How to measure it. How to identify it.
That is the question.
I have come to believe currently applied modes of measuring this elusive aspect of our minds, ourselves, our bodies may, in many ways, be seriously flawed. For one, I am quite doubtful of current definitions (don’t expect me to give any examples) of the concept intelligence. And if it cannot be defined, how is it possible to determine how to measure it? Please explain, if you can. Or not.
My thinking is that, wherever “intelligence” is being kept, hidden, guarded, it is meant to be so, as it is continuously evolving and also affected by circumstances and factors we cannot begin to comprehend.
If I were to describe Spring, the third of Ali Smith’s books making up her collection of stories on the turning of the seasons, I would above all express it – along with the other volumes in the collection – as the expression of an intellect that is beyond our comprehension. It is also proof that true intelligence not necessarily requires modes of measuring used by Mensa (so tiresome with all those cognitive ability tests in the form of geometrical figures to fold and fold out, and numerical patterns to identify etc.). Where are the tests that measure the intelligence related to an understanding of the essence of being, of humanity, of the organization of society, of the psychologies that may make or break our present and future existence? I have met many a person deemed to be a genius – that clearly is not. They may be masters at figuring out complex patterns in the blink of an eye – but still not understand the workings of neither the universe nor humankind – or even of themselves.
Ali Smith is a master at identifying as well as describing and making sense of our existence. Of the good. And of the very, very bad. She makes you see, and makes you understand. And most importantly, she demands of you to become a better person (dare you become a better person? dare you ask the most daring of questions? dare you challenge all that is not right?). Why is this? For one, because she is fearless, without being reckless. And sometimes that is enough, as well as beyond what could be demanded of a storyteller. Or rather truth-teller.
My only hope is that I will never begin to doubt the power of our planet’s intelligence. Because if that were to happen, it would mean I expect us all to be doomed.
And if that were the case.
Would there be any reason for me to keep at it?
Let me assure you, I believe there is a reason. Or even many reasons.
And for one. That is why I keep on reading.
That is why I dare to believe in the power of storytelling.
And that is why I, without any hesitation, believe in Ali Smith.
One of our most important voices of reason.
Anita B Krišto © 2019