Chris Langan And The Application Of Thinking

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Chris Langan was profiled in Malcolm Gladwell’s book as “the world’s smartest man.”

The former bouncer has an IQ–for what that’s worth–measure between 195 and 210, and a controversial theory called the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe.

But in the video below he shows the organic and asymmetrical nature of thinking, in that it can be measured and concise and brilliant in one context, and seemingly broken, baseless, and fully rejected in another. (Watch the video and it will quickly become clear what I mean.)

This hints at what cognitive scientists call “Practical Intelligence”–the ability to find “the best fit between themselves and the demands of the environment.” As the video shows, there is a stark difference in the “beauty” of an idea as it moves through contexts, from imaginative and playful to more serious, clinical, and calculated. What is the takeaway for education as it becomes increasingly mobile, “real world,” and charged with digital and social media?

As students develop ideas increasingly in collaboration with others, what changes to workflow and idea processing should be adapted to account for these changes in the landscape of learning? Fundamentally, this boils down to the very nature of collaboration.