Intelligence....Harnessing It, Looking It, Lacking It

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    Jun 03, 2012 1:46 PM GMT
    I received this message from another member here (who doesn't want to be recognized for such profundity). I thought it was thought provoking and wise. It was in response to me saying I was intimidated because he looked like he oozed intelligence. Here's the quote:

    Intelligence is a myth that geeks made up to make themselves feel better than jocks. Every human being has great intelligence; not every human being can figure out how it works. It's like touching your toes. Everyone has toes, not everyone can reach them.
    But the toes are there.

    So what do you think? Does everybody have great intelligence? Are some people not able to harness that intelligence? When it comes to intelligence can you touch your toes? I can touch mine but sometimes I feel like I only have eight of them. What about my assertion that you can look at someone and know he's intelligent....or not? Are you confident in your intelligence or do you doubt it sometimes? (Right now I'm not even sure I used profundity correctly).
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    Jun 03, 2012 2:01 PM GMT
    Why do you think so many of the jocks on here post pics wearing glasses? Raises their perceived IQ immediately. There is a reason for the stereotype of the "dumb jock"

    Intelligence is overrated. It is no indicator of how successful somebody is. Other things like problem solving abilities, emotional and social intelligence, looks, interest, focus, perseverance, endurance and more play a big part as well.
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    Jun 03, 2012 2:03 PM GMT
    Sounds like a dumb guy who knows how to touch his toes.
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    Jun 03, 2012 2:30 PM GMT
    bhp91126 said There is a reason for the stereotype of the "dumb jock"


    I respectfully disagree with this. It takes a certain level of intelligence to become successful at any sport. I coach a Special Olympian with an IQ that is probably well below that of most people here. It took me a long time to ingrain just basic principles that would help his performance. It certainly wasn't all about some God given athletic talent. Likewise, it's why I suck at mma even though I can box and wrestle. It's a lot of information to process.It's like chess...you have to be thinking two steps ahead at all times. And the ability to process a situation and adapt quickly is beyond my mental capacity sometimes which means you can get knocked out by a knee while your mind is in wrestling mode. That's just one sport but a lot of sports require that mental agility.
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    Jun 03, 2012 3:06 PM GMT
    Intelligence is only one factor on how smart or good or perceptive or responsive or driven or interactive a person might be. I've a cousin (the generation below me) who IQ tests at just below 100, but she has phenomenal social skills and empathy.

    When she was only three or four and I was recouping from a construction accident, I drove to their house for a visit and get out of my car. She'd been waiting for me and ran out to greet me. I go to pick her up and give her a hug. She stops me from picking her up, telling me that wouldn't be good for my back.

    So that's a little preschool kid with a below average IQ with more empathy than many. She grew up having lots of school friends because it was easy for her to share love. Her sister, who spent her first three years crying, who probably has an IQ in the high 130s to mid 140s (debate team, scholarships etc), had more trouble making friends. A nice kid, but she never developed the social skills of her "less intelligent" sister.

    Of my two nephews, I don't know their test scores but I'd guess one is about 120s-130s too, fairly typical for much of my family. So he might or might not be doctor smart but that's what he wants and if he applies himself he'll get there. His brother probably has a higher IQ but he has personality disorders including pathological lying. So the less intelligent could wind up a doctor, the more intelligent could wind up in jail.

    My own IQ has generally tested in the 120s-130s (depending on my mood and I've probably lost a few points since my last test) so I'm not all that smart. But I also test with very high abilities to formulate & recognize gestalt. Plus I was born as a lucid dreamer who is completely well adapted to and practiced in dream yoga so I can access aspects of my being unavailable to most. Also I'm naturally a skeptic, so I'm always questioning even what I think I know. Though at least I've figured out that I seem to be more than my IQ score. And when I look for a man, I'm not looking for his IQ score; I'm looking for his heart.

