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Hi PerC. After ruminating on the state of my brain, I thought it worth a post about intelligence.

Do you feel dumb more often than you feel smart? Does this feeling affect how dumb or smart you think you are? Does intelligence matter at all for your well-being? Does de-valuing intelligence indicate a wider wisdom?

I ask because I used to value intelligence far, far more than I value it today. When I was in high school, I aspired to be intelligent, to amass knowledge, and to use this knowledge to further my goals. Since then, I've found that knowledge of that sort has less value to me. At the time, it was necessary for purposes of scoring well on all the right tests, getting into the right schools, and so on. Today, I am often dumber than my peers in tangible ways (gaming has shown me this many times over), but it has less effect on my emotions.

However, when I allow this supposed deficiency to reach my emotions, the effect is devastating. So if I make a bad play while in a certain mood, the rest of the game is forfeit in my mind, and I just feel sour.

But when I game in another mood, winning or losing couldn't matter less. I only care about everyone having a good time. Does this attitude reflect approaching a greater wisdom, or simply a change in perspective?
 

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In my case, I consider myself to be relatively smart; except in math-related areas (on which I suck so hard). However, I also used to be like you; trying to amass as much knowledge as I could, and, I completely left out certain important parts of myself that required development. It's only until fairly recently that I've put myself to the task of developing them; and, to be honest; I feel even smarter now than I felt before, because I'm more balanced intelectually; being able not only to answer questions regarding knowledge, but also being able to empathize with people and being more able and willing to help them out with whatever it is they're feeling; instead of running to the hills like I used to.

In my opinion, I like to think this change of attitutde is a greater wisdom. There's no more sourness or anger, just a calm peace that allows you to experience life in a more fascinating and exciting way; you realize that the things that you one held the most important, aren't relevant at all. And, it feels so good.
 

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This was such a deep and introspective post that I never saw it leading into gaming...who'd of thunk? LoL

Intelligence, with no other determining words, is quite the global term. In general, it is far more important to me now than it was during school (I was a rebel of sorts). It is important when speaking on subjects that my opinion be valued and taken seriously. When intelligence and knowledge on any given subject is questioned, it causes the opinion or word of the questioned to not be taken seriously.

All that said, "book smarts" is far less important to me than wisdom and, IMO, they are not one in the same. Book smarts as "learned"...wisdom is "experienced". You can read all you want about love through well written, extremely detailed accounts from wise authors. You've gained no wisdom regarding love by doing so though. Use what you learn as a guide, but true wisdom will be gained when you've lived with and experienced love. When you've made mistakes with love and grown from them. When you've regretted decisions in love and seen first hand what these decisions did to affect you and the one you love(d).

Gaming is similar in that, I can explain how to play a game thoroughly with full details on situations that occur during gameplay and how to overcome them. You will still not pick up a controller and be an expert gamer, no matter how hard you studied or how well I explained the game in question.

For me, the only ignorance that bothers me is the ignorance left after a potential lesson, be it through my own experience or experience/wisdom shared, due to both stubbornness and an unopened mind.

Hopefully, that makes sense :)
 

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Intelligence is relative to what you are measuring. I've always felt intelligent on most things, but I've learned that if you choose any person, that person can most likely do at least a few things better than I can, and I can do a fair number of things better than they can. Some of the most incredible geniuses in the world are lost when it comes to a social situation for example...look at savants.

Albert Einstein had a really profound quote that hit home with me “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

People can develop skills. I used to believe that people were born with certain natural talents. I still believe that to a certain extent, if you are 5' you probably aren't going to be an NBA star for example, but I have come to realize that the vast majority of talents can be developed if you are willing to work at it.

This was an eye opening book for me on how the brain forms and why practice does in fact make you better.
The Talent Code
 

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I am diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Disorders of Reading and Written Expression. My IQ is in the 99th percentile, but my reading comprehension speed is in the 1st percentile (4th Grade). I feel both smart and dumb. For the longest time I thought I was dumb because I had trouble communicating with others (still do). The riddle I usually pose is that I am not overly knowledgeable and thus not very book smart; I am too naive to be street smart; what kind of smart am I?

I don't think de-valuing intelligence indicates a measure of wisdom. I think people need to remove the value judgments they perceive when the word or concept of intelligence is thrown around. Sure there are smug, arrogant and ignorant "intelligent" people, but that should not lessen the overall significance of intelligence.
 

