Specialness Issues....

This is something I found at The Dilbert Blog, maintained by the creator - Scott Adams himself. It struck a chord with me wrt the many things he seems to be discussing here. I may not be thinking completely rationally here, and maybe his article is just catering to a side of me that needs to be catered. But, have a read. I think it definitely will mean something to everybody! I am putting here a few quotes that just meant something to me!

According to the experts, there are many forms of intelligence. Standard IQ tests only capture a few types. But you can also have musical intelligence, social intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, and so on.

One type of intelligence that I never hear discussed – and might be the most important one – is the degree to which you believe you are “special.” Or to put it bluntly, the more special you believe you are, the stupider you are.

Your belief in your own specialness will blunt your conventional intelligence when it comes to many types of decisions. For example, if you are an Elbonian, and believe Elbonians are extra special, your approach to a problem will be “How should an Elbonian solve it?” as opposed to “What’s the best solution?” The next thing you know, you’re boiling a newt during a full moon to cure a headache, even though you have aspirin in the cupboard and know what it’s for.

If you have the same religion or political affiliation as your parents or your community – considering all the different choices available to you – then you probably have specialness problems.

When I discussed in this blog the question of whether the universe is intelligent, the people who believe humans are special objected, although they didn’t couch it in those terms. The objectors imagine Shakespeare writing those plays – a special human just like them – while discounting the contribution of the big old unspecial universe that gave cause to him. For this group, their conventional IQ is quite high, as evidenced by the sophistication of their arguments about proximate causes and semantics and intent and quantum randomness. But in the end, their conventional intelligence is thwarted by their sense of specialness. They are skeptics, damn it, and skeptics don’t accept an intelligent universe, no matter what that dictionary says is an acceptable definition of intelligence.

You can judge your own specialness quotient by your reaction to this post. If you are chuckling to yourself because humans are indeed inconsequential in the big scheme of things, you probably have no specialness issues. But if you are already writing a comment involving free will, quantum uncertainty, proximate causes, and alternate dictionary definitions of intelligence, you probably have a specialness problem.

[source: http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2007/02/the_specialness.html ]

Yeah, I know - I have practically quoted the entire post. It may have hit upon me as a revelation, for the reason that I _did_ have specialness issues. The details are still something I am coming to terms with =)!