It is a tough task to distinguish and differentiate between an intellectual and a pseudo-intellectual. Both seem knowledgeable and articulate at the same time. A pseudo-intellectual is someone who pretends to be someone else in an attempt to outsmart everyone. They project themselves as “know-it-all” materials but the fact is that they do not have real brains. Just sounding profound to impress others, is not particularly difficult, those who actually master the art of being profound, make an impression easily. The moment people start shrugging facts they don’t appreciate or start using ill-logic to draw fictitious conclusion from the facts and presenting them as true, is where one starts acting like a pseudo-intellectual. With an overview of a pseudo-intellectual’s personality type, here are the top 10 ways to become a pseudo-intellectual, if you want to be so.
10. Copy someone else’s comments:
If you come across some real serious conversation, which impressed you extraordinarily, you may copy those statements and use them later in your own conversation. The trick is, do not forget to include your mentor’s name. As keeping his/her originality intact, you add value to your said statement and build trust among your set of audience, at no extra cost.
9. Talk on vague subjects:
A pseudo-intellectual often takes up a really mysterious or mystical topic as his forte, which is not relevant to many. These topics include quantum physics, the nature of consciousness, cosmology, etc. Some resort to saying big words, which trigger the audience to give them either money, adulation or both. They usually hardly know much about the subject that they are talking about, but they pretend to be really knowledgeable. You can sum them up as con-artists.
8. Read Science and daily newspapers/political magazines:
Be a voracious reader. Develop a knack for science-related stuff though you do not have to go in deep, only surface-level understanding is sufficient. Also read topics on art or culture and scan the daily newspaper. Try to develop that “out-of-the-box” thinking and you can apply the ideas on the social networking sites.
7. Prove “things” which audiences want:
After giving some arguments in favor of your own statement, agree with things which your audience wants to hear. But you should not be in a hurry to hand them over their own thought. You cook these thoughts for a while and test their patience, but at last provide evidence at their behest.
6. Don’t back down:
If someone points out an error in your writing, or what you said, do not get offended. Intelligently, portray your error as a more enlightened form of truth. Postmodernists have been getting away with it for decades, so you can take a cue from them as if they are your role model. We have witnessed the false prophet who had this prophecy that the world will come to an end, it was atypical of people who questioned his prophecy. Pseudo-intellectuals are no different.
5. Keep straw men as your real friends:
It is said that a man is known by the company he keeps. But pseudo-intellectuals always keep straw men as their real friends. They do not reveal their true self to anyone. Use sophisticated straw men arguments as fool-proof theories of your own, and you will witness the growing list of your admirers.
4. Do not be open to criticism:
Display a wisdom which everyone thinks they have. Even if you have some critics, none will take the risk of appearing stupid by asking you what you are talking about. The basic principle being: anyone who disagrees with you is either stupid or wicked, or both.
3. Do not take others’ views seriously:
To become a pseudo-intellectual you must have a completely pared-down, tunnel-vision focus on what you said. Flatly ignore what others are saying, even if there’s some relevance. Try to pick their thoughts and present it precisely in your distinct form, which will be appealing. One of the fundamental traits of a pseudo-intellectual mind is always to make others feel inadequate of their own mental capacities.
2. Be a netizen:
Surf the web for complete detailing of the subjects you plan to discuss. Be an admirer of web and internet. You know that it is you, who will have a monopoly on truth. Words said by you are not crossed, even if they seem dubious.
1. Skim through world-class books on Philosophy:
Even if you are not interested in philosophy, do not mind having a glimpse into the ideologies of some world-class philosophers like Arthur Danto, Jean Paul Satre, Michel Foucault, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Rene Descartes, etc. You are not advised to study them in detail, what is required for a pseudo-intellectual is to know a little of everything.