You do not need intelligence people to run the world. It has always been and always will be run by the mediocres. You need intelligent people only to make a difference. And differences made too often is a very uncomfortable situation for the world. So, the world does not need too many and too much of intelligent people.

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe ( with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: Twitter: @jayajha Facebook:

31 thoughts on “Intelligence

  1. Lol!
    On the one hand, you crib about how corrupt and short-sighted politicians are destroying the country and on the other hand, you argue that “intelligent people are not needed”?
    You have divided people into intelligent and unintelligent, right? So, what is the cutoff for intelligence? Or is it fuzzy? What if the average intelligence of the world has kept changing (which is a real possibility but we dont have data on that)?

  2. Give up your obsession of proving something to people who may not be interested in your irrelevant proofs.

    This post is in no way related to the issue you have so conveniently brought in. Things are written at different levels. I have not stopped thinking about other things in life, just because our dear politicians – and all of them together – decide to throw all their foolish crap on us. This is still my personal blog and not a blog solely devoted to Honourable Minister Mr. Arjun Singh’s frustrated ambitions driven agendas.

    If you intend to discuss this post by itself, you are most welcome. Else not.

  3. Last comment was in reply to Apurva’s. Ashutosh’ comment came while I was still writing this one. So, the order might have become confusing. But Ashutosh, I hope you still got the answer.

  4. jaya, but still apporvas arguments hold
    anyway, may be i am not aware of the context
    i hope it doesnt hurt 🙂

  5. Not it doesn’t hurt. It only irritates.
    Apurva’s argument is out of context. Or I would say that he has imposed the context on this post.

    As I have said you can discuss this post by itself – meaning you can question what do I mean by intelligence, what is the tone I intended behind this post, what is the context etc. etc. As has happened in the past with several posts in this blog. But sorry! If you want to impose meaning on this post by yourself – please keep off.

  6. Hi,

    This is Jaya after college having real world experience behind her.

    This is not Jaya voice, now Jaya’s experience is speaking. Am I right, jaya?

    Ya you are right, sometime also called in maithili “jyada Mahantha say maath kharaab ho jayei chaai”. Mahantha is the symbol of Intelligence.

    Ram Manohar

  7. wtf!
    ok, maybe my pointing out the contradictory statements between your previous posts and this one was out of context. But how is this –

    You have divided people into intelligent and unintelligent, right? So, what is the cutoff for intelligence? Or is it fuzzy? What if the average intelligence of the world has kept changing (which is a real possibility but we dont have data on that)?

    out of context?

    These were genuine questions that you just sidestep on the pretext of “it is out of context”. How can you dismiss everything that someone says as out of context? And why?

  8. Give up your obsession of proving something to people who may not be interested in your irrelevant proofs.

    What proof did I give? All I did was ask questions?

    This post is in no way related to the issue you have so conveniently brought in.

    But I didn’t. Plus I preceded that statement about politicians with a ‘Lol!’. It was in jest.

    Things are written at different levels.

    So was my response. 🙂

    I hope you will see through the misunderstanding and try to have a healthy debate.

  9. Thanks for the post, Jaya. It is very insightful.

    However one tends to get affected by the intensities in surrounding posts and comments.

    I wanted to make a general comment. From a statistical point of view, most (if not all) things tend to follow a sort of normal distribution. Take the example of height. Tall parents do not have still taller children ad infinitum. Same for short parents. That is what keeps the population scattered around some mean height. It is a nature of things to converge to a central point. Measurable things would follow patterns like this. That is why perhaps we find many “mediocre” people running things. They look mediocre because some others (far fewer) are at the tail-end of the distribution, at the progressing wave-front … of what? Evolution of humanity perhaps.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. Read Nietzsche’s work. Even if u meant this post half in jest or satire, his idea of morality (that it is an invention of the weak to check the power of the strong) might seem appealing…

  11. Hi Jaya,
    Is there any certain yardstick to gauge intelligence?Ok whatever, if you look around the entire world, you will see, this world is running only by powerful people instead, intelligent!

    Does that mean, only powerful people are intelligent…What takes you to reach the pinnacle of intelligence??Gift of gab…or ..hard work…or ..

    Do you see some intelligent poeple in our political parties? So, up to some extent powerful and people running this country or world are not intelligent, do you agree?

    In short,intelligent people can make only difference.. like bill gates, steve jobs, michael dell,Ted turner,Meg whitman, etc etc..



  12. Tadatmya:

    Although I love Nietzsche, I am unsure of what to say in Jaya’s space and what kind of contextual difficulties arise out of bringing master-slave morality into an already hot pan of arguments.

    IMHO, Nietzsche tries to trace two types of morality: master-morality and slave-morality. The first kind comes from the powerful that differentiates between good and _bad_. The slave-morality differentiates between good and _evil_. What you say seems to refer to slave morality. Quoting wikipedia:

    “Slave morality begins in those people who are weak, uncertain of themselves, oppressed and abused. The essence of slave morality is utility: the good is what is most useful for the community as a whole. Since the powerful are few in number compared to the masses of the weak, the weak gain power vis-a-vis the strong by treating those qualities that are valued by the powerful as “evil,” and those qualities that enable sufferers to endure their lot as “good.” Thus patience, humility, pity, submissiveness to authority, and the like, are considered good.”

    It can be said that slave morality accepts “mediocrity” as a virtue while master morality demands “excellence” or doing your best. This sounds very contradictory, but in a society, each might have its function.

    Take care.


  13. At least some right questions are being asked now.

    I do not have any complicated explanations. But I was put off by the prejudiced comments earlier and had decided not to answer.

