Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Before I start my discussion of what I think a good mathematical/neurobiological model of intelligence, here are some questions that I think about when this topic comes up...submitted for your approval?

What would you call a person who can solve complicated math problems, but can't match his socks (Professor??ha ha)?

What about a person who could write and play perfect piano concertos at 14, but couldn't read a book cover to cover, or hold a conversation?

What about a person who got 400 on his SAT, but was an all-American middle linebacker?

How about a person who can keep a family of six clothed and fed, keep the house clean, but can't hold down a job?

Much is made of the "fine line between genius and insanity", but does this really exist? What does it mean?

The point of all of these rhetorical questions is that, in any real sense of the word, there are lots of ways to be smart. I am sure you have called someone "book smart" or "street smart" or "musically gifted" or "a talented athlete", without giving too much thought to it. My next post will attempt to give some thought to this issue, and point towards what I think a path to solving this riddle might look like.