Enlightened Conflict

contradictions & test of a first-rate intelligence

June 22nd, 2015

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human intelligence 1

“Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation– the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.

This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the “impossible,” come true.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Whew.

 

 

rainbow color amidst dark hopeIntelligence is a wacky topic.

 

Fraught with peril.

 

 

Therefore I will avoid IQs and any test measured intelligence bullshit and focus on what I call ‘non linear intelligence’.

 

 

Some people are great thinkers … extremely intelligent … when logic rules.

 

These people can line up the data and factors like dominoes and point you to the destination result faster than … well … fast.

 

 

They are the drag racers of intelligence.

 

 

Uhm.

 

 

But ask them to veer a little … and … oops … crash.

 

 

 

Other people are great thinkers … extremely intelligent … when illogical rears its head <or maybe a more chaotic path to the destination result>. They can navigate the disparate information gathering up the useful and discarding the less than useful.

 

 

They are the Formula One racers of intelligence.indy car formula one

 

 

I will admit that I thought about computers when I thought about intelligent people <in this frame of reference> because I sometimes worry that people intelligence will be devalued by computer intelligence.

 

 

It made me ponder <if but just for a moment> the possibility of something being developed called Artificial Superintelligence <ASI … a notch above AI>.

 

I thought about it because computers think faster and accumulate information and offer results faster and with more breadth of information viewing than most people even now.

 

 

My worries were slightly salved when I did some research some guy actually gave me the word comparison I was seeking.

 

 

 

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A key distinction is the difference between speed superintelligence and quality superintelligence.

Often, someone’s first thought when they imagine a super-smart computer is one that’s as intelligent as a human but can think much, much faster—they might picture a machine that thinks like a human, except a million times quicker, which means it could figure out in five minutes what would take a human a decade.

That sounds impressive, and ASI would think much faster than any human could — but the true separator would be its advantage in intelligence quality, which is something completely different.

intelligence staircase

What makes humans so much more intellectually capable than chimps isn’t a difference in thinking speed — it’s that human brains contain a number of sophisticated cognitive modules that enable things like complex linguistic representations or longterm planning or abstract reasoning, that chimps’ brains do not.

Speeding up a chimp’s brain by thousands of times wouldn’t bring him to our level—even with a decade’s time, he wouldn’t be able to figure out how to use a set of custom tools to assemble an intricate model, something a human could knock out in a few hours.

It’s that his brain is unable to grasp that those worlds even exist—a chimp can become familiar with what a human is and what a skyscraper is, but he’ll never be able to understand that the skyscraper was built by humans.

In his world, anything that huge is part of nature, period, and not only is it beyond him to build a skyscraper, it’s beyond him to realize that anyone can build a skyscraper.

That’s the result of a small difference in intelligence quality.

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This thought helped me feel a little more comfortable that the great intelligent thinkers will always have a place in the world <and will never be replaced by people>.

 

 

 

But.

 

I actually believe linear intelligent people will end up competing against ASI computers.

 

What about non linear intelligent people?

 

Well.

They will use computers to supplement their thinking.

 

 

My main rationale <beyond the wonderful intelligence quality descriptor above>?

 

Contradictions.

 

Yup.

 

Contradictions.

 

 

Now.

 

I am pleased with this thought because I admit that I like contradictions and I do believe they create the most powerful thoughts, ideas and progress in the world.

 

 

And a 1st rate intelligent person has the ability to grasp the contradiction <quality> … sometimes even a multi-dimensional contradiction <super quality> … and resolve it mentally with some speed <speed>.

 

 

I also believe that computers will struggle with contradiction and resolve that struggle with ‘predictatory modeling.’

 

 

It’s kind of like the computer models that simulate a game 100 times and then they tell you the probability of who will win. Many times this modeling it becomes a “55% will win” prediction.

 

As comparison … does a first rate intelligence simply go by the numbers?

 

 

Nope.

 

 

And that is what accepting and understanding contradictions is all about.

 

 

Well.

 

 

I don’t think I am a first rate intelligent person.oh boy excited

 

 

I do think I am simply someone who loves contradictions.

 

 

Regardless of computers and how they accumulate intelligence … the world will remain chock full of contradictions.

And a world strewn with contradictions should make us ponder more interesting questions and not simply debunk existing knowledge because we cannot accept the contradiction <always seeking the simple as ‘the thing’ rather than simplicity within complexity> . There is certainly some satisfaction to be found in being critical & debunking but we cannot lose sight of the fact it is more interesting to find inspiration in the questioning <and learn more>.

 

 

In addition.

 

 

 

Contradictions are almost always at the core of extraordinary bubbling up out of the seemingly ordinary.

 

 

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The idea of the extraordinary happening in the context of the ordinary is what’s fascinating to me.

—-

Chris Van Allsburg

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Contradiction naturally creates fascinating things.

 

And the fascinating occurs not because it is some impossible thing appearing magically as something possible but rather it is something that most people, who do not grasp two opposable ideas well or easily, simply overlook … and it suddenly occurs as a natural output of the contradiction.

 

 

 

In general I have always liked logical thinking <no matter how random the logic may be> and I always love it when someone combines some unexpected or random looking logic.

 

 

And I love the conflict that naturally occurs when the two opposable ideas are bonded together and presented as something that not only ‘could be’ but what ‘is.’

 

 

Two opposable ideas create conflict.

That just is.

 

 

Intelligent people not only accept the opposable ideas but figure out how to bond them.

 

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“When you have a conflict that means that there are truths that have to be addressed on each side of the conflict.

And when you have a conflict, then it’s an educational process to try to resolve the conflict.

thinking pieces intelligent

And to resolve that, you have to get people on both sides of the conflict involved so that they can dialogue.”

Dolores Huerta

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In the end.

 

 

Maybe a first rate intelligent person simply embraces the education process, the learning process, in trying to resolve contradictions and conflict.

 

 

All I know is that we need to encourage that type of thinking in everyone and we should exalt those who actually portray a first rate intelligence.

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Enlightened Conflict