Intelligence is defined here as having:

When you have the Right Information at the Right Time at the Right Place, you have "Intelligence."


InformationOverload is a sensation people experience, and it's relationship with this model of Intelligence hasn't been well articulated here yet. It may have been well articulated somewhere else, but we don't know where it is. ;)



Been meaning to move this one over too, for a while.

I think starting with definitions always produces problems. Especially in this case, where we already know that intelligence is almost undefinable to the point that people say: "Intelligence is what the IQ test measures". If we analyze the definition above, then we would have to to ask what the words rigth, time and place might mean in that context. Would a networked database gathering information for all times to provide them in all places automatically be an intelligent system? Doesn't right place just mean "the place where you have to fit in the answer for a problem"? Doesn't intelligence mean to be able to give answers to questions? The ability to solve problems? What about algorithms that contain intelligence? Is the tabeled information of what the result of "6x7" is just as intelligent as the ability to do any multiplication? What about the speed and efficiency of providing answers (what IQ-tests measure)? – HelmutLeitner

I think it works quite well, because for the purpose of everyday discussion, you don't need to define intelligence. Everybody knows what you mean, even if it hard to put down into words. So don't be distracted by the words "intelligence" and "definition" on this page. "Intelligence" is a term also used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – it means a certain kind of knowledge. Sometimes we also qualify certain decisions as "dumb" or "smart" – in this context you also don't have to define exactly what "smart" is. Like pornography: "I know it when I see it." You might ask what the purpose of this page is, then. I think it highlights what the potential "dumb" things are: Wrong info, wrong time, wrong place. Contrast with smart decisions, usable systems, useful systems, good decisions, timely decisions, the right thing to do. Falling back on poetry, here.

Well- Yeah. This isn't really about a person's Intelligence; This is part of a general theory of intelligence that I have. I mean more like computer science or organization's Intelligence, than individual intelligence.

To answer Helmut's particular questions:

  • Yes, a networked database to provide information is an intelligence. So, for example, the DNS system is an Intelligence System. (And we observe ChangeFailure in it.)
  • Yes, "the right place" means "the place where you have to fit in the answer for a problem."
  • Yes, intelligence here means to give answers to questions. But, you can't come up with the answer too late, consistently.
  • Yes, the intelligence needs to be able to solve problems. But, I'd say: Only the problems in it's domain.
  • Yes, a multiplication table is an adequate intelligence for the problems in it's domain. Outside of that, you'd need another intelligence system.
  • The speed and efficiency of answers is right there in the "at the right time, at the right place." Yes, yes, yes.

The CIA is sort of a neat example: You've got a gadjillion facts. Everything you need to know is on the premesis. Out of this you have to figure out the answer. Lives are on the line, and you just need to play with the rubicks cube long enough, shuffling the right information to the right place.

I put these ideas together, for reasons I can't quite articulate. I guess I just wondered: "What is Intelligence about?" I never had a college course that taught me this, and they don't teach this in High School either, and I was sort of curious about it. This is what I came up with. Now that I know it, I see that many many many people have written just this, all over the place. It is hardly a new thought. But, it wasn't obvious to me, in the beginning- it took a while to be able to articulate this. I figured it was worth recording in wiki.

This model helps focus attention, helps discrimination. We don't have to pause, and go, "Uh, well; What exactly do we mean by intelligence?" We have a clear test now. And if there's something else that we want to call intelligence, but doesn't mean this, we now can clearly contrast it.

I don't know; I guess I'm just a Cartesian. I like clear and distinct ideas.

Me too. I just feel that the clearness of ideas comes less from definitions than from using them as tools in many different situations.

Define external redirect: IntelligenceDatabase