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 Post subject: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-19 06:06pm
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I've always wondered if there is any scientific data on the relationship, if any, between the ability to solve abstract mathematical equations and reason logically, and the ability to intelligently plan for real life situations; for example, if a theoretical mathematician's intellect would be in any way related to his ability to figure out how to operate a machine he has never seen before, or efficiently transport a large, heavy object to his room, etc.

After all, we've all encountered idiot savants before, but is this a result of absent mindedness or genuine "stupidity"?

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-19 06:59pm
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The actual "idiot savant" is usually the result of a disorder. Kim Peek, for example, was the kind of guy who--if he hadn't been crippled by disability--would have had an infinitely enviable ability to store and retrieve information. The rest is usually education, or lack thereof. It's easy to not grasp a simple solution unless you can understand the parameters or have seen something similar demonstrated before, and I'd never call a brilliant scientist "stupid" just for not having known my clever trick for hefting a box into my room.

A better question might be to what degree you're considering "abstract intelligence" in the vein of mathematics truly important to a theory of high intelligence. If you could get a more coherent and perhaps more inclusive definition of intelligence for your purposes you might be able to move forwards more easily.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-19 10:01pm
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Luke Skywalker wrote:
I've always wondered if there is any scientific data on the relationship, if any, between the ability to solve abstract mathematical equations and reason logically, and the ability to intelligently plan for real life situations; for example, if a theoretical mathematician's intellect would be in any way related to his ability to figure out how to operate a machine he has never seen before, or efficiently transport a large, heavy object to his room, etc.

After all, we've all encountered idiot savants before, but is this a result of absent mindedness or genuine "stupidity"?

I think you have not given enough thought to why some people are able to quickly figure out machines. Yes, they might not have seen that particular machine before, but if you've ever known such handymen, you'll know that they have seen and worked with lots of other machines sharing many commonalities. It's not that they have some special ability to learn machines; it's just that their experiences give them a base to work from, so they don't have to start from scratch.

The scientist doesn't lack any particular intellectual ability; he just doesn't have experience in that area, and he does not intend to apply himself in that area because he is applying himself elsewhere. If he actually applied himself in that area, he could pick it up as quickly as anyone else would, and perhaps quicker. But he's doing something that the typical auto mechanic could never do even if he tried till he was pulling his hair out.

I think people are fond of the notion that "abstract intelligence" is somehow useless in "the real world" because they like the idea that they are completely distinct kinds of intelligence. After all, that way, the average person gets to tell himself that he has something which the scientist cannot possess.



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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-19 10:27pm
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Luke Skywalker wrote:
I've always wondered if there is any scientific data on the relationship, if any, between the ability to solve abstract mathematical equations and reason logically, and the ability to intelligently plan for real life situations; for example, if a theoretical mathematician's intellect would be in any way related to his ability to figure out how to operate a machine he has never seen before, or efficiently transport a large, heavy object to his room, etc.

After all, we've all encountered idiot savants before, but is this a result of absent mindedness or genuine "stupidity"?


You are thinking about this incorrectly. Most people have approximately the same level of intellect. The baseline ability to think and learn for humans is very very high. There is not a huge difference in cognitive ability between someone with an IQ of 85, and an IQ of 115. Most scientists and handymen fall within this range, perhaps with the scientists tending toward the upper end. You start seeing differences once you get past an IQ of 115, or lower than 85.

Someone with a high school diploma is no dumber than someone with a PhD, on average. The types of intelligence are also no different. The differences is breadth of learned knowledge and specialization. Someone with a HS diploma has probably held a number of different types of jobs, interacted with people rougher than themselves, moved a lot, fixes things around the house or learned how to fix their own car--because they cannot afford to do otherwise. They have experience doing these things. A scientist...does not.

A scientist spends 12 years of their lives (4 in undergrad, 6 in PhD, 2 in Post-Doc) inside a university. They interact with a wide variety of different cultures so might be more cosmopolitain than someone with just a diploma, but wont generally interact with the unwashed plebs. Their environment is self-contained. They often dont need a car, or of they have one it is lightly used during their education, they live in dorms or apartments for 12 years where there are staff to fix things like the AC unit. After that, if something breaks, they have enough money to hire a technician.

On the other hand, they do math that would make a HS graduate's mind bleed. Their knowledge is just highly specialized, and some things are simply outside of their experience.



