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Thread: Are people with a high intelligence born or raised? Or both?

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    Default Are people with a high intelligence born or raised? Or both?

    There seems to be a debate over whether or not people are born intelligent or raised in such a way. Do people have high intelligence because of their surroundings, or just because their parents were smart enough to provide them with such surroundings? Personally I err more on the side of genetics and environment being equally important, but I would like to hear discussions and arguments.

    (PS. This is because I want to raise my kids to be smart, not that I would overwork them to death but that I want them to grow up in an intellectually stimulating environment as best as I can, despite the fact that I only have an average intelligence. (If my kids weren't super smart I wouldn't be upset though because smartness doesn't equal happiness, and I would love them all the same.) So I started thinking about it, and now I wonder how everyone else feels on this subject.)

    (PPS. Yes I know that an internet forum is not at all a good place for such advice due to the fact that anyone can say whatever kind of crap they want to, and I would still read actual articles on this subject written by professionals. But I am writing this out of boredom and curiosity, not out of seriousness, I am not that stupid.)

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    you can learn for sure, and get "smarter" that way but aptitude however you want to measure or define I would imagine is "inborn"

    as for "parents smart enough to provide such surrounding" in that case it is still hereditary and yes genes and environment interact, epigenetics etc. but I don't actually know the details on this one. I think people would feel awfully lonely if there weren't anyone around them 'on their intellectual level to connect with,' especially if they are esp. high. I guess I like to imagine it runs in families to some degree, so at least they have that.


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    I think people would feel awfully lonely if there weren't anyone around them 'on their intellectual level to connect with,' especially if they are esp. high.
    Well I think this can be solved by finding them friends on the same level as them, just it could be harder to find ones without big egos for them. (Sometimes people with a high intellect can be a little snotty, especially if they get overpraised. This causes them to look down on others in a nasty way sometimes.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightWilderness View Post
    Well I think this can be solved by finding them friends on the same level as them, just it could be harder to find ones without big egos for them. (Sometimes people with a high intellect can be a little snotty, especially if they get overpraised. This causes them to look down on others in a nasty way sometimes.)
    ofc but sometimes it can be a vicious cycle if family ostracizes you or you cannot connect with them since that is developmentally crucial. Can impact how you relate to others.

    Some people may be quite rare too, so it might be difficult for them to connect with others even if they try.


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    Family can ostracize you for a lot of different reasons not just intelligence. I am of an average intelligence and I still find it hard to connect with other people, just for different reasons than someone with high intelligence. I think you can connect to your child no matter the level of their intelligence by having bonding time, and doing family activities together. That is just a matter of having sh*tty parents that don't even try to understand their children. Everyone can have terrible family members that put them down or don't understand them.

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    does anyone actually put forth an assertion that intelligence is entirely environmental? weird. obviously bad to be nazi about it and discount the influence of environmental factors that should be leaned on to the extent possible.

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    Oh yes people do put forward that, but mostly people have mixed views on it... I think because intelligence can be a very controversial topic, people are inclined to not want their feelings to get hurt. I think it is okay to talk about it as long as you realize that intelligence is not the end all be all to everything and that there is more to life than just intelligence.

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    Some kids are better left to learn alone.
    Some will have no interest in it whatsoever.
    You'll probably be better off by waiting until you have kids, seeing what they prefer and need, and encourage them in that.
    "Intellectually stimulating" sounds daunting to me, I was better off doing things on my own. My sister wasn't, she would have needed more attention.

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    Well I mean my plan was to just provide opportunities for my children. I guess now that I think about it yeah it kind of comes off like "HAHAH TiMe fOr AdVanCeD CaLcUlUs Little Timmy!!" "But mom I am only 8!" What I meant to say was I will provide them opportunities to figure out what they want to do in life and when they know what they want to do they can choose to study it by themselves.

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    If they want to become gamers or become office workers or just chill I don't have a problem.

    Just I don't want them to have all this technology and bad influences and things like that. Not that I would coddle them away from the real world either. I won't even pressure them to get good grades, that would be very hypocritical of me. If they want to quit school and learn their passion I will let them provided they are actually dropping out for those reasons.

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    I think it's more that environment is necessary to see intelligence, it contains all the enablers and limiters required to express intelligence, but that expression has to come from a source. Removing a dam on a lake is different from removing a dam on a pond.

