Thursday, December 21, 2006

anyone know what "theoretical intelligence" is?

the most common self promotion, self flattery and self delusion in turkey probably is the assumption that turks possess a "practical intelligence" that automatically pops them above their peers, regardless of any lack of education, knowledge, skill, technique, know-how or statistically, in most cases even a profession.

intelligence is a hairy subject in psychology - in the 50's and 60's, liberals and afro-americans, then still called negroes, were trying to argue with the scientific psychology (*) community that intelligence had nothing to do with race just because blacks did score less in tests (**). then came the era of divided or partial inteligence(s) - technical, mathematical, verbal etc., which was simply a confusion of aptitude toward a socially defined activity with a far more basic, essential, and animal capacity to do things. in any case, intelligence now rates among the plethora of undefinable concepts in social science such as pornography, aggression, terrorism, culture, society and so on. whenever a subject defies universal definitions, writers "prefer" one that suits them best. hence, the politics of psychology and the psychology of politics become integral (***).

ergo, scientifically, to speak of a "practical" intelligence is as sensible as speaking of a theoretical intelligence, which by its own definition, is intelligence that is never put in practice. as a matter of fact, all theory-less idiots in the world tend to confuse "theory" with what they deduct from their meager "practical" observations of facts which are meaningless if there is no theory to refer them to.

thus, practical intelligence is assumed when an off the cuff remedy is applied in a problem situation in order to save the day. often, the problem itself is a consequence of some lack of precaution, foresight, oversight, neglect, misinformation, mistake etc. the "practical" solution does not make the original cause of the problem go away, but postpones its probably more problematic reoccurence. when it reoccurs, again often another practically-intelligent non-solution is applied, thus perpetuating the original idiocy.

hence, so called practical intelligence is the kind of non-intelligence that cannot define or identify the problem, lacks the knowledge, the equipment, the technique and above all, the vision to solve it but attempts to overcome its adversity by applying whatever is readily available.

most behaviorist definitions of intelligence harp on an ability to "solve problems" - which falls short by the nature of the phenomenon: diagnosis precedes procedure... it is impossible to solve that which is not defined. therefore, some quarter of a century ago, i defined intelligence as a capacity to define and/or identify problems.

so, any practical solution to an "unknown because undefined" problem can only hypothetically be a solution. in other words, practical intelligence is theoretical intelligence par excellence; i.e., can never exist in practice.

so what is to brag about?


(*) at that time the community was predominantly behaviorist, gradually more cognitive scientists emerged in the scene though methodologically they allied with the former.
(**) it is generally accepted that the intelligence tests were in "practice" measuring aptitudes, they were based on information and skills blacks were not subjected to.
(***) poltics and value free sceince (including physics) is not a myth, it is a fallacy, an open lie. there is always choice in scientific endeavor and every choice is arbitrary.

No comments: