Beyond Smart

Weekly I/O#31

There’s a huge gap between being smart and having important new ideas, but most people who want to be smart might think the two are identical.

Article: Beyond Smart

What made Einstein special was not his intelligence but his ability to have significant new ideas. Being very smart might be necessary for having those ideas, but the two are not identical. Many smart people don’t achieve very much since there’s a huge gap between being smart and having important new ideas.

Most people value intelligence and have the desire to be smart. However, if we can pick between “being very smart but discovering nothing new” and “being less smart but discovering new ideas”, most people will surely choose the latter.

According to Paul Graham, “The illusion of being smart matters is fostered by the fact that intelligence is much easier to measure than the value of new ideas and we were constantly being judged by this during childhood. Intelligence is the only game in town.”

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