On the perception of solitude through intelligence

N. Lygeros

Translation from French: Ph. Alsina

The status of solitude is paradoxical. It represents an individual and social feeling. Solitude is lived alone and is known by all. In this way, it is a human universal. This characteristic is the justification of the present article.

Although the fact of considering solitude as subjective is a truism, it is not in this way that we wish to approach it. Far from hindering us to study it, this truism incites us to apply the Sidis isomorphism. So we apprehend it as a variable about which we cannot say anything. Not being observable, it will not have a specific ontology. We will not interest ourselves to its nature but to its observable characteristics.

Technically, the most extreme case of solitude is the solipsistic thesis. But against the kantian opinion, we consider this thesis about its logical consistency, and in this way it constitutes a stable mental model that we will use as universal reference. For the solipsist individual, solitude identifies with existence without negative connotation.

This last is inherent to group structure: belonging creates bonds whose absence generates the feeling of solitude (loneliness). So it is strongly linked to a differential psychology. The framework of the group assembled by similarity of the individuals leads to the notion of normality. The individual does not feel solitary when amongst his peers.

At this stage, it is possible to cross the perception of solitude with the notion of intelligence. This time, the question is how the individual percieves solitude through his intelligence. It is clear that belonging to the normal population (i.e. + or - 1 sigma around the norm) leads the person to percieve solitude in an essentially circumstantial way. But the question of this perception remains in the other cases.

One of the most important points in Wechler's works is the explanation of a qualitative phenomenon through the measure of the intellectual quotient. This phenomenon is the difficulty of exchange between two beings whose relative difference pertaining to I.Q. is above fifty points (i.e. around 3 sigmas in 16 base). By itself, this idea is not disturbing, but once applied to the gaussian of intellectual quotients it reveals a new differential criterion.

An individual whose IQ is above 150 and who has then a 1 to 1000 rarity is statistically always in a situation where communication is difficult because half the population surrounding him has a fifty points difference with him. So rarity generates difficulties in exchange. What about solitude? This same individual who despite different terminologies will always be called gifted will have tremendous problems finding peers. In other words, he will always be excluded from groups of people ressembling him socially but not intellectually. So rarity on the intellectual level generates naturally the feeling of solitude.

However new this analysis may seem, it is neither strange nor surprising. The explanation of this is simple: it is only the beginning of our reasonning. But before we continue, let us consider an exeample that will be concrete for anyone who had the opportunity to know the futility of the mandatory military service. In this world in the world, the importance of the mail was capital. This phenomenon is perfectly understandable as mail was the cheapest way to communicate with the outside: the reality of always. So the mean frequency of epistolary exchanges was much higher than in a normal population. Here is set the stage of our exeample. During the recruit training phase, that was the hardest part of the period and not necessarily the most tedious, the conscripts discovered themselves. It was on this occasion that the following exchange took place.
-So you write every day?
-Sometimes even several times...
-How do you do that?
-It is a necessity...
-I don't understand.
-This is the only mode of expression I am left with.
-But we don't do anything special of the day, so what can you write about?
-My life is my thought.
Despite its artificial appearance for someone who did not live through this situation, this dialogue belongs to reality.

We have mentioned before the fact that an individual whose intellectual quotient is above 3 sigma can feel solitude independently of circumstances. But what is the feeling of an individual whose intellectual quotient is above 4 sigma? And in a more general way an individual gifted with an extreme intelligence? Unlike the first type of individuals, this last is surrounded by a population that corresponds to a crushing majority to the Wechler criterion. So, by his point of view, he always lived in solitude. But what then to think about this last if it is temporally omnipresent?

First, in this new context, the preception of solitude by the individual is simply very near this of the solipsist. Indeed, as any person is fundamentally different from the considered individual, his existence is more an act of faith that an objective reality as comparison is absent. So, for him, solitude simply represents a characteristic of existence depending strictly on his intellectual rarity. Solitude is factual, and not necessarily negative.

After those remarks, it becomes easier to understand the following extract - from les Demiurges - representing a paraphrase of Dostoïevski: We are alone and they are all. Consciousness of this solitude, inherent to its ontology, allows the individual to understand it is shared in the same way by other people having the same intellectual rarity. He then knows he is alone amongst the crowd but that others are in the same situation.

The feeling of solitude is then percieved differently if the intelligence of the individual is extreme. It represents for him a sort of meta-link in a group of isolated elements. The non-belonging to normal social groups, when generalised, induces the new group of the people that do not belong to any normal groups. The individual knows then that he is not alone to be alone. His inherent solitude is shared by others. In this case, solitude is not only generated by non-belonging to groups but generates by itself, at least in part, the perception of a group built on meta-links.

We have shown that isolated points are in fact singularities on which rests a structure generated by relations that are meta-links. In the image of the Cantor set that seems at first sight to be only dust, an that is found having the fundamental property to be isomorphic to the real set, these singularities - these equivalents to accumulation points - are essential representatives of the structure. Such is their ontological paradox: isolated by nature, essential by essence.

However the fundamental point is yet different. The absence of similitudes in their surroundings incites singularities to search for hyper-links overstpping the frame of proximity groups. This attitude generates naturally the feeling of belonging to an entity having no meaning on the local level. Because humanity has meaning only through a holistic approach, characteristic of the thoughts of the singularity, of which one of the constitutive elements is solitude.So this feeling, seemingly negative, is a mover element of human thought and through it of humanity.

A solitary does not shine because of rarity but because of humanity!

free counters