Are we developing the right kind of smart?
There seems to be wide support for the idea that we are living in an “age of complexity”, which implies that the world has never been more intricate. This idea is based on the rapid pace of technological changes, and the vast amount of information that we are generating (the two are related). Yet consider that philosophers like Leibniz (17th century) and Diderot (18th century) were already complaining about information overload. The “horrible mass of books” they referred to may have represented only a tiny portion of what we know today, but much of what we know today will be equally insignificant to future generations.
In any event, the relative complexity of different eras is of little matter to the person who is simply struggling to cope with it in everyday life. So perhaps the right question is not “Is this era more complex?” but “Why are some people more able to manage complexity?” Although complexity is context-dependent, it is also determined by a person’s disposition. In particular, there are three key psychological qualities that enhance our ability to manage complexity:
The full article is a thoughtful assessment of the other two types of intelligence: Emotional and Curiosity quotients. Though thoughtful, if you think about it, it’s also rather disturbing. The author said it well:
Although IQ is hard to coach, EQ and CQ can be developed. As Albert Einstein famously said: ““I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
Yet, most of our education system is designed to augment IQ — often to the harsh suppression of the remaining 2/3rds of intelligence.
And, when you look at what passes as our world, we’ve got way too little of the last two…