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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-20 01:03am
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In many cases, if you look at the history of the 'idiot' who "can't do" math, is historically illiterate, or thinks the Earth is hollow and filled with dinosaurs because a website said so... you don't find a brain defect. Or at least no real evidence of anything wrong with their mental function. What you find is either bad education (badly administered, badly taught, interrupted) or personal indifference to the kind of thing you get from education.

It's surprising how much you can explain to someone in a short time. There are only two important conditions. One is that you not rely heavily on prior knowledge they don't or can't have. The other is that you don't adopt a stance of "I am the superior lifeform instructing the submoron." Either of those will make them shrug off whatever you're saying.

Of course in the long run they may shrug it off anyway- but it's at least a glimpse of how accessible and flexible people's minds could be if they had proper education and motivation.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-20 06:12pm
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Covenant wrote:
A better question might be to what degree you're considering "abstract intelligence" in the vein of mathematics truly important to a theory of high intelligence. If you could get a more coherent and perhaps more inclusive definition of intelligence for your purposes you might be able to move forwards more easily.


I'd imagine the intelligence calculated by your typical intelligence quotient test or general knowledge standardized test; the ability to reason, formulate logical arguments and solve math problems.



----------------





Darth Wong wrote:
I think you have not given enough thought to why some people are able to quickly figure out machines. Yes, they might not have seen that particular machine before, but if you've ever known such handymen, you'll know that they have seen and worked with lots of other machines sharing many commonalities. It's not that they have some special ability to learn machines; it's just that their experiences give them a base to work from, so they don't have to start from scratch.

The scientist doesn't lack any particular intellectual ability; he just doesn't have experience in that area, and he does not intend to apply himself in that area because he is applying himself elsewhere. If he actually applied himself in that area, he could pick it up as quickly as anyone else would, and perhaps quicker. But he's doing something that the typical auto mechanic could never do even if he tried till he was pulling his hair out.

I think people are fond of the notion that "abstract intelligence" is somehow useless in "the real world" because they like the idea that they are completely distinct kinds of intelligence. After all, that way, the average person gets to tell himself that he has something which the scientist cannot possess.


Interesting article:

http://www.fathom.com/feature/122136/index.html

The author presents the notion that there is a difference between abstract problems with clearly defined terms and real-life problems without a clearly defined solution or variables. He goes on to cite various studies that allegedly found no correlation between academic intelligence and various practical situations, such as efficient grocery shopping. I don't necessarily agree with it; but it's an interesting article, and the author's prose is so that he clearly is not a butthurt high school dropout boasting about his unmatchable "street smarts".

It would explain why natural selection doesn't favor the nerds. :x

Of course, there's also the quite well known fact that less intelligent people are the ones that fuck themselves up on drugs and fall off balconies while drinking, so...

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-21 01:50am
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Luke Skywalker wrote:
The author presents the notion that there is a difference between abstract problems with clearly defined terms and real-life problems without a clearly defined solution or variables. He goes on to cite various studies that allegedly found no correlation between academic intelligence and various practical situations, such as efficient grocery shopping. I don't necessarily agree with it; but it's an interesting article, and the author's prose is so that he clearly is not a butthurt high school dropout boasting about his unmatchable "street smarts".
If that is true, then all that suggests is that you don't need intelligence for these kinds of tasks. Not that "street smarts"-intelligence is better at them - just that they are constructed in such a way that intelligence isn't necessary and thus not improving your ability to solve the task.

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It would explain why natural selection doesn't favor the nerds.
Who says it doesn't? Human intelligence has clearly constantly increased over the course of human evolution.
Oh, wait, you're one of those people who don't get on what scale natural selection works, right?
For that matter, why do you apparently associate high intelligence with being a nerd? Nerds aren't necessarily more intelligent, and being intelligent doesn't equal being a nerd (not to mention that being a nerd doesn't preclude you from being good at "real-life" or social tasks).



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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-21 09:54am
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Darth Wong wrote:
Luke Skywalker wrote:
I've always wondered if there is any scientific data on the relationship, if any, between the ability to solve abstract mathematical equations and reason logically, and the ability to intelligently plan for real life situations; for example, if a theoretical mathematician's intellect would be in any way related to his ability to figure out how to operate a machine he has never seen before, or efficiently transport a large, heavy object to his room, etc.

After all, we've all encountered idiot savants before, but is this a result of absent mindedness or genuine "stupidity"?

