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Laziness & Intelligence

Cognisant

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It's a common trope that intelligence breeds laziness.
Actually I wonder if there's... yes there is.
Sadly enough I searched for it by name.

Well anyway I've been pursuing AI for the bazillionth time (there isn't such a thing as a bazillion? There is now: X^N) and I had the retrospectively obvious realisation that data processing complexity is increased in the pursuit of bodily efficiency, which means the more intelligent you are, the more hardwired you are to be lazy, or as I prefer to see it, the lazier you are the more potential you've got if you actually did something, well in theory anyway :p

YouTube- ‪Fatboy Slim - Right Here Right Now‬‎

Being an INTP just makes this worse, where another type may try to solve a problem through force or trial & error, we prefer to stand back and let our brain do all the work, and by nature it directs us into the path of least resistance. So if you want to stop being lazy (I can't believe I'm suggesting this) try thinking less, because it'll force you to do more, of course if we take a step back it's obvious the whole point of this is to become more capable so when you go back to thinking first, doing will take even less effort, i.e. you can be lazier still.

It's inescapable!

...and I just realised this affect my earlier saying about INTJs:
"They're like INTPs, but they do shit"
Lol, dumbasses :D

I'm kidding I'm kidding, don't hurt me.
 

Anthile

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Cognisant

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Yes in hindsight it was incredibly obvious, but when you're trying to figure out how vast amounts of chaotic data gets refined into patterns, cross referenced through abstraction into concepts and memories, before finally being involved in conscious thought, it's a breakthrough.

The missing link between bottom-up and top-down methodologies.
Our inherent pursuit of laziness is what makes us develop complicated minds, and without it we would just sit around with unused neurons until some form of negative stimuli prompted us to use them, after which we would be obsessed with whatever behavioural pattern saved us from that negative stimuli.
 

bloozie

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It doesn't bother you when you don't do anything about what you're thinking about?
 

Trebuchet

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I'm not sure I buy it. Intelligence can be used as an excuse for laziness but it isn't a very impressive one. Lots of smart people do things. Being praised for high intelligence can make one reluctant to try things, though.

I suspect high intelligence requires more sleep as brain maintenance, so if you are intelligent and have a normal schedule (not enough sleep), then being tired might cause laziness.

But I think generally, efficiency requires getting things done, and bodily efficiency requires getting some exercise, so I don't agree with your efficiency argument.

Now come the accusations that I am an INTJ or something, I'm sure.
 

Oblivious

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I notice that when I program I tend to get overambitious because of the magnificent plans I have. I overextend myself and base functions on newly rolled out functions that might not be working yet. Suffice to say that this does not work out well.

The idea is that we must work on things step by step. One reason intps are so lazy is because any effort they put forward will never be grand enough for their imaginations, and this is actually quite discouraging sometimes.

The key to getting something done is a sense of realism about what can be achieved with the resources currently at hand. It does not matter if you cannot achieve Strong AI in five hundred lines of C. You do what you can and build on it.
 

Ermine

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I'm thinking the OP's hypothesis is only true when people are praised too much for being smart. Really, it only makes sense to be lazier when you're intelligent because you're supposedly already at the top, even though that's not true at all. There is also some pride involved. People who think they're smart don't want to ruin that impression by coming across something they have a hard time with. A good way to avoid that is being lazy.
 

typus

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I'm not sure I buy it. Intelligence can be used as an excuse for laziness but it isn't a very impressive one. Lots of smart people do things. Being praised for high intelligence can make one reluctant to try things, though.

I suspect high intelligence requires more sleep as brain maintenance, so if you are intelligent and have a normal schedule (not enough sleep), then being tired might cause laziness.

But I think generally, efficiency requires getting things done, and bodily efficiency requires getting some exercise, so I don't agree with your efficiency argument.

Now come the accusations that I am an INTJ or something, I'm sure.
Interesting read, when I told my mother about it she said that when I was younger she pretty much constantly said I was smart, does this mean I have cancer?
 

snafupants

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sitting still is part and parcel of what western society calls intelligence. the act of sitting still and reading could be construed as being lazy, but i dont see it as a foible if you exercise moderately to compensate. i cant walk and chew gum - or, in this case, read - at the same time...so you could erroneously deem that laziness. i dont care. in my case, my propensity for study led to more time spent inside (sedentary) rather than the other way around. think about it, if the other way around, every inveterate tv watcher would be penning the great american novel.
 

Cognisant

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But I think generally, efficiency requires getting things done, and bodily efficiency requires getting some exercise, so I don't agree with your efficiency argument.
Yes but we're not robots plugged into the wall, we need to gather energy (food) for ourselves so of course we're always going to be doing something, efficiency isn't necessarily minimal energy expenditure, if you offer a child a bag of lollies for washing your car they'll probably do it, and it's efficient because they receive more energy than they expended in gaining it.

