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Intelligence verses Knowledge

Ever wonder what the difference really is between knowledge and intelligence?  While we go to college supposedly to gain both, I believe that one is more of a guarantee than the other.  I believe that one causes the other.

I believe that knowledge is simply a state of having or not having, while intelligence is something more abstract.  Intelligence is an ability, something that is multidimensional and able to grow, almost like a seed grows into a tree.  Knowledge of a subject does not necessarily translate into intelligence; knowledge will simply allow you to state things that are, while intelligence will allow you to go beyond the here and now and make actual inferences, create new knowledge from your own abilities.  Intelligence enables knowledge.

Learning is a process of transferring knowledge, however that transfer will only occur to the degree of intelligence that you possess.  To a certain extent, if you are less intelligent, then you will absorb less, because there is less capacity to facilitate the knowledge transfer.  If you can’t play around with something that you learn in your head, then you won’t have a chance to actually learn it.  It’s the same process as practicing.  Someone can tell you how to drive a stick shift, explain the process, and point out what a clutch and shifter is, which is a transfer of knowledge.  However, if you don’t actually mess around and try it, which is your intellect kicking in and is the process of you using your abilities to take that knowledge and make it your own, then you won’t be able to drive a stick shift.

Follow me?

The ACT is a measure of not only how much knowledge you possess, but more importantly, a measure of how well your intellect can apply and manipulate that knowledge.  The more critically and abstractly you can think, the more knowledge you will have picked up in your life, and the more knowledge you will pick up.

This debate happened as I was showering today, when I thought to myself that I can’t identify, off the top of my head, one particular area that I am extremely knowledgable in.  I can’t ramble off random facts about ionic bonds, T testing and Z testing equations, or the GDPs of the top 10 richest countries by memory.  However, I do consider myself to be a decent learner, and a better abstract thinker, someone who is able to look beyond the here and now and consider what could be.  Yet that requires a level of knowledge, which starts a sort of strange cycle in my mind, where I could go on for days and days wondering and contemplating and reaching further levels of deep thought…

I also believe that it takes less intellect and more knowledge to create a new product, whereas the opposite is true for creating a new service.  Care to debate that fact?


November 11, 2010 - Posted by | musings | , , ,

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