    I've met plenty of people who are way smarter than me but ya know what? Some of them are fucking idiots. I know people who can design a paper bag, figure out the volume of it after it is crushed a little, yet can't seem to find their way out of a paper bag. Also life situations can alter our ability to access our intelligence. My aunt's brother was a NASA scientist earlier in his life. I forget the exact story but at one point he had designed I think it was a gyro that was used in an Air Force One. But then the guy had a mental breakdown and he wound up in life driving a taxi.

    So intelligence is only one aspect of our ability to think. We are so much more than our IQ scores. And if I'm not smart enough, damn it, I'm going to make up for it in bed.
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    Jun 03, 2012 5:02 PM GMT
    I don't even like using the word. It is trying to cover so many personality traits that it loses meaning. But I do agree it is one of those words that has an elitist ring to it.

    I'd rather use more specific words than the blanket "intelligence", like insightful, wise, articulate, sensible, logical, thoughtful, savvy, educated, booksmart, streetsmart. We've got lots of options.

    I think maybe from birth we all have the capability to become well developed in any of those areas. The brain is more plastic (able to learn and change) when we're young, up to age 6-7 I think. That's the period where the most difference is made, though we're still capable of changing.

    While not everyone will be on equal footing even given the same education, I believe lukewarmly that anyone could change for the more intellectual if that was important to them and they made a years-long effort.
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    Jun 03, 2012 5:18 PM GMT
    smartmoney saidSounds like a dumb guy who knows how to touch his toes.


    Exactly!
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    Jun 03, 2012 5:41 PM GMT
    No, I don't believe that. Intelligence, or the capacity for it, is not the same for each person. That's like saying I could be an defensive lineman if I simply harnessed my innate abilities. Really? At my height, it wouldn't matter how powerful and athletic I became.

    There are different levels of intelligence, and there are different types of intelligence. Some people are born with low IQs. Some people have very high IQs, but lack any common sense or social awareness to function well in the real world.

    There is some truth to idea that you must harness the intelligence you have in order to use it properly, but that won't help if you don't have the capacity for intelligence in the first place.
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    Jun 03, 2012 5:50 PM GMT
    There is only so far one can stretch their personal abilities, it's as true for intelligence as anything else.

    Like looks or wealth, I feel sorry for someone who prizes their intelligence as a social yardstick over others.
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    Jun 03, 2012 5:57 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH saidSocial yardstick? I certainly don't think being less smart makes someone less good. But would you choose for friends people who are---to put it kindly---mentally sluggish?


    I would be friendly to anyone who was smarter than me or less intelligent than me. It may be unlikely that we would have enough in common to bond as good friends, but who knows what can happen.
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    Jun 03, 2012 6:08 PM GMT
    I think intelligence comes in many forms. Seems to me that the most basic form relates to cognitive skills applied to symbols, e.g. big square is to little square as big circle is to ... .

    There are many different forms of intelligence. For example, a musical savant might not be able to demonstrate intelligence in other areas, but could be a genius in music.

    Also someone can be very smart, yet very slow thinking. I had an example in grad school. I took a course taught by a professor world famous in his field. There was a theorem named after him, and if you looked at technical papers, his name was often listed extensively in the references. In terms of appearance, which means nothing, he was most unimpressive. His speech was somewhat halting, and he looked like be belonged more on a corner begging for money than in a university. One time he was working a problem on the board, and as he kept going, he started going slower and slower until he stopped and mumbled, "Something's not right." He had a completely bewildered look on his face. Meanwhile about 2/3 of the class figured out the error by hands raised. Someone explained it to him and it seemed to take a while for him to realize it. Finally he did. What I took away from that is someone can be highly intelligent, but instead of thinking fast on their feet, can think slowly, deliberately, and deeply.
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    Jun 03, 2012 6:27 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH said
    Stuttershock saidLike looks or wealth, I feel sorry for someone who prizes their intelligence as a social yardstick over others.

    Social yardstick? I certainly don't think being less smart makes someone less good. But would you choose for friends people who are---to put it kindly---mentally sluggish?


    Haha, you must be trolling. I am sure you have many types of friends with varying looks, intelligence, and wealth.

