wrong. I’ve tried to talk with people who are like a NPC in a video game, all they can do is repeat the same 3 generic statements on a topic. Similar to above the other sign is that their opinions are 100% exactly the same as either some person, movement, or religion. No nuance, no “shades of grey”, not even a slight disagreement on a particular point or two. Basically you have turned off your brain and someone else is thinking for you.


If you're in the right place at the right time you can sometimes watch an idea come to life on reddit and then watch it spread to other subs. Only to have someone bring up the idea during a debate word for word. Like, alright buddy. I know where you got that idea from. I watched it form in /r/whatever and then spread to /r/overhere and then /r/overthere. You can at least change up the wording a bit.


use words that are rarely used in everyday life when you could use a more common word. an extra point when the meaning of that word has nothing to do with what the person wants to express.


this is just the most uxorious post


Uxorious is a pretty cromulent word


I hate when such an abdomination gets loose within the Halls Of Acdemica. You don't have to have a big vernacular to be an enterlectual. You just need neuropathy and a certain sense of the obsurd.


Very recalcitrant of OP indeed


A brobdingnagian approach of the soliloquies regarding life


It irates me when people chlorophyll their hagerdorns.


My sincerest contrafibularities


There's nothing wrong with employing ostentatious diction.


The thing is that “everyday life” uses very different sets of words for different people. There’s nothing wrong with using a less common word *if it expresses your intent more precisely*. But you should be able to explain why your word choice was preferred if someone asks. There’s also nothing wrong with asking someone what they mean. People often get insecure and defensive if someone else uses a word they don’t know, but there’s nothing wrong with learning a new word.


On the contrary, I LOVE running into people that ARE intellectual types that aren't assholes about it, but aren't ashamed of their intelligence, and / or don't think of themselves as particularly intelligent, or anyone else as below their intelligence. The archetype I'm describing is kind of thought to nail, but you sure know em when you meet em. Like when they use big words and it doesn't sound annoying and out of place, it's just like they have a particular understanding of that word and it's connotation, and it fits better than a common word. If you ask what it means, they will tell you and really make sure you get it, without making you feel like an idiot. Humble intellectual types are usually really cool people, even if you can't keep up with them!


This is me, but it's because I read all the time and the words may naturally pop up in conversation for me :(


Yes, being really intellectually curious will get you labeled occasionally. If you read a wide assortment of things your vocabulary goes up. Don't worry about it. Except on resumes and when you finally get out of school. Then people want easy everyday words all the time.


Same. My vocabulary is bookish, not intentionally obnoxious.




Yeah I do this :( Book nerd from a very (almost freakish) young age I can't help it if a word just "fits".... if I adjust my language because I think the listener won't understand, isn't that me being a dick? I'd rather get called out on it and asked to explain than feel I was underestimating the person I was conversing with




Stealing this as a throwback prog 80's metal band name Cheers!


After they make a claim and you ask them to show evidence for that claim, they tell you to "do your own homework."


And they'll act like Google offers singular, definitive, and unquestionably correct answers to all questions as the first search result every time




One colleague likes to say: We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.


I said the same line as a joke once, and now I say it all the time instead of the original.


I say that all the time as a joke lol


I was talking to someone and they said "no shit shylock" I don't know if they were uninformed, anti Semitic or both


I doubt they were anti-semitic. They probably don't even know who Shylock was!


I'm sure they aren't, after he said that I just looked at him and said "the merchant of Venice?" Which just made him more confused lol


Ah yes, that's the word I was totally going to use


I resemble that remark


It's all Greek to me, and Greek history is my Achille's Horse.


Like my father said, a pint of blood cost more than a gallon of gold.


These always separate the wheat from the calf.


So I shouldn't do that on purpose because I think it's hilarious? My roommate hates me for it.


Meh, lots of people do that for linguistic fun. My brother and both love to deliberately scramble phrases - "All seriousness aside..." "Unless I remember correctly..." "We'll burn that bridge when we come to it." Then again, my brother and I are both kind of pseudointellectuals, so maybe you have a point after all. Carry on!


I think it’s pretty different when you do it on purpose or do it subconsciously because you’ve made the joke so many times. My mom sort of does that and now it’s still a joke but also just how she says certain phrases or words regardless of context.




