LJWorld.com weblogs honeychild's blog

Are We the Smartest People on the Web?


Like alot of folks up in here, I belong to quite a few "online communities" (message boards, social networking places, blogging sites, etc). I personally belong or have belonged to everything from music communities to work-from-home messageboards to dating sites (the latter definitely belongs in the "used to belong to" category).

I am fairly new to this site. I am a former Larryville resident who still has some family in that town and still visits on a semiregular basis (Lawrence is and always will be one of my favorite places). A few months back, one of my Larryville cousins sent me a link to an article about a girl we grew up with who is making a name for herself in the Lawrence volunteering realm. In order to comment on the article about her I had to create and account and the rest is history. I belong to a couple of other newspaper sites, including the KC Star (KC is another former residence) and the Salina Journal (my present place of habitation). Neither one of them is as "community'ish" as the Lawrence Journal World's site. I really enjoy visiting and posting here and am starting to feel "at home", so to speak, because I am becoming more familiar w/ folks.

Anyway, I was thinking about how this site seems to have older members (by "older" i mean people mid 30s and up) and, I am not sure if there is any correlation, the regular posters seem to be smarter than other boards I have belonged to. I think folks up in here put a bit more thought into what they post instead of going off of emotion and ranting and raving like I've seen on other online communities.

And thank heavens for the fact that I see very little "text'ese" used here! I'm thinking that also has something to do w/ the median age being older as well.

What do y'all think? Is it just me or am I truly in the company of the cerebral and thought-filled on this site? Yes, you can ring your own bells and brag if you like. I'm just checking because if I am wrong about this being a smart people's site, that means I have been surrounding myself w/ cyber-idiots for the past 13+ years.


RoeDapple 8 years, 4 months ago

A lot of very, very smart people here, Mel!

alot of cuzins to....

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

one really interesting dynamic i've encountered on here is the whole missouri v. kansas thing (and i'm not talking about tigers v. jayhawks). i have lived in missouri and, of course, kansas and didn't know that there was still somewhat of a border war going on... mind you, when i lived in MO it was just slightly over the border in KC (lived right down the street from UMKC), but still-- i don't recall hearing the show-me'ites dogging the ad-adstra'ians. lol oh-- wait-- yes, in a way i did, because KCMOs tend to look down on folks from wyandotte county.... but then again, folks from johnson county tend to look down on folks from wyandotte too. so that MO v. KS dynamic doesn't quite apply there.

i do enjoy reading your posts, roe, as i do w/ ronda and multi and several other "regulars". i'm glad to be a part of this site now. always good to expand the old universe, even if its w/ folks from right around the corner. :)

Ronda Miller 8 years, 4 months ago

You are correct in your assessment that the ljworld has a higher intellect among users. (At least in my opinion) I believe some of it has to do with the fact that Lawrence is filled with liberal people, most of the people here have college degrees, and we are given wonderful stimulus by the World Company.

I haven't been members of any of the other sites you mention, so I am shooting in the dark when comparing those apples with these oranges. Welcome!

"more thought into what they post instead of going off on emotion and ranting and raving like I've seen on other online communities."

Heaven forbid what they must be doing on some of those other sites though! ;)

beatrice 8 years, 4 months ago

I find that many on the right who post here are delusional and may actually believe the stuff that somehow gets through their tin-foil hats. Karl Marx? Really?

Intelligent, thoughtful, and yes, even civil conversations can and do happen around here from time to time. Sadly, they tend to be the exception, not the rule.

Satirical 8 years, 4 months ago

I like the LJWorld site because of the ease of reading the comments and engaging in a discussion. However, I haven't found many on here who know how to have an argument.

My experiences are the most people on this site engage in name calling, fail to read what you actually wrote (and put words into your mouth based on what they think you wrote), talk at each other rather than with each other, make wild accusations, never recognizes the opposition has a legitimate argument even though they disagree and instead generally believes anyone who doesn't hold the same opinions as themselves are delusional, and usually try to attack your motives rather than your arguments. Legitimate debates and discussions are the exception rather than the rule.

