Knowledge can be collected, hoarded. Intelligence is selective. Both can be trained. In the digital society, intelligence gains importance from knowledge every day. Knowledge, data is worth gold and traded. Without context (s), without intelligence, they are worth nothing.
“Learning is a way of being, not doing”
There is no truth. There are only several (lived) realities. This broad-minded attitude is intelligence. How is this intelligence formed? Embracing and integrating opposing ideas ensures that we get a blurry image of the shape.
Are we still living in a knowledge economy or should we rather call this 4.0 version intelligence economy or “network economy“? Intelligence has always been valuable, but now it forms the inevitable future of “learning”.
To build that intelligence you must first let go of everything you know. Get out of your own mind frame. Take a curious position with an open-minded, open mind. If you read something with the critical eye – with as goal to find out what is right and wrong – then you limit your learning moments. You are going to limit an experience that has different dimensions to only 2 dimensions.
What if you don’t focus on one point?
Our society insists on focus. If you have different interests, people do not always appreciate this. I myself get countless times the question: “what are you doing?” Nine out of ten times a response follows: “That is a lot … shouldn’t you be focusing?” You cannot have a goal in your life if your interests go in all directions. You are an “eternal” doubter … you urgently need to focus and do “something” with your life. People are pushed to specialize and devote their lives to this one chosen, sometimes insufficiently considered, expertise.
Can’t this goal lie on a meta level?
Don’t get me wrong, expertise is valuable, absolutely! Together with people whom Emilie Wapnick calls multipotentialites, experts form excellent teams, who will explore both the depth and the width and even the overlaps. Wisdom ais born between noses!
The “multipotentialites” are not eternal doubters. They have super powers that we need in the 21st century:
Idea synthesis, rapid learning and adaptability: three skills that multi-potentialites are very adept at. Skills they might lose, if pressured to narrow their focus. As a society, we have a vested interest in encouraging multipotentialites to be themselves. We have a lot of complex, multidimensional problems in the world right now, and we need creative, out-of-the-box thinkers to tackle them. Emilie Wapnick
Back to learning.
Learning is a skill. If you continue to practice this skill across diffrent domains, you are specialized as a “learner”. But not in the same way as someone who is an expert.
You learn to challenge yourself continuously. To pick up concepts from a wide range. From this broad perspective you put your focus on structures and principles instead of facts. Which means that, ironically, you can become familiar with other domains faster. The cross-pollinations that arise between the domains stimulate enormous creativity and ensure innovation. It is a very valuable benefit!
Do not search for confirmation. View the situation from different dimensions. Scientists call this Integrative complexity. It is the will to accept different perspectives, all at the same time, and to integrate them into a larger, more coherent image. This image will continue to change and will never be complete. It always integrates new elements and repels old ones. This keeps the photo print grainy and never 100% sharp. It does stimulate creativity and innovation.