Saturday, 22 August 2015

Do you understand intelligence? (Probably not, especially if you are an IQ researcher)


  1. Reminds me somewhat of a quote from Jacques Barzun:

    If they leave college thinking, as they usually do, that science offers a full, accurate, and literal description of man and Nature; if they think scientific research by itself yields final answers to social problems; if they think scientists are the only honest, patient, and careful workers in the world; if they think that Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Lavoisier, and Faraday were unimaginative plodders like their own instructors; if they think theories spring from facts and that scientific authority at any time is infallible; if they think that the ability to write down symbols and read manometers is fair grounds for superiority and pride, and if they think that science steadily and automatically makes for a better world — then they have wasted their time in the science lecture room; they live in an Ivory Laboratory more isolated than the poet's tower, and they are a plain menace to the society they belong to. They are a menace whether they believe all this by virtue of being engaged in scientific work themselves or of being disqualified from it by felt or fancied incapacity.

  2. @k - Yes, only perhaps more so: I don't think colleges ever have taught this kind of understanding, qua colleges - at best they might provide an environment where it could happen (but mostly they work against it, and inculcate wrong attitudes and superficial/ fake modes of non-understanding) it is something that may be picked-up by well-motivated individuals by personal contagion - for example an apprenticeship relation (e.g. in a lab setting, repeated small group or personal teaching, in the prolonged and repeated experience of 'bedside' teaching of doctors in a hospital), or through sustained and dedicated reading and musing. or, simply by being extremely interested in something for a living time - living with it.