Btw my definition of being lazy isn't "sitting still" it's choosing not to find an activity for oneself when one has nothing to do.
 

Nyxie

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uhh. i hate admitting it, but yeah, i'm lazy. i spend too much time in my head. acting on my ideas is almost not even a concern, because i'm not really thinking of ways to implement my ideas as often as i'm considering the outcome of implementing my idea, if i did. given a choice between the two, 2/3 times i would prefer to do something to engage my mind, rather than my body.
 

Words

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Btw my definition of being lazy isn't "sitting still" it's choosing not to find an activity for oneself when one has nothing to do.
Define nothing. If the 'chosen activity' was to idle and that the origin of laziness was out of preference [subjectivity], is it still lazy? This is unless you define laziness as how society defines it. something like not caring to cooperate and be a burden.


There is now: X^N) and I had the retrospectively obvious realisation that data processing complexity is increased in the pursuit of bodily efficiency, which means the more intelligent you are, the more hardwired you are to be lazy, or as I prefer to see it, the lazier you are the more potential you've got if you actually did something, well in theory anyway
I think you've ignored how values[derived from differentiating stimulation] plays a most significant role in defining what is 'minimum' and how this factor positions the idea into a quite "It is relative" zone.


So if you want to stop being lazy (I can't believe I'm suggesting this) try thinking less, because it'll force you to do more, of course if we take a step back it's obvious the whole point of this is to become more capable so when you go back to thinking first, doing will take even less effort, i.e. you can be lazier still.
If I want to stop gauging decisions by minimality? Or if I want to move more? This type of decision[or probably all] is heavily reliant on values. But perhaps a consistent INTP problem is 'on and off values' leading to a somewhat present-oriented and "lazy" outlook. And if it is expected that the INTP will understand in the long-run that e will soon value bodily motions because of the separate yet related long-term value, this type of thinking (or less thinking) would act as a motivational tool to fool the INTP that more actions are necessary in everything. Unfortunately, it seems too similar to simply denying your preferences. But if we can influence and modify our subconscious preferences through habitual thinking...no, the benefits to the default would also disappear along with the "think mindset". Detachment seems to nourish ignoring subjectivity, thus ignoring values, thus, not wanting to do much at all, thus definition of laziness?
 

Cognisant

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Words said:
Lazy is doing the minimum?
You're not much of a reader are you?
See I wrote this too:
Cognisant said:
Yes but we're not robots plugged into the wall, we need to gather energy (food) for ourselves so of course we're always going to be doing something, efficiency isn't necessarily minimal energy expenditure
 

Words

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Yes but we're not robots plugged into the wall, we need to gather energy (food) for ourselves so of course we're always going to be doing something, efficiency isn't necessarily minimal energy expenditure
Define your efficiency. An equation? Avoidance of time and effort based on objective?
 

Cognisant

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Precisely, fuzzy logic, greater than or lesser than.

Behavioural Pattern 1 produces less energy than BP2, but BP2 expends less energy than BP1, so it's a matter of choosing the correct BP based upon which produces the energy most efficiently (although irl there's other factors too, but fuzzy logic is great for handling many factors at once). Now this pursuit of efficiency creates more complex behaviours because irl there's practically an infinite number of factors involved, so when the cognitive system has a successful behaviour it goes about refining that behaviour by retuning it according to another factor (when at first there was only two, input & output). With three factors: input, output, and colour, the system quickly learns by experimentation that (for example) red fruit yield more energy than green fruit, so the system adapts (it doesn’t choose to, it's just inherently functional) and the entity in question that's doing the thinking (this would be at a subconscious level) gains a preference for red fruit.

Actually it's a lot more complicated than that, but that's all you need to know.

If you want to argue semantics over the definitions of lazy or efficiency, go find someone else, I know my definitions and I use them, you don't need to know them, so if you don't like them, too bad.
 

Trebuchet

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With three factors: input, output, and colour, the system quickly learns by experimentation that (for example) red fruit yield more energy than green fruit, so the system adapts (it doesn’t choose to, it's just inherently functional) and the entity in question that's doing the thinking (this would be at a subconscious level) gains a preference for red fruit.
Optimal foraging strategy has a lot of evidence to back it up. And if that is what you refer to as lazy, then clearly living in a world of plenty would lead to laziness in gathering food. I'm not sure what that has to do with thinking, though. Are you saying that thinking leads to sub-optimal foraging (e.g. choosing vegetables over cake to eat)?

Your definitions are fine with me, for the purpose of this thread, but I don't see what either thinking or eating foods with higher energy have to do with laziness.

