I recently finished a book called Tell Me a Story by Roger Schank. The main focus of the book is that telling stories is tied to intelligence. In a nutshell, it states that the ability to take an event, synthesize it, and retell it to a listener so he understands it and can relate to it, is the mark of intelligence.
While I think this is a very important point, I wanted to select a portion of the book that deals with a different issue that I have always felt to be extremely important in the world of intelligence and learning. First, the passage:
Learning to explain phenomena such that one continues to be fascinated by the failure of one’s explanations creates a continuing cycle of thinking that is the crux of intelligence. It isn’t that one person knows more than another, then. In a sense, it is important to know less than the next person, or at least to be certain less, thus enabling more curiosity and less explaining away because one has again encountered a well-known phenomenon. The less you know the more you can find out about, and finding out for oneself is what intelligence is all about.
The reason I feel that this is important is that it is completely opposite of how most people think. I would bet that the most people think that the more you know, the smarter you are. It seems rationale. I have always felt, though, that not knowing everything is a great feeling. Being curious and wanting to find more about a subject is how you learn as a child, but as most people get older, they feel confident in what they know and don’t feel the need to be curious. Not a good idea. Becoming a curious human being is a hard thing to learn because we are nation so caught up in being correct 100% of the time that curiosity is seen as a novelty. It’s really too bad…