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Are grad students the dumbest people on Earth?

dexterq20

Turbo Monkey
Mar 6, 2003
3,442
1
NorCal
Is it possible to be so well-educated in a specific field that you actually become dumb by real-world standards?

Obviously this thread title is exaggerated and the answer is no, but I just moved into a house with a bunch of current and former Stanford grad students and they are driving me freakin' insane. Sure, they can tell me everything there is to know about whatever bizarre niche of materials science they've been studying for the past five years, but they sure as hell don't know how to check the oil level in their cars or apply for a credit card. They've been in school for so damn long it's like they're over-educated, to the point where their complete lack of real-world work experience seems to be a significant hindrance to their day-to-day functionality. These people are obviously very smart, but to a layman such as myself, they appear to be very dumb.

Thoughts?
 

ButtersNZ

Monkey
Jun 6, 2013
176
10
I'm in their boat, been at university since 2005. I'm currently 50% through a PhD. However, unlike your housemates I can and do carry out regular maintenance on cars (cam belt, brakes, fluids, shocks, light rust repairs etc), and have my **** completely together, financially. The main thing that lets me down in my opinion is my knowledge of current events. Seriously I haven't read a newspaper in months. I browse a local news website a couple of times a week at best. I don't even 100% know what sex the new royal baby is (and I'm kind of proud of that).

The difference is, I came out of school in 2001 and went straight into a ****ty full-time job. That taught me a bit about the real world, like budgeting for things and wiping my own arse. It was only later that I decided that kind of grind just wasn't for me and I pursued a degree. Soon enough I'll be back in the real world, grinding away again, and grimly resenting my choice of career path, as all my friends have houses, money and families now.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,643
397
NC
Jenn is working on her PhD in microbiology and works with the most astoundingly socially retarded people that I've ever met - and I've worked in IT my whole life.

It's really amazing - I can't imagine how these people are functional enough to exist in the rest of life.
 

Quo Fan

don't make me kick your ass
I've always maintained that there is intelligent, and then there is smart. Most people who are really intelligent, aren't really smart. But I've met some really smart people that also happen to be intelligent. I would much rather spend my time around smart people, than intelligent people.
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
5,050
1,066
Anyone who lives life with a singular focus (academics, athletics, career, parenting) tends to be ****ed in the head.
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,666
433
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
I've always maintained that there is intelligent, and then there is smart. Most people who are really intelligent, aren't really smart. But I've met some really smart people that also happen to be intelligent. I would much rather spend my time around smart people, than intelligent people.
This.

Sidenote: I'm a chick with a Master's degree and I can maintain the basics on my own car (oil changes, tire changes, wipers, jumpstart, etc.)
 

ICEBALL585

Bacontard
Sep 8, 2009
6,238
744
.:585:.
I prefer to surround myself with fun people. Don't need to be "smart" or "intelligent"... just need to love to laugh, have fun, and enjoy life.
 

pinkshirtphotos

site moron
Jul 5, 2006
4,680
47
Vernon, NJ
I change my socks and clip my nails. My hair grows in my head. It has taken me 4 years to complete half of my BFA program. I might consider changing it to become a physicists or psychiatrist or philosopher. My last professor requested I seek religion because I need help. There is a tear in my eyes think of this. About to transfer into another college because of how lost all teachers were in their religion. My family is associated with a bible story it is half true anyway. I think if I at least beat the accents area and join where they got it maybe I will find freedom. I still have a mean right hook and hankering for flipping hot coffee cups. I have a mental health concern in the state of New Jersey but they can't show me it. I mean if I am in denial I admit it but still I see colors. To many bathtub gins. America get them before they know you're coming.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
54,576
4,114
media blackout
i've definitely seen that kind. IME, they tend to be individuals who were sheltered to a certain degree and had their hands held through high school by the parents and weren't allowed or otherwise motivated to get out and figure things out on their own. some of them are scared of failing, and i've encountered a number of individuals who stayed in acadamia because they weren't ready for the real world (which really only makes the problem worse).
 

Colonel Angus

Monkey
Feb 15, 2005
566
14
land of the green chiles
I change my socks and clip my nails. My hair grows in my head. It has taken me 4 years to complete half of my BFA program. ......... I have a mental health concern in the state of New Jersey but they can't show me it. I mean if I am in denial I admit it but still I see colors. To many bathtub gins. America get them before they know you're coming.
just, Wow.

