Vote Charlie!

Are we all equally intelligent?

Posted at age 27.
Edited .

I have a deeper sense of the truth of, or more certainty of, the notion everyone is equally intelligent. (If I were high or drunk, this increased certainty may not ultimately even be because of smoking pot or drinking, for I could feasibly have arrived at this position by doing the same mental work without pot. But even then, perhaps that work would not have been performed any time soon were it not for the pot.) It’s possible this question might already be answered one way or the other, and I could gain that knowledge simply by reading the right things. But I admitted to myself I don’t have certainty one way or the other, and even knowing the information may already exist, instead of trying to look it up, I reasoned out cases for and against with Mike. After spending several hours in thought experiments, and even without totally proving to myself the truth of the notion, or totally disproving it, I can confidently say I have more respect for the notion everyone might be equally intelligent. Which is to say I can confidently say I believe it more. I could find out tomorrow this has been decidedly proven in the negative, but right now I’m not sure being shown it is false could possibly convince me. I’m not sure it couldn’t, either, though. Perhaps I will feel differently then. Perhaps in that moment I will look back at this as a crazy hallucination, or perhaps I’ll even remember it as a dream. Or perhaps I won’t remember it at all. How can I say with certainty, then, what I am feeling now really means anything at all?

What follows are some notes of what I remember from the deliberation:

intelligence measured by beans in buckets
everyone gets 1 bean per time unit
beans are time, everyone has the same time
perceived intelligence determined by shared criteria for valuing certain buckets
everyone actually equal because have same number of beans
everyone equal by virtue of everyone having same amount of time
sleep adding to buckets already existing? how distributed among those buckets?
can someone refuse a bean? / is it possible to waste time?
does our concept of intelligence have separate learned and innate components?
is intelligence perfectly correlated with age then?
or does everyone start with a certain number of beans in buckets (instincts?) and then after birth lose and gain beans at the same rate, so everyone’s beans would always be equal regardless of age?
if it’s possible everyone always has the same number of beans, it seems also possible the total of learned plus innate intelligence could always be equal for everyone, not just the learned portion (we’re assuming the product of all time spent is equally valuable regardless of what it is spent on). where we might say some people have higher innate intelligence than others, that seems similar to saying some people are smarter than others because they chose to put their beans in buckets society values. maybe if those people might truly be equally valuable regardless of bucket allocation, they could also be equal regardless of innate intelligence level. but this might break down if you say two babies born at the same time have different levels of innate intelligence, when they certainly have the same amount of learned intelligence assuming the products of all minutes are equal. does that mean if innate intelligence exists and isn’t the same for everyone, some people are by definition smarter than others?
but maybe we can solve this similarly to solving the age problem. maybe innate intelligence really is equal for everyone. if learned intelligence is equal regardless of age because you are born with some buckets filled and gain and lose beans at the same rate, maybe innate intelligence is the same, and different ways of judging it result in different assessments of individuals relative to others.
people we consider mentally deficient could be equally intelligent in the same way a child is equally intelligent as an adult
what prevents some people from getting beans faster?
what prevents people working harder from getting an advantage in intelligence? does working harder only ever cause an advantage due to the way we judge intelligence, but another set of criteria could result in that same person’s exact same actions seeming rather lazy?

we all have basically the same brain and same number of neurons. working hard can keep more neurons fired together, resulting in more powerful network over time. possible to end up less powerful due to brain structure, not due to strict number of neurons?
same brain supports equality across people, but brain changes across age. do those changes have anything to do with a true measure of intelligence? or are we looking at a different buckets issue? what would be the equally valued alternate to building a connection between two neurons, or even letting a connection die?

also talked about concept of remembering things by thinking of them within a certain forgetting threshold. really it’d be a statistical likelihood threshold.
doing something completely ridiculous so you’ll know you did it for a reason, such as throwing bath loofah into hallway because you remembered in the shower you need to do something, and the out-of-place-ness will remind you.
doing something specifically to remind you, but it works because it’s something you do for that situation, such as putting the empty bottle by the sink or writing it down. that’s not the same as throwing the loofah somewhere ridiculous, is it? not sure how to separate these, but they seem different.