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The Art of Being Street Smart /// Vinjabond“Street smart” reasoning is far from an exact science and that’s the point. Being street smart is the method to a craftier mindset.

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It’s traditionally considered that a street smart individual is one who’s life experienced in the way of the actual streets of the ghettos.

This terminology is accurate but it also pertains to thinking with the senses and practical knowledge.

John V Cain
Founder of VINJABOND

Science and math is elegant. They interpret the universe with perfection and precision, there is only white or black; the “book smart” mindset method.

But the real world isn’t perfect or precise, there’s greys and colors, thus we interpret through art.

This “art”, is street smarts and it’s the amalgamation of active situational awareness, commanding passive influence, situational mono game theory, social simulation and character estimation (more details).

Book smarts is technical, street smarts is practical.

We need book smarts to be the best informed versions of ourselves as a whole but it’s being street smart in the on-demand functions of our daily lives that gives us the most favorable choices and outcomes.

Street smarts is almost entirely perceptually inputted, our senses. This is why it’s so practical.

It’s less gradual data gathering and calculating, more honed instinct and situational reaction.

Much of it is “judging a book by its cover”, as it were. But effectively so. Because in the literal streets, things move fast with less usable information available.

So it’s hard to teach, it must be experienced.

You can master the written words of an entire textbook but it’s meaningless information if it can’t be applied to the real world and therefore the streets.

If book smarts is the aptitude of deciphering equations, then street smarts is active task management.

One is theory and the other is application.

I was born and raised in the Bronx then lived in Queens, Manhattan and Miami with my professional life spent mostly in the world’s various ghettos.

John V Cain

So how do you become more street smart? Go into unfamiliar places, feel uncomfortable, be a foreigner, a tourist, and most of all, get out of your comfort zone.

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His street wisdom broadened and street craft refined.

If being street smart is a social skill, then vagabonding is the ultimate teacher. I’ve seen the most interpersonally awkward of people blossom into social butterflies from seeing the world from beyond their own corner of it.

And that is the core foundation of being street smart; proficient people interaction and maneuvering.

Which incidentally is part of the urban survival skill set.

However, like being naturally artistic or stylish, some people have it and some just don’t. But you can always become a better drawer or dresser.

Again, with actual experience beyond the books.

It’s traditionally considered that a street smart individual is one who’s life experienced in the way of the actual streets of the ghettos.

This terminology is accurate but it also pertains to thinking with the senses and practical knowledge.




The art of being street smart.

[The featured photo was taken with a Hitcase of the David Cerny street sculptures on the streets of Prague in the Czech Republic.]

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6 COMMENTS ///

  1. Kyle NYC

    Great article. What do you think of the old “street smarts versus booksmarts argument? I know there apples and oranges but…


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