    Anyway, I only discriminate based on a persons proclivity and natural tendency towards pyrokinesis, the one true measure of class.
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    Jun 03, 2012 6:41 PM GMT
    Stuttershock said

    Anyway, I only discriminate based on a persons proclivity and natural tendency towards pyrokinesis, the one true measure of class.


    WTF? I feel like I'm down to 7 toes
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    Jun 03, 2012 6:46 PM GMT
    I do want to say that the person I quoted wasn't talking about how intelligent he was. That was in response to me saying how intelligent he LOOKED. Seriously he looks like one of those guys you see on Jeopardy who always says "I graduated in two years with a Ph.D. from one of the best Ivy League schools, Alex." Except he is much more handsome. He told me to keep him out of it though. I can't quite place a finger on what makes a person look intelligent though.
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    Jun 03, 2012 6:55 PM GMT
    Coach_Mike said
    Stuttershock said

    Anyway, I only discriminate based on a persons proclivity and natural tendency towards pyrokinesis, the one true measure of class.


    WTF? I feel like I'm down to 7 toes

    The ability to mentally control and manipulate fire...
    Admiral Zhao knows what I’m talkin' about.
    Zhao_killing.png

    Coach_Mike saidI can't quite place a finger on what makes a person look intelligent though.

    Oh that's easy! A pair of glasses and a sweater draped over the shoulders.
  • tautomer

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    Jun 03, 2012 7:13 PM GMT
    I've recently encountered a bunch of PhD math majors who had this sort of argument with me. The claimed that anyone could learn at least up to calculus if they just tried hard enough. I could not possibly disagree with them more. Their argument was that everyone was smart enough to learn it, and it was only drive that limited them.

    Calculus is very very hard and difficult to understand and master. The common thought is, since it is purely logical, and logic is simple, and, well, logical, that if one tries they can figure it out. The problem is, while logic is "simple", not everyone is able to understand it easily. I had to learn a good chunk of calculus for my major and I struggled though every minute of it, and it was not for lack of trying. My brain does not think that way very well, and I will never be good at calculus. The only reason I was able to pass calculus is because I do have higher then average intelligence. To be perfectly honest, I think it's very egoistic to claim that everyone has high intelligence but just has to figure out how to use it and communicate it.

    Everyone has different talents in different areas. Simple as that. Intelligence (in it's various forms, there are many) is one of those things.

    Unsurprisingly, those PhD math majors didn't budge on their stance that anyone could do it. My claim is that they (one of them in particular) simply lacked the emotional intelligence to understand how anothers mind could work different then theirs and be different then theirs. Of course, I didn't tell them that. icon_wink.gif
  • tigrisblue

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    Jun 03, 2012 7:15 PM GMT
    Stuttershock saidAnyway, I only discriminate based on a persons proclivity and natural tendency towards pyrokinesis, the one true measure of class.


    I always found Pyro to be something of a smug tart. And Zhao was a rampaging douche.

    This may be thinking too much on it, but eh:

    I wish I still had access to the Oxford English Dictionary, but I think I can safely say that the meaning of the word "Intelligence" has shifted since the 1350s, and then even more so since its Latin roots. The problem with old words is that they've had lots of time to accumulate a great number of different meanings.

    In this case? "The ability to accumulate knowledge"; "one's ability to learn"; "one's ability to retain knowledge"; "one's ability to obtain knowledge"; "high mental capacity"; "faculty of understanding". The list goes on.

    If by "Intelligence" you mean the colloquial "smarts", then I think that's a different discussion. My personal opinion is that "Intelligence" is a useless word, not less because of all the cultural baggage it carries, and not to mention how any of the above definitions categorically vary based on who's talking and where they're standing.

    I think whether every human being has the ability to do something great is up for philosophical debate, whether that greatness is in academics or athleticism, creativity or logic, none of these things necessarily being mutually exclusive, all of them being worthy of merit. What carries more cultural worth and capital, however, depends greatly on where you are, what decade it is, what subculture you're talking about, and so on.