Now, I understood perfectly when you said that if you don't do anything, you have the potential to do anything. Wanting to avoid making decisions, or fear of failing once one is made, or being reluctant to close off one path in favor of another - those certainly can make one prefer laziness. It doesn't make laziness a good decision, or efficient, but it makes it appealing to sit and think about how great you could be if you wanted. Thinking less about that certainly would make one less lazy.
 

Agent Intellect

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I don't think there is any causal relationship between intelligence and laziness either way. Intelligence may cause one to be bored, but not so much lazy.

Human and other animal studies demonstrate that exercise targets many aspects of brain function and has broad effects on overall brain health. The benefits of exercise have been best defined for learning and memory, protection from neurodegeneration and alleviation of depression, particularly in elderly populations. Exercise increases synaptic plasticity by directly affecting synaptic structure and potentiating synaptic strength, and by strengthening the underlying systems that support plasticity including neurogenesis, metabolism and vascular function. Such exercise-induced structural and functional change has been documented in various brain regions but has been best-studied in the hippocampus – the focus of this review. A key mechanism mediating these broad benefits of exercise on the brain is induction of central and peripheral growth factors and growth factor cascades, which instruct downstream structural and functional change. In addition, exercise reduces peripheral risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, which converge to cause brain dysfunction and neurodegeneration. A commonmechanism underlying the central and peripheral effects of exercise might be related to inflammation, which can impair growth factor signaling both systemically and in the brain. Thus, through regulation of growth factors and reduction of peripheral and central risk factors, exercise ensures successful brain function.

(Source)

Extensive research on humans suggests that exercise could have benefits for overall health and cognitive function, particularly in later life. Recent studies using animal models have been directed towards understanding the neurobiological bases of these benefits. It is now clear that voluntary exercise can increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and other growth factors, stimulate neurogenesis, increase resistance to brain insult and improve learning and mental performance. Recently, high-density oligonucleotide microarray analysis has demonstrated that, in addition to increasing levels of BDNF, exercise mobilizes gene expression profiles that would be predicted to benefit brain plasticity processes. Thus, exercise could provide a simple means to maintain brain function and promote brain plasticity.

(Source)
 

ohrtonz

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Perhaps you are lazy in someone else point of view of seeing you just sitting there. When actually you are deep in thought trying to figure out a problem. You don't need to do everything by trial and error. You have experience with similar problems its easier to think about the possibilities because you know the possibilities. You dont need to pound away physically and visually actively to obtain the possibilities. Only when you've exhausted what you have in experience then you apply yourself to tackle it. Then, either succeed or fail then find more by trial and error.
 

Farion

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I'm tired from doing nothing all day, so I may be misunderstanding this entirely, but here is what I gathered from this:

First of all, it seems to me like laziness is either doing the least possible amount of work to reach some minimum goal, or it is the lowering of the minimum goal in order to do less work. As far as the influence of intelligence, then, we are referring to the first definition of laziness. Essentially, the smarter you are, the easier it will be to figure out the easiest [read: laziest] way of reaching a minimum goal. On top of that, if the goal is purely intellectual, such as a school assignment or some sort of theoretical problem, intelligence would just naturally make things easier, requiring less work to reach the goal.

I think the real effect on behavior stems from the fact that everyone starts out in school where everyone has roughly the same minimum goal. Because of this, intelligent students grow up having to do far less work than everyone else, meaning that they will likely carry this expectation of laziness into adulthood.

I'm not sure I understood the, "So if you want to stop being lazy (I can't believe I'm suggesting this) try thinking less, because it'll force you to do more." Oh, wait. I think I get it now (I generally get less tired as it gets closer to night :) ).
Yes in hindsight it was incredibly obvious, but when you're trying to figure out how vast amounts of chaotic data gets refined into patterns, cross referenced through abstraction into concepts and memories, before finally being involved in conscious thought, it's a breakthrough.
I got the second part of that post after I read it again (we want to be lazy, so we get smarter so we can be?), but that part with all the big words right there, I don't understand at all. Unless I do, in which case I will use it to understand it in about an hour when I'm less tired. Is there a word for something like that, where you use something to understand itself? :confused:

... I think that all made sense, assuming I'm right about what it means. I think I used too many pronouns though. Oh well.
 

