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22 really bad ways to sound smart when you are really are not

This post is meant to be sarcastic. Viewer discretion is advised.


    1. Use big words

    Use big words that you don't fully understand. Really important: Big words mean you smart.

    Bad: I store my files on cloud storage.

    Good: I store my files on a virtualized information substrate.

    2. Use jargon from philosphy, psychology and quantum mechanics

    Use technical jargon or the field's vocabulary that most people have no clue about. Use a lot of jargon or technical terms, even if they don't apply to the conversation

    3. Speak in the abstract

    Mix in symbology and metaphor. Switch back and forth between concrete ideas and imagery. Keep redefining terms. Use analogies as a way of reasoning rather than describing something.

    4. Name dropping

    Name-drop famous intellectuals or authors, even if you haven't read their works. Refer to Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, Immanuel Kant, Nietchze, etc.

    5. Nitpick any piece of evidence no matter how trivial

    Change the goal posts and make sure that you raise the bar of acceptable evidence. Better yet, create arbitrary rules on what constitutes evidence.

    6. Casually insult the person or there point of view

    Get people angry enough so that it turns into mud-slinging. Better yet, modulate between praise and insults. Keep them off balance.

    Make the rational, personal.

    7. Confidence

    Speak with authority and confidence, even if you don't know what you're discussing. Persist in your point of view even if you have doubts. Don't worry about things like evidence or common sense.

    Assume you are right. You are an expert in every field, even if you don't know it too well.

    8. Be vague and ambigous

    Make vague or ambiguous statements that sound deep but are actually meaningless.

    Use tautologies like, "We need to fight for freedom because, without freedom, we are not truly free."

    Suppose you get called out for BS. Just tell people they just misunderstood you. It's not that you are wrong. It's just that people are not sophisticated enough to understand your point of view.

    The key is to strive for a word salad

    9. Constantly interrupt people

    Interrupt people when they're speaking and interject with your own opinions or observations, even if they're not relevant to the conversation.

    10. Use body language

    Nodding, raising your eyebrows, or squinting to make it seem like you're deep in thought or understanding something complex

    11. Mind reading

    Tell people that you don't think the people really mean what they are saying that it's a psychological projection or childhood repression. Sow doubts into the minds of others.

    12. Label any claim your counterpart has made as absurd

    It's important to bully people during an argument or discussion

    "That doesn't even make any sense."

    "What would possess a person to say something like"

    "I don't even know what you are saying"

    "You are wrong about this"

    13. Attack the structure of the argument rather then what spirit of the argument

    Constantly point out logical fallacies, analogies and examples as irrelevant. You are not there to discover the truth but to prove your right to people.

    14. Frame Control

    When conversing, always try to control the frame of the argument and present yourself as an indispensable source of wisdom and insight. Try to diminish the counterpart's confidence and self-esteem by making veiled innuendos in the form of concern.

    15. Use humor and wit

    One way to appear bright is to use humour to deflect from your lack of knowledge or understanding. You can make jokes or sarcastic comments about a subject, even if you know nothing about it. This can make it seem like you're knowledgeable and confident, even if you're not.

    16. Wear glasses even when you can see perfectly without them

    People associate glasses with intelligence. Glasses are a visible way of accessorizing the brain.

    17. Read summaries of books rather then full books and act as if you read the full book

    Read a few summaries on books in the field that you want to show off and then claim to be an expert.

    18. Use age and experience as the only justification for intelligence and wisdom

    Being older means that you are wiser and more intelligent. Always mention that. Quantity trumps quality of experience.

    19. Talk down to people and give unsolicited advice

    Most people don't know what they are doing. You must give them unwanted advice. Persist in making sure they will follow your advice because, clearly, you know more.

    Dispense with boundaries and personal agency - full steam ahead!

    20. Criticism = Intelligence

    Always take the contrarian view. When criticizing something, you appear more intelligent.

    21. Lecture people while being awed but what you are saying

    Be a professor while being a wide-eyed student simultaneously

    22. Remind people that you are super smart

    Take about the degrees you have, what school you went to, slip in your IQ (you took from a non-standardized test off the Internet). Talk about the number books you've read and the TEDTalks you've seen.

    The best way to be intelligent is to say you're intelligent

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