I have been piqued for months by this little question: How do you tell the difference between a first-rate mind and a third-rate mind.
Here we are, racking our brains day-in and day-out to figure out things, to understand things, and to try find simple and practical solutions to the many problems that we have to deal with in our attempt to live a satisfactory life.
We try to see things from all angles, at various levels of details, or various levels of abstraction. We apply logic, lateral thinking or even inspiration. We try to think out of the box or get into the groove. At the end of it, we may have some semblance of a perspective, a definition of the problem, or a way to think about the problem.
Now, when you want to communicate your ideas, you will talk to people and you will get responses.
When you talk to a first-rate mind, you will get further discussion on your ideas, an elaboration, or even a new perspective. You get enlightenment. You see clearer. You think clearer. You get a clarity for which you are grateful.
But, how do you know when you talk to a third-rate mind? What are the indications? After all, everybody imagines that he or she is brilliant. He or she may even be your boss or a person of authority. This may not be an uncommon situation. Society can be filled with people who do not really care for how they think. Let's say, they are not rigorous. So long as they can get by with a flippant excuse, they are happy. So how would you know. My experience is this: I don't understand what you say, but I disagree.