Seriously, if you are dealing with someone who is of lesser intellect, would they be able to perceive that you are operating at a higher level? Makes you wonder. What if everyone I know is getting smarter every day and I am stuck right here, not even noticing? It is a conundrum.
If you do a search for how to get smarter you will find about a million sites that claim to be able to help. Seems like they all have different ideas on what qualifies as smarter. A lot of them talk about improving grades, but most of them sound like learning study techniques, which doesn't really reflect intelligence so much as just study habits. I found another that talks about improving your business decisions, but that again is not a real reflection of intellect. My favorite was this one that talks about improving intelligence using meditation, which actually makes a lot of sense to me. I can't meditate, however, as I tend to just fall asleep.
It seems like most people have some serious misconceptions as to what intelligence really is. It is not knowledge. I went to school with any number of pre-med students who all got really good grades but couldn't find their ass with both hands. You can be a total dummy yet still memorize stuff. Intellect helps, but knowledge is not a reflection of brain power.
The smartest man I ever met was a guy named Bill I used to work with when I dropped out of college and worked graveyard shift in a medical lab (or, as I like to call it, the Worst Period of My Life). Bill smoked pot a minimum of four times a day, and used to collect bootleg Jimi Hendrix albums. He lived in a van down at the beach, and barely graduated high school. But if you showed Bill any kind of real problem he could figure out what the issue was and what the solution should be in about 1/10th of a second. In all the time I knew him he was never wrong.
As an aside, Bill was also dating the sweetest, kindest, hottest girl in the lab. I was totally in love with her and got to watch him treat her like crap for two years. Good times. Talk about a gut grinder.
That's kind of unfair. Bill was a good friend of mine and opened my eyes to the first of many alternative lifestyles I was destined to explore from the periphery. Many a night we would climb into his Volkswagon van, blast Hendrix live at the Hollywood Bowl, and cruise to Senor Naugles (the better Del Taco) 24 hour drive though to get a couple burritos before playing frisbee in the dark on the roof of the industrial building we worked at (I think it fair to say most of us had a death wish of some kind at that point in our lives). He also got me into the band Black Flag, which was the seed that later flowered into full time punk rock when I finally escaped hell and went back to college (in the suburbs of hell).
Anyway, intellect is not the same as knowledge, and improving your ability to absorb knowledge is not the same as improving your intellect. Most of the techniques I am finding for improving intelligence seem like a lot of work. I just want a pill or something. Like most Americans I am remarkably impatient and want a quick fix.
September 29th, 2010
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