Sunday, April 30, 2017

Stubbornness

There's good stubbornness: the kind that makes a person work and work and work until he or she achieves great things.

And then there's the kind of stubbornness that's just stupid, where people who know give you sound advice and you just don't take it.

People often talk about intelligence as if an intelligent person is intelligent pretty much all the time. Is this accurate? If so, them I and my brother are unusual.

My brother is very, very intelligent. No really, he is. He's a rocket scientist. And I don't mean that as a mere figure of speech -- he has worked at Martin Marietta and TRW designing things which went into space. He's a mechanical engineer with 2 degrees from MIT. After the rockets, he switched to something he enjoys more: designing cars. Several Camero and Corvette desginers are part my little brother. At the present time he supervises other engineers. There's no doubt that my little brother has a very large brain.

And yet, sometimes there's that bad kind of stubbornness. Once, he owned a Jeep and was driving it over some dunes on the shore of a lake for fun. He hadn't driven on dunes very much at all. Several times during the course of 1 morning, actual experts in dune driving, people who'd been doing it all their lives, told him he had way too much air in his tires and was liable to break something if he didn't let about half of the air out. He good-naturedly dismissed all of this advice, and that afternoon, out on the dunes with tire pressure which right for paved roads and wrong for the dunes, he snapped one of Jeep's axles.

Why hadn't he taken the experts' advice and let half of the air out of those tires as they had urged him to do? I don't know any good answer to that.

Like my brother, I am extremely intelligent. Just look around this blog: I'm awesome. And yet -- for the last year or so I've been the same way with the stupid stubbornness. Is this genetic? Are a lot of wicked smart people really stupid a lot of time, or what? Is my behavior typical for old people with new technology, even if the old people are smart?

I've had my Galaxy 6 for about a year and loved it, but whenever it prompted me to hook it up to wifi, I said to myself: No, better not do that.

Why?

I don't know any good answer to that question. Same as with my brother and the tire pressure.

But today, I thought about the tires and axle of my brother's Jeep, and more to the point, I thought about all the times I had had to go outside during a phone call on the Galaxy because the connection kept breaking it up, and wondered whether there just might be some connection to my refusal to take the recommendations about the wifi.

I hooked up the wifi and sure enough: the call quality on my phone improved tremendously. Call quality had been my only big complaint about the Galaxy, and it's fixed because I did something the phone kept suggesting I do -- for a year. I suppose with my earlier smart phones somebody in Customer Service had done this for me.

Hopefully we've all learned something here, and are headed for a brighter tomorrow -- a tomorrow during which our huge brains will be in use more often.

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