    That said, I think like 70-90% of the variation on intelligence we see in everyday life (so not including highly intelligent individuals like 160+) is due to environmental variables and lack or presence of some factor that allows its expression.

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    Also secondly, how do we even define intelligence? Being able to process and learn information quickly? Being able to store lots of information? Or does every person possess the ability for different intelligences, mental disorders aside?

    I think intelligence is an abstract concept that is blurred and takes on different forms because everyone has a slightly different version of what intelligence means, but that there is a loose general consensus on what it can be.

    Thinking of intelligence as a dam on a lake... hmm... So if we can figure out how to chip away at this mental blockage (assuming there is such a thing) we could write a manifesto that will never be applied in real life but will be interesting to read.

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    I think most things can be attributed to both nuture & nature. I don't think it's attributed to just one factor.

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    Well obviously, and there are factors that a parent or teacher can't control. If it was only one factor, I think the human race would have already learned to stop destroying the Earth a long time ago and we would have progressed faster.

    We can only try to make it slightly better very slowly. 200 ago we had a poor literacy rate, and now reforms have been made and the average person possesses more knowledge than a person from then. But maybe that is debatable for some of you. The system isn't perfect and will never be, but the wonderful thing is that we always keep trying to improve it.

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    @MidnightWilderness I assume that it's both.

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    @xerxe You mean "How do we even define intelligence? Being able to process and learn information quickly? Being able to store lots of information?" or "nurture and nature?" or...?


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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightWilderness View Post
    @xerxe You mean "How do we even define intelligence? Being able to process and learn information quickly? Being able to store lots of information?" or "nurture and nature?" or...?

    Well, we don't really have a good definition of intelligence. We have ways of testing certain components of it (like IQ tests), but they don't really capture the whole thing. People do argue that you know it when you see it, but I don't think that's very satisfying. Whatever it is, it's probably a mix of nature and nurture.

    I listened to a psychologist who claimed that the most important years for the development of permanent intelligence occur before a child is 4-5 years old. He went on to recommend reading to young children in order to stimulate their intelligence. If nurture is involved in any way, I guess that's a good place to look for it.

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    Well my mother read to me when I was young, I could score 99th to 90th percentile on those standardized reading tests in school, but actually I am going to say that it did not in fact make me more intelligent as a person. (I was in gifted but I think this is a fluke since there were people not in this system that were clearly smarter than me and as I grow up I realize that teachers and school administrators are not always smart.)

    Yes the definition is poor, and as I learned that people value different functions I realized IQ tests suck since requires understanding abstract logic mostly.

    Also I will say that motivation and drive is more important than intelligence because if you are a good test taker you don't put effort into studying, and you end up sucking later. A willingness to learn for the appropriate reasons is going to get you a lot farther in life than some supposed intelligence that you have.

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    Also it's arguable that in school you mostly learn by reading textbooks and so you need a better understanding of words and their meanings in order to learn the information correctly. Really all it would do I think is to make you very good at Language Arts and History as that is mostly reading comprehension. I don't think it would serve to make you better at math or science. I think some people learn better in different ways, like audio, visual, text, hands on, or a combination depending on the subject.

    Still there could be some truth behind what the psychologist said, who knows? 7-12 years from now I will have to research this in depth... I should write it down so I don't forget.

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    G factor or IQ is: abilities that allow people to acquire knowledge and solve problems. Think of it as processing power.
    IQ is at the very least 50% genetic, up to above 80% (we just don't know with certainty).
    IQ seems to be determined by a combination of MANY genes. You can't really raise it by another standard deviation through education, which is interesting. So a guy who didn't finish high-school can still have substantially higher IQ than a university professor.
    IQ = / = level of education or knowledge, you just need to be able to read or speak to understand the test. Some IQ tests (the better ones) don't even rely on language. Your IQ can go down however IF your environment is detrimental to your development, example if you were malnourished and lacked intellectual stimulation.

    The reason lvl of education doesn't have a really profound impact on IQ is probably, because it is just a small part of it:

    Fluid reasoning: This involves the ability to think flexibly and solve problems
    Knowledge: This is a person's general understanding of a wide range of topics and can be equated with crystallized intelligence.
    Quantitative reasoning: This involves an individual's capacity to solve problems that involve numbers.
    Visual-spatial processing: This relates to a person's abilities to interpret and manipulate visual information, such as putting together puzzles and copying complex shapes
    Working memory: This involves the use of short-term memory such as being able to repeat a list of items.

