Not knowing what you know?

I feel the same: I'm not gifted with "intelligence", I'm just curious and has always been from a very young age. I might say I have good information processing skills but I'm not born with "intelligence".

I can't usually recall all the knowledge "out of blue". I need a provoking stimulus, an interesting topic/question, a piece of news..., in order to dig all the knowledge out. And when I get one, I can go on and on about talking and analyzing things. When I get it going, it's when I realize what and how much I know.

When I write essays about topics that interest me, I could go on and on; every sentence I write opens new paths to information. I could go to greater and greater details and sidetracks, but that is not usually reasonable. You have to choose the "level" of the essay and try to keep it standard thorough the essay in order to make it coherent and nice to read. If you go too much to the sidetracks, there might come across things you don't really know as well as the others, and that creates unnecessary "holes" in the essay.

I need the spark and when I get it, it exposes a huge network of information. I know I'm forming it all the time subconsciously, reading daily about different topics and observing the world. I just rarely discover the whole network in its actual size.

I don't really like fast-paced debates because they usually don't take everything into consideration. I find myself saying a lot of "but..." in debates and wanting to slow down the debate. It's like sometimes people just jump from one side of the network to the other and think they're being right, without taking all the space between those two poles into consideration. I think it's about negotiating the "level" of the debate as well: how deep should we go? I can't really talk with people who know for sure they know "it goes like this" from the very beginning of the debate. I want to cross all the bridges to know we both agree about them and if we don't, we have to discuss it, because it all affects the conclusions.

There's this Duhem-Quine thesis in philosophy of science that says you can't take one hypothesis out from the whole theory and test it to prove or disprove the whole theory, because the hypothesis is always crucially connected with the rest of theory and its background assumptions. I see everything in similar way. Everything is connected and a chance in one part of the whole can chance crucially the other part of the whole. You can't just tear parts of the whole apart, create an arbitrary new "whole" from the parts you tore and make your conclusions based on that and claim it explains it all.

Seeing things in this way is also pretty tiring, though. You can't say anything for sure without feeling like you're at least a little bit telling wrong information in one way or the other. And it can lead to the attempts to cover the whole network, go to all the sidetracks and details, e.g. in essay writing, talking.. which is very tiring and still not ever covering it all, always remaining defective.

/r/infj Thread