people's obsession with "intelligence"

particularly hackernews users but really like, everyone

not to be a techbro but just for a second, consider that Stack Overflow is an incredibly complete repository of help for literally every topic in software engineering. it's all freely available. you have a programming question and chances are, there's a post for that question and multiple solutions. let's ignore for a second the culture surrounding the site, and the way the solutions can sometimes be condescending and unhelpful and just consider the concept of this website, assuming that the toxicity is somehow magically solved
the scale of culture in software engineering that allows for referencing this repository of information constantly is kind of interesting. whereas you won't get a lot of help online for many engineering fields (annoyingly, tbh) you can literally get help in software engineering just like that, and even the absolute seniorest software engineers can still be found going to the same damn website to answer their questions

haskal what's the point of this

sometimes when people ask how i got good at computer i am like, well, you just need to get good at duck duck going and that's basically it. idk how to do anything i'm just good at typing queries into duckduckgo tbh

the point is you don't have to be "smart". the whole thing is computers isn't about knowing at all. it's about learning (often times by literally internet searches). you have to be willing to learn. that's all you need

what i'm annoyed by is that a lot of the time people like to talk about "intelligence" or "IQ" as some sort of fundamental property of people that gates their ability to do things and i'm here to tell you that's pseudoscience and also fake. "IQ" doesn't meaningfully predict literally anything (for example... how well you might do in school. your zip code predicts that better than "IQ". which is honestly a really sad thing to me -- the thing is that a lot of the time "intelligence" that people think about is actually just a measure of whether you are visibly lower-class and/or disabled). problem is a lot of the time you'll see techbros on about some "intelligence"-related bullshit. or the whole concept of a "10xer", which is so patently bullshit it hurts. and what also sucks is whenever i see people gatekeeping with this absolute pseudoscience, which i'll also mention has concerningly been associated with racism and eugenics. i can pretty much guarantee that your "IQ" is not a predictor of your programming ability, except specifically the extent that thinking you have a "low IQ" might discourage you from trying

straight up, if you read How to Design Programs and do the exercises you'll be on par with literal senior engineers in this fucking industry. i'm not kidding
and with a solid base in the basics you can get away with almost anything using only just-in-time knowledge acquisition (duckduckgo)

anyway, i think "intelligence" is worthless, basically. if you go to an american school these days they might tell you about what they call a "growth mindset" focused on describing your brain as a muscle that can be trained, not just stuck with some static predetermined amount of "intelligence" and tbh basically that. i think that kinda like getting physically fit, the more stuff you learn the easier it gets. the reason computers™ is a field i got into is just because a lot of the information is readily available online, and the materials you need to interact with this field is like, A Computer, which makes the barrier to entry really low compared to literally most other things. and i think that's good

fundamentally there's no special sauce to, for example learning everything that i know about on any topic. i maintain that anyone can do it if you go through the same materials as i did. anyone who tells you "intelligence" matters is a cop and should not be trusted imo. people who tell you they have "high IQ" or are a "10x rockstar" are to be ignored. you can learn whatever the heck you want to, i promise