Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Food for thought

Taken from

"The Intelligence Trap (ii)
Highly intelligent people are often inclined towards negative
thinking. This is because they know that they are clever and they want
to get a sense of achievement from that cleverness; the quickest form
of achievement is to criticize someone else and prove that other
person wrong. This is an immediate and complete achievement that makes
one feel superior to the other person. To put forward a constructive
idea is less satisfactory because you have achieved nothing until you
can actually show that the idea works - and that can take time -
unless it is a mathematical problem for which you can demonstrate the
answer. Negative thinking is, of course, an important part of thinking
but it is never enough by itself. You cannot grow a garden just by
wielding the shears.

Intelligent people who are not masterthinkers do not like being wrong.
Their ego and sense of personal worth has been built around their
intelligence so it becomes very difficult to admit and error. This
means that such people do all they can to avoid admitting an error.
This makes for inefficient thinking. A masterthinker admits an error
at once since his or her concern is for objective thinking. The fear
of making a mistake keeps some intelligent people from putting forward
speculative or creative ideas because these might turn out to be
wrong. Such people do not like taking risks with their thinking.
Taking risks is at times a necessary part of thinking.

Because an intelligent person's mind works very quickly such a person
may jump to conclusions very rapidly. At times this can be useful. At
other times it may be dangerous. A slower thinker may need to take in
more information before jumping to a conclusion and so may actually
come to a better conclusion.

Perhaps the biggest danger is that many highly intelligent people
(especially when young) tend to be very arrogant about their thinking.
This is unfortunate since there are no grounds for arrogance about
thinking at any time.

I want to make it clear that not all intelligent people are caught in
the intelligence trap. Nevertheless the danger is there. If you are
driving a powerful car you have to be even more careful as a driver
than someone driving a less powerful car. So the intelligent thinker
may have to pay even more attention to thinking skills. Certainly, he
or she should not assume that being intelligent is enough. "

I had never thought of it like that before. Time to put my thinking cap on.