I think you have not given enough thought to why some people are able to quickly figure out machines. Yes, they might not have seen that particular machine before, but if you've ever known such handymen, you'll know that they have seen and worked with lots of other machines sharing many commonalities. It's not that they have some special ability to learn machines; it's just that their experiences give them a base to work from, so they don't have to start from scratch.

The scientist doesn't lack any particular intellectual ability; he just doesn't have experience in that area, and he does not intend to apply himself in that area because he is applying himself elsewhere. If he actually applied himself in that area, he could pick it up as quickly as anyone else would, and perhaps quicker. But he's doing something that the typical auto mechanic could never do even if he tried till he was pulling his hair out.

I think people are fond of the notion that "abstract intelligence" is somehow useless in "the real world" because they like the idea that they are completely distinct kinds of intelligence. After all, that way, the average person gets to tell himself that he has something which the scientist cannot possess.


Methinks though doth protesteth too much.

I've worked a wide gamut of different "types" of jobs over the years; factory grunt, software developer, project manager for a software developer, running a department of other factory grunts, as a machinist, as an engineer. I've been responsible for training in ALL those areas so I've got to see a lot of real world hands on learning take place, and based on my experience you couldn't be more wrong.

I've seen guys (and girls) with a decade of factory experience AND a millwright's papers that I wouldn't trust to fix a pot of coffee. I've seen high school dropouts that are little pot smoking Tony Stark's in that you give them a box of scraps and they'll build their own goddamn CNC machine if they need to. I've seen a LOT of people who are absolute coding wizards who can barely tie their own shoes. I've seen a few guys that can learn pretty much anything with minimal supervision and training, and I've seen guys that are utterly useless at anything (typically if you can't fire them they wind up in some sort of middle management position) no matter what you do.

Human intelligence and ability is a lot more complicated than RAR, SCIENTIST BEST AT EVERYTHING, EVERYBODY ELSE DUMB AS ROCKS which I've seen you express over, and over, and over on this forum. From what I've seen it seems to be the result of a pretty complex and changing set of variables only one of which is level of education, and the most important one is how motivated the person is.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-21 10:17am
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Serafina wrote:
If that is true, then all that suggests is that you don't need intelligence for these kinds of tasks. Not that "street smarts"-intelligence is better at them - just that they are constructed in such a way that intelligence isn't necessary and thus not improving your ability to solve the task.


I never said that the test subjects' ability to solve the aforementioned problems were the same; just that their ability to do so had no correlation with academic success.

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Who says it doesn't? Human intelligence has clearly constantly increased over the course of human evolution.
Oh, wait, you're one of those people who don't get on what scale natural selection works, right?


Jocks are given a quite clear advantage in sexual selection, and tend to sleep around more and produce more offspring. That they tend to end up with shitty jobs and relationships doesn't change the fact that they technically 'win', at least in terms of sexual selection. What I am assuming is that females would select genes that are more suited for survival in a real-world environment.

I didn't consider the gradual increase in human intelligence, however. But I would question whether the difference between an 80 IQ and 100 IQ human would be the same as that between a 100 and 120; intelligence might resemble wealth in having diminished returns. So you'd inevitably need a certain level of abstract intelligence to properly function socially and have basic critical thinking skills needed to, say, work a farm, but after a certain threshold, more abstract intelligence does not affect, if not decreases your real world capabilities.

Or maybe I'm just rambling here; I haven't decided either way.


Quote:
For that matter, why do you apparently associate high intelligence with being a nerd? Nerds aren't necessarily more intelligent, and being intelligent doesn't equal being a nerd (not to mention that being a nerd doesn't preclude you from being good at "real-life" or social tasks).


Not necessarily, but the trend is very apparent, is it not?

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-21 11:47am
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I never said that the test subjects' ability to solve the aforementioned problems were the same; just that their ability to do so had no correlation with academic success.
You supposedly quoted from a study and said:
Quote:
cite various studies that allegedly found no correlation between academic intelligence and various practical situations, such as efficient grocery shopping.
If there is no correlation between the two, then the results of a subject with high and one with low academic intelligence must be the same. Otherwise there WOULD be a correlation :banghead:

And you actually named an example - efficient grocery shopping. Of course since you don't actually name the studies we don't even know how they defined "efficient" in that case. For example, if it was value for money, a subjects wealth would actually decrease his ability to do it efficiently - because he normally doesn't have to, because he can afford to spend more money than necessary on groceries.

