Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Last week’s Would You Rather dilemma pitted thought and emotions against each other in a battle for control. While solid arguments were given in support of each side, many more of you decided to go with controlling other’s emotions. Those who chose the emotional route believed thought control to be too… well, controlling. Interestingly, those who opted for thought control gave the same argument for their choice.

But most everyone agreed on one thing: emotions influence one’s thoughts and thoughts have the power to influence one’s emotions. In reading everyone’s arguments for or against each side, I found myself wondering which comes first? Does an emotional reaction bring on a series of thoughts? Or do our thoughts spark our emotional reactions? Or do they happen simultaneously? It’s a psychological chicken and egg question to which I have no answer. Feel free to toss in your two cents on the matter below.

So what did choose? After having the privilege of getting to read all of your comments, I decided I would rather control other’s emotions. One person commented that it would be useful for when you wanted to cheer someone up, a sentiment I found quite lovely. I would also use my superpower to soothe those with anxiety, trauma reactions, or depression. I could also be useful to people who are incapacitated by shyness, phobias, or are easily overstimulated by the world around them. The possibilities for helping others are endless.

And now on to this week’s question…

Would you rather

have a photographic memory

– OR –

gain an extra 40 IQ points?

photo credit: bluewinx15(BACK) via photopin cc

While at first glance it may seem like this has nothing to do with intelligence, I believe intelligent people will find this to be an insanely adorable photo. photo credit: bluewinx15(BACK) via photopin cc


What say you, smart readers? Will you opt for the ability to remember most anything? Or will you choose to inflate your intelligence? Ponder it, then share your thoughts. I always love to hear from you.

16 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Would You Rather Question: Memory or Intelligence?

  1. My first reaction was to go with photographic memory so I’d never again be embarrassed by not remembering someone’s name. Bonus! I might also pass the Mensa test on those questions that don’t involve math and logic. Bonus! I could win gazillions on Jeopardy!

    But, I met someone with that ability — the Hospitalist who coordinated and assimilated all of the specialist’s findings when my husband was in the hospital. He said it was both a gift and a curse. He can’t shut down his brain on some images. However, it was comforting to know he had every-frigging-detail from every-frigging-test stored for random access.

    With that in mind, I’m going with a bump in my IQ, and the hope I don’t become Dr. Sheldon Cooper (of Big Bang Theory fame). My Inner Editor looks a lot like Sheldon’s friend-who-happens-to-be-a-girl, Amy Farrah Fowler.

    Surely, with increased intelligence, I could invent strategies for remembering those things I want to remember.

    As for last week’s question, your argument in favor of controlling (and eliminating) debilitating, irrational phobias moved my vote to the emotions side.

    • If you go with the IQ bump, you should still be able to still win gazillions on Jeopardy. I’d be happy to take a few millions off your hands for safe keeping. I’m generous like that.

      If anyone should have a photographic memory, it’s someone who works in a hospital. I want that person keeping tabs on my charts and meds. I imagine it is a curse of sorts if you can’t shut your brain down for any period of time.

      And welcome to Team Emotion Control. No need to be nervous. We can help you with that. 😉

  2. Having a photographic memory would be cool, but I already have a time forgetting things that I would rather forget ~ so I’m afraid that a photographic memory would be my curse. On the other hand, high intelligence has its downfalls too. There is something to be sad about being blissfully dumb, I would imagine.
    Even so, I’ll take the IQ points. I’m sure I could put them to good use 🙂

    • As Gloria just pointed out, a photographic memory certainly could be a curse. Looked at that way, the IQ points look pretty good by comparison.

  3. Definitely increased intelligence. A photographic memory doesn’t make you smarter, just better able to remember things for tests. I would want to be better at solving problems, be more creative, be more organized. Just being able to remember things doesn’t give me that.

    • Another vote for IQ points! There are a lot of smarty pants hangin’ out in the kasbah today. 🙂

      I would certainly hope a higher IQ gives one the increased creativity and ability to problem solve, though I don’t know that it necessarily lends itself to being more organized. It seems as though there are plenty of incredibly intelligent people out there who are disastrous at keeping their homes/offices/lives organized.

  4. I would definitely choose a photographic memory. I’ve worked with a lot of geniuses over the years in the computer industry, we’re talking the people who invented UNIX and the internet! My direct experience with Mensa IQ types is that that kind of smarts is only one type of intelligence. Common sense was not always included, and empathy and compassion hardly ever.

    • Yeah, one’s intelligence quotient doesn’t exactly correlate to one’s emotional intelligence or one’s ability to socialize. A photographic memory could come in handy when traveling. You’d probably never get lost on your way back to your hotel. 😉

  5. tough one!
    I suppose I would choose the extra IQ points. God knows I need them. OTOH, I have a pretty good memory already. I’m one of those people who could memorize math equations, but practical application? Forget it.

    • I tend to be the other way around – I couldn’t really memorize the math equations unless they made sense in their practical application. That’s probably why my memory tends to not be so sharp. 😉

  6. Hm, there’s something to be said for both, and I like many of the arguments for the extra intelligence, but I’m a great believer in gut instinct and mine went for photographic memory… I suspect it’s because I’m somewhat lacking in that area. :-/

  7. I’ve managed to get pretty far with a B+ intelligence, so would prefer a (selective) photographic memory. Specifically, I’d like to be better at remembering tunes, like the melodic themes in classical music (because I’m terrible at that) and I’d like to be better at remembering people’s names (which I am worse at). If you could arrange for those exact circumstances, I’d be all over it. 😉

    • One order of selective, musically-inclined and name-recall photographic memory coming right up. Bonus: free overnight shipping for all readers of the kasbah.

      And I’m sure you have higher than a B+ intelligence. You hang out here, so that bumps you at least to an A-. Obviously. 😉

  8. on ,
    Brinda said:

    You might think either selection would be great, but all I can think of are negatives. I know that is crazy.

    I guess I’ll go with the IQ bump. I can always write things down instead of relying on memory, right?

    • I think I would still need to write things down even with an IQ bump as well. I figure that’s why post-its were invented.

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