As long as we are here in Converse, Nebraska, a couple of related matters could be noted, (okay—one matter): you’re as stupid as who you talk to.
Man’s ability to live more efficiently, by going beyond the confines of purely instinctive behavior, is due in large part to his singular talent for verbal communication. Each man does not have to reinvent the water wheel or automatic transmission for himself, but can be told how to produce one by somebody who already knows how.
Men can also reveal to one another improvements they have discovered. Thus is useful knowledge collectively shared, expanded, and preserved.
Regarding physical matters:
You’re as smart as those you talk to,
and only a fool doesn’t discuss things with others.
When it comes to things non=tangible:
You’re as stupid as who you talk to,
and only fools discuss things.
A man with a faulty faucet is smart to talk to someone expert in plumbing, and would be a fool not to discuss with him the best possible ways of repair. But a man with unworkable ideas and attitude is stupid to talk to anyone about it, (rabbi, guru, psychiatrist, etc.), and is a fool to discuss possible causes, and cures with anyone.