([identity profile] wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2009-05-28 10:46 pm

The difference between "clever" and "smart"

I'm not a scientist, but I DO work at a place which has some of the cleverest people in the country on staff; brilliant engineers who have built everything from satellites and landers to particle accelerators, software developers who helped build the Internet, physicists of every flavour from particle physics to the sort that require more dimensions than the Great old Ones inhabit... Seriously, their combined IQ would be terrifying.. But are they SMART as well as clever? That's a difficult question.

A former Chief Exec used to tell a story about visiting another research establishment, and asking how many scientists were employed there. Their CE told him "We have around two hundred scientists, and one inventor"... when asked to elaborate on what the difference was he was told "The inventor isn't the best scientist we have, but it's his output that allows us to pay for the two hundred scientists!"

And how does this relate to comics, well, this is a case study, as it were, of the difference between the two concepts of clever and smart...

From the shortly Post Zero Hour Legion, the origin of an essential part of any Legion incarnation (And no, I don't mean Lyle/Brainy slash fic)

We encounter Brainiac-5 hard at work in his lab...

I like that expression on Lyle's face, you can HEAR the wheels turning....

We hear no more about it, until three months later (The Legion was running across both the Legion and Legionnaires titles at the same time) Andromeda has just thrown one of her rather... aggressive temper tantrums (She has anger management issues and a rampant case of xenophobia, NOT a good combination in a Legionnaire strong enough to bench press the moon)

Again, love the expressions there, B-5 stunned, shocked and perhaps just a teensy little bit lovestruck (though as with all good setups like this, he'd sooner bathe in goat sweat than admit it), and Lyle wryly amused by the whole thing.

He gathers the whole team (they're not that large a team at this point)

Okay, they do look a little like they're practising their porn faces. C'mon though, someone gives you this tiny little thing and then tells you it gives you one of THE most desired and fantasised about superpowers EVER! (and one which most of those characters wouldn't have otherwise, with the possible exception of Cosmic Boy perhaps who pre-ZH did learn to fly without a flight ring) Tell me YOU wouldn't have a face like that...

Brainy's sad little "That could have been ME" face in the third panel is very sad indeed, but swiftly becomes envy... and it's not like Lyle isn't TRYING to give him the credit...

So you see, no one would argue that Brainiac 5 was infintely more clever than Lyle, even Lyle would cheerfully admit it, but it's Lyle who can see the potential in things even if they are failures in the purely scientific sense.

So who is the SMARTER of the two? :)

[identity profile] 2009-05-29 01:40 am (UTC)(link)
Uh... how does Andromeda have 'a rampant case of xenophobia'? Not that I'm arguing against it, mind you - I don't really know the team well enough for that - but I would like to hear your reasoning, as I've read a few issues with Andromeda in them, and I'VE never seen any particular evidence of xenophobia.

[identity profile] 2009-05-29 02:44 am (UTC)(link)
OK, me am edumacated now. Thanks!