Perhaps this is true of most message boards, I don't visit many others. This is why my main goal is to go against the grain and be a gadfly. Since most posters are liberal, I tend to use arguments based on conservative philosophy. If I wanted to have an intelligent debate I would look elsewhere. I just wish a few more people took a course or two in introductory logic.

jonas_opines 8 years, 4 months ago

Man, way too quick of a hijack here.

Plenty of intelligence and thintelligence abounds, certainly.

But ya'know, one thing I can't help but notice. . . .

I only have a few boards I've posted on or looked at with any frequency. One of the ones that I generally just lurk about on is an imdb message board about one of my favorite manga/anime shows, which is constituted of a couple people 20-35, but predominantly kids, 14-18.

Anyway, the thing that I can't help but notice is that, in terms of mutual respect and civility, and generally mature posting behavior, the kids whip our butts. There are a few trolls, but generally those are recognized and either humorously countered or flat ignored. Disputes happen of course, on various topics that are brought up separate from the show itself, but generally the argument progresses without the spite and vindictiveness that seems so commonplace here.

My theory is that its a general lack of politics and religion, by comparison. They are touched on with some frequency, but generally in a questioning sense rather than an authoritative one. Most of them, at least, seem to have not yet developed that (I opine: illusory) assurance that their answer is the Right answer. The couple who do (both, humerously, Ron Paul libertarians) are generally just ignored when they go on their rants.

Anyway, I've found it to be an interesting comparison, how us adults seem to let our surety turn us into children, while children have greater immunity to it, at least in this type of venue.

remember_username 8 years, 4 months ago

In this I have to agree with Satirical, however, I've nothing to compare to as I don't visit other message boards. If Mel Briscoe's impression is correct, and the LJW boards does rise to a higher level than other boards, then I'm glad I don't visit those boards. I can barely take the reliance on emotional argument and the extremist rants I see so often on this site.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

james, you know what? i agree w/ you re: low pay and jobs in the lawrence area... that's basically the reason why i haven't moved back. its "easier to be poor" here in salina than it is in lawrence where we have much lower rent/house payments and a lower cost of living overall, in my opinion. for one, salina is an extremely flat town and it is quite a bit easier to get around here as opposed to that hill ridden "little san francisco" to the east of us. ;)

however, salina is filled w/ rednecks and seems like most people here (most, not all) have very low ambition. its easy to stay in a rut here-- mentally, spiritually and financially. i do have love for salina, don't get me wrong, we have positives in our community too (our public library is great, gorgeous city parks, the smoky hill river festival, cozy inn hamburgers), but i always had more affection for lawrence and do hope to move back someday.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

liberty, i agree w/ you.... er.... i think. were you speaking of folks like me when you referred to the talent becoming diluted? lol

tbaker 8 years, 4 months ago

I gotta hand it to Satirical - quite a number of folks either don't understand or consciously avoid using an intellectual standard to govern their passions on the LJW blog. Fallacies abound. The concepts of critical reasoning / thinking are often the exception, especially if the topic is potentially controversial. A lot of folks retreat to a very intractable ideological position and refuse to accept new ideas. Some folks resort to personal attacks when they run out of ideas and feel their position being threatened. I sense a lot of pent-up angst in people here. This blog is sometimes more a place to vent than a forum for thoughtful discussion, which tends to be indicative of the country right now. The anonymity of the web gives folks an outlet they otherwise don't have in polite society, and it seems we are in greater need of that kind of outlet these days.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

remember_username, i am here to testify that there are some downright ig'nant mofos out there in cyberspace. i'm talking inbred sasquatchian quasi-vertebrates who only type in text'ese.

puddleglum 8 years, 4 months ago

lotta smart people here, but I am the smartest (obvious)

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

tbaker, i do agree w/ you about the anonymity of web folks and how they can be the carthasis for people needing a different identity, one that is markedly different from their "in person" selves.

would you rather people cling to ideologies and base their arguments off of those rather than revert to esoteric jibber jabber? not saying this in a sardonic way, i am sincerely asking. because that is another pet peeve of mine, folks who talk much yang but no one knows what the hell it is their trying to say... all the while they posture as if they are so highly intellectual that no one else understands.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

puddlegum, if you're so smart, what's my middle name?....

