Originally Posted by LA Guy,June 11 2005,23:36
Sorry, but it is difficult to take anyone who actually feels this way seriously. If you *know* that somebody is intelligent and accomplished, and can't take them seriously because they eschew shirts and ties (and in my experience, most academics, and definitely most of the best scientists, do,) you've inadvertently shown your own level of intelligence.
Oh please, did we really have to jump into the realm of the personal insult LA Guy? If my level of intelligence concludes that a professional should dress like one, then I freely admit being a pedestrian and provincial lackwit. A lackwit who also could have had two published papers in peer-reviewed academic journals before he graduated with a bachelors degree. Before I'm accused of having a vendetta against academics, I would hasten to add that it was my preferred career choice before a philosphical difference with my field pushed me into another career. I find it humorous, however, that we blast any number of other working professionals for looking like slobs but academics are sacrosanct from that same criticism. Why? Because relatively recently (since that most treasured decade known as the 1960s), academics were given a free pass when it came to dressing like adults.
I wouldn't suggest that your intelligence is inferior for suggesting that a lack of dress sense indicates inferior intelligence. I would suggest that you are wrong, in some cases at least, and dreadfully wrong in extreme cases (the fact that you can write fundamentally sound sentences proves that you are of at least above average intelligence). Though it's controversial, I think that the best dress sense is shown by people of above average, but not strikingly above average intelligence. The same demographic rules the country, and makes the most money- much, if not most, of the money out there to be made (disregarding a few real geniuses who have made billions as entrepreneurs). People with IQs between 120 and 140 make up the political class and the executive class. People with IQs higher than that tend to gravitate toward less profitable professions, like engineering, mathematics, physics, and computer programming
. People with IQs lower than that also tend to gravitate toward lower paid professions, like auto mechanic, or professors in the humanities and social sciences (I'm joking- don't shoot me). IQ is a somewhat fuzzy measure, but I think it is not a bad one in aggregate. All joking aside, I think it is true that a lot of very smart people dress very badly. Physicists (and I've known a few good ones) can't generally be relied on to match their socks- and I don't mean match them to their pants- I mean wear two of the same kind. It tends to go downhill from there, though experimental physicists can at least look sharp in lab coats.