Saturday, August 14, 2021

Thoughts on Intelligence

I have an IQ in the 99th percentile. It’s certainly great to have it, and while it may be a fortuitous gift, it has also been a personal and social burden at times. Essentially, it has enabled me throughout my life to arrive at results quicker by seeing patterns where others see non-intersecting information. In fact, pattern recognition may be my superpower. I see relationships between non-related events or things or people where others see no connections. It has always been this way. Everything is interconnected from my vantage point. For this reason, I have been adroit at problem-solving from the beginning. They call it thinking outside the box, but for me it is my natural domain.

It has been especially useful in my study and application of engineering topics, higher mathematics, the sciences, and those areas where higher levels of abstract thinking are required. I would attribute my professional success in business as being correlated with this as well, because it has always been easier for me to understand patterns in the psychology of marketing and correlations between metric measurements and success.

There seems to be just that much more light coming through my windows than that of others. I seem to pick up on the 1% that others gloss over, but it’s that 1% that makes all the difference between my life and that of others. Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. Maybe people with higher IQ's are more nimble, more resilient at shifting gear in the face of an ever changing world. Maybe higher IQ people have the ability to readily adjust in response to the patterns they see that others miss. I believe the ultimate secret to my success and ultimate happiness may lie in this ability to creatively see patterns where others see nothing at all, in both the small details and the bigger picture as well. Creative new solutions seem easy for me, even after all the years; I simply apply abstract thinking to the patterns I pick up on and extrapolate new ideas.

Too often the personal problem for me has been that much of the time, when I do choose step out of my box and point out something that others cannot see, no one gives a crap. I sense I am either not understood, demeaned as having no credibility, or worse, viewed as condescending. It is frustrating when it seems like you are watching a freight train barreling down on a person, screaming its whistle for them to get off the tracks, but they don't hear it, they don't see it coming. It's very much like this faux covid situation we are all living through right now. There are so many things out there that people don't see, or perhaps refuse to look at. And then they are shocked when the train runs them over.

I find most people are more interested in pointing to evidence that would seem to prove their own contention is correct, when very often their thinking and logic are way off the mark. The problem is they have become lost in their own limitations and have forgotten how to question. It takes an intelligent person to readily admit that he or she may be wrong and never stop questioning their own believes.

People with higher IQ's think about ideas, and debate ideas to find the truth, whether it fits their opinions or not. People with average IQ's are unquestioningly sure they know the answers, attacking peoples' ideas in defense of their own, thinking this is what makes their opinions correct. But there are no complete answers... never have been, never will be... only more questions. “Knowing” is a momentary, fleeting thing. Decision making must be a dynamic evolving process of continuous information gathering, discernment, and incredible adaptability.

A defensive approach to conversation gives people a false sense of confidence in their own opinions at the expense of downplaying their own all-too-obvious shortcomings. Rather than remaining resilient and open to new ideas, they are defensive of their own beliefs and closed to variation. In contrast, it has been my experience with people of higher IQ's that they generally seek to prove themselves wrong as a way to reaffirm what it is they have come to believe. I could be wrong about that!!!

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