    Apurva: Only specific thing I have to point out to you is that there is nowhere I have used the word “unintelligent”. And so yes. Your question was out of context. And no – this is not just word play. If you still insist on it, go ahead. I won’t listen to it. And I will not give any more explanations. The opposite word was not used precisely to avoid any binary interpretation with intelligence.

    Coming to intelligence, in any given context, for any given task, there are certain people who know how to do it better than others. There are certain who would fare far better than others. In that context, those are the intelligent people. Yes – of course. That means intelligence that I am talking about is relative. So, the idea of average intelligence increasing or decreasing makes no difference.

    I had written something similar in a specific context earlier.

  14. Ok. Now you say that the question was out of context because I used the word ‘unintelligent’? I was under the impression, apparently false, that you thought it was out of context because I was trying, according to you, to bring in some other issue into the discussion!

    Anyway, coming back to the discussion about intelligence, you say in your post that intelligent people are those who make a difference. But in the previous comment, you say that there are some people who do things better than others (kinda like the A students in subjective grading) who would be considered intelligent.

    What is that sets the intelligent apart from the ‘average’? Is it just performance or some innate ability? Of course, if you consider it to be a combination of the two, then someone who is ‘average’ could have the potential to be intelligent depending on what they do. For example, if a person was working in the assembly line of a factory, s/he might be average but if put in a managerial position might excel at it and even create a difference. Then this dichotomy you create (you did create a dichotomy) becomes complicated, dont you think?

  15. You went out of context in two different ways then. And probably more remains to discovered. I have little interest in researching and justifying all the ways here.

    I have already defined intelligence “in a certain context, on a certain task”. So, once again, do not force your “universal dichotomy” on my intentions, please.

    Making a difference is what I am calling doing it far better here. It may or may not be on the existing scale. Some people may make a difference by doing far better on the existing scale of excellence (way beyond what others can achieve or have achieved). Or they can do far better by defining a new scale altogether, which will make a difference. I am not keeping either option out.

    I can already see how I have given you more chances of doing what is called “बाल की खाल निकालना” in Hindi. There is only an extent to which I’ve ever tolerated it on this blog. So, may be your next comment should come only if you have something to say on the idea and not to dissect my words and sentences.

  16. Actually I agree with what is being said…
    If you look at any given situation… People who know least about it… are actually leading it and people who know about it are directing it…
    When a group works… I have a personal belief that it works at the level of the most mediocre member… just like the weakest link in the chain…

  17. It looks like you are taking my words as an attack on you. I have nothing to prove.

    Sorry, but this has been a pointless discussion.

  18. It looks like you are taking my words as an attack on you.


    Sorry, but this has been a pointless discussion.

    Right. And this is what it appeared to me from the very beginning. And this is the reason behind my attitude, not what you wrote in the earlier sentence.

  19. It looks like you are taking my words as an attack on you.



    And this is the reason behind my attitude, not what you wrote in the earlier sentence.

    doubtful, particularly going by this statement which piqued me the most –

    Give up your obsession of proving something to people who may not be interested in your irrelevant proofs.

    Right now I am obsessed to prove that I am not obsessive. 😛
    Besides nobody really knows me better than meself, no matter what you say.

  20. Ouch! I think all that Apurva does is forcing one to be more articulate. Kind of selection pressure in evolution. In this case, a gene got deleted …

  21. seems like there are fireworks going on here!
    my take: if everyone is ‘equally intelligent’ then everyone is also equally ‘mediocre’. but since that’s not the state of affairs, it takes someone intelligent (here my use of the word may differ from yours) to make a change (whether for the better or worse). so I doubt if the changes taking place (or differences or whatever) are ever going to be too much for the world.

  22. I agree with you in principle. Actually a lot of clarity has been achieved in the later posts. For example, the mention of “existing scale” versus “new scale” is very probing and I wonder how these things get played out in a given field of experience. Too deep a thinker can get carried away to pursue something to its logical end, but which is not apparent as useful till a much later date.

    There was a mention of mind getting out of control by intelligence. The example of Vashisht Narayan Singh comes to mind. He was a great mathematician (from Bihar, trained at UC Berkeley) and currently incapacitated. A psychiatrist (also a mathematician) assured me that BN Singh is fully in control of his mental faculties. His mind moves in the realms that he has chosen to study. Other great people are known to be disturbed by the pettiness of the reality. It is not that they are silly, it is that the majority of us cannot comprehend the scale of their sensitivity.

    If we really want to explore the relationship of mediocrity to intelligence, there are some questions that arise as a result of these discussions (perhaps related to the social issues with which we are dearly concerned). The problem of inarticulate genius is one. What does a person do with thousands of brilliant ideas but not the language to translate it to the level of someone who is a generation behind?

    We say that nothing is more powerful than the idea whose time has come. And lonely is the seer and visioinary who finds himself among people with whom he cannot communicate.

    Sorry for the length. And thanks for letting me speak here.

  23. My friend worked with Lazard in India, before it was sold off of course. When he quit Lazard, his super boss called him and said, the world is full of mediocres and you have to learn to deal with them.

    Its a little difficult to do that.

    • i am informing you with immense sorrow that he has passed away.
      it’s too late now. but, at least you can visit his village basantpur(ara,bihar)
      if you want more info

  24. i want to comment on the first comment of jaya.your believe that this world is being driven by medio is false.the leader is always an intilegent person.unless he or she shows us the right way we can not work on it.many of the extra talented person have given the world such thing that we can not think of.if enstine have not given us principle of relativity we have not yet landed in you should think what you have said.

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