David Krakauer on intelligence
I first ran across Krakauer a few months ago with an earlier video on intelligence. Specifically his observation:
"Intelligence is search."
This is a short interview covering a few concepts, but fascinating.
"Ingenious: David Krakauer - Issue 23: Dominoes - Nautilus"
Q: Is stupidity the opposite of intelligence?
A: No. There’s actually a whole taxonomy of concepts that are worth thinking about. So there’s intelligence, there’s genius, there’s stupidity, there’s ignorance, and there’s being wrong. And it’s worth unpacking what each of these might mean.
Ignorance is insufficient data. So it doesn’t matter how smart you are; if you don’t have enough data to solve a problem, you’ll never solve it.
Intelligence is finding very simple solutions to complex problems. For example, if you say to someone, “You made that look effortless ” you’re saying to them, “You’re smart.” If you say to someone, “You made that look really hard,” you’re saying, “That’s stupid.” So stupidity is using a rule where adding more data doesn’t improve your chances of getting it right; in fact, it makes it more likely that you get it wrong.
So being wrong has in common with ignorance the fact that you’re more likely to get it right when you get extra data. So stupidity is a very interesting class of phenomena in history and it has to do with rule systems that have made it harder for us to arrive at the truth, and we could talk about it. It’s an interesting fact that while there are numerous individuals who study intelligence—there are whole departments that are interested in it—if you were to ask yourself what’s the greatest problem facing the world today, I would say it would be stupidity. So we should have professors of Stupidity; it would just be embarrassing to be called the Stupid Professor.<br><br>Questions (each is its own several-minute video).<br><br>Q <a href="/search?terms=%231" data-href="/search?terms=%231" data-capture="hashtagClick" class="hashtag-link">#1</a>: [What is intelligence](https://vimeo.com/125533223)
Q #2: Is stupidity the opposite of intelligence?
Q #3: What are example of stupidity in science?
Q #4: What is genius?
Q #5: Speaking of genius, why are you so fascinated by Charles Darwin?
Q #6: Is it a mistake to look to brain science as the best way to understand intelligence?
Q #7: Why do you use the word "intelligence" to describe gifted athletes?
Q #8: Are chmpanzees much less intelligent than humans?
Q #9: Do you worry, as some people do, that supersmart machines will come to dominate the human species?
Q #10: Isn't it depressing to see how technology is turning us into perfect consumers?
Q #11: How does the domino principle contribute to our understanding of intelligence?
Q #12: Why do we need the science of complexity to tackle the most difficult questions?
Q #13: What are the big science questions that you're trying to understand?
Q #14: How does your love of literature inform your creative life?
Q #15: Why do you also like less "serious" literature, such as genre fiction?
Q #16: What would you be if you weren't a scientist?