Why is it that so few people are capable of having an intelligent discussion about anything of import? It seems like all most people care about is American Idol or what car or band they like. At the risk of sounding like a jackass (nothing new, I'm sure), I've never been able to dumb myself down enough to feign interest in the petty discussions and concerns of most people. I've always felt starved for intellectual stimulation and companionship. Even when visiting the universities, it seems like people turn their brains off whenever they're not in the classroom. Political matters are reduced to ;conservative' versus 'liberal' or democrat versus republican. Matters of law and ethics are reduced to appeals to legal authority or religious squabbles with ethical philosophy getting lost somewhere along the way. The effect seems to be compounded as the group gets larger. I've known maybe two or three people who actually seemed to use their brains with any regularity and perhaps a handful of others who could discuss any given topic. I don't mean the nitty gritties of quantum mechanics or some other specialized technical matters, but simply using critical thinking skills and being willing to think about what you believe and why and looking at what the world might or should be like and what we can do to make it better. Are all the philosophers dead? Have we all surrendered our minds in return for mind-numbing popular entertainment? Have we chosen to be ruled by the republicrats in order to avoid the need to actually think about the issues? Or is it the other way around- are the philosophers I idolize and the few people capable of meeting on any sort of intellectual level simply a deviation? Or am I simply the worst of both worlds, unable to be content among the idiot masses not quite up to par to join a more enlightened group at the table? People don't make sense to me. As a whole, they don't seem to enjoy learning or intellectual stimulation. They seem to be governed by emotions and drives wholly alien to my understanding. Perhaps the intellectually and philosophically curious class I've spent my life in search of only exists in my own mind, a figment of my imagination? Is that higher level of relation and human understanding simply a pipe dream?