Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Intelligence and Intelli-ladies

In an interview yesterday, Kapil Dev remarked that while Indian cricketers had loads of talent, they seemed to lack “cricket intelligence” or CI, as he called it. He said that the fact that Sachin had not won as many matches for India as he should have with his talent, made him believe that he was not in the same CI league as, say, Javed Miandad was.

Kapil makes an interesting point. I have often heard it said that Indians lacked killer instinct, but it is for the first time that I hear the word ‘intelligence’ applied in this context.

Howard Gardner was the first to theorise, in his treatise “Frames of Mind” that human intelligence was not a single entity that could be assessed by simplistic psychometric tests, but had multiple dimensions such as Visual / Spatial Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence, Logical/Mathematical Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, and Bodily / Kinesthetic Intelligence. Later he added ‘naturalist intelligence’ and ‘spiritual intelligence’ to the list. All these intelligences are important, but each person has a unique blend of these intelligences. Gardner argues that the big challenge facing the deployment of human resources is how to best take advantage of the uniqueness conferred on us as a species exhibiting several intelligences.

Thus, you could have a brilliant mathematician like Ramanujam endowed with much logical/numerical intelligence but who could be completely lacking in musical intelligence. Or, an author like R.K.Narayan high in linguistic intelligence, but poor in inter-personal skills. Some with high spatial intelligence may solve the Rubik cube in a minute, but may flunk the maths test in school the next day. While I, an otherwise intelligent person, can’t crack the Rubik’s cube even if you taught me the steps. Learning/teaching should therefore focus on the particular strength of each person and appropriate teaching modalities applied. If you want me to learn to solve Rubik's puzzle, sing out the solution melodiously.

So, intelligence can be specific to one domain and in a limited arena. Just because a top batsman has bodily/kinesthetic intelligence to execute an exquisitive cover drive or an awesome square-cut, he may not necessarily possess Cricket intelligence or CI, which is something more or that extra bit that is required to win a match.

Maybe, there is something called Bloggers Intelligence (BI) as well. Notice how some bloggers make clever use of the medium, with the right mix of humour, sensationalism and conversational style of writing, while some like me don’t manage to figure it out at all.


Usha said...

Fishing - have you tried your hand at it? you seem to be doing that pretty well!@!!
Don't manage to figure it at all? the other day I am sitting at infinitea with a group of Bangalore bloggers and I mention R.I.P series and everyone says "Brilliant!". You are at the top of the list for BI - Mr.Raj Plus Ultra!
Nice piece again, this!

Usha said...

And I forgot to mention that the VijayTimes Bloggers" park is regularly picking up posts from this site for publishing. Today's on 'How to be a teenager at 100" is perhaps your 4th they published!
Go figure!

Lalita Mukherjea said...

Raj, don't fish.

Shpriya said...

How come u didnt mention my link in ur last para? :))

Raj said...

Usha, lalita : Hey, of course I know that I write well. This wasn't false modesty and all that. What I was trying to say was that there are bloggers who don't write too much, yet have the genius to engage their readers. Do you read kiruba's blog? His posts are never more than 200 words long, but he manages a 'pull' by some interesting methods- inserting some photo which he took at an airport, or go on a long cycling tour just so he can share his experience on the blog, or mention his mob phone number for people to call him when he is delhi or Mumbai.. He makes it very lively and interactive. Hell, he is rated one of the top bloggers. That's what I call 'blogger intelligence'.

shpriya, agreed, I should have linked to your Sulekha blog