What is Intelligence?

David Musick (David_Musick@msn.com)
Sat, 28 Sep 96 20:33:24 UT

Robin Hanson wrote:

"If we talk about improving brains by giving them better software, i.e. better
concepts and insights, well that is just brains of the same intelligence who
know more."

I heavily disagree with this. As we increase the quality of "software" we are
running in our brains, we become more intelligent. Our intelligence is not
some static quality. It has very much to do with our existing knowledge and
our ways of thinking about things, and these things can be changed. Our
intelligence can increase incredibly as we change our ways of thinking and
develop more useful knowledge. The nature of the "hardware" of our brains is
very important too, but the right "software" can make the difference between a
bumbling moron and a brilliant genius.

We all have the ability to increase our intelligence by a tremendous amount by
constantly developing and refining more powerful thinking skills and
knowledge. I have been doing this for the past few years, and I am several
times more intelligent than I was a few years ago, and my rate of progress
continues to accellerate. It is because I am constantly revising and refining
my observational and thinking skills. I am rewriting my own software, and I
am becoming smarter because of it. It requires a great deal of personal
discipline, but we can make ourselves more intelligent by altering our ways of
thinking and our ways of gathering information.

- David Musick