Shit or get out of the kitchen.


I once, in a work environment, said we should do something out of serendipity. Couldn’t figure out what was so funny.


They have "free thinker" on their bios.


Well it better be free because I wouldn't want to pay for garbage.


For Redditors) Making a series of discussion-worthy points about a topic. When responded to, selects one of three responses for an "auto victory" in their eyes: 1) (RARE) They see that of 6 points they raised, you only directly addressed 5, they declare you couldn't handle that extra point (even if it rested on the other 5 points being all perfectly true) and therefor they win the conversation. [This is rare because it requires them to read longer than the few words it takes to realize you disagree.] 2) (Average) They repeat what they said the first time and claim you didn't address any of their points because there is no response to them, they are objectively correct. 3) (Frequent) "Post too long bro. Not gonna read it. Clearly I'm right if you can't refute what I said in only a few words."


4) Ignore your retort and respond with another fallacious "argument", which is usually moving the goal post or is a non sequitur. 5) Ignore your 4 of your 5 points and only responds to the 1 they have an answer for. When pressed to address the points they skipped, they ignore or block you. 6) Fixate on accidental misspellings or grammar mistakes as a counter argument. 7) Argue the analogy rather than the subject represented by the analogy.


> 7) Argue the analogy rather than the subject represented by the analogy. Ugh...I had a situation that still occasionally rankles me that was this to a T. For whatever I had said, someone declared something along the lines of "NO! You CANNOT just trade lives. Ten over here for five over there, that kind of thing. All lives are equal!" and I was trying to demonstrate that yes you can. The idea of if you must was a different matter. So I bring up the Trolley Problem. In its most basic iteration (and there are many), you are standing next to the lever to control a switchtrack upon which there is an out of control trolley. If you do nothing, the trolley will run over ~5 people and kill them all. If you switch the track, the trolley will only run over 1 person. In this iteration, the raw point is that all things being equal, 1 person dead is better than 5 people dead. But it does get complex even here because which is worse? "NOT acting and letting 5 people die." or "Acting and choosing to kill 1 person.", and there's not really any right or wrong answer in most of these situations. Now, an example of one of the MANY iterations is, if you were fine with switching the track and killing the one, the new version is that the 1 person is someone you know and like. Would you still do it? It's a tool that exists to let you self explore the things you personally truly value. And this guy was having NONE of that. * Me: I state the trolley problem. * Him: I run ahead and save everyone. * Me: Fine...You can't, you're tied to a post and the only action you can take is to throw the switch or not. * Him: I cut the ropes and save everyone. * Me: ......They are steel and you're welded in position, you'll live out the rest of your life in this spot because you can't get away, all you can do is throw the switch. * Him: Someone cuts me free and we save them. And he honestly wasn't being a troll like you might assume, but he WAS crazy. His point was that there is NEVER a situation whereby you actually have to choose between saving one person over another, there's ALWAYS a third way that you were too slow to see. It didn't matter how unrealistic he had to get, no matter what, he'd create an impossible 3rd option and claim he'd come up with something more reasonable if he could actually see where the situation was taking place.


That’s so annoying! I hate it when people fight the hypothetical. It just shows that they don’t understand the dilemma the hypothetical is trying to get at. And it’s just cheating too. It’s like the adult version of when you’re playing would-you-rather and someone says neither. Yeah no shit, I’d pick neither too dummy, but thats not a possible option.


They're very, very condescending. Also they attack the person and not the idea, probably because they don't have enough information to address the idea. E: Update typo.


If the only way they can explain complex or “high brow” topics (especially if they call them high brow) is using big words and not being able to use simple and concise language to make it understandable to the person they’re explaining to. Also having to put down anything they see as “lesser” than them and their interests. I always think of Hawking talking about teenage girls who love one direction and speaking with as much fondness as his assisted communication device could portray.


They speak above their vocabulary. I'm not saying they necessarily mispronounced words, but certain words feel forced into a conversation when a better and simpler word would have fit better.


MS Word Autocorrect…is that you? Leave my comas in peace!


Why say many word, when one word do trick?




An inability to acknowledge someone else is right (and they are mistaken) or someone else knows more.


Being a contrarian. Automatically disagreeing with everything you hear isn’t any smarter than than believing everything.