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton tomshewton

okay.... now your name has been brought up. so whatcha gonna do about it, punk?

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

satirical, it would be cool if about 25% of the people i meet in real life and about 80% of the people i come across online would take that introductory logic 101 you spoke of. although, in saying that, i am implying that i am not one of those people and that would be very subject to my friends and family member's opinions (especially my boyfriend's).

oh, i wanted to ask you, what's a gadfly? i am not one to front like i know what something is when i don't.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

beatrice, i didn't get the reference to the tin foil hat but the visual alone gave me a chuckle. :)

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

ronda, you are so cool... do you bake? for some reason i'm picturing this cool chick who is about 10-15 years older than me and who can throw down on some banana bread!!

Satirical 8 years, 4 months ago


Gadfly: "1. A persistent irritating critic; a nuisance. 2. One that acts as a provocative stimulus; a goad." http://www.answers.com/topic/gadfly

Often I am definition (2), but sometimes it is fun just to be definition (1). I steal the term from Socrates.

Just out of curiosity, are you related to a Charles Briscoe (who lives in Lawrence)?

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

nope. the only briscoes i am related to are the very few here in salina, some up in the minneapolis, minnesota area and my brother and sister in law who are in chicago. i used to get asked if i was related to a rather large family of briscoes in the KC area-- especially since at the time i was living in KC-- but i'm not.

and now that i know what a gadfly is, i know that i have been one for about the last 35 years. lol

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

yes, tommy boy (don't ask me why i just called you that, it just felt right at the time), the scheme is still in operation and still right across the street from the funkiest smelling little pieces of heaven ever, cozy inn hamburgers. lol i don't eat at the scheme because i can't afford $30 for one pizza. don't forget, we are also the home of schwann's (a/k/a "tony's pizza") and i can get a case of red barron rejects from my friend who works there for $1.

i can understand where you're coming from tho because i heart me some yello sub and was sick when they tore the original building down. i visit the one on 23rd sometimes when i'm in lawrence but it just ain't the same....

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

well rema is no longer around. it is used as a storage area by the hospital as well as a few other businesses. great plains also downsized quite a bit... i just asked someone about that the other day (because that person used to work w/ my ex husband who at one time was employed there) and she said that great plains does alot of business thru their trucking division.

our hospital is quite a bit bigger tho. and out south it has built up a little moreso than when you lived here in the 90s. tony's is still probably the largest employer. i don't think they've ever had to lay off-- they have cut people's hours at times but they've never laid off. exide batteries still does well as does philips. and there are alot of smaller foundries, factories and warehouses (like school specialty) which do well. so you're right, there is a decent manufacturing base here in salina.

i always thought that lawrence relied heavily on the university for jobs and thought that was pretty much the norm for college town... i guess you wouldn't be able to compare manhattan because they get alot of their jobs from fort riley. maybe lawrence is a bit stuck in that aspect because you have our state govermental base just 19 miles away and a major metropolitan area is 30 miles away... maybe those two factors stagnated lawrence on the job-front. shrugs shoulders that's just a guess from a former resident who pretty much couldn't afford to stay there and can't afford to move back. ;P

beatrice 8 years, 4 months ago

Mel, the tin-foil hat line was just in reference to how crazy some posters are. Equating liberals with Karl Marx, as JamesUnruh did, is just idiotic. Of course, JU is a poster who gets banned every couple of weeks around here, usually for writing outragelously racist comments. He is exactly the opposite of what you describe in your blog, and he raised that red flag in just the third comment here. It is just a matter of time before he gets removed again. Sad, and not charming or amusing enough to use a cutesy name like "disreappeardeded." He just gets removed.