Quote:
Jocks are given a quite clear advantage in sexual selection, and tend to sleep around more and produce more offspring. That they tend to end up with shitty jobs and relationships doesn't change the fact that they technically 'win', at least in terms of sexual selection. What I am assuming is that females would select genes that are more suited for survival in a real-world environment.
Serafina: Don't you understand that natural selection is a long-term process?
Luke: But look at my recent anecdotal experience!
:banghead:

Quote:
Not necessarily, but the trend is very apparent, is it not?
Oh hey, more anecdotes.

Quote:
Or maybe I'm just rambling here; I haven't decided either way.
Yes, you are. Worse, it's purely subjective and not backed up by any properly understood data at all.



Bottom line: Lots of claims, no evidence, but lots of anecdotes and ignorance.



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"Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent." - Sir Nitram
"The world owes you nothing but painful lessons" - CaptainChewbacca
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel
"In 1969 it was easier to send a man to the Moon than to have the public accept a homosexual" - Broomstick

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-21 01:02pm
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No, actually Luke made a very interesting argument and you kind of steamrolled over it. He pointed out that as far as evolutionary fitness is concerned, adding more intelligence could hit diminishing returns.

I think there's something to that. We already know other areas where that happens. Theoretically, evolving a stronger immune system is an advantage. But human beings don't automatically gain ubermune systems superior to anything animals have (unlike our brains, which are a huge step up from nearly all animals on the planet). Why? Because of diminishing returns. When a system is "good enough," evolution stops promoting it. Darwinism doesn't make things "better." It just makes them good enough that further change wouldn't have a significant effect on the odds of having children.

I'd argue that left to itself, the likely course of human evolution is going to be something like this.

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2632

Serafina wrote:
If that is true, then all that suggests is that you don't need intelligence for these kinds of tasks. Not that "street smarts"-intelligence is better at them - just that they are constructed in such a way that intelligence isn't necessary and thus not improving your ability to solve the task.
I don't think I'm comfortable with this. Here's why.

It so happens that my old friend Steve (no one you know here) is pretty good at calculus. Now, if I understand you rightly, you'd be saying: "Steve is good at calculus. Therefore Steve is intelligent. Therefore, anything Steve can't do, must not require intelligence."

There are some problems with this.


One is that you are defining intelligence as an on/off switch. Either you have it, or you don't. Why? Maybe intelligence is like physical fitness: you can be fit in some ways without being fit in others. I could be good at lifting things but bad at running. Or vice versa. I could be good at lifting things but have such a terrible diet that I'll be dead of a heart attack in five years. Or I could have a great heart and liver and physically be disabled anyway.

Can we say a marathon runner is "more fit" than a strong weight lifter? Or vice versa? If so, that tells us less about those athletes than it does about our own biases.


Another problem is that you're arguing "I have X, I can't do Y, therefore you must not need X to do Y." You're saying "You must not need intelligence to do these things."

What if we applied this argument to other qualities? Like big muscles? Suppose I know a wrestler who can't do acrobatics. Does that mean you don't need muscles to do acrobatics? No. It means this wrestler probably has poor coordination and agility- even though he has the strength, he doesn't have the other important qualities he needs.


aieeegrunt wrote:
Methinks though doth protesteth too much.
[Twitches at Shakespeare misquote...]

Anyway. Honestly, I think aieeegrunt did seize on one big thing here- motivation counts. There can be a huge gap in how effective we are at different things, because of motivation.

Take college professors. They're smart, right? If not, pick a field where you have some faith in the professors' intelligence. For most people here, I bet physics would qualify. So physics professors are smart, right? They do head-crushingly difficult mathematics and computer analysis, examine and understand head-crushingly obscure, tiny things, and come out on top. Very smart.

So how come some of them can't teach their way out of a paper bag? Ever had a college class where the professor was just a bad teacher? I have. Why does that happen? If they're so smart, why can't they teach? Does it mean that being smart isn't an advantage in teaching? No. It does not. It means that this professor's natural interests are the research, not the teaching. Or that his tenure board depends on his research, not his teaching. Or something of that nature. He can screw up teaching year after year and it won't bother him one bit, so he doesn't put in the effort, the skull-sweat, to learn how to do it right.

That happens in a lot of areas of life.


But from a practical point of view, unless I am a teacher, I don't really care whether this guy doesn't do things right because he's a moron or because he doesn't care. There is no functional difference between a person who is smart enough to tie their shoes but unmotivated, and one who is motivated to tie their shoes but too stupid to get it right. Not in the short run of "why is this fool tripping on his own shoelaces?"

