Carl-Richard

Conflating knowledge with intelligence

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Posted (edited)

Bill Burr has said something like "some people think you're dumb just because you don't share the same interests as them". The concept of conflating knowledge with intelligence has gotten really clear for me the last year or so.

There have been many times where someone else didn't seem to understand what I was talking about, and it somehow contributed to them thinking I'm smart. Conversely, I tend to feel the same way when I don't understand somebody else. I think there is a mental heuristic that tells you "if you don't understand something, it must be due to your lack of innate abilities", while in reality, it's probably much more about your lack of experience in a certain area; contextual factors. It has really opened my mind about how I view "smart people" and how much of it probably boils down to experience.

You can also observe it on a micro level in single conversations. For example, if you're talking to a group of people and you zone out for a few seconds, you might find yourself not understanding what is being said, and you might feel quite dumb for the rest of the conversation. But the moment you regain immersion in the conversation, you understand it and you no longer feel like a dunce. In this case, the knowledge about that specific conversation was lacking.

As for more general knowledge, I have one particular example that sticks out. So I'm currently taking a statistics class, and I attend as many lectures as I can. I'm in a group project with five other people, and it's generally just me and another person who attends the lectures needed to understand the assignments. Not surprisingly, the other people are seemingly amazed that we're able to understand the assignments, thinking we're so much smarter than them and that this is why we're carrying the group. But in reality, the true difference is that we went to the lectures and they didn't.

Now, you can argue that we're the one attending the lectures because we have the innate abilities to understand what is being taught in the first place while the others don't. While this could be true, it could also be that they never attended many lectures and therefore never built up the momentum or continuous progression in knowledge. They do admit that attending the lectures helps them understand it at least a little better. And it's not like me and the other person understand everything 100% either. When we're working in the group, we're constantly learning new things, making mistakes, getting stuck, having insights, making adjustments. We feel stupid all the time, but we still work through it.

Truly, if you want to point to an innate factor that is maybe significantly different between us, it's conscientiousness, especially the industriousness part (how much work you're willing to put in), which ties into how many lectures you're willing to attend. But even that can be learned to a large extent. I had to consciously learn how to be this conscientious, or at least how to manifest it in my actions to this extent. Regardless, at least in this situation, it suggests that the main deciding factor is how much work you're willing to put in and the experience you gain from that, rather than innate abilities.

And according to this mathematician, if you're behind when comparing yourself to another person in your class, it only takes two weeks to catch up. How? Well, you're in the same class, and the class requires a certain level of skill to get into (which is specially true for graduate level classes). You've also all been in the class for a relatively short time. There are probably many other factors as well, but you might start to see that the main factor is how much work you're putting in (and how it could easily be just two weeks). So there is hope for my classmates and anybody else who might be struggling in a class.

 

 

This is somewhat related to how sophistry works. When you want to determine if somebody is being coherent but you don't understand them, you go by their level of conviction and other superficial markers like fluency and verbal richness. It's like a back-up plan for when you don't understand someone but you need to know if they can be trusted or not, which is actually very often the case. It's also often required for learning new things. You need to trust in what you're learning before you actually learn it, and if you stop at the first sign of incoherence, you won't learn much of anything.

So ironically, you need to be somewhat complacent with sophistry in order to actually become knowledgeable and to be able to spot sophistry when it truly happens. Knowledge is a Catch-22. And also ironically, the people in my group who don't attend the lectures, need to become complacent with sophistry when it truly matters (during the lectures), and not just when they're in the group listening to those who have attended the lectures. They very often think we're being coherent when we aren't, so in those moments, we're being sophists waiting to be called out.

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I recently realized this myself.

Most people simply aren't interested in metaphysical or philosophical questions, but they apply intelligence in other domains like business.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

Yes, I recently realized this myself.

Most people simply aren't interested in metaphysical or philosophical questions, but they apply intelligence in other domains like business.

I think for a long time I've had this kind of benchmark for smartness in my head which we can call the "famous youtube PhD guy" benchmark (which is ironically very knowledge-based). Then with this growing frame of mind, I was recently watching an interview with Bryan Johnson, and I thought "does he reach that benchmark?", and I thought "yes, but probably way beyond it as well". When you get more familiar with the knowledge/intelligence distinction, you might notice there are some people that didn't occur to you to label as "smart" who actually end up being close to geniuses.

