IQ you Q we all Q

There is no such thing as intelligence. IQ tests are designed to see if you know the same things that I know. The concept of intelligence has always been used as a means of discriminating against people, of dividing people into “us” and “them.” The idea of intelligence is outdated, harmful and should be abandoned.

Whenever you say someone is smart, you are calling someone else stupid. And it usually has nothing to do with how well anyone’s brain is functioning.

I saw something once about a controversy that happened somewhere on the east coast way back in the day. Don’t know when, the eighties maybe? There was an inner city elementary school and a suburban school were getting funding based on IQ tests. (The students not the teachers.) The inner city school scored much lower, I remember someone commenting on the story trying really hard to dance around the idea that the score results were racially based, everything this guy said implied it, but he danced and danced. Then someone else pointed out that the people in these different areas (or socioeconomic stratas) speak differently from one another. They repeated the tests at other schools but changed the language slightly to match the dialect, things like changing, “A is to B as C is to blank” to “A is like B, C is like blank,” and the results this time were all pretty much equal in all the schools they tested. People have always used the idea of intelligence as a way of claiming superiority over other people, when there is no intellectual difference, only linguistic or cultural differences.

If I went to a ranch and some hand there pointed out some tracks in the dirt to me, would it make me stupid or somehow inferior to not have a clue what made the tracks or anything else about them? You could just as easily say that you are smarter than a blind person because you can see. It does not make any sense. The ranch hand knows whose tracks they are and how many of them there were and who had a bum leg and all that stuff because they know what they are looking for. I don’t know any of that because I don’t know what I am looking for. One isn’t smarter than the other, one isn’t better than the other or worse than the other because of that.

There is no such thing as intelligence.

There is such a thing as awareness. Just because I lack awareness in one area or field, does not make me inferior. I have awarenesses in fields that others don’t, this does not make me better than them. Historically intelligence has always been a means to label one’s own group as superior and other groups as inferior. In a rational world the concept of intelligence would be thrown out. People have various fields of awareness, that is all. There are all kinds of awarenesses, emotional awareness, personal and in the subtle mannerisms of others, trained awareness such as the ranch hand or poet or accountant or director or different languages or whatever. People are not dumb or smart, its just that we pay attention to different things, we have different experiences that condition us to see things and interpret what we see different from one another. That does not mean one observation is right and another wrong, it means one sees some things and not others and the other sees other things and not the first things. A computer programer can see a page of ones and zeros and tell you what the binary means, a photographer or painter could see the same page and notice that the ones and zeros create a picture of a face. Through the lens of a programer there was code, through the lens of a painter there was a face. People are not smarter than each other, it is just that we look at things through different fields of awareness. Understanding this, shouldn’t we be able to understand one another better? Our differences are simply a matter of perspective, not worth.


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