Speaking of Sherlock Holmes jokes, every seen this one?
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson decide to go on a camping trip. After dinner and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and go to sleep.
Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.
“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”
Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”
“What does that tell you?”
Watson pondered for a minute.
“Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.”
“Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.”
“Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.”
“Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant.”
“Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.”
“What does it tell you, Holmes?”
Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke: “Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent!”
Heh :-). That’s not a bad illustration for the difference between intelligence and judgment. Intelligence says “here is all possible information”, judgment says “here is the most salient information”.
One of the most important pieces of advice i ever received was that the higher you get promoted, the more that judgment becomes one of the most important factors in whether you can do your job.
This is probably why aristocrats used to emphasize the importance of suffering, so that they looked down on the nouveau riche as people who hadn’t suffered enough to deserve their elevated station and thus were foolish, naive, and unfit to wield power. Or as I defined it in Aeolitalk:
Wisdom = IQ times Suffering
Wisdom: “A system of correct mental models regarding the most important things in life (esp. oneself, other humans, virtue, money, and God). [Ref: 1.]”
What this suggests is that eustress, or harsh but predictable negative feedback, may be the only real environmental factor in the development of judgment, or the ability to discriminate between salient and irrelevant details. This may partially explain the higher occurrence of clever sillies in the high ranges of intelligence:
Average people tend to believe some tacit and naively realistic philosophy. Moderately gifted people tend to believe some conscious and creative reinterpretation of realism. Profoundly gifted people tend to believe an almost automatic anti-realism. The realism assumed by most people doesn’t resonate with them. And I need to explain what I mean by “believe” here. I don’t mean that someone engaged them in a discussion and are convinced by logic or eloquence that an anti-realist philosophy is true. I mean something close to experience, as we believe that a radiator is hot after we touch it. Realism is obvious for someone of average intelligence. For someone profoundly gifted, coming to that perspective represents a significant achievement.
Compare this idea of suffering-as-realism to the lessons of Ranger school:
In any case there are things, physical and mental, both, about Ranger School that the graduate never really recovers from. I didnâ€™t, for example, remember dreams at all until very recently, and it is still quite rare to. Nightmares, yes. Dreams, no. And I graduated over thirty-three years ago. And then there are the kneesâ€¦
So why, why the inhuman misery? Why accept the damage? Think a bit upon the process: The Ranger student has learned, in the best way possible, to ensure that, in war, his men eat enough. He has learned it by being starved himself and seeing what that does, how nearly useless it makes him. He has learned to ensure they sleep by suffering sleep deprivation himself and seeing what that does. He has learned â€“ actually he has been conditioned2 â€“ to not knuckle under to human weakness, and to be ruthless with himself and others, where required. Lastly, see above; units led or commanded by Rangers are believed to do better in war and to lose less men in doing better. Universally? Surely not. On average? Iâ€™m pretty sure that that is a yes. The misery is a small price to pay for that, a small price to pay for saving American soldiersâ€™ lives, a small price to pay for winning on the battlefield.
Ranger School: The Soul of the US Army