Software Nerd

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Becoming more Intelligent

In one of Dr. Binswanger's lectures (I think it was Psycho-Epistemology-II) he mentions Ayn Rand commenting that writing Galt's speech made her more intelligent. [Caveat: paraphrase of paraphrase.]

Serious writing can clarify one's thinking on a topic. Better still, repeated acts of thinking actually improve one's thinking. Thinking "exercises" the mind and makes it more capable of thinking. Start with the right epistemological approach, and think, and write; then, the more you think and write, the more you can think and write.

So, if you haven't done so already, start a private journal, or a blog, or join a forum like Objectivism Online. Not a bad deal -- become more intelligent, for just $50 a year.


  • I've definitely noticed this; my post quality has improved tremendously just in the year I've been participating on

    Several people that had read my fiction writing before have commented that it is getting better and better as well.

    By Blogger Jennifer Snow, at 7:15 AM  

  • Oddly enough, I was thinking just the other day that blogging has made me more intelligent. Forcing myself to explore an issue at some depth instead of resting with a first impression and then organizing my thoughts to make a point have improved my thinking.

    By Blogger Myrhaf, at 8:17 AM  

  • I wonder if this would work for memory. Would memorizing some things "exercise" one's memory and improve one's ability to memorize other things?

    By Blogger softwareNerd, at 12:39 PM  

  • I can say that's a definite yes on the basis of anecdotal evidence. However, it's not just "memorizing things in general" it's "memorizing a specific category of things".

    For instance, when I worked at Kroger we had 4-digit number codes for produce: after a few weeks I could look at a new one once and I had it memorized. At my current job, we use 6-digit numbers a lot, and I can usually remember those now just by looking at them once.

    By Blogger Jennifer Snow, at 1:11 PM  

  • English not being my mother-tongue, posting on has helped me a lot at refining my language-skills. The great thing is that this happens as a side-effect of my attempt to understand Objectivism.

    Banning your thoughts on paper helps you see them more clearly.

    You sometimes see errors directly. It's similar to the effect you can experience when you have a problem and then call a friend. While you try to explain your problem, you find the answer before your friend has said anything.

    Writing your thoughts down means that you

    a) take your thoughts serious and
    b) enforces you to clarify them

    both of which -once this writing has influenced your thinking in general- does increase your intellingence.

    It can also boost creativity to have your thoughts on paper, because you have a different perspective now.

    All this makes me think that writing down your thoughts is well worth the effort.

    By Anonymous Felix, at 7:36 AM  

  • It's analogous to going from fuzzy pre-concept to "concept with physical word". Writing propositions down, or discussing them with a friend makes them physical.

    By Blogger softwareNerd, at 6:04 PM  

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