Satirical 8 years, 4 months ago


You are probably right. I really wanted that pony. I have tried horse, but it just doesn't taste the same : )

RoeDapple 8 years, 4 months ago


(whatever that means)

tbaker 8 years, 4 months ago

Dear Honey,

You have honestly stumped me. What a great question.

If given a choice between a person posting esoteric Jibber-Jabber, and a person's post based on clinging to ideological beliefs, I'd have to chose the later, but these two choices were very difficult to pick from - given what I often see on this blog.

Perhaps my choice may also depend on who is doing the posting. Some people are really good at esoteric jibber-jabber, which I enjoy, and - like them or not - others are as reliable as the sunrise with their take on things.

I think this blog reflects the ideologically fractured culture we live in. Sometimes it becomes tedious to be reminded of that, but hey, we're all obviously getting something out of this.

Satirical 8 years, 4 months ago


Did I mention I eat puppies for breakfast? The cuter the better : )

jonas_opines 8 years, 4 months ago

"Some people are really good at esoteric jibber-jabber"


mel- Tin foil hats I believe referred to a notion supposedly (I have no idea if fictionary creation or real life advocation at any point) given by past conspiracy theorists that the government brain scanning waves could be stopped by making a hat out of aluminum foil. Kind of like Magneto's special helmet that blocks Professor X's telepathy, if. . . . errr. . . . that comparison actually helps you.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 4 months ago

I just like to read everyones comments; much like Tom Shewmon. I do find that through the years the left have and still do at times use outragous comments as do the folks on the right. (I just do it to stir the pot) Trying to be thoughtfully humoring. And if the logic is sound then the argumentation is sound. P.S. I still have a copied photo of whomever pasted the link of the "and snappy uniforms" photo. That one cracked me up big time. Thanks to all on the ljw community comment board.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 4 months ago

Satirical (Anonymous) says…


Gadfly: “1. A persistent irritating critic; a nuisance. 2. One that acts as a provocative stimulus; a goad.”

Actually, the appropriate response is:

Hey, honey, let me Google that for you...


ralphralph 8 years, 4 months ago

The feedback on here, at its best, makes you stop and think about your reaction to the story. Often, too, it provides some background information that may or may not be properly vetted, but is worth being thrown into the mix. Even when the comments are just kneejerk or tasteless, there is still a place for them in the whole picture. I like the freedom of speech that generally rules, and the fact that one who blows off (I have been one of those) usually get it shoved right back at them without the need for intervention by any higher powers. All in all, a pretty smart board for Kansas ...

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

autie, your cousin makes about $30/hr working at that "light bulb factory" (a/k/a north american philips). must be nice!

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

tbaker, i can sometimes tolerate esoteric jibber jabber (a term originally coined my me and used several times by others in this blog-- yay me! lol) if it is not drug induced. it gets a bit too abstract at that point... like listening to some 1970s miles davis... i can't fake the funk and act like i understand something when i clearly don't. lol

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

jonas, i have been living in KS for way too long... the wizard of oz has been completely indoctrinated into my psyche. all i could see was the tin man when i read that "tin foil hat" line. lol

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

wally, isn't the term "sound logic" subjective?

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

tang, what did we do before google or any other search engine? i bet the manufactuers of those unabridged dictionaries want to kick al gore's ass (since he invented the internet). :D

bob, i'm 41 and i love being "surrounded by" folks my age and older on the web because i am so used to being the old lady in the room. love it!

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

ralph, well put. and i understand what you mean by qualifying your post w/ "for kansas". like i said, i live in salina so i really truly understand what you mean. lol

BryanSanders 8 years, 3 months ago

A couple of points. First, some of the people on that list don't belong to be there. And while it may be true that such high IQs are usually had by very intelligent people, some of the smartest people alive (See: http://www.ranker.com/list/top-ten-smartest-living-people---smartest-people-alive/ofey) don't have such high IQs according to the New York Times, and some people can be smart without having suh high IQs.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.