2007 contest essay rule

It turns out, the Bible is already chock full of ass kicking. Here are the verses that make us want to take to the streets and put some unbelievers to the sword.

2007 contest essay rule

February A few days ago I finally figured out something I've wondered about for 25 years: Anyone can see they're not the same by the number of people who are smart, but not very wise.

And yet intelligence and wisdom do seem related.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'd say it's knowing what to do in a lot of situations. I'm not trying to make a deep point here about the true nature of wisdom, just to figure out how we use the word.

A wise person is someone who usually knows the right thing to do. And yet isn't being smart also knowing what to do in certain situations? For example, knowing what to do when the teacher tells your elementary school class to add all the numbers from 1 to ? But that isn't true. Some wisdom has nothing to do with people: And certainly smart people can find clever solutions to human problems as well as abstract ones.

But people are not simply wise in proportion to how much experience they have. Other things must contribute to wisdom besides experience, and some may be innate: Neither of the conventional explanations of the difference between wisdom and intelligence stands up to scrutiny.

So what is the difference? If we look at how people use the words "wise" and "smart," what they seem to mean is different shapes of performance. Curve "Wise" and "smart" are both ways of saying someone knows what to do. The difference is that "wise" means one has a high average outcome across all situations, and "smart" means one does spectacularly well in a few.

That is, if you had a graph in which the x axis represented situations and the y axis the outcome, the graph of the wise person would be high overall, and the graph of the smart person would have high peaks.

The distinction is similar to the rule that one should judge talent at its best and character at its worst. Except you judge intelligence at its best, and wisdom by its average.

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That's how the two are related: So a wise person knows what to do in most situations, while a smart person knows what to do in situations where few others could. We need to add one more qualification: Nor do we need to.

2007 contest essay rule

Simple as it is, this explanation predicts, or at least accords with, both of the conventional stories about the distinction between wisdom and intelligence.

Human problems are the most common type, so being good at solving those is key in achieving a high average outcome. And it seems natural that a high average outcome depends mostly on experience, but that dramatic peaks can only be achieved by people with certain rare, innate qualities; nearly anyone can learn to be a good swimmer, but to be an Olympic swimmer you need a certain body type.

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This explanation also suggests why wisdom is such an elusive concept: But giving the name "wisdom" to the supposed quality that enables one to do that doesn't mean such a thing exists.

To the extent "wisdom" means anything, it refers to a grab-bag of qualities as various as self-discipline, experience, and empathy.

We use the word "intelligent" as an indication of ability: It does seem likely there's some inborn predisposition to intelligence and wisdom toobut this predisposition is not itself intelligence. One reason we tend to think of intelligence as inborn is that people trying to measure it have concentrated on the aspects of it that are most measurable.

A quality that's inborn will obviously be more convenient to work with than one that's influenced by experience, and thus might vary in the course of a study. The problem comes when we drag the word "intelligence" over onto what they're measuring. If they're measuring something inborn, they can't be measuring intelligence.

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