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Default Are Assumption a Sign of Intelligence? - 03-18-2010, 04:11 PM
This is a very open-ended debate, so allow me to try and lead into it with a story. The event that lead me to this question:

About two days ago, Javier brought home yet another new girl and they'd rented a movie. I was invited to talk with them and blah blah blah, and after a while, we watched the movie. The movie was called Blindness, and it was about what would happen if all of society suddenly went blind. Every character in the movie went blind, except for one woman. And yes, I will spoil this movie a little, but I wouldn't worry about it, because the film isn't exactly rated high, nor is it's content acceptable enough for half of FW.
I thought this movie sucked balls. I kept waiting for it to make a statement or for something to happen. For instance, the one woman who did NOT go blind had the power to overthrow a corrupt "king" of the blind people, but she took forever to do it. So long that she allowed herself to be whored out to him before simply killing him. I found this illogical, because she could've easily killed the guy from the very beginning, but twice she let him abuse the community (or more specifically, her) in some way before doing anything. Javier argued it was because she had to get the courage up to do it. To be honest, I found this comment of his kind of stupid, and I believe he found my inability to see it stupid. To back up my point, the movie also struck me as illogical because the blind king demanded the jewelry and money of the people in exchange for food. When they're all uhhh...fucking BLIND, then what's the point in jewelry? Currency was also out of use in the movie, so the exchange seems pointless. Javier again argued that I don't understand, and there are simply people in the world who don't know anything but violence and greed, exclaiming that he hates humanity for this.
The film basically went like: Everyone goes blind ----> community of blind people develops ----> corrupt king -----> corrupt king demands jewelry and then womenz ----> gets killed by the only non-blind person -----> the corrupt part of the community is attacked via arson; burns and dies -----> the good flees the community (it was all one building) to make a new one ----> they find peace and food -----> happy ending where the very first blind-ridden person gets his sight back.

By the end, I was thinking "wtf that was retarded," and I said it. The film never actually expressed any deeper meaning to me, as if it was a story and simply that, with no actual moral. Again, Javier disagreed and said in a condescending tone, "You didn't understand the point of the movie. It was about how people take the little things for granted like their sight and their family." And yes, I thought that answer sounded stupid, and I thought it was a pathetic attempt to appear deep in the eyes of the girl he brought home with him.

I have NO IDEA why, but I thought about this for two days now (bolded cause the story ends and now the question begins 8D ):

How is it that two people can interpret a story SOOOOOO different? I mean, comprehension is a sign of intelligence, isn't it? So who's the stupid one? At the same time, everyone has a right to their own opinion and interpretation, so doesn't that mean our two interpretations are both equal intelligence-wise, DESPITE the fact that both of us thought "what a fukn idiot" when we heard the other's side?

Then it hit me: The difference between me and Javier when watching this movie is that he wrote his own story, whereas I simply watched and waited to see the movie tell it to me. I was frustrated because the movie never bothered to give a reason as to why the woman took so long to kill the king; there was never a conversation where she said "I can't do it" or anything. There was also never a conversation from someone suggesting that he had taken the little things for granted. My point was that the movie lacked evidence as to why she didn't attack right away or anything, and to me that means the movie is poorly written. Javier on the other hand assumed that the woman had to gather her strength or assumed what the purpose of the film was. None of the things he claimed were ever addressed in the movie: they came from his anticipation of what the movie was trying to say.

So there's the question: ARE assumptions a smart move? On one hand, I think it's rather illogical for Javier to assume such things based on no amount of evidence provided by the movie. On the other hand, people make assumptions every day in attempt to anticipate their opponent's next move in a game or a debate etc etc etc., and perhaps they wouldn't be so successful if they didn't try to do this. Another point is racial stereotypes. Why do they happen? Well because the mind seeks to find patterns, that's why. When you get into a fight three times in a row and all three times it's with a Turk, then your mind thinks "Turks = aggressive." On one hand your mind is using a very basic system and working with past experience and evidence to anticipate future situations, whereas on the other hand, it can be rather ignorant to assume something about someone based on their race or culture.

Assumptions breeds ignorant bigots who decide all black people are idiots, but at the same time it breeds winners and clever bastards who are capable of anticipating an outcome of a situation for their own advantage.

So what do you say FW: is making assumptions a sign of intelligence?
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