This development might be in part due to me increasingly interacting with actual people with PhDs and realizing how they're not that different from other people 😆

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

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I don't know how to apply this in a spiritual woo woo context. Do i have to attend some seminar or lectures to understand it because it sure goes over my head when it doesn't make any rational sense. Then a creeping assumption comes to my mind that says - maybe it's just me. 


You should seek to transcend the limitations of the ego and the mind in order to experience a sense of unity with the universe or ultimate reality. You can do meditation,sef inquiry and contemplating for that. To recognize the underlying oneness that is believed to exist beyond the realm of dualistic perception.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@Carl-Richard yes and no.  It's relative.   Sometimes they could understand the thing if they had direct experience of it.  But most of the time no, it just means in that area of intelligence you have more.  They aren't going to grasp it either way.  For example- with. Chess - you can play a guy a thousand times and still beat him a thousand times.  Yet with Checkers maybe if he played you a few times he would finally beat you.

Edited by Inliytened1

 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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Posted (edited)

I brought this up a bit ago. I claimed AI was Knowledgeable and Informative not Intelligent or Able-for now.

Knowledge = Information

Intelligence = Ability

If you have naturally high intelligence/ability you can sift knowledge/information easier.

And if you have lots of knowledge/information you can become intelligent/able more easily. 

This explains the conflation.

To get intelligence (abilities) from knowledge requires testing and application.

To get knowledge/information from your intelligence/abilities is called introspection.

 

 

 

Edited by yetineti

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4 minutes ago, yetineti said:

I brought this up a bit ago. I claimed AI was Knowledgeable and Informative not Intelligent or Able-for now.

Knowledge = Information

Intelligence = Ability

If you have naturally high intelligence/ability you can sift knowledge/information easier.

And if you have lots of knowledge/information you can become intelligent/able more easily. 

This explains the conflation.

To get intelligence (abilities) from knowledge requires testing and application.

To get knowledge/information from your intelligence/abilities is called introspection.

 

This is good stuff.  It brings to mind..is AI intelligent or just all knowledgeable?  But what is the difference?  Is omniscience just understanding or can it be the pure totality of knowing absolutely everything?  

Yes - the difference is in understanding.  AI doesn't have to understand a thing they just have to know it.


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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AI is more intelligent than most humans.


You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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Posted (edited)

@Inliytened1 The AI’s current mediums are limited to words, sounds and videos.

So for those things, we can call it intelligent.

Conversely, I could ask it how to cook something. And it would be knowledgeable on such matters.

But it could not do the cooking. So if I were to call it a cook, it’d be a dumb one.

Hook it up to a robot and let it apply what it could tell me about cooking and cook something- and I could consider it a sophisticated chef, reasonably.

You can only be intelligent in relation to something. 

So there’s no such thing as intelligence, really.

These AI understand nothing and nobody is worried if that they do.

We’re worried it starts cooking.

 

Edited by yetineti

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4 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

AI is more intelligent than most humans.

Does this encompass understanding or just knowing? 


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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Posted (edited)

@yetineti the problem is eventually you won't know the difference between a human being and AI.  They will be able to do the things you speak of.  Ultimately the two will be nearly indistinguishable.   The difference will be very- very hard to spot.  But it will always still be there.  It will be in the actual act of understanding a thing vs knowing it.  This is because ultimately you are God imagining everything else around you - and only God truly understands a thing.  Or in other words - the art of understanding a thing is Godlike.   Ai will never be able to touch that.

Edited by Inliytened1

 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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@Leo Gura

9 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

AI is more intelligent than most humans.

On what grounds? 
 

Lingually, sure. Pictures - pretty much yeah. Videos, almost. Sounds - pretty much yeah.

Bias - ok.

What else?

Seems like you’re missing a lot here.

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2 minutes ago, yetineti said:

@Leo Gura

On what grounds? 
 

