Presentation of interligence

Greetings

I am a classical pianist, composer, and writer.

Melosophia -- a marriage of music and philosophy http://melosophia.net/
A musical salon

On this site you will find my thoughts and findings about the limitations of intelligence, and possible ways out of its blind alley. Or a way to upgrade or regenerate it.

Know that this is a rather long page. My friends tell me that “people don´t want to scroll”. Please prove my friends wrong!

I ask you for your patience because the question at hand is truly enormous. I cannot explain it to you in a sound bite. And even if I could I wouldn´t.

— Why not?

[From now, this is a dialog, which is a quite interligent format. I will explain interligence in an interligent manner.]

Because if I could explain a new idea in words that immediately rings a bell, that idea would not be really new, just make-believe new.

— All right. So what is wrong with intelligence?

One of the less obvious “wrongs” is that it is thoughtlessly regarded as something unquestionably good. It does not take long reflection to realize that the picture is more complex, but for the man in the street “intelligence” is a shining watchword.

“Intelligent” is supposedly the opposite of “stupid”. I hold that they are relatives, maybe second cousins.

Some further reservations about intelligence:

  • It is solitary and often oppositional; My intelligence against yours, ours against theirs. Its extreme (but not unusual) form is captured in the motto of the film Highlander: “There can be only one”.
  • It is more concerned with winning than cooperating, more with being right and showing off than learning something new.
  • It is an intrinsic part of the World as Competition-model.
  • It is often a win-lose affair.
  • It is no stranger to brutality, war and killing…
  • … and of course manipulation (a favorite sport of Homo sapiens).

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— Well, war is certainly not a nice thing.

Actually, wars have been strong incentives for developing a certain kind of intelligence; no average fool can invent napalm or an atomic bomb. (Read this fantastic poem by Ogden Nash about the dark side of scientific intelligence and how, this lucky time around, it all ended happily.)

ornament5b— What is “interligence”, then?

Inter means between, among, mutual, reciprocal. Intelligence says “me or you”. Interligence says “WE”.

Interligence is something that happens between people, a reciprocal flow between minds working not in unison — that could be conformist and redundant — but in concert. (Which is a happy term, since interligence is at root a musical thing.)

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— What differentiates it from intelligence?

Interligence wants well. It contains the element of kindness, something that cannot be taken for granted with intelligence. Kindness is even laughed at by many people who laud intelligence.

Why should for example a businessman be kind to another businessman, or a scientist to another scientist (who in the merely intelligent world is a competitor)? What would happen to his own carrier then? A peer review tries to “kill” a colleague´s ideas. If it doesn´t succeed, they are sound, at least until the next “killer app”, I mean killer idea, comes along.

— There´s a whole lotta killing going on, it seems.

A lot.

Note also how the word “smart” is used as synonym for “intelligent”. A fox is smart, and humans often resort to a kind of animal intelligence. They are even proud of it, when they outwit each other as foxes would, or when they invent “smart weapons”, “intelligent bombs” and fancy methods of torture.

These are some of the severe manifestations of the Opposition/Competition-impulse in action. But there is no need to talk about bombs or torture; our atmosphere is so brimfull with this impulse that we can hardly imagine a world without it. It is like smoggy air enveloping us.

— But don´t you see anything good with intelligence?

Of course I do. There is certainly a time and place for it, but it tends to occupy all time and place.  Let´s leave a glade open for interligence. Let´s not only upgrade our computers or iPads but also our thinking mode. We have been working with the same kind of intelligence for thousands of years, let´s find something better, in a new direction.

Admitted, intelligence has brought us many technical inventions and commodities. It has made our lives more streamlined, predictable and comfortable (we´re even nearing the state of optimal comfort: coma). But it has not brought us harmony and peace, or peace of mind.

Peace and intelligence are not a self-evident pair. Intelligence can start and win wars, but it cannot stop wars, because… What do you think?

— It doesn´t want to?

It would almost be like going against one´s second nature.

— Gruesome. But I am not convinced. Do we really need your new concept, this new course on our already overfull mental smorgasbord?

You make it sound as if need was decisive in our lives. Look at mobile phones. Who really, honestly needed them 20-30 years ago? And today most everybody sports one or two. Not because of need but because of cutthroat advertising. You might just as well ask if we really need the new iPhone. I don´t hear that question a lot.

But to answer your question: Yes, I see a strong need for something that works better, more harmoniously and less divisively than our customary, often mercenary intelligence. My contribution is interligence.

— Okay, so is this interligence a brand new thing?

It is not something new that never existed. I didn´t invent it. It can be found here and there, more in certain areas than in others.

Musicians, for example, work interligently: they listen to each other, don´t try to outwit each other, work for the same goal together. In the musical domain communal togetherness does not mean conformism, servility or eradicating our will. We actually like to finish the symphony simultaneously!

A recital or chamber music concert or jazz session are great examples of interligence in action.

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— Well, then the world already has interligence, no?

Not really. Even if interligence already exists in the world, it is not a force to be reckoned with. And it is lacking most where it is needed most, in areas of conflict, strife, and war.

Upgrade to Interligence is about strengthening and concentrating interligence. I am generally not a friend of this process; let plants be themselves and not just means for medical Big Pharma to isolate substances and make big money.

With interligence however, I see the need to isolate, clarify and distill. Right now it is like a slippery soap or a faint smell; it glides out of our hands, is gone with the wind before we can inhale it.

If it is to counterbalance all our amoral intelligence, interligence needs to be fortified and sharpened. And malignant intelligence defanged.

defang2— Ouch!

Yes, I think it hurts to part from the well known, oh so familiar “bite” of good old intelligence. In a way I advocate pacifism. While intelligence is like a literal sword, cutting off our enemy´s head, interligence is a figurative scalpel, removing conflict and strife and turning poisonous venom into medicine.

— I see. A technical question: Is interligence not the same as emotional intelligence or the interpersonal intelligence of Howard Gardner?

I don´t think so. Both of these can coexist with the earlier mentioned problematic traits of intelligence. An emotionally or interpersonally intelligent person can still act with a manipulative, competitive, win-lose mindset.

— Hm, are you trying to turn us into some kind of saints…?

Shh. Don´t tell.

— So if I understand you right this is going to be a series. What will it contain?

Articles, videos and podcasts covering these subjects.

  • Presentation of the basic idea of Interligence
  • How to recognize and find this rare “mushroom”
  • How to develop interligence
  • Where to find traces of it
  • How to deal with “intelliganism” (malignant intelligence)
  • Etc.

Interligence is a seemingly simple idea to wrap our minds around, but it takes some practice to really walk the interligent talk. Otherwise this page would change the world by itself. Which of course it doesn´t!

— How practical will all this going to be?

If it could be all practical it would mean that we already had the mental tools for it. I don´t see that we have. So certainly an amount of thinking is needed. But you knew that already…

However, this it no academic, bookish exercise. I do have a practical method for developing interligence. But practice is, in a way, overrated. Homo sapiens just can´t walk around and be afraid of thinking, the (practical) activity that has given name to his species.

— I agree, that would be somewhat pitiful.

Yes, wouldn´t it?



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Thank you for reading this far. Know that, in this era of impatient browsing, you are an admirable exception to the centrifugal rule. I salute you.

Ladislaus Horatius

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