Let’s think about degrees of intelligence; specifically, our knowledge of them.
Now many believe that intelligence, vaguely defined, can be quantified to good, or even ideal, degree with IQ. I do not. All the reasons why I think not are in the article “The Limitations And Usefulness Of IQ“, so I won’t repeat them here.
Nobody has an IQ like they do height; they have a score on a test, at a given time under certain circumstances. Relying on IQ as a complete quantification is to guarantee over-certainty. However, IQ has some use. It is a rough guide to a certain kind of intellectual operation. But, as the linked article and this one will show, it can be no more than that.
With that out of the way, let’s look at a summary of a thread on Twitter, which provides a reasonable summary of certain intellectual operations. There is nothing special about the thread; the information is available in many sources. But this one is succinct. Because threads disappear (this originated at Reddit, ackshually), I’ll repeat all the pertinent information here.
To quote (my emphasis): “Most people (95%+) with less than 90 IQ can’t understand conditional hypotheticals.” Examples:
>How would you have felt if you didn’t eat lunch?
>What do you mean? I did
>Yes, but if you didn’t, how would you feel?
>Why are you saying I didn’t? I told you I did
>Imagine you hadn’t, though. How would you have felt?
>I don’t understand
50% of convicts respond like this
Then comes recursion:
>Write a story with 2 named characters, each with one line of dialogue
>Most literate people can manage this, especially once you give them an example
>Write a story with 2 named characters, each with one line of dialogue
>In this story, one of the characters must be describing a story with at least 2 named characters, each of whom have at least one line of dialogue
>If you have less than 90 IQ, this second exercise is basically impossible
>Add a third level (‘frame’) to the story, and even 100 IQs start to get mixed up with the names of who’s talking
This limitation is well documented.
I trust all my regular readers have no problem whatsoever with these forms of reasoning. Nor with time, which some cannot fathom beyond the immediate.
The tweeter also lists the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes, as it were, which might indeed be lacking in some, but the evidence here is not as clear. Much of this evidence comes often from people are not necessarily remorseful for crimes. But not from the loving multitude who never become noticed. So we needn’t believe this.
Next is mapping, “which in abstract reasoning is expressing one thing in terms of another”.
For example, imagine a picture of an arrow, colored in a gradient from yellow to green. following the direction of the arrow
>Imagine a one-way street, with ascending house numbers, lowest at the entrance and highest at the exit
>If you mapped the arrow onto the street, what color would house #1 be?
>This isn’t tricky for most 100+s. It has some minor ambiguities, but anyone of normal intelligence can do the ‘mapping’, that is, the expression of one thing in term(s) of another
>However, for sub 90s, its very difficult. They struggle, and sub 80s just can’t do it at all.
We may also think of the power to create analogies.
But this is enough. There are also niceties to all these constructions, as is obvious. We’ll let these pass, too.
What should be clear, ignoring the IQ quantifications, is that a person who cannot fathom recursion doesn’t understand recursion. Not understanding it, he cannot form an idea of it, how it feels, what it’s like to be have this power, as it were. Those of you who can grasp recursion, feel this power, and know its nature.
It is certain your dog, which is an intelligent creature, as long as we’re being loose with “intelligent”, cannot do recursion. It doesn’t have the intellect man does. It cannot know what it is like to be a man and have this power. Nor can it know the power of speech, a form of intellection, and all that flows from it.
And then even a bee knows how to find its way back to the hive. And it has almost no kind of mind at all.
On the other hand, there are certain people, Newton, for instance, who we call geniuses. People whose power of thought soars beyond anything we can do. Whose way of thinking we cannot grasp, but whose effects we can appreciate.
Be careful. Here we are not interested in why these things are so; the causes of them. These causes must be present. We don’t have to know what they are, to know that they are. So feel free to pick any of your favorite explanation.
As long as you come to the conclusion there is a hierarchy of “intelligences”. Which is an undeniable observation.
Many “high IQ” people, especially in our decadent culture, feel mighty proud to be in the class that, for instance, understand recursions. (Of course, many who say they can, cannot, though they are well credentialed.) They allow themselves to feel superior. Which, in the matters of recursion anyway, they are.
But it does not follow, at all, that they are therefore superior in all things, or in toto. After all, a dog cannot do recursion, and while any man is superior to a dog in this, none would claim superiority, in all things, over a dog.
Which, I know, you will agree with.
Here’s the kicker. The grand conclusion. As smart as you are, Mr Expert, PhD, you do not know what you cannot know. Nobody can. That there is a hierarchy of intelligences, well observed, implies—via induction, our strongest form of reasoning—that there are ways of thinking, modes of intellection, beyond which we can understand. This is true in the small, when we cannot fathom how geniuses think, but also true in the large.
Not knowing what these kinds of intelligences are like, we cannot test for them. We therefore cannot measure them. For that reason alone, IQ is incomplete.
We can’t know what these higher forms of thinking are, or are like, in the same way a man who cannot understand recursion cannot know what recursion is like. He may form the idea that that ability has certain manifestations, which he can see. But he knows he cannot reproduce them, or understand the whys behind that power’s use.
It’s the same with us, we “high IQ” people. We’re so busy congratulating ourselves, we forget that we could very well fit in the overall scheme of things like dogs do with us. Or bees.
Now many of you won’t believe, though at this late date it’s hard to see how, in angels. This isn’t the place for it, but the idea is that each angel is a different species. Each has intellectual powers the others don’t. The hierarchy we posited extends upward in these created beings, all the way to the highest created being.
This created being is not nice. Which shows the power of intelligence does not imply goodness. The smartest being is the evilest. We, too, have seen, all throughout history, the greatest evils arise from the very intelligent.
Infinity, as I often say, is unimaginably big. You can spend forever traveling to get there, and never arrive. So there is lots of room for an infinitely graduated hierarchy. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Cockiness, then, about how brilliant “we” are is out. Or should be.
Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.