Often times theres something that will happen throughout my day, and It’ll spark in me to talk, yet again, about how to learn.
Most of the times when someone is considered "smart" it’s because they know a lot of things. Having a good memory, yes, is indicative of a smart person. But it’s not that uncommon to find people who can remember detail to the Nth degree who arent very good thinkers
And thinking is what makes a person smart.
Lets be clear, here: being able to read a book and then remember all of its contents is *nice* but that does not make a person smart. What makes a person smart is being able to apply what’s in the book to varying situations. Read that last bit again. I didnt say that remembering the books contents and being able to apply them was what makes a person smart, remembering wasnt even a part of it. I also, specifically, mentioned varying situations. Being able to remember that a source (book, article, web site, etc) touches on a subject is quite arguably more important than being able to remember what that source says about the subject. Why? I’m glad you asked.
Very few references (and most everything is a reference these days) tell you how to think about a subject. References simply give you information about a subject. I’ll refer to “knowing about a subject” as “learned.” So a reference can make you a “learned” person, but it cannot make you an “intelligent” person. To be intelligent requires application and thats something that a reference simply cannot provide.
But to be able to look at one problem… lets say… mow many apples you can buy for $11… and to reach back into your “learning” and come up with the idea that cross multiplication can tell you how many. Thats “intelligent.” Even if you then have to go look up how to do it again making that connection is the key to intelligence.
I’m sure that Mark Twain would agree with me that too many folk walk around proclaiming the virtue of intelligence when, in fact, possess only the sin of regurgitation
The bottom line is that if you desire to learn to be intelligent, stop trying to memorize books, and start looking for the relationships around you. How the grass relates to the rain. How the wind relates to the chimes. How the time of day relates to the temperature relates to the month. Those are intelligent thoughts to have. That the wind chimes make sound of C-minor is a learned, though not necessarily intelligent, thought.