Knowledge or Intelligence?

a-to-z HEADER [2017] - april

Everyone is an expert, of everything and anything.  Seems I’m the only doofus who doesn’t know it all and frankly the authoritative way in which some speak about topics they clearly have gleaned information about is nauseating.  Not bored of being less than the next person, I’m tired of listening to people with half-baked internet opinions.  How can everyone know so much and how can they be so darned certain they are right all the time.  Is anyone hearing me or am I the sole dumbass out here.

Once upon a time the world was filled with people who understood how little they knew. Days of encyclopaedias and big old libraries in which to hang out and where knowledge oozed from bound tomes that weighed heavy on sturdy wooden shelves.  Shelves that sacredly bore so much intrigue and learning and wonderment.  Days when people realised there was a gap in their knowledge and they went about educating themselves in that specific topic.  They searched and pored over books and encyclopaedias and asked their parents and grandparents (now there’s a thing) and they didn’t give in until they fully grasped the concept.

Albert Einstein Quote about Intelligence and Imagination

There was a time we had insight and understood we couldn’t possibly know everything all the time. The internet has made us experts of just about everything.   Who needs a doctor when you can hook up with Google Doctor.  Once upon a time we asked the chemist about medication’s side effects now we assume Google knows best.  Unlike the learned pharmacist who had enough sense to stop at side effects.  Google Doctor lists every symptom and probable cause so we can scare ourselves into next week because now we have all the symptoms of cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems and any other thing that’s out there on the great big old world wide web (of deceit and deception).

We confuse knowledge with intellect.  Because the internet fills the learning gaps with every fact we could possibly want to know.  It doesn’t however make us more intelligent – it makes us more knowledgeable, maybe.


The difference between knowledge and intelligence is key. Knowledge is the collection of skills and information we acquire through experience and learning. Intelligence is the ability to apply knowledge.  There it is, no amount of knowledge can save us unless we have the ability to apply those skills and learning.

I don’t understand why we feel we have to know so much about so many things.  I think times are perfect for a social study on our obsession with knowledge and information.  With a Dunning-Kruger President ensconced in the White House perhaps this is an opportunity for us to watch and learn from someone who doesn’t realise how little he knows about so much.

Or maybe it will be the likes of us who realise we bear the brunt of the Dunning-Kruger effect … and Mr Trump truly does have it all together …

QP Divider

This month I am participating in the A-Z Challenge as well as following and commenting on the blogs of others who have taken up the challenge to write posts loosely related to each letter of the alphabet.  QP & Eye’s theme during this challenge is that of values – both lived and elements that add value to life.  You can find out more about the challenge here.


30 thoughts on “Knowledge or Intelligence?

  1. Fascinating. Everyone is talking down to everyone else these days. The listicle full of ‘knowledge’ is the thing. Presenting both sids of the picture makes you look as though you don’t know what you’re talking about. Its bad.


  2. “… and Mr Trump truly does have it all together …” Well, sure. We can always hope. We all try to learn as much as we can… but like Einstein said, we know that we can never understand it all. Or maybe that’s James Taylor quoting Einstein in a song lyric? I’d have to Google to know for sure. 😉 Great post, Linda. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just had a discussion related to this seconds ago with my 13-year-old! He wants to do an escape room with a few friends for his birthday. The mad scientist-themed one that interests him most says only 20% can solve it. I pointed out that the 20% included adults and that young teens had less knowledge and would therefore be at a disadvantage. He joking said I was calling him and his friends stupid, which prompted me to explain. Having not done an escape room though, I’m not sure which will come into play more in the solution, knowledge or intelligence. Definitely different things though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The arrogance of youth, eh! I “knew” more about just about anything than my parents. But by the time I was 25 I was surprised by how much they had learned ! Still makes me laugh at how cocky I was not to mention insufferable. To their credit they let me discover the depths of my ignorance by allowing me my opinions and the freedom to change them as I matured.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “The internet has made us experts of just about everything.” This one struck a particular chord to me. It’s difficult to argue with faux intellectuals who just turn to the internet to source information.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. While reading your post, recollected a resent memory… one of my cousin shared the graduation pics of his daughter. And the daughter was graduating from kindergarten!!! See now a days it takes just 2-3 years for a child to be a graduate! And it took me almost 20 odd years of life to reach up to graduation!!!!
    This is the fast paced age, I suppose. Hence every one wants to know everything and in a short while! They also have great ways and means at their disposal to do so. They may know many things superficially all though…true knowledge, forget the intelligence, is missing from the scene.
    Very thought provoking post!
    Anagha From Team MocktailMommies
    Collage Of Life

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you MocktailMommies for sharing the kindy-graduation experience. Things are dumbed down to the extent that even no achievement is recognised as an ‘achievement’. I wonder where all this will end up …


  6. I love this. This could not be more true. The only thing I truly know is that I know nothing, in the grand scheme of things. My younger sister barely made it through school but might be the most intelligent person I know. A friend with 4 different degrees, has very little intelligence besides recanting facts he’s read.
    Wonderful post. Best one of yours I’ve read.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There is so much out there now Fran and we have a few generations now who have grown up with the Internet as their main source of information. We don’t have to think for ourselves anymore, there’s always some place to go that will provide an answer, whether it be correct or otherwise. 🙂 Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That is so true! I try to stay away from Google MD because it just tells me I am dying of cancer…
    I have a tendency to get curious about random things. I look for answers on the internet and often wonder if there was no internet what would be my source of information … Back in childhood, no internet days, I use to ask my parents and grandparents, but now my questions are not the same… (eg my last google search is on “electromagnetic levitation” . lol) The available information is so vast… After reading this I wonder why do we crave to know so much?
    True, there are some people who just equate knowledge and intelligence and hence for so many children, the school system don’t work.
    The so-called experts … ugh! they break if asked for details etc.
    Nice post!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Best wishes!
    Killer’s Confession: A Poem

    Liked by 2 people

    • WOW! I am surprised by the comments to this post. I was so concerned about whether or not to publish it as I felt it was a ‘personal rant’. Seems others struggle with the same issue I do with this topic. And Karnika I agree about how students leave school with so much head-knowledge and few life-skills or common sense. It seems we’ve moved away from being able to function at a practical level preferring theory and ‘stuff’ to actually getting things done. 🙂 Linda

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I agree with you. Too many “experts” out there. Add to that some people rely too much on information obtained off the internet, without any evidence that what they are reading is even correct. What happened to verifying the sources? I remember back in school and university, the importance of obtaining your facts from primary sources. And since when did we start assuming we know better than a doctor who has spent years studying? Great post, a most interesting read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I was at uni. we were permitted one internet reference per paper and that had to have been validated by peer review. There is something satisfying about poring over reference books that I don’t get from the internet. When I read from a book I seem to actuall read rather than skim for key words. 🙂 Linda

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m with Fran. And you. Its so difficult to have a disagreement with someone on the internet without it becoming a flame war. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t have to mean they are wrong – it means that you have different perspectives. We need to be able to get along with people with different views, and not have to flame them. We can manage it in real life – the person at the water cooler who supports one political party whilst you support another, doesn’t mean it has to descend into a fisticuffs. It can mean we have an interesting discussion, share some alternate opinions and go our separate ways

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree Philipa, social media has created a generation of angry on-liners with no accountability for their output. Shame, as it whittles away at our value of mutual respect of others’ opinions. 🙂 Linda

      Liked by 2 people

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