One Degree wrote:I have wondered if thinking requires adversity. The more comfortable your life, the less real thinking you do?
I would tend to agree with that, though its a bit of chicken-egg deal, for being educated is not the same as being a thinker as many ivy-league types are well-educated and often well-read and have experienced very little adversity. Likewise, you almost invariably have to have controversial beliefs in the first-place in order to be persecuted for them, so it seems some thinking must have been occurring already before the adversity began.
Whether their adversity creates more reflection and refinement in thought almost invariably depends on the quality of the person.
The AnCap in me though definitely sees heightened time preference as a disincentive to intellectual depth.
Our collective IQ is dropping in the west in proportion to growth of government. The less a person has to be long-term oriented the less he has to think and the less variables he has to consider in making decisions. That is why being sophisticated and hedonist in most peoples minds are only ever reserved for snobbish rich folks because they can afford to act in avant garde
ways; however, in any other circumstance when we are thinking of hedonists, we think of unsophisticated barbarians like trailer-trash rednecks or ghetto-rats. They only exist though because, like the super rich (and even more so), they can now afford to be careless because of the social safety net that protects them from due consequences.
The less people have to calculate present actions in light of future consequences, the less thinking a person has to do.
Hell, most people don't even have to think ahead regarding their meals because of microwaves and fast food.
They say that necessity is the mother invention....well, in the same way, necessity is the mother of innovation and such requires thought.