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-21 01:39pm
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No, actually Luke made a very interesting argument and you kind of steamrolled over it. He pointed out that as far as evolutionary fitness is concerned, adding more intelligence could hit diminishing returns.
Yes, that IS an interesting argument. Which he did make in his last post only (as far as i can tell), and which he only forwarded with plenty of anecdotes.
Quote:
It so happens that my old friend Steve (no one you know here) is pretty good at calculus. Now, if I understand you rightly, you'd be saying: "Steve is good at calculus. Therefore Steve is intelligent. Therefore, anything Steve can't do, must not require intelligence."
If Steve and a whole bunch of other people both intelligent and non-intelligent, educated and non-educated, did perform equally well in Calculus - then yes, i would say that.
That is not the case, so i don't. Simple as that.
Quote:
One is that you are defining intelligence as an on/off switch. Either you have it, or you don't. Why? Maybe intelligence is like physical fitness: you can be fit in some ways without being fit in others. I could be good at lifting things but bad at running. Or vice versa. I could be good at lifting things but have such a terrible diet that I'll be dead of a heart attack in five years. Or I could have a great heart and liver and physically be disabled anyway.
Yeah, okay, add "more-than-average" in front of "intelligence" and my argument stands. I cleary used "intelligent" as a relative term, just like calling a person "not strong/muscular" doesn't mean that that person is unable of physical activity and has no muscles.



Bottom line is:
I agree with you. And i have before you made this post.

You do not need more intelligence than most humans being possess for some tasks (such as grocery shopping). Having an IQ of 130 or such doesn't mean that you are automatically better at these tasks than if you had one of 100 (and were otherwise the same).
Even if a higher IQ would allow you to figure out a better solution to these tasks, you don't necessarily apply that intelligence because the efficiency you can do it with is already sufficient.
Thus, you don't need higher-than average intelligence to succeed at these tasks. (Which i have been saying all along)
Other factors obviously still impact your performance in these tasks.

However, there are plenty of areas where a higher intelligence DOES confer a significant advantage (such as calculus). Having an IQ of 130 or such does mean that you are automatically better at these tasks than if you had one of 100 (and were otherwise the same).
Of course you still need to apply that intelligence (and have an applicable kind of intelligence, emotional intelligence wouldn't help you with calculus) to these tasks in order to gain any advantage out of it.



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"Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent." - Sir Nitram
"The world owes you nothing but painful lessons" - CaptainChewbacca
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel
"In 1969 it was easier to send a man to the Moon than to have the public accept a homosexual" - Broomstick

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-21 01:44pm
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Luke Skywalker wrote:
Serafina wrote:
If that is true, then all that suggests is that you don't need intelligence for these kinds of tasks. Not that "street smarts"-intelligence is better at them - just that they are constructed in such a way that intelligence isn't necessary and thus not improving your ability to solve the task.


I never said that the test subjects' ability to solve the aforementioned problems were the same; just that their ability to do so had no correlation with academic success.

Quote:
Who says it doesn't? Human intelligence has clearly constantly increased over the course of human evolution.
Oh, wait, you're one of those people who don't get on what scale natural selection works, right?


Jocks are given a quite clear advantage in sexual selection, and tend to sleep around more and produce more offspring. That they tend to end up with shitty jobs and relationships doesn't change the fact that they technically 'win', at least in terms of sexual selection. What I am assuming is that females would select genes that are more suited for survival in a real-world environment.


Oh Lord, stereotype much? My high school the male half of the honor roll and the starting lineup of the football team were almost one and the same. Come to think of it every team sport I've ever played involved quite a bit of thinking on your feet, and football was definetly up there (I was a linebacker, other positions may vary). Love the similar oversimplification about woman falling over and spreading their legs for the muscles too! If this was true then every single guy would spend most of his spare time at the gymn in a ludicrous "arms race" and we'd all look like walking T-squares. I know a fair number of guys who had little success getting laid, went to the gymn, got the six pack and the biceps, but still have little success. Fitness of course is an attractiveness multiplyer for both sexes, but any reasonable number multiplied by zero is still zero. If there is any one factor you can point to that helps you get and keep a woman, it's real and innate self confidence. But this is true for men too.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-21 02:39pm
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To address an earlier point, and more to the point at heart, a focus on certain realms of academic intelligence does not correspond to the way the human brain works. There's a divide between forms of a "high functioning mind" which can be specific to areas of expertise. Functionally, you don't even need thinking intelligence of any quantity to do math, so long as you've got it laid out for you. Someone who is inventing new math is clearly thinking, but as stated, one average Joe is of roughly the same genetic intelligence potential as another average Joe. Practical intelligence is often the result of experience. Sometimes it's the result of giving a shit. Some people who are entirely capable of doing something with precision will still destroy a machine they don't understand, in part because they don't give a fuck how a coffee maker works, they just want their coffee goddammit.

