"To the The Crack Emcee,
How about we call it what it is from now on. Stupidity. I'm not willing to struggle with the cognitive dissonance of 'They're intelligent BUT'.. or 'They're smart..BUT'.
That your co-workers have cars and responsibilities doesn't mean they aren't dumb. They are in fact dumb and stupid, and will likely remain so.
And well-to-do has no direct relationship with very smart. Stupid people can be TRAINED to do most things, even brain surgery. This appears to make them look intelligent, but it is only TRAINING. As you pointed out about your new friends, 'they know very little outside of how to make it there'.
Stupidity should not be confused with poor memory, poor immediate recall or lack of information or facts due to lack of exposure to the subject.
You can spot the stupid by the reaction to supplied missing information. The stupid will be left confused, bewildered or blank, and you rarely see the light bulb come on to some simple thing they didn't know before.
Couple that with incredible tenacity in clinging to the absolutely absurd, and you have stupid to the tenth power, known as 'NewAge'.
Consider this definition of stupidity from Wikipedia;
..stupidity denotes an incapability or unwillingness to properly consider the relevant information.
Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, pg A133/B172; tr. J.M.D. Meiklejohn; Paul Guyer (1998) translation:
'The lack of the power of judgment is that which is properly called stupidity, and such a failing is not to be helped. A dull or limited head, which is lacking nothing but the appropriate degre [sic] of understanding and its proper concepts, may well be trained through instruction, even to the point of becoming learned. But since it would usually still lack the power of judgment (the secunda Petri), it is not at all uncommon to encounter very learned men who in the use of their science frequently give glimpses of that lack, which is never to be ameliorated.'
You were the only one in your group of friends that day (and everyday, judging by your excellent site) that isn't stupid. Car or no car.
By the way, have you seen the movie 'Idiocracy'? I used to think it was an amusing comedy but I now see it as a documentary."
-- "JRN", immediately getting on my good side, in TMR's comment section.
By the way, JRN: I've only seen part of " 'Idiocracy" but I'll check it out on your recommendation (that was a recommendation, wasn't it?) and, dude, thanks for the punch in the arm - I really needed it.