On 25/11/2005, at 12:34 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

That is another reason to use the term competence in this setting. Intelligence is really more like humility or modesty, or wiseness.

Agreed. People often confuse intelligence with thinking ability (= operacy, skill at doing)

Edward de Bono defines intelligence as "The horsepower of the car". It is then, as given a value (probably at birth or not long after) as, say, the shape of your earlobe or the length of your willy! You cannot affect your intelligence. You are stuck with it. It is the measure of the speed at which neurons in your brain fire and receive impulses. The competency is then the skill with which the car is driven (skill in thinking, operacy/competency at). The point being: you can buy a Porsche and drive it badly and kill yourself (woops! I meant "reduce your measure in the MV") or you can buy a humble volkswagon and drive it modestly and inexpensively and arrive maybe a little late.

In general it is not something which can be evaluated or measured.

Unless you believe in the results of IQ tests. I don't. Why the hell schools still use them is beyond me

Only competence (and even only in circumscribed fields) can be measured.

Competence is dynamic / intelligence is a frozen quantity of something

In school and universities, I think it is a very sad error to confuse the two. Someone can be very intelligent but completely incompetent. For example when you have neural problems disallowing your interface with the world. And the reverse is true too, someone can be very competent in some field and be completely non- intelligent, incapable of doubting.

I can see we share common ground on this

If we include artistic creativity, the amount of "knowledge" increases, including abstract art, abstract literature, every possible musical composition... the blackboard and the library begin to fill again. It seems that God has to be a hard-headed scientist who eschews all that artistic nonsense for his omniscience to be meaningful.

My favorite definition of ...
... is that thing that once you give it/he/she/e a name or a description, then you can say "hello" to the catastrophes ....

Ain't it "the truth"!

This is also surely because "the truth" is a con job. Truth or *identity* - which is what you are talking about here - is often the place at which all movement in thinking ceases. Once you name something you have slapped a label on it and labels tend to be sticky things in the warm, spongey human brain. Patterns of recognition act almost like black holes and suck in all related matter. If something is said to be *true* then no one thinks much about it anymore and, more crucially for THIS discussion - all information flow drops to nil. That's because the Black Hole of Truth has just swallowed up a whole bunch of creative thinking. Scientists should stay well clear of truth. Mathematicians own it. This is Bruno's problem in trying to get maths heads to talk to physics heads.

We have the likes of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle (the Greek Gang of Three) to thank for a thinking system where simple recognition passes for thinking. All someone has to do is present something to you as the truth and 98 per cent will believe it and forget about it. The reason is quite simply that a pattern of recognition has been placed in the mind and functions as such (this is the basis of the black magic of advertising). Edward de Bono has defined a special type of competency: "Lateral thinking" which is a synonym for creative thinking. This is where (using formal techniques that can be learnt) one learns how to cut across the established patterns and make (dare I say it) a quantum leap to the outcome.



A thought once thought cannot be unthought (Edward de Bono)

kimjones@ ozemail.com.au

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