You can see similar issues crop up in class divides. The funny videos asking wealthy people how much a box of macaroni and cheese cost display not a decrepit brain, but an incredible disconnect. Extended family includes high-powered lawyers who were excellent in their field of academia but fail to understand how to properly boil water because it was never something they actually had to do, they always had people to do it for them. Someone who exists in a comfortable realm of academia may not know how to change a tire. Hell, I don't even know FOR CERTAIN how to change a tire because I've never had to. But I know roughly where the jack goes, I understand the principle, and I have a wrench to undo the bolts. I'm not a moron but I might end up having to call for help on a fundamentally basic thing only because I've never done it.

And there are certain things I always fuck up, even simple ones, just because I don't care enough to really think hard to get them right.

Social exposure to subjects, proper motivation, and formal education are all ways of increasing the grasp of what you can do with it. For example, the "Jock" type may have gotten a bit ahead in the genetic lottery over someone of slighter build, but using an anecdote about Highschool only betrays an author bias. The difference between most athletes and academics is motivation and not physical capability. Much of what would be considered an in-born capability can be seen in the influence of a parent on structuring their children's interests and the "knowledge pool" they grow up having. The idea that no thought is required to excel in a sport, or even that there's no thought involved in the building of a sport-appropriate body, is a flawed concept even if it is true that there's less abstract thinking involved in training physically than scientific calculation.

Now, overstating the amount of highly abstract thought that is done by day-to-day scientists is also a danger.

Furthermore, anecdotal evidence isn't valuable here. Why do people care about highschool? Is that the first time most people start seeing a the deviation between groups along with the last time they'll be able to track the trajectory of all those individuals afterwards? Is it because the writers are themselves in highschool or carry a lingering resentment about it? Is this question about actual functional realms of intelligence and/or capability, or about dividing groups between Thinkers and Movers?

Do we all want to get anecdotal here? I think we'd come up with a lot of strong-and-smart posters to absolutely blow the whole "jock vs nerd" dead horse to dogfood.

The last thing I'd like to spit out there is that forgetting everything other than two realms of intelligence is again betraying a bias. What about the kind of abstract conceptual/spatial intelligence that goes into artistic works? If I find a handyman physicist who can fix a coffee maker and do mathematical calculations, but can't draw for shit, is that because "oh well that's just a skill and not a form of intelligence" or is there actually something there? Because I think that if you open the can of worms about "abstract vs practical" but only boil it down to "Math vs Football" you're going to end up looking more like an embittered math nerd with a windmill to tilt against than someone who may or may not be trying to explore a legitimate subject.

The long of the short of it is that aptitude is not the same as intelligence, and that there are many things the brain is meant to do. Being good at one does not mean you're not good at the rest, but being interested in one and not the rest can often lead to those others not being explored, valued, or "at the ready" when solving a problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-22 01:35am
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Serafina wrote:
Quote:
No, actually Luke made a very interesting argument and you kind of steamrolled over it. He pointed out that as far as evolutionary fitness is concerned, adding more intelligence could hit diminishing returns.
Yes, that IS an interesting argument. Which he did make in his last post only (as far as i can tell), and which he only forwarded with plenty of anecdotes.
So?

Anecdotes have a place in conversation, if not in hyper-formalized mock-scientific debating. At least finish reading someone's post before you try to tear a strip off their hide for "anecdotal reasoning."

Quote:
Quote:
It so happens that my old friend Steve (no one you know here) is pretty good at calculus. Now, if I understand you rightly, you'd be saying: "Steve is good at calculus. Therefore Steve is intelligent. Therefore, anything Steve can't do, must not require intelligence."
If Steve and a whole bunch of other people both intelligent and non-intelligent, educated and non-educated, did perform equally well in Calculus - then yes, i would say that.
That is not the case, so i don't. Simple as that.
You misunderstood.

Steve was (when last I saw) a physics graduate student with every sign that he'd complete his Ph.D. He is very good at calculus, and higher mathematics in general, and computer programming, and so on, compared to almost any ordinary person.

