“Intelligence”, like beauty or nutrition, is defined according to historical trends, politics, availability, and political acceptance. If intelligence is defined as breadth of vocabulary, while vocabulary, as trend, is contracting, then some humans are becoming less intelligent. Those who aren’t have few people with whom to exercise that breadth of vocabulary, and so what would be the point of having it? Words go through a process of attrition. Not all words of course or we hope.
If “intelligence” is defined as knowing that when one feels cold, to go looking for shelter or to put on clothes, then, persons who have never had a need to be concerned with such things wouldn’t have it.
If “intelligence” is having a particular bon mot, historically referenced cliche, or play on words at one’s easy recall, then, it is guaranteed that such a professor with that definition will always be able to garner funding.
If “intelligence” is the ability to utter certain phrases such that all who listen are reassured of their own intelligence as well as their class standing within the esteemed audience then such members of the audience will likewise find their choice to both attend and pay for the ticket to have been brilliant and otherwise worthy of self-congratulation.
This, in my view, is why “academia” must be limited or else not only does it implode but it becomes “too intelligent” to come in out of the rain.
Is it wise to say these things? Or is it wiser to refrain from saying anything at all?