Who’s Smart and Who’s Stupid?

Who’s Stupid?

I’m stupid. You’re stupid. That other guy is stupid.

Who’s smart?

You + Me, we’re smart.

Who’s even smarter than that?

You + Me + That other guy… assuming that we’re working together of course. That’s the beauty of sports, and of teams in general, be it a team of entrepreneurs, employee’s, friends… anyone working towards a common goal. Just look at Wikipedia.

But, You + Me, even if we aren’t working together, we can be smarter than our normal respective selves. I’m smarter than my average self (alone) if I’m in a debate with someone that disagrees with me (assuming that person who disagrees isn’t overly zealous and doesn’t explode into an emotionally charged diatribe immediately after hearing my argument). We learn from conversation, if done appropriately.

Those lone geniuses? They are very few and far between, if they even exist (which I don’t think they do). Einstein wasn’t Einstein without all the physicists that came before him. Isaac Newton once said “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Frank Lloyd Wright may have been an architectural mastermind, but he was at his best when he worked with others. Even if someone is a “genius” in one dimension, they’re probably stupid in another dimension. Hence, they would be smarter than their normal self if they teamed up with someone.

There’s a unique principle of physics that underlies the dynamics of group work… it’s called leverage. In jiu-jitsu, I can break a bigger opponents arm, not by strength, but by using my entire body against his arm. In a group, you are smarter because your abilities are leveraged by the abilities of the group.


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