Re: Goldilocks world

From: Kim Jones <>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 17:16:04 +1100

On 25/11/2005, at 12:34 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

> That is another reason to use the term competence in this setting.
> Intelligence is really more like humility or modesty, or wiseness.

Agreed. People often confuse intelligence with thinking ability (=
operacy, skill at doing)

Edward de Bono defines intelligence as "The horsepower of the car".
It is then, as given a value (probably at birth or not long after)
as, say, the shape of your earlobe or the length of your willy! You
cannot affect your intelligence. You are stuck with it. It is the
measure of the speed at which neurons in your brain fire and receive
impulses. The competency is then the skill with which the car is
driven (skill in thinking, operacy/competency at). The point being:
you can buy a Porsche and drive it badly and kill yourself (woops! I
meant "reduce your measure in the MV") or you can buy a humble
volkswagon and drive it modestly and inexpensively and arrive maybe a
little late.

> In general it is not something which can be evaluated or measured.

Unless you believe in the results of IQ tests. I don't. Why the hell
schools still use them is beyond me

> Only competence (and even only in circumscribed fields) can be
> measured.

Competence is dynamic / intelligence is a frozen quantity of something

> In school and universities, I think it is a very sad error to
> confuse the two. Someone can be very intelligent but completely
> incompetent. For example when you have neural problems disallowing
> your interface with the world. And the reverse is true too, someone
> can be very competent in some field and be completely non-
> intelligent, incapable of doubting.

I can see we share common ground on this
>> If we include artistic creativity, the amount of "knowledge"
>> increases, including abstract art, abstract literature, every
>> possible musical composition... the blackboard and the library
>> begin to fill again. It seems that God has to be a hard-headed
>> scientist who eschews all that artistic nonsense for his
>> omniscience to be meaningful.
> My favorite definition of ...
> ... is that thing that once you give it/he/she/e a name or a
> description, then you can say "hello" to the catastrophes ....

Ain't it "the truth"!

This is also surely because "the truth" is a con job. Truth or
*identity* - which is what you are talking about here - is often the
place at which all movement in thinking ceases. Once you name
something you have slapped a label on it and labels tend to be sticky
things in the warm, spongey human brain. Patterns of recognition act
almost like black holes and suck in all related matter. If something
is said to be *true* then no one thinks much about it anymore and,
more crucially for THIS discussion - all information flow drops to
nil. That's because the Black Hole of Truth has just swallowed up a
whole bunch of creative thinking. Scientists should stay well clear
of truth. Mathematicians own it. This is Bruno's problem in trying to
get maths heads to talk to physics heads.

We have the likes of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle (the Greek Gang of
Three) to thank for a thinking system where simple recognition passes
for thinking. All someone has to do is present something to you as
the truth and 98 per cent will believe it and forget about it. The
reason is quite simply that a pattern of recognition has been placed
in the mind and functions as such (this is the basis of the black
magic of advertising). Edward de Bono has defined a special type of
competency: "Lateral thinking" which is a synonym for creative
thinking. This is where (using formal techniques that can be learnt)
one learns how to cut across the established patterns and make (dare
I say it) a quantum leap to the outcome.



A thought once thought cannot be unthought (Edward de Bono)

Received on Fri Nov 25 2005 - 01:21:13 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:11 PST