A not very timely note

This was a blog I once wrote during my high school and early college years. I keep it around for nostalgic purposes, but it is quite obviously no longer updated. I am looking to make a more professional blog presence in the future, but I still like to look at where I was mentally at certain points in time.

- G. Jan 2013

Monday, May 5, 2008

"Smart" by G.

What does it mean to be smart? It's a tough question. It's tough, because "smartness" is measured in so many different ways in our society. Is a five-star general in a war more "smart" than a architect building a big bridge? The general probably knows military tactics; where to place his troops and when the right time is to advance. This makes him smart, right? The architect should be good with math, and is able to make complex calculations and blueprints to achieve the final result; a bridge that doesn't topple over at the slightest breeze. Obviously a candidate for any of these two roles would need to be very intelligent. So lets move along to our schools. What does it mean to be "smart" there? An average answer might be, whoever has a high grade point average, or who consistently scores high on standardized tests. But when you think about it; how can you make a little number symbolize someone's true intelligence? It's all kind of ridiculous to me. I don't believe making a high score means your smart; it means you know how to remember assigned material for a brief period. So here's my own simple definition of being smart: The ability to solve problems, learn and adapt from experiences, and deal with the unexpected very well. This kind of brings up a whole new debate. Some people say we all have varying levels of intelligence, while some say we have the power to change; to make ourselves smarter. If any of you have ever been curious and taken one of those IQ tests, it gives you a number that you can compare to a scale. Does this mean I'm going to be stuck at that "level" forever? Can people with the intelligence of Forrest Gump never change? I think, if your reading this right now, then you definitely "smart" enough to make yourself smarter. The motivation part is up to you though, sorry. But to wrap this up, being smart doesn't have much to do with scoring high on a SAT or becoming entangled in some 100 pound textbooks. It's if you learn from the world around you. It's if you just absolutely radiate creativity and imagination. It's if you choose to question your surroundings instead of just going with the flow. That's what smartness is about people. Don't put so much stock into standardized tests and IQ's and whatnot. Creativity and Imagination are the true indicators of that nice little thing called being smart.


Da Old Man said...

Entire college courses have been devoted to what defines intelligence. Gardner deiced there are 7 types. After studying for years, he decided there are at least 2 more, and maybe even some beyond that. You might be interested in some of his work. Very thought provoking as was your blog post.

G. said...

da old man,
Thanks for the comment! Yes, I will definitely take a look at Gardner's work, it sounds fascinating. Intelligence really is an amazing and complex subject. I just think that the idea of "being smart" is misrepresented in our society.

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

loved this post too...

do you think school education and scores have no meaning? There has to be some metric...what should that be?

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

and thanks for submitting this post to the best three blog posts competition on blogspot....happy blogging