They use Whom incorrectly


I'm a person for who this is a pet peeve (Sic)


I like using whom cos I’m a linguist but at least I use it correctly haha


> Whomst’d FTFY


what about dropping whomst in as often as possible in conversation?


Definitely a pseudo-intellectual thing to do. Although also a very funny thing to do


Yeah For those who don't know you replace 'who' with 'whom' when it's not the subject of the sentence e.g. "Who did it, and to whom was it done?"


Whom does that?!


Whom gave you that idea?


For me, it's seeing people who can't shift their beliefs/biases based on evidence


They watch Frasier but only laugh at the dog.


Eddy. The dog's name is Eddy, you high brow nincompoop


And Roz and Bulldog.


Jeez all these describe me


They use IQ scores to defend their so-called “intelligence.”




> I used to think having a high IQ score meant something. I've got a fun little theory that relates to this. If you watch movies from the 50-60's, particularly cold war movies, but also b-grade disaster movies (yes they had them back then), you'll notice there's an interesting trend. The smart guy character that everybody just listens to as though they were spouting the gospel of God direct? 99% of the time their character doesn't have a name. They are just "The Professor". Advance forward through the 80's, and suddenly they aren't just "The Professor", but they are "Professor so-and-so from MIT/CalTech/etc.", and then further on, you get fancy titles like "The President's National Science Advisor", and then further on to the modern day you usually get SOMEONE describing them as "Probably the smartest person on the planet.". There's also other little modern tricks I'll get into later. The theory is this...back in the early days of film, the average human's intellectual world was encompassed entirely by their immediate social circle and anyone they consistently read about in the newspaper like Einstein. So if you knew someone college educated, they might be the de facto "smartest person" in your group. More so, if you had an actual college professor in your group, their word was inviolate...because you had no real ability to tell if they were bullshitting you on something. What are you going to do? Go down to the library, check out a book on astrophysics/chemistry/etc, and try to learn what it means to prove they are wrong? Nope. Easier to just assume they know what they are talking about and less risk of seeming like a moron to the rest of the social group. But as time went on you have radio and television (and later the internet) bringing more and more intellectuals into your social circle. Your "professor" said something but the big-name professor on the TV just said the opposite. Slowly, people began to realize that professors are just normal people. In many cases they are highly educated and intelligent about a singular field, and no different than anyone else at things outside that field. And so for these characters to have impact in the news, you need to dress them up a bit further. Add in the name of a world-renowned college to make them extra top-tier. But that bit runs a little old after enough time, particularly since as a result of everyone knowing about that college any scandals among the professors became big news, so people started to see through that. So now you get the fancy titles and things. Buuuut....how many times have we seen in the news someone with a fancy title saying something that is, if not outright wrong, at least obviously misleading? Enter the modern era of the bait-and-switch-intellectual. Here's how it works. You present the problem to the audience, build it up really big and impossible seeming. Have the bait-character (usually with some snazzy title) declare some very straightforward plan that the average audience member can easily grasp. Then, while everyone is thinking "Ah yes, that makes sense." you have the switch-character make a derisive comment about how listening to Bait will get everyone killed, and then with some hyper easy to understand analogy, they explain the better plan. And your average viewer will go "Ah! That makes so much sense! That other guy (Bait) must be stupid if he couldn't figure that out! This guy (Switch) is the real deal!". And boom! With about 5 lines of dialogue, you've established in your audiences mind that Switch is a smart cookie. Armageddon is a WONDERFUL movie for this...because it does it three times almost immediately back to back. When NASA realizes they have a problem, they set up a meeting. In that meeting, they have random NASA engineers give overly complicated and stupid plans as suggestions. Then the President's National Science Advisor chimes in (through the General) that we should just send up a nuke and blow it apart. Bait-And-Switch-1. Now you have a mysteriously silent fellow in the background chuckling and shaking his head, commenting on how we'll all die if we try that. This fellow then uses a colorful analogy about the difference in blowing up a firecracker in your palm verses a closed fist to show that the PNSA is a moron, who incidentally got a C- in his astrophysics class. Bait-And-Switch-2 completed. Then you have a little bit later, Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) show up at the hanger where the director of NASA admits they need his help with the drill because they stole his design and they cannot make it work. Suave-and-cool-Switch from part 2 IMMEDIETLY steps in all flustered-like to declare that the design and plans must have been bad since they can't make it work. Harry accuses the man of being incompetent because he doesn't know the difference between two random mechanical words and as Suave-and-cool-Switch is about to retort to this, the director of NASA dismisses him and waves him off. Bait-And-Switch-3 completed, and now the main character is established as the Smart Guy that everyone goes to. tldr: As communication spread peoples awareness of the world, people became less impressed by generic-educated-man and movies had to get more creative.


