Illustration of the difference between intelligence and judgment

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!”

https://www.sunnyskyz.com/funny-jokes/20/Sherlock-Holmes-and-Dr-Watson-Go-Camping
H/T Owl

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
And
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.

The Mindstorm

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 didn’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 knees…

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 – actually he has been conditioned2 – 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? I’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 soldiers’ lives, a small price to pay for winning on the battlefield.

-Tom Kratman
Ranger School: The Soul of the US Army

About Aeoli Pera

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7 Responses to Illustration of the difference between intelligence and judgment

  1. Heaviside says:

    >Wisdom = IQ times Suffering

    First, some people just become bitter.

    Secondly, I disagree with how you define wisdom. To me “mental models” are just another form of calculation i.e. information. All the heavy lifting in that definition is done by the word “important,” which isn’t explained. I think we can understand wisdom by looking at its absence, which is foolishness. Foolishness isn’t when someone makes a bad decision because they lack information, it’s when they make a bad decision when they ought to know better because of moral failure. It’s when a man develops a gambling addiction despite knowing that it’s a terrible financial decision. Wisdom is moral virtue.

    Thirdly, I disagree with this other guy separating gifted youth into “realists” and “anti-realists” as if it really means anything. These are terms imported from university philosophy departments which are just like their colleagues in entomology that murder living creatures so they can be pinned to a dusty board and left to be forgotten in a warehouse. If what was really essential in any philosopher’s thought could be grasped from this perspective of assigning to them various “positions” and -isms they would never have used to describe themselves, then reading what they actually wrote would be totally superfluous. Like a dead German guy once said, “the truth is the whole,” and this kind of senseless particular categorizing is totally inimical to the true spirit of philosophy.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >First, some people just become bitter.

      It may be much closer to the truth to suggest eustress (more specifically) is a necessary but insufficient condition.

      >Secondly, I disagree with how you define wisdom.

      When I was growing up I became fascinated with the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament, and read it dozens of times as a teenager. I flatter myself to think this definition was informed in the main by that fascination, and secondly by a working understanding of willpower and perception.

      >Like a dead German guy once said, “the truth is the whole,” and this kind of senseless particular categorizing is totally inimical to the true spirit of philosophy.

      I’ll benefit from a handful of examples of who has done philosophy more correctly and less correctly.

      • fgth says:

        >Wisdom = IQ times Suffering

        IQ is NOT any help in gaining wisdom, and is often a hindrance, as the high IQ leads to a puffed-up hubris of knowing it all. Paul confirms below in 1 Corinthians.

        ‘The intelligence of the intelligent i will frustrate’. WILL not may.

        And

        >Wisdom: “A system of correct mental models regarding the most important things in life (esp. oneself, other humans, virtue, money, and God).

        Nice to see God scraped in at the end of the list. In truth, you can leave out all of the other vanities, and just focus on knowing God, serving Him, fearing Him, obeying Him, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecc 12).

        >I’ll benefit from a handful of examples of who has done philosophy more correctly and less correctly.

        No, you won’t, you’ll just wander further from wisdom and truth.

        ‘The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom’.

        You don’t fear Him at all. You should do.
        ——————–
        ‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:

        “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

        the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”b

        20Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

        22Jews demand signs and Greeks search for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,c 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

        25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom,d and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength’.

  2. Heaviside says:

    “Wisdom is one thing. It is to know the thought by which all things are steered through all things.”

    “It is the thunderbolt that steers the course of all things.”

    “The way of man has no wisdom, but that of God has.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajra

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