Monday, October 18, 2010

The nature of intelligence

From helping people in general with writing assignments, or even just reading their work, I've realized I can tell a lot about them from their writing. Their construction process, meaning the way in which they categorize their ideas and the shape their various paragraphs take, shows their thinking patterns. The writing itself obviously shows if you're smart, or just trying to be. Overcompensating with big words is kind of a give away. It also shows how capable you are at critical thinking. A disproportionately large number of people seem to lack this trait almost altogether, which is one of the most important as far as intelligence goes. I honestly don't know how so many people get through the day without honestly understanding logic and reason.

I used to think the purely logical person was soulless and had little emotion. Now I realize logic can create order in a world of chaos. You can still use reasoning and logic to guide your decisions and allow yourself to feel emotion at the same time. You just understand the various causes of the emotion and address that problem, as opposed to doing your first instinct. For instance suppose a woman catches her boyfriend flirting with another girl and is inflamed by jealousy. She demands he talks to no other woman. The problem isn't the flirting, it's the woman being out of the kitchen. No, I'm kidding. The problem is the spark that caused thejealousy. Is it insecurity that causes it? Was it feelings of betrayal? (In some relationships it's alright to flirt, in others it's not.) Were she to see this and react accordingly, either by dealing with the insecurity, or discussing how he crossed boundaries, it would be alright. Then the whole "I'm a crazy bitch" thing need never have come into play.

You could also argue that art and literature are more often based solely on emotion and not on reason. In many cases this is true. But there are also some instances where reason plays in. As an avid science fiction fan, I can say that most of those books would lose their effectivity if they lacked some kind of logic behind the science and instead were "Oh hey look a bunch of crazy shit happens." Even the most insane of mangas at least has rules that govern them in some form or another.

But I'm talking about critical thinking, not just logic. Of course the two play into each other. I think mainly the reason that "stupid" people are so stupid is not because of a genetic defect, but because they don't take the time to think things through, and see the proper chain of events and the situation as a whole would make more sense were they to look at it. Instead they see a situation, have an emotional reaction, and the first thought that comes to mind is what they stick with vehemently despite any outside influence. Were they to just have really looked at the situation in the first place, this would never have happened. Of course we are a society fueled in large part by ignorance and circuitous logic. i guess you can't say there are no people that use intelligent thought in their everyday life. They just use it incorrectly.

Here's an example (albeit a poor, half-baked one). Johnny is fapping. He's really going at it. He's a few strokes away from monster dickburn and Enlightenment all in one. Billy, Johnny's roommate, walks in on him. He's in shock. They both stare for a moment. Billy looks at Johnny, at his dick in his hand, at the screen, and walks out. If he used a purely emotional reaction in his brain, it would have gone like this. "Johnny is masturbating. Fuckin' gross!"

But Billy is a critical thinker, and thinks about what it means that Johnny is masturbating. Now a logical conclusion one might reach is "Well, he's horny, so sought to satisfy himself sexually." You might even take it further and use outside influences to draw the conclusion, "Well I haven't seen a girl for a while, so maybe this is a regular occurrence." Someone even more concerned might see Johnny being hard-up for a girl as a problem, and might suggest a solution. "Well, there's a cute girl in the dorm downstairs that's into the same movies. Maybe I could introduce them." Or if you're a dick. "There's a hooker a few streets down. I should sneak her into his bed. Damn that would be lulzy."

This is the logical, but false conclusion that Billy actually reaches. "He's masturbating. Masturbating is a sin. Johnny is going to hell." Billy knows this means that they have ideological differences. Some solutions? "We could discuss hanging a tie on the door so I no longer have to see his indiscretions." The shit Billy actually thinks? "I'm going to get my Bible group and have them throw holy water at Billy the next time he has his pants down."

Is this a rant against religion? Not really (that's for another day.) Against masturbation? Fuck no. Masturbation is awesome.

It's more meant to show how critical thinking is important as far as intelligence is concerned, but when used incorrectly it can be even fucking worse than ignorance in the first place. Consider Billy and Johnny a metaphor for how things work currently in most societies (not just America).

Teehee. I love misogyny jokes. They're always so much more funny coming from a woman.


  1. To the angry vegetarian--no, it's just about a facebook status that I posted, and I wanted to expand upon my thinking. That's why the text changes.

    Though, yes, everything that I said here would apply to Christine O'Donnell.

  2. My first thought would be, "dude not in the kitchen!"

  3. lol, monster dickburn:D
    Nice entry

  4. I'm a catholic, I jerk my happy-slappy all the time. Still, nice entry you have here and I see where you're going with this.
    The only thing I have to say about it is that "logic" is not an accurate absolute in social situations, everyone's different. :)

  5. I think that you and me think pretty much alike.

    Really good blog!

  6. Wait, i'm going to hell? Can't wait to be honest. Nice post though.

  7. If you replace "logic and reason" with "cause and effect" in every instance in this article you will be on the way to unitive knowledge of the godhead

  8. That's true, words are just a reflection of the writer's mind.

  9. Haha the kitchen part made me laugh :)