Re: Early IQ Repost

From: Chris Capel (
Date: Tue Nov 22 2005 - 17:23:59 MST

On 11/22/05, H C <> wrote:
> Success is limited only by obsession and ambition. Intelligence speeds
> everything up, but I don't believe that it is a limiting factor in many
> situations.

I wouldn't say that either intelligence or ambition--or focus or
organization or anything else--are limiting factors. For that to be
so, an increase in one factor wouldn't lead to an overall greater
success past a point. But I don't think this holds. While a complete
lack of ambition may make it so that a greater intelligence doesn't
yield much more success, it's more of a NBNS thing--necessary, but not
sufficient--than it is a limiting thing. For reasonable levels of
ambition and intelligence and other factors, I think an increase in
one would always increase lon-term success.

Here's another quality that I think is necessary for accomplishment.
Single-mindedness. One of my own main limiting factors is a curiousity
that's unable to sit for very long on any one subject. I work very
hard on a large number of different things. It seems to me that this
particular affliction is quite common among the intelligent and is at
least as responsible for lost accomplishment as a lack of ambition.

I think it probably has something to do with want to be holistic, with
wanting to have a good grasp on the wider principles of everything.
And part of it is being smart enough to see how terrible one's
toolchain is and wanting to work on improving it instead of working on
using it to make something--spending time on "meta" aspects of one's

Chris Capel

"What is it like to be a bat? What is it like to bat a bee? What is it
like to be a bee being batted? What is it like to be a batted bee?"
-- The Mind's I (Hofstadter, Dennet)

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