I just watched Armageddon again last week. In every respect, I'm pretty sure it conveys *nothing* correctly about mining, drilling, NASA, astrophysics, security, launch vehicles, radiation, gravity, and just about any other topic I can remember. But it's still a blast to watch... I enjoy insulating myself in both it's heart and dumbness. I absolutely agree with your above statement. The script needs to make an appeal to authority to push the plot forward, but it's usually really wonky in execution.


Actually, one of the funniest things about Armageddon is that the thing it gets MOST right is the thing people think is most wrong! There's the complaint of "Why would NASA send up drillers? Just train the astronauts in how to drill!"...Except that's literally how NASA works. NASA refers to them as mission specialists. It is easier to train an expert in a narrow field to be an astronaut than it is to train an astronaut to be an expert in a narrow field. Plus, the drillers aren't actually needing to learn how to "be an astronaut", they are just learning how to wear a spacesuit and use an airlock without killing themselves. Each crew had two real astronauts there to handle anything else that might come up. Part of the point about the crew was that while they may act dumb, they are all intelligent and extremely capable people that just happen to be focused. Like Rockhound (the one who uses the gatling gun) is actually good at geology. So really, what NASA did was functionally the equivalent of taking some intelligent/capable people and teach them how to scuba dive in two weeks. But yeah, a LOT about the actual specifics are...hilarious.


Intelligent people don't have to tell you they are. They probably don't even think they are. There's a reason that "all I know is I know nothing" is such a big quote in studying philosophy.


Going out of their way to not use contractions when they talk. Also identifying as "sapiosexual." I also find that pseudo-intellectuals will write messages that read more like a college essay than a casual conversation. I can see you read books, you don't have to talk to me like you're a 19th century novelist.


The assumption that anyone who disagrees with them is doing so in bad faith. I'd also add: When you can guess all their opinions and almost guess word for word any argument they will make solely by knowing their ideological affiliation. If you don't disagree with your in-group about anything then you're a fucking simpleton.


They get annoyed when you ask questions (especially if it's because you're trying to understand what they're saying).


Using a Ben Shapiro style structure to arguing a point * Speak fast * Construct straw men as fast as they get taken down * Win through endurance over intellect * Deflect, obfuscate, infuriate - Just get the other person to stop debating


It's called a [gish gallop](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop). Throw so many topics and ideas at your opponent that they have no chance of answering any of them, then declare yourself the winner.


It's akin to a denial of service attack. It's easy to make a fallacious argument, but tedious to respond to a fallacious argument.


Bullshit asymmetry principle Refuting a fallacious argument requires more energy than making a fallacious argument. Ultimately, misinformation is more efficiently spread than the corrections addressing it.


The fact that Ben Shapiro is held up as some sort of argument God by so many people is literally infuriating. I've noticed through my twenties that a whole lot of people think that if you show any emotion during an argument, you've already lost, and it's such bullshit. Emotion certainly doesn't win an argument, but it doesn't lose one either, unless you completely devolve to name calling. Expecting people to be perfectly calm, cool, and collected while arguing over shit like *your basic human rights* puts a much bigger burden on marginalized people. It is the epitome of bad faith to poke someone in a sensitive spot, then declare they've lost when they show the least bit of upset. TL:DR Ben Shapiro and his ilk can suck my balls. Where's the Ben Shapiro bot when you need it?


They never say anything unexpected. It's a sign they parrot things you've already heard.


They never say the words “I don’t know”. They don’t realize that even the brightest minds don’t know everything. I don’t know what makes one “an intellectual”, but I’m definitely intellectually curious - even if I’m a moron - and I’m well aware of my greatest “intellectual limitations”. I know very little about history, geography, and, more generally, I have horrible spatial skills.