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Thread: The extraordinary myth of Brian Cowen's intelligence

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    Politics.ie Member Almanac's Avatar
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    Default The extraordinary myth of Brian Cowen's intelligence

    Cowen is "very bright",according to U S ambassador, Daniel Rooney, reported the Irish Times yesterday.

    Now I have nothing against Cowen personally. Unlike others though I have no idea if he is a decent chap or not. But I find the repeated references to his wonderful intelligence preposterous.

    This is the man who guided our economy toward shipwreck, in spite of, despite his claims to the contrary, warnings from at least twenty authorities worldwide and national. Now intelligence involves accurately processing information and making correct judgements based on incisive reasoning. In this at least, Cowen displayed not the slightest trace of intelligence. Intelligence also involves lateral thinking, looking at things from different angles, being capable of intellectually projecting different outcomes and their consequences and preparing accordingly. Here Cowen too evinced and evinces no trace of intelligence. Intelligence arguably involves original or creative thinking. Yet Cowen has displayed neither of these in his responses to the various crises over the last year.

    Most telling of all, and this is what caused me to seriously question, this ludicrous myth, is Cowen's lack of verbal dexterity. Right, he is nowhere near as bad as his predecessor yet, at least when he speaks, his grammar, syntax and sentence construction, are all frequently muddled and confused.

    He lacks even social or emotional intelligence. I personally detest Obama's politics but I respect the degree to which he displays the latter qualities. If Cowen possessed even a modicum of these kinds of intelligence, he would have admitted that he is directly responsible, to a greater degree than any other individual, for the mess we are now in, that he should have been aware of and listened to the warnings back then. He would have also stated that he hoped to win back the trust of the electorate some time in the distant future at best. This would have won him many admirers, it would have softened the attitude of the public towards him and would have quelled the collective feeling of frustration at the sight of people in power inexcusably evading their moral responsibilities.

    Instead it is the same tired, dull, unoriginal, equivocations, which fool no one as has now been proven, but which continue to tarnish the image of both the man and his party.

    So, all in all, I can't see the slightest trace of Cowen's supposed intelligence, however the latter attribute is considered or defined.
    What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?

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    To be fair i think he may mean compared to the rest of the FF party which is a totally different measure of intelligiance

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    Politics.ie Member Digout's Avatar
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    Politics.ie Member Almanac's Avatar
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    Cheers Digout. I missed that. I spend zero time in the Fianna Fail bunker. Maybe the mods will merge.
    What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?

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    Politics.ie Member Almanac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecoguy View Post
    To be fair i think he may mean compared to the rest of the FF party which is a totally different measure of intelligiance
    Very true. It's all relative.
    What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almanac View Post
    Cowen is "very bright",according to U S ambassador, Daniel Rooney, reported the Irish Times yesterday.

    Now I have nothing against Cowen personally. Unlike others though I have no idea if he is a decent chap or not. But I find the repeated references to his wonderful intelligence preposterous.

    This is the man who guided our economy toward shipwreck, in spite of, despite his claims to the contrary, warnings from at least twenty authorities worldwide and national. Now intelligence involves accurately processing information and making correct judgements based on incisive reasoning. In this at least, Cowen displayed not the slightest trace of intelligence. Intelligence also involves lateral thinking, looking at things from different angles, being capable of intellectually projecting different outcomes and their consequences and preparing accordingly. Here Cowen too evinced and evinces no trace of intelligence. Intelligence arguably involves original or creative thinking. Yet Cowen has displayed neither of these in his responses to the various crises over the last year.

    Most telling of all, and this is what caused me to seriously question, this ludicrous myth, is Cowen's lack of verbal dexterity. Right, he is nowhere near as bad as his predecessor yet, at least when he speaks, his grammar, syntax and sentence construction, are all frequently muddled and confused.

    He lacks even social or emotional intelligence. I personally detest Obama's politics but I respect the degree to which he displays the latter qualities. If Cowen possessed even a modicum of these kinds of intelligence, he would have admitted that he is directly responsible, to a greater degree than any other individual, for the mess we are now in, that he should have been aware of and listened to the warnings back then. He would have also stated that he hoped to win back the trust of the electorate some time in the distant future at best. This would have won him many admirers, it would have softened the attitude of the public towards him and would have quelled the collective feeling of frustration at the sight of people in power inexcusably evading their moral responsibilities.

    Instead it is the same tired, dull, unoriginal, equivocations, which fool no one as has now been proven, but which continue to tarnish the image of both the man and his party.

    So, all in all, I can't see the slightest trace of Cowen's supposed intelligence, however the latter attribute is considered or defined.
    Mr. Cowen has a BCL (Batchelor of Civil Law) Degree from UCD
    He also is a qualified but non practising Solicitor having been entered onto the Rolls of the Law Society of Ireland
    He followed the political route and has been within for many years now

    There are plenty Lawyers in Politics and have been in Governments too

    I know plenty folk of similar qualifications with the personality of a cat and those of the opposite

    Different strokes, different folks

    There are those who academically are sound but have no appreciable public interaction or draw, those who are vice versa, those who have neither to any appreciable degree and those who have all and seem to appeal to people

    An Taoiseach doesn't seem to be one of those happy to hop before the public with a twinkle in the eye and spoof till the sun sets (like some not all that long departed)

    I'm not au fait with his academic intelligence but it must be relatively decent ... however the "common touch" in the sense of same being required to interact with the public and with regard to the position he currently holds appears to be sadly lacking ... I think from memory he didn't deny this to an extent during some recent Indo? interview .... but that of course helps no-one in these very difficult times

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    Politics.ie Member Almanac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ah Well View Post
    Mr. Cowen has a BCL (Batchelor of Civil Law) Degree from UCD
    He also is a qualified but non practising Solicitor having been entered onto the Rolls of the Law Society of Ireland
    He followed the political route and has been within for many years now

    There are plenty Lawyers in Politics and have been in Governments too
    True, nothing unusual about that, just as there is nothing unusual about Cowen.
    What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?

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    I'm not defending B. Cowen or anybody else in politics but what has 'intelligence' got to do with political advancement? For a start are you going to define ''intelligence' in an academic sense as in 7 A1s in the Leaving Cert or in a broader sense of 'savoir faire' and common sense.
    In the early 80's only 20 to 25 percent of school leavers went on to third level education. They were the people whose parents intended that their offspring would have a professional or public service career. These days more or less all 17 year olds go on to further education
    Most of our TDs come from middle class backgrounds with parents who had reasonable paying jobs and and the aspirations to push their children no matter their 'intelligence".

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    Politics.ie Member Almanac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyJoe McGillycuddy View Post
    I'm not defending B. Cowen or anybody else in politics but what has 'intelligence' got to do with political advancement? For a start are you going to define ''intelligence' in an academic sense as in 7 A1s in the Leaving Cert or in a broader sense of 'savoir faire' and common sense.
    In the early 80's only 20 to 25 percent of school leavers went on to third level education. They were the people whose parents intended that their offspring would have a professional or public service career. These days more or less all 17 year olds go on to further education
    Most of our TDs come from middle class backgrounds with parents who had reasonable paying jobs and and the aspirations to push their children no matter their 'intelligence".
    Well if you read the post, you would see that I don't define it as that. Howard Gardner, for example, though his theory is controversial, identifies seven different types of intelligence. The point though is that Cowen does not deserve the accolades he receives and it is irritating when you actually consider the role he has played over the last few years.
    What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?

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