Lostwitheal

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Perhaps you are lazy in someone else point of view of seeing you just sitting there. When actually you are deep in thought trying to figure out a problem. You don't need to do everything by trial and error. You have experience with similar problems its easier to think about the possibilities because you know the possibilities. You dont need to pound away physically and visually actively to obtain the possibilities. Only when you've exhausted what you have in experience then you apply yourself to tackle it. Then, either succeed or fail then find more by trial and error.
Or:

First win, then fight.
 

snafupants

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a happy person is no ones fool. this conclusion took years to come by and initially it would have been scoffed away as mawkish or nonsensical, but the blindness of happiness can not be denied. lazy or active - assuming the latter is the inverse - does it matter? even if some external calls or characterizes your actions as lazy, if its courted by happiness, full speed ahead. although there should be a distinction between short and long term happiness. television is short term gratification - for some people, not me - and long term disappointment and pain. same goes for many drugs out there, imao. laziness definitely can feed boredom and vice versa. without an impetus or reason or hope, people drown in the morass of either boredom or laziness and then one predominates for a time. given enough time and enough intelligence, the limitations of ones environment will ensure boredom; maybe, one could preclude this by being aware of the aforesaid and constantly being active, but that would require much determination and blind faith without proof that dormancy would lead to boredom or pain.
 

NiMur90

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I'm not sure I buy it. Intelligence can be used as an excuse for laziness but it isn't a very impressive one. Lots of smart people do things. Being praised for high intelligence can make one reluctant to try things, though.

I suspect high intelligence requires more sleep as brain maintenance, so if you are intelligent and have a normal schedule (not enough sleep), then being tired might cause laziness.

But I think generally, efficiency requires getting things done, and bodily efficiency requires getting some exercise, so I don't agree with your efficiency argument.

Now come the accusations that I am an INTJ or something, I'm sure.
Very interesting hypothesis. It would actually explain a lot. If I have any less than 8 hours sleep I'm jacked for the day, nevertheless, I am a bit of a night owl and I get less than that almost every night. That would probably explain why I procrastinate so much...or I might just be inherently lazy..:confused:
 

Zique

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I don't think that it is laziness that correlates with intelligence, but the effectiveness of a person might be negatively affected by intelligence, granted that intelligent people produces thoughts faster and more efficiently than someone of average intelligence. Because of that, intelligent people could end up become aloof; they could end up being caught up in their own thoughts. Because of them not being in the present moment, its harder for them to get things done. This may be mistaken for laziness, although it may just be a mere case of priorities.
 

EyeSeeCold

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My English professor said something interesting during class. She said some people procrastinate because they see an assignment as a whole body of work that can be done in one go. This coincides with what Oblivious said:
The idea is that we must work on things step by step. One reason intps are so lazy is because any effort they put forward will never be grand enough for their imaginations, and this is actually quite discouraging sometimes.
Not only do some people see a project as one body of work(time distortion?), but the steps to accomplish the work merge into one large force. Thus they subconsciously (and consciously) and contently wait until the deadline and then attempt to execute that large force so as to be efficient. Resulting in either unexpected difficulty or success by a narrow window of time.
 

Coolydudey60

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I think the origin of laziness can be traced to 2 things: firstly, being intelligent; it means that (as mentioned at the beginning) that you like to think things through before doing anything else. Also being intelligent means that sometimes people just seem incapable and you become not bothered to put any effort into them. On the other hand sometimes I just don't have enough energy to do something, or I would prefer to just let my imagination free... It can be so entertaining!
 

dark

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To the OP, not sure if your conclusion is correct in the fullness of its self, since I am not really all that intelligent, but I do have a tendency to be lazy at times.

It is really all part of perspective. I do not see any truely intelligent people, also do not see any lazy people (have to close my eyes to those people). Each person I believe is capable of any form of behavior, but some tend to stray towards certain types due to conditioning.

As for the above paragraph, if you really think you are intelligent, I bet there is someone on this forum that can show you something you didn't know. Same with in real life.

Also can anyone really answer to me what intelligence is? And I don't want a google look up definition, I can do that, but it still doesn't give what it really is, it only gives a certain perspective, which is not absolute truth. And here I go rambling on about this and that, sorry. Need some sleep.
 

wadlez

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Well anyway I've been pursuing AI for the bazillionth time (there isn't such a thing as a bazillion? There is now: X^N) and I had the retrospectively obvious realisation that data processing complexity is increased in the pursuit of bodily efficiency, which means the more intelligent you are, the more hardwired you are to be lazy, or as I prefer to see it, the lazier you are the more potential you've got if you actually did something, well in theory anyway
Work doesn't have to be physical.
Your brain doesn't absorb so much energy as to make you physically tired.
Intelligent people haven't been found to be lazier than non intelligent people (well not that I
know of).
No offense, but this theory is like something a kid made up. Its funny seeing people actually discussing it like its a good idea.


...and I just realised this affect my earlier saying about INTJs:
"They're like INTPs, but they do shit"
There primary function is Introverted iNtuition, There Extroverted function is a judging function... Pretty big differences there
 
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Well there's not much to do when you're on top. Still one must defend their title and that's when things get done. A part of me says that this is just an old wives' tale by the average folk so that one does not feel inferior in terms of intelligence. The people who do happen to fit into this "theory" may actually be self-fulfilling the prophecy (or idea in this case).
 
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