Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Is intelligence wasted on the intelligent?

I read this opinion piece by Verlyn Klikenborg in the Times this morning on the value of intelligence (a stupid argument, it seemed–who is not seeking to become smarter?)

The crux of his argument is that intelligence burns more fuel, and smart ppl die sooner. How depressing. Should we value instinct more? Aren’t those who have rapid response, good instincts, more prone to survive? Here’s one of his interesting thoughts:

Every cat with an owner, for instance, is running a small-scale study in operant conditioning. I believe that if animals ran the labs, they would test us to determine the limits of our patience, our faithfulness, our memory for terrain. They would try to decide what intelligence in humans

is really for, not merely how much of it there is.

Makes sense, but I’m wondering if living a long life is the only goal. As human beings, I think we were made for more than just hanging around for 80 or so years.


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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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