An undergrad who gets something published feels like a star. But for someone at the top of the field, what's the test of doing well? Runners can at least compare themselves to others doing exactly the same thing; if you win an Olympic gold medal, you can be fairly content, even if you think you could have run a bit faster. But what is a novelist to do? Whereas if you're doing the kind of work in which problems are presented to you and you have to choose between several alternatives, there's an upper bound on your performance: choosing the best every time. In ancient societies, nearly all work seems to have been of this type. The peasant had to decide whether a garment was worth mending, and the king whether or not to invade his neighbor, but neither was expected to invent anything. In principle they could have; the king could have invented firearms, then invaded his neighbor.
The pressures of being a student Essay example for Free
In that respect they're more like the small man of Confucius's day, always one bad harvest (or ruler) away from starvation. Except instead of being at the mercy of weather and officials, they're at the mercy of their own imagination. Limits to me it was a relief just to realize it might be ok to be discontented. The idea that a successful person should be happy has thousands of years of momentum behind. If I was any good, why didn't I have the easy confidence winners are supposed to have? But that, i now believe, is like a runner asking "If I'm such a good athlete, why do i feel so tired?" good runners still get tired; they just get tired at higher speeds. People whose work is to invent or discover things are in the same position as the runner. There's no way for them to do the best they can, because there's no limit plan to what they could. The closest you can come is to compare yourself to other people. But the better you do, the less this matters.
And when I'm writing, four nights out of five i go to bed discontented, feeling I didn't get enough done. Advising people and writing are fundamentally different types of work. When people come to you with a problem and you have to figure out the right thing to do, you don't (usually) have to invent anything. You just weigh the alternatives and try to judge which is the prudent choice. But prudence can't tell me what sentence to write next. The search space is too big. Someone like a judge or a military officer can in much of his work be guided by duty, but duty is no guide in making things. Makers depend on essay something more precarious: inspiration. And like most people who lead a precarious existence, they tend to be worried, not contented.
Human knowledge seems to grow fractally. Time after time, something that seemed a small and uninteresting area—experimental error, even—turns out, when best examined up close, to have as much in it as all knowledge up to that point. Several of the fractal buds that have exploded since ancient times involve inventing and discovering new things. Math, for example, used to be something a handful of people did part-time. Now it's the career of thousands. And in work that involves making new things, some old rules don't apply. Recently i've spent some time advising people, and there i find the ancient rule still works: try to understand the situation as well as you can, give the best advice you can based on your experience, and then don't worry about it, knowing you did. But I don't have anything like this serenity when I'm writing an essay. What if I run out of ideas?
6 new For both Confucius and Socrates, wisdom, virtue, and happiness were necessarily related. The wise man was someone who knew what the right choice was and always made it; to be the right choice, it had to be morally right; he was therefore always happy, knowing he'd done the best he could. I can't think of many ancient philosophers who would have disagreed with that, so far as it goes. "The superior man is always happy; the small man sad said Confucius. 7 Whereas a few years ago i read an interview with a mathematician who said that most nights he went to bed discontented, feeling he hadn't made enough progress. 8 The Chinese and Greek words we translate as "happy" didn't mean exactly what we do by it, but there's enough overlap that this remark contradicts them. Is the mathematician a small man because he's discontented? No; he's just doing a kind of work that wasn't very common in Confucius's day.
How to be a good Student Essay - 466 Words bartleby
At the very least we have to go back and figure out if they were really recipes for wisdom or intelligence. But the really striking change, as intelligence and wisdom drift apart, is that we may have to decide which we prefer. We may not be report able to optimize for both simultaneously. Society seems obama to have voted for intelligence. We no longer admire the sage—not the way people did two thousand years ago. Now we admire the genius. Because in fact the distinction we began with has a rather brutal converse: just as you can be smart without being very wise, you can be wise without being very smart.
That doesn't sound especially admirable. That gets you james Bond, who knows what to do in a lot of situations, but has to rely on Q for the ones involving math. Intelligence and wisdom are obviously not mutually exclusive. In fact, a high average may help support high peaks. But there are reasons to believe that at some point you have to choose between them. One is the example of very smart people, who are so often unwise that in popular culture this now seems to be regarded as the rule rather than the exception. Perhaps the absent-minded professor is wise in his way, or wiser than he seems, but he's not wise in the way confucius or Socrates wanted people.