He is intelligent. I don't feel at all ambiguous about that. Steve is intelligent.

Does that mean that if there are tasks Steve (or other, similarly smart people) can't do, they must not require intelligence? I don't think so. I think there are a lot of intelligent people who aren't very good at math, or don't know much history, or believe absurd crackpot theories about science. Because those things aren't signs of bad intelligence as such. They're signs of bad education.

Five hundred years ago, the human gene pool was basically the same as it is now. Presumably people were about as intelligent then as there are now. There were roughly the same percentage of geniuses among humans. And yet none of these geniuses knew calculus, many of them had a very strange and vague idea of history compared to what modern historians now know (distorted by bad sources), and every single one of them believed ridiculous crackpot ideas about science that you today, with relatively ordinary intelligence, would easily dismiss as absurd.

So what changed? Are we inherently a lot smarter now than we were then, as a species? It's only been twenty generations; I don't buy that. No, what changed is that we collectively learned, taught each other the new learning, taught each other to care and value it, became better educated.

If there are tasks intelligent people don't automatically excel at, that doesn't mean those tasks don't require intelligence. It means that they require something other than intelligence, or a somewhat different sort of intelligence. Being a genius mathematician and being a genius writer may not overlap gracefully, even though there are a few people who happen to excel at both.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-22 06:57am
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Serafina wrote:
However, there are plenty of areas where a higher intelligence DOES confer a significant advantage (such as calculus). Having an IQ of 130 or such does mean that you are automatically better at these tasks than if you had one of 100 (and were otherwise the same).

This is not true. It's entirely possible to test high on an IQ test and suck at math, and likewise possible to score high on an IQ test and suck at language skills. A very high score in test questions focusing on math will compensate for lower marks in language skills. This shouldn't be a total surprise, because math and language are processed in different systems in the brain. It is entirely possible for one of those systems to function better than the others.

Brains aren't just homogenous boxes of goo - they have a variety of systems and "modules" for various functions, some of which may work better than others in a particular individual. In extreme cases you get idiot-savants, where much of the brain functions poorly outside of a limited skill-set of exceptional ability. In other cases you get people of normal intelligence who have a "knack" for math or writing. In yet other cases you get super-geniuses who, nonetheless, are still better at some tasks than others.



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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-22 01:51pm
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Simon Jester wrote:
Does that mean that if there are tasks Steve (or other, similarly smart people) can't do, they must not require intelligence? I don't think so. I think there are a lot of intelligent people who aren't very good at math, or don't know much history, or believe absurd crackpot theories about science. Because those things aren't signs of bad intelligence as such. They're signs of bad education.

Not just bad education, but also personal biases, fears, insecurities, prejudices, emotional needs, and other motivating factors.

As long as we're getting anecdotal, I know more than one MD that are also basically evangelical Young Earth Creationists. That means they went through University, studied the prerequisite science and math courses (including Calculus and Biology), passed the MCATs, attended Medical School where they studied human anatomy and physiology in depth, attended two years of Rotations in various hospitals gaining practical experience, passed the USMLE board exams, attended three years of Residency gaining more practical experience - ALL while holding the most ridiculous, backwards, and utterly stupid beliefs about cosmology and biology.

Really, human intelligence is an extremely complicated topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-22 05:34pm
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Serafina wrote:
If that is true, then all that suggests is that you don't need intelligence for these kinds of tasks. Not that "street smarts"-intelligence is better at them - just that they are constructed in such a way that intelligence isn't necessary and thus not improving your ability to solve the task.

The environment of human society can be quite complex, I'm not so sure navigating it can be just dismissed as a task that doesn't need intelligence.

I'm reminded of something I've heard about robotics. Early sci fi writers tended to assume that it would be easy to make machines that would do tasks that for us seem mechanistic - like walking, or lifting stuff - and hard to do stuff that we associate with humanity or intellect and that actually takes effort for us, like speech. When we actually got to designing robots it turned out that wasn't true at all - the seemingly simple mechanistic actions like walking and hand-eye coordination turned out to be quite complex challenging tasks, they just don't seem that way to us because our nervous systems are the products of millions of years of evolution optimizing for them.

