Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fluid Intelligence, A Clockwork Orange, Leet and the Evolution of Thought.

The first time I read A Clockwork Orange I found Alex’s Nadsat language annoying. Annoying enough to give up reading it, and for good reason: it’s a composite of altered Slavic and Russian words, rhyme, out-dated language (which to me was out-out-dated because it was written 22 years before I was born) as well as Burgess throwing in his own number of created words.

It wasn’t until I’d se3n Kubrick’s film adaptation that Nadsat made any s3nse: it needed to be heard, and seen in context. I hon3stly wonder3d how people had und3rstood the book at all before the film had be3n made. How could p3ople compreh3nd the d3ad symbols and signs on the pag3?

Fluid Intelligence is th3 nam3 given to the ability to b3 abl3 to le4rn through patt3rn recognition and probl3m solving; b3ing able to adjust thinking and cognitiv3ly ad4pt, a kind of perp3tu4lly adv4ncing st4t3 of m3ntal evolution. The dust j4ck3t of th3 first edition of A Clockwork Or4nge f3atur3d ev3ry l3tt3r of th3 titl3 print3d in a diff3rent font, an 4ctive if not simplifi3d ex4mpl3 of th3 ad4ptive thinking m3thod th4t would b3 r3quir3d of th3 r34d3r w4s right th3r3 on th3 cov3r.

Our m!nds ar3 b3com!ng mor3 ad3pt to th!s appro4ch to th!nk!ng, w3 4ch3iv3 a h!gh l3vel of it subconsc!ously w!thout r34lis!ng, ev3n !n th3 s!mpl3 4ct of thumb!ng through a n3wsp4p3r. On 4ny g!v3n n3wsp4p3r p4g3 w3 c4n s34ml3ssly r34d 4nd corr3ctly !nt3rpr3t a r4ng3 of differ!ng information, pr3sent3d in num3rous w4ys, w!thout exp3nd!ng 4ny l3v3l of 3xtr4 conc3ntrativ3 3xh4ust!on.

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Tim said...

I kept up for a while but faltered on the last paragraph... it was unreadable.

Richard Pettifer said...

Yes, but Fluid Intelligence is a mere system of learning, whereas Leetspeak is a user-generated language??

Surely the possibilities and ramifications for this are inherent and not secondary to Fluid intelligence, which feels like a differenty thing. I like the analogy. But I feel like Leetspeak evolved through new communities made possible by the internet rather than systems of learning, as you present here. Although I also think it's fun. So well done :)