Many years later I chanced upon Isaac Asimov again and he seemed different, somehow. This 'new' Asimov was a prolific writer who was addicted to learning and writing about what he had learnt and what interested him. He wrote about the planets and artificial intelligence and human frailties and evolution.
I am now a firm fan of his wonderful writing although still not a fan of science fiction. (Strange, as I am surrounded by people who could be considered 'Trekkies' and science fiction fans to varying degrees.)
I want to share an example of Mr Asimov and his thoughts with an excerpt from his autobiography. I believe this illustrates his writing and thinking skills.
Let me know what you think.
What Is Intelligence, Anyway? By Isaac Asimov
When I was in the army, I received the kind of aptitude test that all soldiers took and, against a normal of 100, scored 160. No one at the base had ever seen a figure like that, and for two hours they made a big fuss over me.
(It didn't mean anything. The next day I was still a buck private with KP - kitchen police - as my highest duty.)
All my life I've been registering scores like that, so that I have the complacent feeling that I'm highly intelligent, and I expect other people to think so too.
Actually, though, don't such scores simply mean that I am very good at answering the type of academic questions that are considered worthy of answers by people who make up the intelligence tests - people with intellectual bents similar to mine?
For instance, I had an auto-repair man once, who, on these intelligence tests, could not possibly have scored more than 80, by my estimate. I always took it for granted that I was far more intelligent than he was.
Yet, when anything went wrong with my car I hastened to him with it, watched him anxiously as he explored its vitals, and listened to his pronouncements as though they were divine oracles - and he always fixed my car.
Well, then, suppose my auto-repair man devised questions for an intelligence test.
Or suppose a carpenter did, or a farmer, or, indeed, almost anyone but an academician. By every one of those tests, I'd prove myself a moron, and I'd be a moron, too.
In a world where I could not use my academic training and my verbal talents but had to do something intricate or hard, working with my hands, I would do poorly.
My intelligence, then, is not absolute but is a function of the society I live in and of the fact that a small subsection of that society has managed to foist itself on the rest as an arbiter of such matters.
Consider my auto-repair man, again. Read the rest of the excerpt HERE.
Related Sites:Move Over, Asimov - bentsocietyblog.blogspot.com