It is a secular aspect of human nature to discuss and philosophize on any type of topic that comes to hand during our space race on this small turquoise pebble we call earth. However, possessing the gift of natural language is not enough to produce high-quality concepts, it is not true that all opinions weigh equally.
If you come to me and tell me that vaccines are bad or that reptilians control the world, I cannot infer any kind of rational activity that is going on behind the scenes, in your brain, and that leads you to affirm these things. As far as I’m concerned you could very well be a robot programmed to randomly link concepts and then reproduce them through sound transducers, there is no qualitative difference between the two scenarios.
What is intelligence? I believe that, broadly speaking, it is the ability to work out tautologies, starting from what we already know. The more you can deep dive into the network of links, the more intelligent you are. Imagine that two people leave knowing A, B and C and from this position they have to deduce as many concepts as possible. If person 1 concludes that C -> D -> E -> F while person 2 only C -> D, then 1 is more intelligent than 2. If any psychologist read these lines, she would probably end up choking. Angrily would answer something like this: “Intelligence is much more than linking ideas together!!” or “There are dozens of types of intelligence, motor, musical, visual, creative, mnemonic … you are reducing the whole concept of intelligence to a tiny subset of it”.
To them I would say that I agree, the phenomenon of intelligence is, at present, still beyound our formalization horizon but I would also try to encourage them to reflect that, after all, every type of intelligence that we have identified in animals (including ourselves) seem to have as an operating basis an algorithm that proceeds by induction and is strengthened by the priors of that specific individual or species. This applies to everyone, from musicians to writers, from mathematicians to Olympic gymnasts.
Why bother with all this philippic on intelligence? Because I am deeply convinced that human beings are not and will never be completely rational agents, in the sense of always doing the right thing at the best moment. But I am also convinced that we can improve more and more, training our reasoning and argumentation skills as athletes train their muscles.
This blog is my attempt to build a structured internal dialogue that can lead me to recursively identify and eliminate the flaws in my thoughts and to refine them more and more because, always remember, thinking is absolutely our most powerful weapon.
Obviously, in order to mature, one needs previous knowledge: therefore intelligence is a process that consists of two main phases:
1) learning as much as you can of as many different disciplines
2) building towers on those solid foundations.