    Howard Gardner argued that there are multiple inteligences, not just G. So while one's G may be lower, one can have higher IQ in specific areas.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightWilderness View Post
    Also I will say that motivation and drive is more important than intelligence because if you are a good test taker you don't put effort into studying, and you end up sucking later. A willingness to learn for the appropriate reasons is going to get you a lot farther in life than some supposed intelligence that you have.
    Yeah, hard work gets you further than being a "genius".

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    Motivation does get you farther because if you have the capacity to learn something but never use it your ability is useless. If you are bad with one area of intelligence but still pursue it, you will know more than the person who had the ability to learn faster but never did. So long story short the tortoise and the hare.

    And yes there are different intelligences as there are different parts of the brain each person uses. This would explain why people try to come up with personality traits to assign people. But in reality there are different levels of power for each ability.

    So the real question is what motivates people to work? How much of motivation is genetic and how much of it is external factors? What external factors affect motivation in a person?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightWilderness View Post
    Motivation does get you farther because if you have the capacity to learn something but never use it your ability is useless. If you are bad with one area of intelligence but still pursue it, you will know more than the person who had the ability to learn faster but never did. So long story short the tortoise and the hare.

    And yes there are different intelligences as there are different parts of the brain each person uses. This would explain why people try to come up with personality traits to assign people. But in reality there are different levels of power for each ability.

    So the real question is what motivates people to work? How much of motivation is genetic and how much of it is external factors? What external factors affect motivation in a person?
    Motivation depends on ability. IF you are good at something you will be motivated to be more active in that area simply due to progressive success eventually achieving mastery. People often aren't aware that the reason they procrastinate and avoid dealing with certain things is because they actually suck at them and fear failure. This comes from previous experience attempting to do said thing.

    This stuff is subconscious for the most part and pushing oneself or "motivating" oneself to do stuff one isn't good at tends to end in failure, so ppl often complain that they have 0 motivation and procrastinate despite trying to force themselves or pump themselves up to do something. What one is good at tends to come effortlessly and can be sustained over time with relative ease.

    Bottom line: we can't invest energy into what we suck at. Fish out of water.

    From personal experience its probably better to look for patterns where one is over time consistently active in, try to figure out why and look for other things one can do with that specific strength. Example, I seem to be very good at visual-spacial and body-kinesthetic intelligence with logical-mathematical being ok. Other areas, especially interpersonal I tend to avoid and I procrastinate if i have to be active in these areas. I will never be good at acting, public speaking or sales IF I plan to do it in a conventional way where I require interpersonal & intrapersonal IQ.

    This is a good book to read:


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    I think it’s mostly environmental. People who are considered smart by most other people, will have been relatively privileged in life before the age of 25. I also think there are lots of different types of intelligence, and many types are generally underrated. Things like typology can help people to be more confident about their unique abilities.

    edit: Hmm ok so maybe one’s environment will not have the hugest impact on someone’s ‘natural intelligence’. But it will have some impact. I would hope that someone who has been held back in their intellectual development, would still be able to reach close to their original potential, if their life situation and motivation improved.
    Last edited by Bethany; 03-24-2021 at 07:55 PM.
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    It's ok not to have kids

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalinoche buenanoche View Post
    It's ok not to have kids
    It's OK not to have kids, but I've found that my life, in particular, is 100X better with kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    It's OK not to have kids, but I've found that my life, in particular, is 100X better with kids.
    Then it is not a but, it is an and

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalinoche buenanoche View Post
    Then it is not a but, it is an and
    Well, thinking about kids, I guess I'd have to admit that it's both a but and an and.

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    Everything important is innate. The stuff you can choose and discipline is largely secondary.

    Someone born with high max stats who doesn't discipline themselves will still end up better than someone born with low max stats who does. The latter is "the noise before defeat."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bethany View Post
    Things like typology can help people to be more confident about their unique abilities.
    Oh no it only made it worse, typology just made me feel inadequate. I don't think that I have any unique abilities and that I seem to mostly be very average at everything.

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    I mean I will only have kids once I get professionally tested for any psychological disorders, and if it turns out I have anything that will affect my parenting majorly I will not have any. I also must be at a stable point in my life, so that I can properly raise them.