Humans have been social animals for a lot longer than we've been writing college research papers, taking IQ tests, having to pass math classes, and doing a lot of general "academic" stuff. A Homo erectus from 1 million BCE might have never had to do complex math or put together what in academic circles would be considered a rigorous rational argument - but he likely did have to navigate a social landscape where it helped to keep track of what people's relationships were, who thought favorably of him and who didn't, who was good at what, how people would respond to different social stimuli etc. and his survival and mate choice may well have depended on being good at that. This sounds to me like the kind of thing that might well be folded under "street smart" skills - being good at navigating the human social landscape. And I wouldn't be surprised if, as with picking up your cup, this kind of stuff looks easy to humans not so much because it's an inherently simple task as because our brains have been optimized for it by millions of years of evolution - whereas stuff like needing to solve square root problems wasn't a serious pressure in our ancestral environment, so our brains aren't optimized for it, so it seems much harder, even though it may actually be much simpler from a computational perspective. Consider that we're by all appearance nowhere near close to human intelligence AI, but we have computers that can crunch numbers very well compared to us.

With that in mind, I don't see why it's particularly difficult to believe that being good at social stuff and being good at academic stuff may be somewhat independent variables - one represents how good you are at something the human brain is specifically optimized toward, the latter not so much, maybe person A isn't as good at general reasoning vs. person B but his brain is more finely wired in terms of all sorts of cognitive short-cuts humans have to specifically good at interacting with other humans.

Luke Skywalker wrote:
Jocks are given a quite clear advantage in sexual selection, and tend to sleep around more and produce more offspring. That they tend to end up with shitty jobs and relationships doesn't change the fact that they technically 'win', at least in terms of sexual selection. What I am assuming is that females would select genes that are more suited for survival in a real-world environment.

If you're talking about modern society, given that modern society has monogamy as a social norm and birth control I find this dubious. Do you have any evidence that "jocks" tend to father more children than "nerds"?

If you're talking about human society in general, I'd point out that I'm pretty sure women tend to go for things like "charming" and "pleasant to be around" and "socially/financially successful" as attractive and most women's ideal man is not some antisocial moron who has nothing going for him but big muscles. You don't think being good at being social takes intelligence?

I'd tie this back to what I said to Serafina - consider the possibility that the popular guy who wouldn't know granite from marble is not necessarily dumber than the nerd who can recite 50 different rock types, but either has a kind of intelligence focused on solving the different but equally or more rigorous problems of navigating human society, or simply has the same kind of intelligence but directs it in different directions, toward social activities rather than stereotypically "intellectual" ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-23 07:25am
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If we are talking the western world and statistics then intelligence or lack thereof does not statistically impact reproduction, this because we have gone down too much in child per capita for any such effects to be statistically verifyable.
However we do have two exceptions (at least in europe, don't know about US), repeatedly convicted criminals and managers. Both those groups can be seen to statistically have a higher reproduction than the norm.

Speculation for the repeatedly convicted criminals was the related studies on deficient "cause-effect" reasoning (which is more social than genetic).
Speculation for the managers was that they were more likely to remarry and thus more likely to have more children while not necessarily driving up the per capita statistics (rather the opposite).

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-23 07:31am
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Managers also tend to have higher salaries (less worry about the consequences of having children).

And they're mostly men, which could matter. [Insert handwaving about reproductive strategy of having numerous children, a few by each of several women, here]

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-23 01:05pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
Managers also tend to have higher salaries (less worry about the consequences of having children).

Which might actually be a good example of reproductive success based on social success (which in our society takes the form of job/rank), and hence natural selection for the socially successful. Of course, that is, given certain assumptions...

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-25 04:51pm
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You do realize that the 'dumb jocks' actually tend to be smarter and have higher IQs than most of those who are considered the nerdy people... right?



Brotherhood of the Monkey @( !.! )@
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. ~Steve Prefontaine
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-25 04:53pm
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Proof
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... ether.html
derp



Brotherhood of the Monkey @( !.! )@
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. ~Steve Prefontaine
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-25 05:08pm
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ArmorPierce wrote:

Your "proof" is an article in the British equivalent of the National Enquirer? You must be very hideous indeed.

Have a very nice day.
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 Post subject: Re: Abstract Intelligence vs Common Sense PostPosted: 2012-07-25 05:26pm
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http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-s ... ntelligent

I realize that the guy is a loon but the data in this particular are looks solid to me outside the fact that it has been shown that the teacher will give the better looking child a higher grade for equal work.

Go ahead and show it as wrong if you'd like or can. No anecdotes please.



Brotherhood of the Monkey @( !.! )@
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. ~Steve Prefontaine
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

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