Why are some people smarter than others?

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Philosophy Explorer
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Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:04 pm

Nurture? Nature? The following article says it's the cortex:

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/ ... ter_others

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by hammock » Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:07 pm

Why are some people smarter than others?
First, what here constitutes the benchmark for being "smart" -- and is systematic measurement for that specific style of cleverness prized more for discriminating yet another local intellectual celebrity, or distinguishing an actually useful sage? Does it champion the individual who is a warehouse of facts and skills, covering many areas, that they've been taught? Or someone adept at creativity and inventing, making discoveries, solving problems, producing new ideas and data, etc? Is proper organized schooling versus the hard-knocks of the autodidact relevant in any way to its determinations?

Could the standard even surprise by selecting those who are socially gifted strategists, who can be dropped into almost any group of people or society and soon be gaining their confidences and manipulating them right and left? ["I don't have to be an overall Brainiac, since I can chess-move geniuses and talented persons to accomplish my goals."] Or give high scores to some environmentally adaptive Tarzan that can survive and master with a passion whichever of a diverse range of natural circumstances he/she is abandoned at? ["Welcome to my latest backyard, and good luck at trying to apprehend and master it in time. Most of you whining pansies and sheltered sticklers of misplaced ideologies won't last the month in this primeval realm of deprivations, horrors and torments."]

In the end, perhaps it might be better for us to ask what plurality of factors it is that makes some people dumb and dumber, should the latter be more easier to immediately cognize without need of the potential prejudices of evaluative templates.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:51 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:Nurture? Nature? The following article says it's the cortex:

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/ ... ter_others

PhilX
1) There is such a thing as human genetic variation.
2) There is such a thing as differential access to education and the vital stimulus that each child needs to reach its potential.
3) With each new generation, society decides what is and what is not to be considered "smart". So smartness is a changing goal post.

These three things explain the differences.
For my money 2) is the most important as this is a field where we can act to the benefit of each, to reach their potential. The significance of 1) ensures that 3) will not leave us dumb and incapable, but able to meet each new challenge as it occurs.

It would be a mistake to over define 3, so as to ignore the importance of 2 and use 1 as an excuse to not do anything about 2.

Where we are now, is stumbling towards a state where only the rich can offer its children the best to reach their potential. This tends to favour wealth acquisition as what defines smartness, by default. This is a dangerous error. Wealth acquisition is of little long term benefit to the human race, as most of it involves one interests group, depriving another of the means to thrive, and the destruction of the environment and abuse of the climate. This is not "smart", but seems to be what is successful. Capitalism is anti-intellectual, and promotes sociopathic thugs to success.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by thedoc » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:50 pm

The dumb ones, give the smart ones, something to laugh at.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:02 pm

thedoc wrote:The dumb ones, give the smart ones, something to laugh at.
Depends.
What happens when the smart ones need someone to open a tin? Or turn a screwdriver? When the chips are down and they need some muscle then they'll be laughing on the other side of their face.
The article mentions parenthetically "differently intelligent" as if it is a joke - but it ain't no joke.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:09 pm

thedoc wrote:The dumb ones, give the smart ones, something to laugh at.
I heard a reason for going to Heaven is it lets the inhabitants look down on those in Hell so are you suggesting that Heaven is occupied by those who are smart?

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by thedoc » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:13 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
thedoc wrote:The dumb ones, give the smart ones, something to laugh at.
Depends.
What happens when the smart ones need someone to open a tin? Or turn a screwdriver? When the chips are down and they need some muscle then they'll be laughing on the other side of their face.
The article mentions parenthetically "differently intelligent" as if it is a joke - but it ain't no joke.
The fallacy here is to assume that dumb = strong and smart = weak. More likely is the dumb ones don't know enough to keep in shape, and the smart ones know to go to the gym to stay healthy. One example Joseph Campbell taught Mythology and comparative religion at the college level, and he was a record breaking athlete in his younger days.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:26 pm

thedoc wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
thedoc wrote:The dumb ones, give the smart ones, something to laugh at.
Depends.
What happens when the smart ones need someone to open a tin? Or turn a screwdriver? When the chips are down and they need some muscle then they'll be laughing on the other side of their face.
The article mentions parenthetically "differently intelligent" as if it is a joke - but it ain't no joke.
The fallacy here is to assume that dumb = strong and smart = weak. More likely is the dumb ones don't know enough to keep in shape, and the smart ones know to go to the gym to stay healthy. One example Joseph Campbell taught Mythology and comparative religion at the college level, and he was a record breaking athlete in his younger days.
No assumption at all; just another way of looking at it. Smart is relative to the task at hand. Many of the smartest people I know can put up a shelf, they ain't that sort of smart. Nothing at all to do with fitness or strength.


You can have a fully qualified doctor who can remember all the names of the drugs but can't hold a scalpel, or finds it hard to diagnose; or might find it hard to put a patient at ease enough to ask the right questions.
Intelligence is not linear. It is multifaceted.

Josef Campbell - obviously too stupid to teach a proper subject. Okay at sports - too stupid to understand science.
Taking myth seriously is the epitome of stupid in some people's eyes.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by thedoc » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:30 pm

Thankyou for the reminder.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:35 pm

thedoc wrote:Thankyou for the reminder.

Horses for Courses.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by ncrbrts » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:03 pm

I can't answer WHY some people are smarter than others - probably because I don't care enough to think about it. That probably makes me stupid.

Question - would it be better to be stupid and happy, going through life without a care? Or would you prefer to have a great intellect but just can't assimilate with the rest of society?

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:06 pm

ncrbrts wrote:I can't answer WHY some people are smarter than others - probably because I don't care enough to think about it. That probably makes me stupid.

Question - would it be better to be stupid and happy, going through life without a care? Or would you prefer to have a great intellect but just can't assimilate with the rest of society?
For me, it's more important to be honest and skeptical. Happiness is not an intellectual or an anti-intellectual quality; happiness and sadness affect the smart and the stupid.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by ncrbrts » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:43 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
For me, it's more important to be honest and skeptical. Happiness is not an intellectual or an anti-intellectual quality; happiness and sadness affect the smart and the stupid.
To varying degrees though?

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:00 pm

ncrbrts wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
For me, it's more important to be honest and skeptical. Happiness is not an intellectual or an anti-intellectual quality; happiness and sadness affect the smart and the stupid.
To varying degrees though?
A stupid person can be tragically unhappy, as can an intellectual. Whilst both stupidity and intellectuality might make it worse, there is no correlation that would make me think one was more a problem than the other.
I don't think stupidity leads to happiness anymore than smartness does.

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Re: Why are some people smarter than others?

Post by ncrbrts » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:04 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
ncrbrts wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
For me, it's more important to be honest and skeptical. Happiness is not an intellectual or an anti-intellectual quality; happiness and sadness affect the smart and the stupid.
To varying degrees though?
A stupid person can be tragically unhappy, as can an intellectual. Whilst both stupidity and intellectuality might make it worse, there is no correlation that would make me think one was more a problem than the other.
I don't think stupidity leads to happiness anymore than smartness does.
I only question because all of the smart people I know seem predisposed to major depressive disorders.

Mind you, my ex was the king of the idiots but tried to kill himself twice. He was unsuccessful because he cut his wrists the wrong way. We split because he didn't like me pointing out his mistake :lol:

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