Intelligence and Learning
Intelligence is about survival in a threatening world. Humans survive because
of the genius abilities such as vision, hearing, skilled movement and speech,
all abilities that are built into their brain, innate gifts from nature. Humans
do not have learn how to see or how to hear what is going on out there, but they
do have to learn what it means to them today. This is an interactive process.
Speech is an advanced form of sound interaction. Although modern humans tend to
emphasize individual thought and expression, most thinking involves group
activity and the value of speech is to connect individuals in “thinking” groups.
Books and other publications link large numbers of humans in common patterns of
The newest human abilities are more dependent on learning and are the least
reliable. Reasoning, planning and learning to tolerate other humans in a
friendly constructive manner require the most sustained practice. The
term, “nice,’ refers to these characteristics and therefore nice people require
sustained learning to remain reasonable, to tolerate others and to behave in a
friendly, constructive manner. In higher education and other life contests,
general ability has been traditionally desirable. The "well-rounded" individual
was a generalist, good at everything but perhaps not outstanding in one skill.
To become nice and to remain rational and skilled, a human must belong to and
work within a supportive group that shares these characteristics. Human groups
often have the opposite effect, supporting intolerant and irrational thinking
and behavior. In the recent past new knowledge and abilities have proliferated
in every human population with only a few humans doing well at cultivating the
The key to human survival is group cooperation and individual specialization.
The group tends to smooth out the negative effects of individual limitations and
irrationality. In an affluent urban society, a small subpopulation cause
most of the trouble and consume most of the social and medical resources
available. Often the understanding and solution of “social problems” involves
the interaction of elite and educated group with a sick, aberrant, dysfunctional
group. Their interaction involves a persistent, inevitable misunderstanding
arising from incongruent needs, values, information and capabilities.
Human societies involve increasing specialization of individuals who are
skillful at performing single tasks. The income of an individual often depends
on this specialization and does not depend on a general or comprehensive
understanding of how their society works and his or her place in it. A similar
description applies to individuals in many animal groups, beginning with the
social insects. Humans and ants have much in common; the most compelling
similarity is that individuals achieve viability on the planet, not by solitary
activities, but by participating in a metaorder that involves the entire group.
Persona Digital publishes a series of books on current topics in
psychology, neuroscience, music and philosophy. eBooks and can be downloaded to
any destination on the planet. Alpha Online supplies detailed book information
with selected topics from each book. Download orders are completed at Alpha
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