    (I'm only 18 so if you are back there scared of me having kids I still have a long way to go in the mental maturity department)

    Yes it's ok not to have kids, I don't feel any pressure to have them or anything. Some people are scared of underpopulation, and others of overpopulation and I could honestly care less, just don't have kids if you aren't mentally and financially stable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grendel View Post
    "the noise before defeat."
    So using your abilities (tactics) without a plan (strategy) is bad? And having a plan (strategy) without ability (tactics) is the slowest route to victory?

    Assuming tactics mean disposing armed forces as in doing the work, an action, and strategy is planning and directing the operations of the military, as in having a goal and a vision and a solid plan.

    I assume you meant the quote "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. — Sun Tzu".

    However this could also just be my bad interpretation of what others say as usual...

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    So if I am not good at cooking,
    or being a doctor or veterinarian,
    or literature,
    or writing,
    or music,
    or science,
    or sports,
    or gardening,
    or drawing,
    or teaching,
    or debating,
    or languages,
    or much of anything else then I am either a vegetable, mentally ill, or I set too high standards for myself.

    Which I think this is a terrible conclusion. Let's go back to all the times I was motivated, when I procrastinated something until the day before it was due, I stopped worrying about my abilities and just started at least trying to finish it (Yes procrastination is not good at all in school, please don't do it), and the one time I learned algebra in a whole summer because I wanted to be in Geometry in 8th grade. If I am constantly using tactics without strategy i.e. abilities without a goal, it becomes such that I can't see any growth or progress because I expect immediate results. If I start tracking my growth at various things I can pinpoint down what I am really good at and what I am slow to learn. So the real problem is that I make long term goals that are too idealistic and I should be making realistic short term goals, and tracking my progress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightWilderness View Post
    Oh no it only made it worse, typology just made me feel inadequate. I don't think that I have any unique abilities and that I seem to mostly be very average at everything.
    You’re only young! Yes, I can see that typology might make things worse..but it might help later on. Hey, you seem smart AND likeable. Maybe you just haven’t got into your groove yet, when it comes to motivation to succeed. Some people flourish a bit later than 18 When they realise what they are most interested in.

    Every person is unique. Let your personality shine See where life takes you.
    Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

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    Your gift is two parts of a whole, solid and liquid. The liquid part is connected to the external world which can aid or hinder it's development (this is depending on how optimal conditions are). The solid part is also connected to the external, in a sense. When conditions are interpreted as either impotent, too controling, damaging in some way and this over a an extended period och time eventually the solid part will begin to break down too. Damage to the solid intelligence is worse than its counterpart the liquid. Things will had to have been quite severe for it to become like that. The liquid part is tethered to the solid part. And that means that the potential is not limitless. So both but the solid, (the one you can't change for the better) is what's going to limit you in the end (you can make yourself dumber though). This is my current understanding of it. Hope that this is readable.
    "The society that separates it's scholars from it's warriors will have it's thinking done by cowards and it's fighting by fools." ―Thucydides

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    Well I can narrow it down actually by process of elimination, based on things I have thought about doing...

    Things that take too much energy:
    Chef - No as I take 2 hours to cook anything and I have varying levels of success and I am not tidy with my work area
    Fashion - No because I again take forever with understanding what is comfortable to wear and I don't want to spend a lot of time on it
    Interior Design - Um I forgot again which chair is comfortable and again I don't care
    Teaching - Sounds very boring to always have to repeat the same facts each year and there is little room for growth in the job

    Things I don't have any skills for:
    STEM - Altogether I don't think I would be great, maybe not terrible, but definitely not going to succeed.

    Things that I have a 50% to 100% chance of succeeding in

    Writing - It's nice to just come up with a loose structure of a story and slowly fill in details and build a world, or trying to construct poems, definitely the easiest for me.
    Musician - Of course the easiest part of this job would be coming up with interesting concepts for the albums and trying to make up songs with meanings, i.e. a song about how people choose a goal for the wrong reasons, like money, or fame, or because people told them so and they end up unfulfilled in life. Or a song about how always having simple short term pleasures leads to feelings of depression and unhappiness. Or a song about unlikely winners rising up from the bottom to succeed, I would call it dark horse. Singing is also not so bad either, I know I don't have a singing voice that is trash. The hardest part would be the musical part though but I am sure if I learned some concepts I could make it.
    Drawing - I would probably only do it as a side hobby because I can get impatient and rush through and make mistakes so I would have to slowly fill in the details and work on it over a long period of time.
    History - If there were any good professions for this it would be so fun to do . Most likely I would only do it as a last resort and likely I would specialize in Russian history.
    Translator - Oh if only I was better at languages, I would translate from Russian to English because there are many works that should be translated. But probably I would end up mostly doing documents and the such like if it was professional. Maybe as a hobby from time to time.

