Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/17

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Subject: [Leica] Knowledge, ability to learn and Intelligence
From: "Birkey, Duane" <>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 13:15:10 -0500

Bernard wrote:

You are confusing things. Intelligence is the ability to learn. Skill is
experience. More intelligent people need less experience to acquire skills.
Therefore your lawyer will need much less time to acquire the skills of your
postman, than it took your presumably low-IQ postman to acquire them.

I agree that intelligence is the ability to learn.  I would however suggest
that your error is to presume that Lawyers have more intelligence or ability
to learn than plumbers or postmen.   Some may fare better on IQ tests... but
that doesn't mean they have more ability to learn.  As I have said, I know
many different people in many different professions....  I know intelligent
people whose idea of a wrench are pliers and vise-grips.... they continually
clobber and round off every single loose nut around the house, on the deck
or on their kid's bicycle with it and destroy stuff with a hammer...  or
throw appliances away because the plug on the end of the cord is broken. I'm
not making this up.   There isn't a plumber or mechanic in the world who
would do that.  One can argue forever that a lawyer could produce beautiful
hand-carved sculptures or furniture because he is intelligent....   And that
might or might not be true, depending on the lawyer.... one could also argue
that a carpenter could become a lawyer if he really wanted to... and that
might or might not be true depending on the carpenter.   

An intelligent person doesn't make the same mistake twice and learns to
apply knowledge to new situations....  My lawyer knows law because he has
chosen to study and become proficient in it... not because he is more
intelligent than the plumber who chose not to.  I know a garbage collector
who is extremely brilliant, he could have done anything had he wanted
to......  He became a garbage collector because it was the family business,
it pays well, the hours are short, so he has lots of time to do things he
wants to like go boating, play golf and spend time with his family..... His
job allows him to spend more time with his other priorities.  I know one
lawyer who works 70 hours a week and travels away from his family all of the
time.....  Which person is really more intelligent?

Lawyers, Doctors, Dentists, Engineers and PHD's have more education and
knowledge in their fields and in some cases will score higher on IQ
tests..... but that does not mean they have a greater ability to learn
quickly nor make them more intelligent than those who don't, if that is your
definition of it.  


Replies: Reply from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] Knowledge, ability to learn and Intelligence)
Reply from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] Knowledge, ability to learn and Intelligence)