Friday, February 23, 2007

I enjoyed Paul Graham's essay: Is It Worth Being Wise?

Paul Graham shares his thoughts about Wisdom and Intelligence in Is It Worth Being Wise? He has a number of thoughtful points.

Paul sets the stage by making a distinction between being wise and being smart. He says:

"The difference is that 'wise' means one has a high average outcome across all situations, and 'smart' means one does spectacularly well in a few."

Later he writes that wisdom and intelligence are diverging:

"In the time of Confucius and Socrates, people seem to have regarded wisdom, learning, and intelligence as more closely related than we do. Distinguishing between 'wise' and 'smart' is a modern habit. And the reason we do is that they've been diverging. As knowledge gets more specialized, there are more points on the curve, and the distinction between the spikes and the average becomes sharper, like a digital image rendered with more pixels."

This was very provokative:

"Another sign we may have to choose between intelligence and wisdom is how different their recipes are. Wisdom seems to come largely from curing childish qualities, and intelligence largely from cultivating them."

There were many other interesting thoughts and ideas. It is worth reading the whole essay.

Technorati tags: , ,

No comments: