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Is It Possible to Make People Smarter?

Is It Possible to Make People Smarter?

stachldrat

You can teach them the right things and make them function in a smarter way, but I don't know about actually significantly raising the raw capability to form or grasp complex notions


Actualize101

I believe you can, but that's via neural plasticity and that takes a decade plus. You'd need to really need to start with young children while they're going through various brain development stages.


iFuckingHateSummer_

I believe reading makes a difference


Knights_Ferry

This is like the question of: "can you improve yourself". The answer to intelligence is no. No, you cannot improve your intelligence that is fixed. However, there are good choices and bad choices and if you read from smart people you can learn to make better decisions based off the knowledge, experience and intelligence of others. Stand on the shoulders of giants and you'll achieve far more than just being smart.


Steve_Dobbs_69

I disagree. Brain cells can hypertrophy and multiply as long as you're pushing it to learn new or difficult things. Gradually you're able to make more computations. Now while intelligence isn't fixed the derivative of how much smarter you get is kind of difficult to increase. Therefore you can increase your intelligence but the question is how fast? Initiative is actually the seed of intelligence. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2575107/](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2575107/)


Knights_Ferry

Interesting, have you ever experienced this? I want to believe this but I'm a bit of a skeptic. Three questions/points: 1) Isn't intelligence defined by the speed at which you can acquire knowledge? Thus, if the derivative of knowledge is fixed, doesn't that mean intelligence is fixed? 2) Knowledge and intelligence are different things. 3) Is brain cell count proportional to intelligence? I'm working towards my PhD in physics and there is a LOT of math that I have to do on a regular basis. Think hundreds of hours of algebra this past year. Now, through high school and college I've become much better at visually moving around the variables in my head to solve equations, however, I've found myself at a limit of about 4 algebraic steps. If I attempt more I start making mistakes. Despite new years of experience and having the capacity to solve more advanced physics problems, my basic math ability seems fixed. I should add that if you practice a problem enough times, you do get better at solving it, but that's due to memorization, as an example, there's only a certain amount of solvable advanced quantum mechanics problems in existence, once you memorize methods of how to solve them then you can perform a lot more steps since you recognize errors easier. But raw computational power doesn't seem improved. There are guys in my class that can perform an incredible number of steps in their head, for example, the classic systems of equations, ie, 3 equations, 3 variables, they can solve far faster than me. Thus, it seems quite obvious that they possess better abstract intelligence than me. If it's true that I CAN get better then I should actively try to do more steps at once.


Knights_Ferry

Well, I just realized there was a link attached to your post. Sorry about that! Wasn't showing up on mobile. Interesting article, it's quite remarkable that applying current through the brain was enough to improve intelligence. I wonder if that's damaging? If it isn't, then I could see a lot of commercial products coming out -- which tbh, would be pretty cool.


Steve_Dobbs_69

I do have experience in this. Early on I used to rely on my memory to learn things. Over the years I have switched more to concepts. You can memorize something and overtime gain the concepts, BUT it is far easier to learn concepts that lead to memorization. Switching to this gear of learning increases the speed of learning. So in your instance, I think the difference between you and your friends who can go further is that they've fleshed out the concepts a bit more than you have than just IQ. Once you've understood the concepts, your intuition does most of the leg work automatically. Then your computational power kicks in later, but by that time you're a few steps ahead. Not only that I think this intuition just keeps growing probably from brain cell hypertrophy with stronger synapses. Essentially beefing up intelligence. >Isn't intelligence defined by the speed at which you can acquire knowledge? Thus, if the derivative of knowledge is fixed, doesn't that mean intelligence is fixed? So derivative is the acceleration of acquiring knowledge not the velocity. So it depends on how much you are revving up. Have you ever tried maxing out? Not many people do, they probably stop. It is painful :) >Knowledge and intelligence are different things. True. That's another thing, retaining knowledge reservoir. >Is brain cell count proportional to intelligence? I think it's more along the lines of utilization. Maxing out leads to growth through hypertrophy and multiplication.


Knights_Ferry

I think you're right about concepts, concepts can be learned and applied to problem solving which allows quicker computation, this is why learning technique is really useful and only improves as you get older. But I'm talking about raw algebraic ability. Basic things like dividing on both sides, moving something to the other side of the equation, squaring terms, cancelling, plugging equations into a variable, etc. After a certain amount of hours of doing it, there isn't much new concepts that'll help you. It's just moving numbers around in your head and it seems to me that some people are just better at it than others, no matter how hard they try. And trust me, I've tried for years but I don't think I'm much if any better with those simple operations than I was when I was an undergrad. To use an analogy, it's like a computer with a set clock speed and memory. If you program and optimize everything well, it can perform certain tasks better, however, at some point there's a limit and an optional optimization. After that there's nothing you can do to improve the speed. Unless, you can improve the actual hardware, ie, clock speed, memory or chip wiring.


Steve_Dobbs_69

I disagree, once you've learned the concepts properly you're able to visualize the objects better. You can see computations happening without thinking about them. If you are trying, that means you really haven't learned it properly yet. Looking at grandmasters at chess is a great example. Some moves may look imperceptible and subtle, but the computations that went into making these moves have been done quickly through intuition (their conscious brain probably can't even keep up). Because the game is understood by them so well, they aren't going to sit there and "try" to think things through, their mind is trained to already see many steps ahead for multiple moves. While an intermediate player will probably sit there a bit and see the steps one by one...and then choose their moves. The grandmaster's intuitive ability far exceeds the intermediate player's because of the burden of computations that are happening at an intuitive level, literally subconsciously. From years of trained synapses. They may sometimes just know it is the right move and at that point their conscious algorithmic game comes into play, but with guidance of their intuition that has done the math already so to speak. Oh and btw most grandmasters I'd say 95% of them started when they were young children, meaning if you had them start as adults they'd probably be playing at beginner to intermediate level, more proof to me that intelligence is engrained. I think it also matters how much you like the subject matter, if you like it you will excel further because you are willing to withstand the "building" phase consisting of brain cell hypertrophy, multiplication, and synapse formation.


[deleted]

No, you can make them work harder by making them get a goal or chase something which can help them increase their logical skill. Hardwork, willpower, focus and resilience will always push people toward their goals which will build them from the ground up. I'd say it's better to be around people who build themselves than people with fancy tools unless you know how you can borrow their tools properly.


OFS_Razgriz

Absolutely. Genetic technology is already approaching a point where that is possible. The question is *should we*? We've already got immense levels of inequality. Further widening that gap by allowing the wealthy to genetically enhance that inequality would be ruinous to our civilization as we know it. Even *if* we manage to eliminate severe inequality, the idea of using genetics to artificially enhance human capabilities is incredibly dangerous. I think now is the time to start regulating not just the utilization of this technology, but all research into it whatsoever. Some knowledge is too dangerous to be left in the hands of humans.


Lord_Kirillov

What is the tech that can make people smarter? Please do share


Steve_Dobbs_69

It's very easy. You create stress on the brain by reading absurd amounts of material. Anything and everything. The more difficult, the better. The genes will be activated.


OFS_Razgriz

They literally talk about it in the article. Using CRISPR and genetic technology to pick and choose the attributes you want in your kid.


Lord_Kirillov

Didn’t realise there was article. Thanks)))