Thursday, August 20, 2015

Evergreen Post Invoking D&D

I thought I had blogged about this before, but I cannot seem to find the post.  Anyhow:

One of the most important contributions of Dungeons and Dragons (and perhaps whatever its founders borrowed from elsewhere) are the attributes that are key aspects of a character's background: strength, wisdom, intelligence, charisma, dexterity, and constitution.  Well, three of them actually stand out: wisdom, intelligence and charisma.

The big insight, of course, is that wisdom and intelligence are distinct attributes.  Someone can be smart but use their intelligence poorly.  Or someone can be very wise about making choices even if they are not that good at understanding stuff.  We usually notice cases of the former, as I did today when someone was tweeting about the Brady/NFL story.  That someone on the NFL's side was smart but not particularly wise.  That might be giving the NFL far more credit than it deserves, but it might still be applicable. 

I was thinking of the charisma score as well (Trump has heaps of charisma, alas, to enough audiences.  Rick Santorum?  Not so much).  That there a D&D inspired insult: zero charisma.  This means that one is utterly repulsive and cannot persuade people essentially.  The phrase even inspired a movie!   I have occasionally been tempted to hurl this insult at some folks, but have refrained.

The other attributes are also handy for thinking about the politics of our time as well as sports and other stuff, so maybe I will play with them in a future post.  Anyhow, I will be coming back to this post again and again when I want to point out something that is smart but not wise or when someone is utterly lacking in appeal or persuasiveness. 

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