Galentine’s Day: Why Our Friendships Make Us Smarter

Hi everyone, and welcome to the Get Smart portion of The Enrichery blog!

As my blog posts are supposed to be educational, I’ve decided to start the first one off with a quote from Bill Nye (yes, as in Bill Nye the Science Guy).

Bill Nye the Science Guy










Today’s Get Smart advice: make friends. Learn from those around you. Decide to be excited, not threatened, by the fact that your neighbor knows something you don’t.

Why do we need friends? Why do they make us smarter? According to Matt Ridley’s world famous TED Talk, no one knows how to make a computer mouse.

That’s why we need friends. Because alone, we can maybe sharpen a rock against another rock to make a disturbingly prison-like shank. Thanks, but no thanks.







Together, we can work with plastics factories, silicon and metal harvesters, manufacturers, shipping companies, salesmen, customers. Together, we can make a computer mouse. Alone, we’ve got a rock.

A lot of research suggests humans make friends because there is survival value in friendship, as we see with the rock vs. computer mouse example (the only way I could survive without a mouse is if I had a track pad as a backup…). Friendship is humanity’s solution to The Banker’s Paradox (it’s too risky for a bank to loan money to someone in need, while someone who already has a lot of money doesn’t need a bank loan). This video explains it pretty well:

According to this logic, we don’t make friends because we need something right now. We make friends because we will need something from someone in the future. We make friends because there is survival value in friendship, and also because (according to C.S. Lewis) friendship gives value to survival.

I would be remiss if I wrote a post about friendship without sharing this gem:

According to The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper, everybody likes monkeys. I concur.