Gimme a break! Is it REALLY THAT tough to meet someone who can hold their own end of a conversation?
Yes, it can be. Remember, everything is relative. Just because someone has an opinion and possesses enough english skills that they can communicate it conversationally, doesn't mean there's any real intelligence there.
I could have it wrong but I assumed the OP was referring to university coffee house grade conversations (if I can call them that). I love those kinds of conversations and don't get enough of it. I recently met my GF's nephews and their Father and have been enjoying talking with them about a variety of subjects.
Signs of intelligent conversation:
- Understanding the true meaning of the word 'argument'.
- An attempt on both sides to understand the points being made.
- Questions being asked
- Some empirical content like statistics or models of understanding relating to the topic
- Passion but respect, possibly followed by a hug
- Some ability to 'justify' a position indicating prior thought and effort to understand
- Some effort to entertain the other with annecdotal evidence or references to interesting materials on the topic.
Unfortunately many people go through life on auto-pilot IMHO. They are so busy just dealing with life and its challenges that they don't have much more to offer other than their position. Some are worse - they allow others to tell them what to think and become good at parroting.
OK its official. I'm an elitist! LOL. Not really, but I have never developed the fine art of discussing the weather or sports scores.