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moof's prattling


September 15th, 2004

fragments @ 01:45 am

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Date:September 15th, 2004 03:50 pm (UTC)
I infer from this article that the author considers intelligence as something with only a single axis, and social adjustment as some other kind of ability.

That is hardly a unique perspective, but I'm not sure I buy it. Many people are exceptionally gifted in one area or another (music, math, painting, etc) and completely inept in others and not just for lack of trying. The "polymaths", like Da Vinci or, say, Knuth, are quite rare.

So I claim that the ability to adapt to social norms is a form of intelligence also. In fact intelligence is a vector of some unknown number of dimensions, where we only use a scalar to represent it; clearly something is wrong there, or at least very naive.

Perhaps most of our brains only have the capacity to develop strong abilities in a small number of areas, and emphasis along one axis leads to deficits in the others. I'm not convinced from the article that people with similar IQs (according to their metric) get along well with each other; the article mentioned that genius societies are plagued with schisms, vendettas, etc. Now this is true in many other social groups as well so I don't know how relevant IQ is. But I speculate that there are a few people with high IQs who are also quite well socially adjusted; these people have the fortune to be highly intelligent along multiple axes. Since social groups are constructs, you could look at the ability to fit within them as a kind of adaptability intelligence.

Of course I could be completely wrong.

moof's prattling