On the Nature of Human Intelligence

What is the nature of intelligence? Is it just you or the sum of you and any tools you have at your disposal? For the purposes of an IQ test, it would be just the organic part. However, on your job were it really counts, all bets are off. You are allowed any trick in the book to achieve your goal. And in your personal life, you set the rules. I submit that we have already entered the Cyborg age. It may not be exactly what you expected from reading science fiction, but the details are just speed and interface.

The typical techie has some type of wireless Internet access at most times, be it 3G, EVDO or wifi hotspot. With this technology, you are able to access such on-line resources such as Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, or the Internet Move Database. If you can access this information at any time and place, doesn’t it make it part your smarts? I mean you can get the information, perhaps not with the speedof Marilyn vos Savant. But you could easily wax her tail with the sheer volume of information available. Who played Lumpy on leave it to Beaver? Suck on that, Marilyn. It’s given that only part of intelligence is pure recall, but it’s an important part. Original and theoretical constructs are key piece of total cranial horsepower. But even each of these are based on a foundation of basic recall.You could argue based on the premise that we have been in the Cybernetic age since the first written word. But I submit that carrying around the Library of Congress is impractical. It is only the confluence of wireless devices and the Internet that finally makes the total of human knowledge available on demand.

There was a time when students weren’t allowed to use calculators during a test. Now its pretty common if not encouraged. And now we are seeing Internet access accepted on tests as well. Thus, the total of the human experience now includes handheld devices.

What is the iPad?

I’m watching all the Apple fanboys buzzing over the new iPad. General consensus seems to be that it’s underwhelming, but I think Apple may have found an interesting market niche. It’s not a computer and it not a competitor for the netbook segment. It’s a media/surf terminal. A little toy you piddle with while you’re watching TV to answer questions that pop up like “Who played Lumpy on leave it to beaver?” or “What else was that actor in?”. Or perhaps you look up the playoff scores and read your email. Just Plain Old Surfing. New acronym – JPOS ™- you heard it here first! :)

A lot of people use their laptops for this type of stuff (me included). But if you don’t have a laptop and you find your iPhone or Droid is a little inadequate for regular couch surfing, this would be a better replacement that a $$$ macbook. IMHO, a netbook is a better and more versatile option, but for an Apple person, it isn’t as desireable. As for mass market adoption, you might snag some ebook people and perhaps some that find it a sexier alternative to the eeePC. But I don’t see another iPod craze on the horizon.

My only question is ergonomics. What does it do to your wrists to balance that thing for a couple of hours? You can’t read it if you lay it down. And how do you use the keyboard on your lap? Time will tell.