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clearly you’ve never been to singapore

I was recently introduced to a strain of MUD software that I had not previously encountered. I’ve set it up on my server to play with it. I seem to be having a problem with terminal emulation when I telnet to it, where the CR/LF combo is all wrong and backspace/delete is all messed up. If anyone knows how to fix that I would appreciate knowing.

While I was creating my character, I got to thinking about how some of the attributes of a character mapped to real life. Specifically, I am thinking of intelligence and wisdom. The relationship between these two attributes is complex. It’s my opinion that when the average person thinks of “smart” or “intelligent” they are actually thinking of a combination of the two.

What IS wisdom? The dictionary definitions seem insufficient. It’s not that these definitions are wrong, they just aren’t enough. It is a hard concept to pin down in only a few words. I decided that my contribution to the definition would be, without erasing the other definitions, “the ability to apply collective human experience towards making good decisions.” The dictionary definition of intelligence is much more complete, mostly because the concept is far more concrete.

An extremely simplistic way of looking at the difference between them is to observe that intelligence is used primarily for problem solving and wisdom primarily for decision making. This statement is very easy to pick apart, of course. Both attributes are at work in either situation. Solving problems usually involves making decisions, and vice versa.

Wisdom strikes me as a methodical and thorough discipline. Regardless of whether it happens swiftly or plods along at a snail’s pace, it considers all angles and outcomes, often more than once. Intelligence on the other hand involves shortcuts and leaps of logic. Many possibilities are discarded with little consideration, either because they seem unworthy or aren’t interesting.

I believe that a person with an extremely high “score” in either attribute will have a tendency towards a lower score in the other, because they are such radically different approaches. Jadis is extremely intelligent, but her use of the Deplorable Word indicates that she has very little wisdom. Saruman also seems to fit this profile, but Gandalf has a nice balance between the two, possibly leaning towards wisdom. As for me, I think my intelligence is a little above average and perhaps my wisdom is a little below.

I just realized that the scientific method is applied intelligence tempered by wisdom. If you leave out one or the other, you have a flawed study, whether its results are correct or not.

In other news, I have updated my blog’s header graphic again. The font ought to be familiar to most of you.

By elyograg

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof.
-- J.K. Galbraith

One reply on “clearly you’ve never been to singapore”

A long time ago when I played Dungeons & Dragons the difference was explained to me thus: You can be wise but not very intelligent, and you can be intelligent but not very wise. Edith Bunker (from All in the Family) was wise but not too smart. Richard Nixon was smart but not very wise.

This distinction has always stuck with me. I dare say that my wife would say I’m intelligent but not very wise.

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