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I R too smart to dumb dumb.

l like that girl in yer avatar IS SHE ANGELA :kitteh:
 

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Certain aspects of ones character are more of an indication of success in life than intellect. It's said that a genius needs to have an innate high ability to abstract, but past a certain threshold, it holds no further correlation. The remaining part of the equation has to do with environmentally dependent variables, such as the development of character.

Two that pop out to me, in what you mentioned, are confidence, and resiliency. They are quite important to be successful in this life. As for "book smarts". I stopped highly valuing... well, at least traditional ways of being "educated", far back in grade school. I think insight trumps wisdom, trumps intuition, trumps knowledge, trumps route memorization.

The people who are insightful and have attained a high degree of wisdom have my full attention in a room of PHD's, MD's, and supposedly "influential" baboons.
 

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@bluekitdon

That's simply not what talent is. Talent is innate potential markedly beyond the norm. Skill level can be improved, but you'll always have the base of natural ability.

Think of talent and skill as variables that multiply to give you ability. If you start out with a talent of 4, but do hardly any work (1), you'll have less ability than someone with a talent of 2, but a lot of discipline improving the skill (6) needed for ability of the task at hand.

The first is 4X1, and the second is 2X6. 12 is greater than 4, so the hard work trumps the innately superior (though not all too high) talent.

You also see people who have higher talent than their peers, sometimes put in less work, and still outperform everyone else. In this case, the gap between talent of said individual, and each other, is greater than the gap between work performed to develop skill. or say 9x4 vs 1-3X5-9 the talented kid who slacks ends up with 36, where as the group may range from a low of 5 to a high of 27.
 

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Most of the time I feel dumb. I know I am compared to most people, but I like to learn.
 

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Though I feel dumb at starting of something I'm new or unaware about , but I always aspire for intelligence and try to explore and learn new things about life everyday .Being smart and intelligent is important for me because it saves me from unnecessary worry ,troubles and misfortune .Because of intelligence I can appreciate ,evaluate and upgrade the quality of my life.
 

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I was given an official IQ test around 2 years ago and scored above superior overall but I don't consider myself more intelligent than most people - only more experienced in a certain number of subjects. I may be able to absorb information more efficiently or easily but it's not something I think about very often because it's inconsequential for the most part. Motivation is probably the most important factor in becoming knowledgeable or 'smart'.
 

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@bluekitdon

That's simply not what talent is. Talent is innate potential markedly beyond the norm. Skill level can be improved, but you'll always have the base of natural ability.

Think of talent and skill as variables that multiply to give you ability. If you start out with a talent of 4, but do hardly any work (1), you'll have less ability than someone with a talent of 2, but a lot of discipline improving the skill (6) needed for ability of the task at hand.

The first is 4X1, and the second is 2X6. 12 is greater than 4, so the hard work trumps the innately superior (though not all too high) talent.

You also see people who have higher talent than their peers, sometimes put in less work, and still outperform everyone else. In this case, the gap between talent of said individual, and each other, is greater than the gap between work performed to develop skill. or say 9x4 vs 1-3X5-9 the talented kid who slacks ends up with 36, where as the group may range from a low of 5 to a high of 27.
While certainly theoretical, I'd say this is as spot on as you could get on something that has no way to be measured objectively. Loved your equations and the theoretical formula used. This really was simple yet brilliant.
 

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I ask because I used to value intelligence far, far more than I value it today. When I was in high school, I aspired to be intelligent, to amass knowledge, and to use this knowledge to further my goals. Since then, I've found that knowledge of that sort has less value to me.
Knowledge brings erudition, comprehension brings wisdom. The path to wisdom is to strive to understand what we cannot learn, and never learn what we cannot understand. Nobody gets wisdom through erudition, beaten paths lead to beaten paths.
 

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Knowledge brings erudition, comprehension brings wisdom. The path to wisdom is to strive to understand what we cannot learn, and never learn what we cannot understand. Nobody gets wisdom through erudition, beaten paths lead to beaten paths.
Well put.
 

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A good topic!