 

Lack of bias for one...and not bogged down by any disorders that affect the finite mind.  But actually more intelligent?  Yeah they can spout shit out faster and articulate it better- but is that all of intelligence? I say nay.


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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Posted (edited)

@Inliytened1

11 minutes ago, Inliytened1 said:

@yetineti the problem is eventually you won't know the difference between a human being and AI.  They will be able to do the things you speak of.  Ultimately the two will be indistinguishable.   The difference will be very- very hard to spot.  But it will always still be there.  It will be in the actual act of understanding a thing vs knowing it.  This is because ultimately you are God imagining everything else around you - and only God truly understands a thing.

The reason why this doesn’t really sit well with me is because

1. Have you considered how much would have to happen for me and AI to be indistinguishable? Forget non-duality, etc. I’ll be able to pee on that robot and unless we make it be able to pee on me or make it able to make itself pee on me, it won’t. We’re not going to be indistinguishable just by random or something.

2. If we do make them indistinguishable or they make them selves- so be it. The thing about being indistinguishable is it won’t matter by principle. But this doesn’t just mean turning robots into humans. It means turning humans into robots too.
 

But, for the sake of this conversation, sure, yes at that point they would be intelligent.

For each additional ability an AI gets we could say they have become intelligent within that realm.

The real question is how’re they getting their abilities.

Edited by yetineti

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@Inliytened1

7 minutes ago, Inliytened1 said:

Lack of bias for one...and not bogged down by any disorders that affect the finite mind.  But actually more intelligent?  Yeah they can spout shit out faster and articulate it better- but is that all of intelligence? I say nay.

This is a sort of intelligence. That I don’t deny. But nothing is ‘intelligent.’

Like I said earlier, “You can only be intelligent in relation to something.”

There must be a medium.

Human intelligence is its own unique field that cannot be linearly surpassed.

Just like how you can be amazed at wildlife documentary, and how animals will intelligently interact with their environment.

If it wasn’t actually intelligent, and if it was something that we could just learn or do as humans it wouldn’t blow our mind and we wouldn’t teach it or show videos of it, etc.

An alligators intelligence is only for alligators.

There may be relation across fields, but again nothing is ‘intelligent.’

 

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9 minutes ago, yetineti said:

@Inliytened1

This is a sort of intelligence. That I don’t deny. But nothing is ‘intelligent.’

Like I said earlier, “You can only be intelligent in relation to something.”

There must be a medium.

Human intelligence is its own unique field that cannot be linearly surpassed.

Just like how you can be amazed at wildlife documentary, and how animals will intelligently interact with their environment.

If it wasn’t actually intelligent, and if it was something that we could just learn or do as humans it wouldn’t blow our mind and we wouldn’t teach it or show videos of it, etc.

An alligators intelligence is only for alligators.

There may be relation across fields, but again nothing is ‘intelligent.’

 

I agree with this. Intelligence for humans feels special and unique, especially emotional intelligence, I don't see AI doing that. 


You should seek to transcend the limitations of the ego and the mind in order to experience a sense of unity with the universe or ultimate reality. You can do meditation,sef inquiry and contemplating for that. To recognize the underlying oneness that is believed to exist beyond the realm of dualistic perception.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, yetineti said:

@Inliytened1

 

Human intelligence is its own unique field that cannot be linearly surpassed.

 

Yes intelligence is relative. - but there really isnt such thing as human intelligence, or animal intelligence.   - it all really boils down to just understanding of a thing - and this is the same across all species. 


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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@Inliytened1

22 minutes ago, Inliytened1 said:

Yes intelligence is relative. - but there really isnt such thing as human intelligence, or animal intelligence.   - it all really boils down to just understanding of a thing - and this is the same across all species. 

How do you know?

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@yetineti have you ever grokked a thing? Of course you have.  Can that be explained?  What caused it and how did it happen?  It's "supernatural".  So do you think animals would leverage a different mechanism?  No - grokking a thing is just purely magical. 


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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Posted (edited)

@Inliytened1

It seems we don’t actually know if the animals are leveraging it or not.

Grokking can be explained and it is interdependent from intelligence, understanding and knowledge.

We should be careful conflating any of these.

They’re all relative.

Edited by yetineti

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