    "Intelligence" or "Academic" can be an aesthetic, just like business chic, emo, indie, or any other style. Some people know how to rock it. Maybe that gives them some kind of "Intelligence" in manipulating image? But if we're talking "smarts" in a particular field, however, then looks can be deceptive (though similar minds often dress alike - power in solidarity or something - but often is not always).

    tl;dr - "Intelligent" guys that aren't also something else (jock, emo, indie, rocker, whatever) identify with whatever it means to be academic in this particular decade. Some other smart guy who's also athletic might identify more with being a jock, and all that entails. People are complicated.
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    Jun 03, 2012 7:26 PM GMT
    You've either got it or you haven't. If you're thick as pigs' shit you know it, end of.
  • tigrisblue

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    Jun 03, 2012 7:30 PM GMT
    tautomer4314 said Calculus is very very hard and difficult to understand and master.


    Agreed. For whatever reason, my undergrad had me shoved into Calculus my first year of university. I was an English Major. I was rooming with an Engineer at the time who made it all seem so simple when he was explaining it, but as soon as he walked away, it was like crawling through some jungle of poisoned derivatives and carnivorous functions.

    Conversely, when I've tried to discuss Sociolinguistics or Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology to similar people, they'll argue with me endlessly that language is fixed and doesn't change, or people are X and culture can't be fluid, occasionally in spite of significant evidence to the contrary.

    I'm told it's a right side/left side brain issue, or biological neuron/network capacity, but that's not my field. Simply, I think some people are inclined to think in certain ways as opposed to others for whatever reason, and forcibly derailing that path to think in awkward and new directions is difficult and uncomfortable. Why change your paradigm if you don't have to? Etc.
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    Jun 03, 2012 7:58 PM GMT
    tautomer4314 saidI've recently encountered a bunch of PhD math majors who had this sort of argument with me. The claimed that anyone could learn at least up to calculus if they just tried hard enough. I could not possibly disagree with them more. Their argument was that everyone was smart enough to learn it, and it was only drive that limited them.


    Well not now, you couldn't just become good at math. I think of it as trains that have originated from around the same place, but which travel in different directions. When they're 25 years of distance away from that origin, they can't just jump track to get to where the other is.

    Maybe if you had the right teacher, the right encouragement, and other factors as a kid to make you love math, you would have gotten to the position at your current age to be great at calculus.

    It's not really drive that's different, it's a whole life of development. I think if you spent the next 25 years learning calc at your pace, you'd be just as good as them.
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:00 PM GMT
    wutz inteliginse?
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:03 PM GMT
    ^^^

    Exactly......icon_confused.gif

    I mean ecxactlie...icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:06 PM GMT
    Look at all these smart bitches icon_lol.gif
  • tautomer

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    Jun 03, 2012 8:12 PM GMT
    SkinnyBitch said
    tautomer4314 saidI've recently encountered a bunch of PhD math majors who had this sort of argument with me. The claimed that anyone could learn at least up to calculus if they just tried hard enough. I could not possibly disagree with them more. Their argument was that everyone was smart enough to learn it, and it was only drive that limited them.


    Well not now, you couldn't just become good at math. I think of it as trains that have originated from around the same place, but which travel in different directions. When they're 25 years of distance away from that origin, they can't just jump track to get to where the other is.

    Maybe if you had the right teacher, the right encouragement, and other factors as a kid to make you love math, you would have gotten to the position at your current age to be great at calculus.

    It's not really drive that's different, it's a whole life of development. I think if you spent the next 25 years learning calc at your pace, you'd be just as good as them.


    Actually, I loved math all the way until high school. I was always a year ahead and in advanced classes for math. I took calculus in high school in addition to college; I loved it then. However, I was poor at it. I just couldn't quite grasp at it despite me seeking extra help. I did ok, but it was rough. College it got way harder and I became disimpassioned with it. I naturally do have a skill with math, but I do have a glass cealing that I can not pass with it.

    This goes for anyone, everyone has their limits, some are higher and lower than others.

    I'm definitely more on the nature side of the argument then the nurture, although I do see value in both.
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:12 PM GMT
    Claystation saidLook at all these smart bitches icon_lol.gif


    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcShlpNjAfQ67-oByvm-oev