    So basically
    1. Writer
    2. Musician

    Actually semi-realistic back up plans -
    1. Serious Translation either German or Russian
    2. Historian, likely Russia or Germany, then Central and Eastern Europe
    3. Ugh if I have to be a English teacher I will go and get qualifications for it... But I think I would lose my license complaining about the book choices for the curriculum, and going on about how I think they do not convey the themes correctly. (Too many passionate opinions there for it to be a safe profession)

    All others are side hobbies, in order of likelihood of doing it
    1. Translation
    2. Drawing

    Things I could do collaboratively as a side hobby
    1. Filmmaking (as I couldn't do any camera work but I could envision roughly what I wanted to convey in the scene) And you know I would enjoy making a documentary about underground music cultures and the history of music... Oh how I will read all the interviews of my favorite bands...

    Typology is hard when:
    1. You take it too seriously and don't understand that it is abstract and fluid
    2. You don't know anyone in real life to figure out anything about your IRs
    3. You aren't a stereotypical representation of your type
    4. You are new to it

    Although yes if I made more friends I would notice the patterns and it would help solidify my type better.


    Just it feels weird to be SEI because I have a little trouble relating to it sometimes, and I never would have guessed it if it wasn't for my boyfriend. It's not so much that I don't know what I am interested in, just that I feel unsure of the logic behind my choices and second of all, my terrible short term planning skills. Also I realize these plans have no logic to them but shush...

    Don't judge each day by your gains or progress but how much you start?

    Ahh now I read that the quote is about having the patience to realize your dreams... (Can I get points for being semi-close? )

  37. #37
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    @Outlier

    Solid - Internal intelligence that was crystalized
    Liquid - External intelligence that you apply to real life actions, you can fluctuate in your abilities to apply it but you will have a limit to it

    Solid is never changing like how fast you learn, what you are able to know, extent of your possibility to know a given subject etc.
    Liquid is skills which you apply, like being able to speak another language, or solve a math problem, etc...

    Solid affects how well you use those skills, you can make it dumber through stress, drugs, trauma, a head injury, basically things that impair your brain etc. And these things you can't cure as well as if for example you didn't study for a long time and you forgot the skill, your liquid intelligence can bounce back through study, memorization.


    Um my interpretation skills aren't amazing but I tried...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightWilderness View Post
    Solid affects how well you use those skills, you can make it dumber through stress, drugs, trauma, a head injury, basically things that impair your brain etc. And these things you can't cure as well as if for example you didn't study for a long time and you forgot the skill, your liquid intelligence can bounce back through study, memorization.
    I mean they are both internal, one type is just more in a state of change over the span of a lifetime (a person locked in an empty room would eventually become retarded). I think the concepts are a bit more abstract but yes, solid is crystallised. Both can apply to a skill any given moment too (to different extents). Pretty much anyone can learn to read cuz the baseline is pretty wide when it comes to crystallised intelligence, in this case IQ can be useful of determine deviation from the norm as in gifted or retarded. How fast you can read is largely controlled by your liquid intelligence in this case cuz you gotta read a lot to get good at it. If you just cant get it right odds are your crystallised intelligence is probably lower than normal. One is affected by what you do and one is affected but what you're put through (by own hand or others). Social interaction and curiosity are two of the major variables in this process, in my opinion. Like, a person with crystallised intelligence within what's considered "normal" can become a very potent individual by harnessing the power of the liquid one (Fortuna plays a part here too cuz it's only possible of the individual isn't stunted by some x-factor during adolescence). I don't think I'm capable of describing it better at the moment cuz I don't want to simplify it too much and ruin it.


    "The society that separates it's scholars from it's warriors will have it's thinking done by cowards and it's fighting by fools." ―Thucydides

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    I mean yes, but reading skills are not the same as reading comprehension... One can learn how to make the sounds to read quickly but that doesn't mean you grasped the meaning of the text, and depending on what the text is about, your solid intelligence will have varying levels of understanding it.

    No you don't have to simplify anything, I am just bad with abstract thinking and will likely never quite understand somethings and that is okay because I started this thread for fun and not for anything too serious.

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    the main factor is biological: genes, meal, deseases, etc
    an education studies to use the intelligence so helps with good results too
    Types examples: video bloggers, actors

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