If they're measuring something inborn, they can't be measuring intelligence. Three year olds aren't smart. When we describe one as smart, it's shorthand for "smarter than other three year olds." Split Perhaps it's a technicality to point out that a predisposition to intelligence is not the same as intelligence. But it's an important technicality, because it reminds us that we can become smarter, just as we can become wiser. The alarming thing is that we may have to choose between the two.
If wisdom and intelligence are the average and peaks of the same curve, then they converge as the number of points on the curve decreases. If there's just one point, they're identical: the average and maximum are the same. But as the number of points increases, wisdom and intelligence diverge. And historically the number of points on the curve seems to have been increasing: our ability is tested in an ever wider range of situations. In the time of Confucius and Socrates, people seem to have regarded wisdom, learning, and intelligence as more closely related than. Distinguishing between "wise" and "smart" is a modern habit. 5 And the reason we do is that they've been diverging. As knowledge gets more specialized, there are more points on the curve, and the distinction between the spikes and the average becomes sharper, like a digital image rendered with more pixels. One consequence is that some old recipes may have become obsolete.
How to be a good College Student Essay - 541 Words bartleby
But giving the name "wisdom" to the supposed quality that enables one to do that doesn't mean such a thing exists. To the extent "wisdom" means anything, it refers to a grab-bag of qualities as various as self-discipline, experience, and empathy. 4 likewise, though "intelligent" means something, we're asking for trouble if we insist on looking for a single thing called "intelligence." And whatever its components, they're not all innate. We use the word "intelligent" as an indication of ability: a smart person can grasp things few others could. It does seem likely there's some inborn predisposition to intelligence (and wisdom too but this predisposition is not itself intelligence. One reason we tend to think of intelligence as inborn is that people trying to measure it have concentrated on the aspects of it that are most measurable. A quality that's inborn will obviously be more convenient to work with than one that's influenced by experience, and thus might vary in summary the course of a study. The problem comes when we drag the word "intelligence" over onto what they're measuring.
We need to add one more qualification: we should ignore system cases where someone knows what to do because they have inside information. 3 but aside from that, i don't think we can get much more specific without starting to be mistaken. Nor do we need. Simple as it is, this explanation predicts, or at least accords with, both of the conventional stories about the distinction between wisdom and intelligence. Human problems are the most common type, so being good at solving those is key in achieving a high average outcome. And it seems natural that a high average outcome depends mostly on experience, but that dramatic peaks can only be achieved by people with certain rare, innate qualities; nearly anyone can learn to be a good swimmer, but to be an Olympic swimmer you need. This explanation also suggests why wisdom is such an elusive concept: there's no such thing. "Wise" means something—that one is on average good at making the right choice.
difference is that "wise" means one has a high average outcome across all situations, and "smart" means one does spectacularly well in a few. That is, if you had a graph in which the x axis represented situations and the y axis the outcome, the graph of the wise person would be high overall, and the graph of the smart person would have high peaks. The distinction is similar to the rule that one should judge talent at its best and character at its worst. Except you judge intelligence at its best, and wisdom by its average. That's how the two are related: they're the two different senses in which the same curve can be high. So a wise person knows what to do in most situations, while a smart person knows what to do in situations where few others could.
1, some say wisdom and intelligence apply to different types of problems—wisdom to human problems and intelligence to abstract ones. But that isn't true. Some wisdom has nothing to do with people: for example, the wisdom of the engineer who knows certain structures are less prone to failure than others. And certainly smart people can find clever solutions to human problems as well as abstract ones. 2, another popular explanation is that wisdom comes from experience while intelligence is innate. But people are not simply wise reviews in proportion to how much experience they have. Other things must contribute to wisdom besides experience, and some may be innate: a reflective disposition, for example. Neither of the conventional explanations of the difference between wisdom and intelligence stands up to scrutiny.
my journey as a student - entrance Essay for ut austin, major
February 2007, a few days ago i finally figured out something i've wondered about for 25 years: the relationship between wisdom and intelligence. Anyone can see they're not the same by the number of people who are smart, but not very wise. And yet intelligence and wisdom do seem related. I'd say it's knowing what to summary do in a lot of situations. I'm not trying to make a deep point here about the true nature of wisdom, just to figure out how we use the word. A wise person is someone who usually knows the right thing. And yet isn't being smart also knowing what to do in certain situations? For example, knowing what to do when the teacher tells your elementary school class to add all the numbers from 1 to 100?