Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Vox Day's Habits of Exceptional Minds

"There are a few observations I have made over the years that are of limited utility in differentiating between what I think of as 'very smart' vs 'brilliant,'" writes Vox Populi in post delineating these observations — The IQ delta.

Noting that these "terms themselves are meaningless and entirely subjective here, to put it in terms the quantitatively minded can accept," Vox simplifies, "let's call them VHIQ vs UHIQ for the time being, with the understanding that what applies to the VHIQ also applies to midwits and average minds, whereas what applies to UHIQ does not." Here they are:
  • VHIQ inclines towards binary either/or thinking and taking sides. UHIQ inclines towards probabilistic thinking and balancing between contradictory possibilities.
  • VHIQ seeks understanding towards application or justification, UHIQ seeks understanding towards holistic understanding.
  • VHIQ refines the original thought of others, UHIQ synthesizes multiple original thoughts.
  • VHIQ rationalizes logical conclusions, UHIQ accepts logical conclusions. This is ironic because VHIQ considers itself to be highly logical, UHIQ considers itself to be investigative.
  • VHIQ recognizes the truths in the works of the great thinkers of the past and applies them. UHIQ recognizes the flaws in the thinking of the great thinkers of the past and explores them.
  • VHIQ usually spots logical flaws in an argument. UHIQ usually senses them.
  • VHIQ enjoys pedantry. UHIQ hates it. Both are capable of utilizing it at will.
  • VHIQ is uncomfortable with chaos and seeks to impose order on it, even if none exists. UHIQ is comfortable with chaos and seeks to recognize patterns in it.
  • VHIQ is spergey and egocentric. UHIQ is holistic and solipsistic.
  • VHIQ will die on a conceptual hill. UHIQ surrenders at the first reasonable show of force.
  • VHIQ attempts to rationalize its errors. UHIQ sees no point in hesitating to admit them.
  • VHIQ seeks to prove the correctness of its case. UHIQ doesn't believe in the legitimacy of the jury.
  • VHIQ believes in the unique power of SCIENCE. UHIQ sees science as a conceptual framework of limited utility.
  • VHIQ seeks to rank and order things. UHIQ seeks to recognize and articulate concepts.
  • VHIQ is competitive. UHIQ doesn't keep score.
  • VHIQ asks "how can this be used?" UHIQ asks "what does this mean?"
It is interesting to note that many of these UHIQ habits, notably the latter half, are misconstrued by VHIQ as signs of intellectual weakness, thus falsely convincing VHIQ of the powers of its own intellect.

He follows the above post with an example critiquing tne work of a very influential public intellectual — The IQ delta and the Last Man.

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