What rings your bell when you think of the term-‘intelligent’? Wait....Wait....Wait! You suddenly started thing about a certain type of people. You will realize that somewhere in your mind you have portrayed the person and that person has somewhat similar appearance- smart looking, nerdy, bibliophile and introvert.(It may vary based on your past experience.) You might be able to relate your character based on these keywords and each one of us has our own measurement yardstick for intelligence. The nerdy guy of your college may not be the one whom I consider intellectually sound, because I have my own reference and own personality. Now the real question is- who is more intelligent? Whether that nerdy guy is more intelligent or the one who lives next to my door and sells furniture for living and have a sound knowledge of materials and processes. Do you need to be learned enough to talk about scientific theories and experiments? or do you need to be wise enough to understand the situation and find a solution? Who defined all these parameters?
We use this term in our everyday life and somehow universally we all consider some acts to be more intelligent over others. It means that intelligence is driven by what we call common sense than area specific knowledge. Because knowledge of a person may vary according to the field but he or she can show some common sense or apply their wisdom to any given situation. In order to find true sense of intelligence, one should break the boundaries of disciplines and fields and consider each and every individual under one shelter. We cannot consider domain experience as intelligence; because experience in itself teaches you how to deal with a particular problem overtime. True intelligence lies in solving unknown challenges and arriving at a contextual solution. For example, a facilitator at a science museum might know all the answers which you can possibly imagine during the science tour because he experiences it everyday. But a student suddenly asking a deep meaningful question about this exhibition might mark him as an intelligent fellow.
There are two ways to solve any information-centric problem.
1. Brute force : Gather almost all available data on the subject and try to find direct answers to the required question
2. Pattern Recognition : Gather critical amount of data to help you understand the context and then find key patterns to make sense of the problem; extrapolate key forms and patterns to find the solution
It is easy to train your mind to achieve a particular set of results by following brute force method but what segregates knowledgeable and intelligent people apart is the ability to understand and form patterns. For understanding the pattern of behavior, one needs to understand the issue in its purest form and apply logical brainstorming to the fundamental level. I believe that intelligence lies in understanding various different patterns and synthesizing the data to find a conclusion/solution, without being biased to a particular data-set.
Hence, the true art of intelligence lies in uncovering hidden patterns of the universe; it can either be at the scale of your marketing presentation or a PhD thesis submission at Caltech. We all are wired to find patterns through centuries of evolution. We just need to work on it consciously.