IQ linked to ability to ignore distractions

5 Nov

Intelligence linked to ability to ignore distractions

I noticed the headline of this article fiendishly substituted “intelligence” for “IQ”.  They’re not synonymous items.  They’re related, but they’re not identical.  One can imagine the wonderful intersecting Venn diagram circles for a visual of the intersection of sets *angel chorus sounds*.

Who gets to decide what is or is not a “distraction”?  This can become an extraordinarily subtle matter in some contexts.  Life is not an IQ test, and distraction is much more easily quantified on an IQ test than in, say, trying to figure out the nature of reality.  My experience has been that some persons have an overly restrictive conception of relevance, and this actually makes them dumber than they’d otherwise be.  This happens a lot in academia — understatement of the century.

Note the interesting syncopation of this phenomenon with the present fetish for crisp explicit formalisms at any cost — these tools play an essential and laudable part, but they are not the only valid aspect of thought and expression.  Our tests exert an enormous influence in shaping the medium of discourse.  Naturally, this is hardly noticed at all.  Noticing things beyond the prescribed radius is for the sorry peasants, you see.  So annoying, uhhHHhhHH!

The obvious, politically fraught conclusion: there are tradeoffs in some areas of cognition, and a bit of neural diversity is a welcome thing.  I’d be very interested in meeting the high IQ outliers who buck the trend.



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