My self-perception of my wits bounces equally from that of a radish to Mozart's, but on the average I put myself a little above the average. If standardized IQ tests are of credibility in any way, I often estimate myself to be around 120, though haven't tested if this is correct. Even though I know I have showed verbal versatility from an early age and that I've been able to reach (my) high standards with greater ease than a great portion of my peers seem to, I can still astound myself with my stupidity. Especially when conversing with Sensors or feely types. Sometimes I even think my social intelligence is moderate (to compensate for the other slops no doubt), but no, I'm not fooling anyone. A ridiculously sharp kid once, quite accurately, told me that to his intuition, I seemed like a person who favored not at all social settings, but was trying very hard to do so. (Given the circumstances, that day this feature was a bit exaggerated though.) (Buuuut the fact that I was able to provide a 170-180 IQ pre-adolescent conversations he described as the best of his life so far, I suppose I can ditch that radish-hypothesis.) I understand motives, rituals and customs very well, but I suck big time in utilizing that information.

To be sure, I hold the attribute of intelligence in high regard, both in myself and others, though I'm learning to loosen up. Only now have I come to fathom more deeply the world of intrapersonal intelligence because of that. What I've interpreted as exceptional intelligence in myself is probably only skill and personality inclinations. In support of PaladinX's views, I too think there's no benefit in denoting intelligence - not getting stuck to glorifying it is the way to wisdom. In attempts to attain intelligence one easily falls into emphasizing only those aspects of it which are most highly valued by the prevailing culture. That is known to be the cause of not just a few middle-age crisises.
 

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Intelligence is a difficult thing for me to think about because it ties into my sense of self-worth so much. The more I try to accurately weigh my intelligence the more I am sure to be weighing my perception of my own value or potential. I feel like that's not even something I should try to know though. There is no value in me having an accurate objective opinion about this. The only thing I'm sure to do with it is make myself feel badly. It's much like trying to get an accurate objective opinion on my own attractiveness. It is not a good road for me to go down, so I try not to. I don't need to know. And if I had some suspicion about what is the truth it is sure to be up for re-evaluation later, so there is no point.

But I do value intelligence and I do very often feel I am not blessed with it. As long as I can remember I've had a sort of secret ego about the matter, thinking I am actually very smart behind all the everyday occurrences that make me feel otherwise and the fact that neither seems to affect the other has been a source of frustration and anxiety for me. Over time I think that ego has opened a little to actual evidence and the sense of it has dimmed.

The best I can do is to try to be patient with myself and have confidence simply that what is unknown before me or what I am skillless at, these states and how fast I can improve or what I can obtain are less important than my confidence simply that I can face it. I will face my challenges. And that is all. Nevermind so much comparing myself to others if I have any sense. I am forgetful and compare myself often with others and often feel the frustrations that involves. Eventually I can come to my senses about things though and I will try again next time to remember better.
 

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Well.
I've been called a smartass so many times I lost count, and I'm guessing you need to be smart to be a smartass.
Does that count?

On the subject on "self-image and smart/dumb" thing, it really depends on your connotations on smart and dumb.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you to everyone for all of your interesting and enlightening responses!

This was such a deep and introspective post that I never saw it leading into gaming...who'd of thunk? LoL]
Ha! Suck my unpredictability. Gaming is often a great test of one's critical thinking skills. Especially since I'm not talking about video games :D

"book smarts" is far less important to me than wisdom and, IMO, they are not one in the same. Book smarts as "learned"...wisdom is "experienced".
I don't think de-valuing intelligence indicates a measure of wisdom. I think people need to remove the value judgments they perceive when the word or concept of intelligence is thrown around. Sure there are smug, arrogant and ignorant "intelligent" people, but that should not lessen the overall significance of intelligence.
@PaladinX This is a fatal flaw of so many conservatives in the USA - they claim that intelligence and science are signs of the Devil's work!

I think insight trumps wisdom, trumps intuition, trumps knowledge, trumps route memorization. The people who are insightful and have attained a high degree of wisdom have my full attention in a room of PHD's, MD's, and supposedly "influential" baboons.
Knowledge brings erudition, comprehension brings wisdom. The path to wisdom is to strive to understand what we cannot learn, and never learn what we cannot understand. Nobody gets wisdom through erudition, beaten paths lead to beaten paths.
@IDontThinkSo I thnk you really have hit the nail on the head here. You have to know and understand facts in order to have the comprehension necessary for real wisdom on a topic, so it's not like one striving for wisdom can really live without real-world knowledge. Balance, again, is key.

I think that de-valuing intelligence will only serve to encourage the anti-intellectuals who disregard facts entirely, confirming the irrational weirdos of the world. On the other hand, claiming that the scientific method is the only path to real understanding will actually de-value my own path. I love science and logic, but my understanding revolves around a much more intuitive interpretation of the facts. Has anyone else managed to reconcile these two paths?
 
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