~ A colorful way to say f**k off.
If you were able to answer these questions, I would admire your intelligence. To be honest, when someone asked this to me, I have no idea what to say. I don’t know the answer. It may sound simple I guess for those who are good in math.
I was bothering this person when she asked me this. It made me think that if this is her creative way of saying, “stay away from me”, “stop bothering me” or perhaps “fuck off!. Indeed this is a unique and colourful way to stop the person who’s bothering you.
Then I asked myself, what if I was able to answer those questions? Why do I need to answer those questions? Have I asked similar questions to someone whom I think won’t be able to respond to the question correctly?
Back in my high school, I used to ask my classmates who conducted a class presentation about a certain topic. I will look for the hardest question that I can find and throw it at them. I expect them either not to answer my question or to make a mistake. That way, I portray superiority over them. I was feeding my ego. It made me feel that I am smarter than anyone in the classroom.
I also looked into the current educational system, and it’s a bit similar. They combine students with different talents and unique way of learning and force them to learn using one method. It’s like asking and artist about the chemical composition methamphetamine, or asking a musician how to calculate the engine efficiency of a car, or maybe asking a botanist about Latin literature.
My epiphany after the moment she asked me that question was maybe I am a suffering from a Dunning–Kruger effect; I might be suffering from illusory superiority and mistakenly assessing my ability as much higher than it really is. In short, I might be a confident idiot, but I don’t think so. Every individual has a unique talent, each of us is a different kind of flower and all together, we can make this world as a beautiful garden. You might know something that I don’t, and I might know something that you don’t. As Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid.”
Before I end this, I want to share something from the book entitled Think and Grow Rich
During the world war, a Chicago newspaper published certain editorials in which, among other statements, Henry Ford was called “an ignorant pacifist.” Mr. Ford objected to the statements, and brought suit against the paper for libeling him. When the suit was tried in the Courts, the attorneys for the paper pleaded justification, and placed Mr. Ford, himself, on the witness stand, for the purpose of proving to the jury that he was ignorant.
The attorneys asked Mr. Ford a great variety of questions, all of them intended to prove, by his own evidence, that, while he might possess considerable specialized knowledge pertaining to the manufacture of automobiles, he was, in the main, ignorant.
Mr. Ford was plied with such questions as the following:
“Who was Benedict Arnold?” and “How many soldiers did the British send over to America to put down the Rebellion of 1776?” In answer to the last question, Mr. Ford replied, “I do not know the exact number of soldiers the British sent over, but I have heard that it was a considerably larger number than ever went back.”
Finally, Mr. Ford became tired of this line of questioning, and in reply to a particularly offensive question, he leaned over, pointed his finger at the lawyer who had asked the question, and said, “If I should really want to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer ANY question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts.
Now, will you kindly tell me, why I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?”
“They specialize on teaching knowledge, but they do not specialize on the organization, or the use of knowledge.”
~ Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill 1938, Chapter 5.