What is Intelligence, Anyway? (Summary and Reflection)

What is Intelligence, Anyway? This article was written by Isaac Asimov based on his experience in life. He questions the aptitude test that he took when he was an army where he scored 160, a far higher score than the average of 100. Thus, with all the registering scores that he got from other intelligence tests, he believed he was a brainiac. An auto-repair man in his thought would not even score 80 in the said test; yet, in this instance, ironically he believes he’s moron because of his inadequate dexterity. The said man, whom he has an undeniably underestimation, is more capable of many things than he is. One day, that man cracked a joke to him about a deaf and mute guy who wanted to buy nails from the hardware. Because of his inability to speak, he used his two fingers and the other hand to illustrate hammer and nails. The act was successful. Then, a blind man came to buy scissors. Isaac Asimov was asked his idea how the blind man ask for scissors. Surprisingly, he gestured his two fingers like a pair of scissors. The auto-repair man laughed almost to death for his dumb answer, not even realizing that the blind man used his voice to ask for it. Isaac thought the joke caught many people, but embarrassingly, it was the contrary. He said the only reason why he didn’t get it was because he’s well-educated, and this deprives him from being very smart.

Funny it is how people can say that they are intelligent for acing exams in school, yet in life, nobody can confidently claim that it really is the true measurement. True. Academic intelligence cannot speak for our success in the future. How could a graded piece of paper defend or help us in terms of troubles and real-life problems? For me, it is wise to say that there are people who excel in academics but have a poor common sense and humor. We must understand intelligence in different ways, and we must never underestimate someone and brag about ourselves. After all, multiple intelligences were proven according to Howard Gardner. We should stop being traditional that intelligence is only based on paper-and-pencil examinations.


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