Intelligence is quite different from knowledge. It is the ability to learn, to apply knowledge, to think abstractly. Or perhaps all three.
IQ is a measure of intelligence, in vain in my view. Latterly IQ has - deservedly - fallen into disrepute. But might there be another approach? My suggestion is personal and incomplete. But it is simple.
Just this: an ever-present willingness to change one’s opinions, even one’s beliefs.
Obviously such opinions must be fairly serious, arrived at via internal and external argument, tested regularly over time, and of significance in our lives. Deciding never again to watch Strictly Come Dancing doesn’t count.
I was brought up in a politically Conservative family which took The Daily Mail. Almost by osmosis I absorbed typical right-wing values and held them into my teens. Joining a professional trade union (National Union of Journalists) caused me to swing left. This was a big change but the example is unpersuasive. I was right-wing as a result of close influence; it was not an active decision on my part.
Like many males (though many resist admitting it) my adolescence was tortured by my inability to “get on” with girls. One reason I left Bradford where I was born. Marriage – in London - put me on a more even keel. Much later I became pro-feminist though some women are unimpressed by what they see as only a 25% conversion.
I used to sneer at opera. Now I spend large sums of money on it. I am mildly proud of this.
Was I ever a true-blue patriot? I can’t be sure. Certainly my preferences are international these days.
Note the qualifications. Real opinions are rarely changed lightly. But this should always be a possibility, I think. Any big changes out there?