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The Genius Within review – a smart look at boosting our brains
Ads from Inoreader • Remove David Adam explores the history of intelligence and ways to improve his own, raising timely questionsWhich of us would not want to enhance our intelligence? Indeed, some ethicists, such as John Harris at Manchester University, argue that it is our duty to improve ourselves if we can, and in turn society and the quality of life for future generations. If we were more intelligent, perhaps we would invent better ways to generate energy efficiently at less cost and damage to the environment. Or generate ideas for solving political disputes without engaging in aggression and conflicts.It is interesting that when we think of improving ourselves as individuals, we immediately consider boosting “cold” cognition – logic, critical thinking, memory capacity, etc – rather than “hot” cognition – the type required for you to understand what another person is thinking, termed “theory of mind”, and so important for soft diplomacy, resolving conflicts and psychological therapy. Cold cognition is nonemotional and reflects what is measured by the intelligence test, whereas hot refers to social and emotional cognition. David Adam, author of The Genius Within, regards cold intelligence as a key target for enhancement and I agree that superior cold intelligence is a great advantage. However, many of the jobs currently available are in the service industry and while these require a certain degree of skill, such as knowledge of computer use, the ability to have theory of mind, to understand what others are thinking and feeling and to be personable and likable are essential.