Revisiting the brainpower and competence models

Ken asks:

Seem legit? Temptingly concise.

“one of the worst traps people fall into is thinking theyre smart

when you have this platonic ideal of intelligence you cuckhold yourself. Intelligence is just higher frame rate it’s not competence. You can get blown out by a 14yo on a pos computer in COD. remember that”

It’s half the picture. Intelligence is speed times caliber. The tweet only addresses speed, which is a typical midwit mistake. You wouldn’t pull an RV behind a sports car: On the other hand, a truck will barely notice the extra difficulty. It’s like extremely difficult pattern recognition problems: you either get it all at once, or you don’t.

The reference to Call of Duty is the recognition that competence = IQ * training * experience, ref: my post on judging trustworthiness.

On the whole I would judge the tweet to be useful in the sense that you “Compliment effort, process and choices, not ability” (, but the model itself isn’t intellectually useful or an honest reduction. It’s just a reminder that talent without effort is wasted in all but the most g-loaded tasks (IQ tests themselves), none of which are practical. Even math and theoretical physics, the most g-loaded “practical” tasks we can name, require a butt-ton of work to attain even a basic level of competence. Just ask Stephen Hsu.

As a rule of thumb, if you aren’t experiencing failures you aren’t setting hard enough goals. Offhand, I’d recommend going for a 83% success rate based on relationship theory:

According to relationship researcher John Gottman, the magic ratio is 5 to 1. What does this mean? This means that for every one negative feeling or interaction between partners, there must be five positive feelings or interactions.

This makes sense to me because goals are like our interactions with hard reality, so if you want to have a healthy relationship with reality you should shoot for mostly good times but lose a few too for practice and to inspire growth.

On the purely intellectual side, my motto is still “if I’m not wrong at least five times before breakfast I’m not trying hard enough”. But I’m a severe case of concept porn addiction.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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