#sogladnewjerseyisfarawayfromnewmexico
 

MMike

A fowl peckerwood.
Sep 5, 2001
18,222
84
just sittin' here drinkin' scotch
I had a stress engineer working for me once. Brilliant stress engineer. But I once asked him to do som design work. And a particular part had a slightly oblong hole (on purpose, for adjustment). He was stumped as to where he was going to find an oblong bolt. He had a Masters
 
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jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
54,576
4,114
media blackout
I had a stress engineer working for me once. Brilliant stress engineer. But I once asked him to do som design work. And a particular part had a slightly oblong hole (on purpose, for adjustment). He was stumped as to where he was going to find an oblong bolt. He had a Masters
at the oblong bolt store duh
 

Iridemtb

Turbo Monkey
Feb 2, 2007
1,508
0
I'm only 22 and intend to get my doctorates as a nurse anesthetist by the time I'm 30. I intend to even take further classes after that, maybe one at a time because I enjoy learning. I wouldn't say I am inept of doing anything. I can change my oil, lights, brakes etc... I can do daily tasks, but for instance, in order for me to achieve my goal, I need to live at home, I don't have a nice car like a lot of my friends (1999 chrystler voyager van), I can't ride bikes because school is too intense and expensive etc. I know it'll pay off though when one day I can save lives and keep people from pain every day. Also, buying whatever downhill bike and still not worrying about the water and electric bill is a nice bonus too.

I think however, that for someone to be really good at one thing, and nearly dedicate their lives (particularly people in the science field), you have to be a different breed of person. I was a personal trainer for several years, and I trained a guy who has is Ph.D in microbiology and works in a large pharmaceutical company. He was normal, but definitely had some quarks.

Even Medical Doctors are often weird or socially inept in many ways (I see it, I work with a lot of them). But I think it is capitalized in those with higher education and more particularly those with research/science based Ph.D's.

One other thing that I have not seen anyone take into account... People in biological sciences that require research spend tons of time alone. They are socially isolated during their programs in labs, doing countless hours of research and work for their thesis etc...
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
54,576
4,114
media blackout
Even Medical Doctors are often weird or socially inept in many ways (I see it, I work with a lot of them).
surgeons have high rates of alcoholism.

i was told by someone i work with that there's an orthopedic specialist out there that plays - and sings along to - jimmy buffet songs while he works. based on other surgeons i've met, this is totally plausible.
 

berkshire_rider

Growler
Feb 5, 2003
2,557
10
The Blackstone Valley
Is it possible to be so well-educated in a specific field that you actually become dumb by real-world standards?

Obviously this thread title is exaggerated and the answer is no, but I just moved into a house with a bunch of current and former Stanford grad students and they are driving me freakin' insane. Sure, they can tell me everything there is to know about whatever bizarre niche of materials science they've been studying for the past five years, but they sure as hell don't know how to check the oil level in their cars or apply for a credit card. They've been in school for so damn long it's like they're over-educated, to the point where their complete lack of real-world work experience seems to be a significant hindrance to their day-to-day functionality. These people are obviously very smart, but to a layman such as myself, they appear to be very dumb.

Thoughts?

That's called "book smart". There's tons of people who know concepts, but haven't the slightest fvcking idea how to apply what they learned at college in the working world.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
13,924
1,306
Colorado
Even Medical Doctors are often weird or socially inept in many ways (I see it, I work with a lot of them). But I think it is capitalized in those with higher education and more particularly those with research/science based Ph.D's.

One other thing that I have not seen anyone take into account... People in biological sciences that require research spend tons of time alone. They are socially isolated during their programs in labs, doing countless hours of research and work for their thesis etc...
surgeons have high rates of alcoholism.

i was told by someone i work with that there's an orthopedic specialist out there that plays - and sings along to - jimmy buffet songs while he works. based on other surgeons i've met, this is totally plausible.
Paging Toshi to the front desk.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,254
2,985
Sleazattle
I have always worked around engineers and a good majority of them have been quite deficient in some aspect of life, socially, common sense, etc. When I went to grad school to get my masters in mechanical engineering I was expecting to be surrounded by the most awkward single-minded group of engineers possible. Quite happily I was quite wrong. The vast majority of them were extremely well rounded, not only good at their specialty but athletes, musicians. With out a question they were significantly more well rounded than any other group of engineers I have been around. Maybe our program sought out the atypical nerd but I was pleasantly surprised.
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,569
422
Groton, MA
I have always worked around engineers and a good majority of them have been quite deficient in some aspect of life, socially, common sense, etc. When I went to grad school to get my masters in mechanical engineering I was expecting to be surrounded by the most awkward single-minded group of engineers possible. Quite happily I was quite wrong. The vast majority of them were extremely well rounded, not only good at their specialty but athletes, musicians. With out a question they were significantly more well rounded than any other group of engineers I have been around. Maybe our program sought out the atypical nerd but I was pleasantly surprised.
Hey, that sounds like me!