The Riddle of Intelligence

So, being passive can be the more clever way to behave in a certain situation. It has even been described as a sign of intelligence, when someone turns his back to problems and persons which he recognizes to be beyond his reach or not worth the effort.
But I am confronted with a certain situation which seems to challenge my intelligence and I do not know for sure if it would be the right choice to back down.
The problem that presented such a special little challenge to me is the “Zebra-Puzzle”, also famously known as “Einstein`s Riddle”. While it is not very complicated to understand, it is nevertheless quite a nut to crack when taken on seriously. Rumor has it that Einstein himself came up with this riddle in his boyhood years and that only 2% of all people have the brains to solve it at all…
Now here`s a challenge! And a teaser, too, because who doesn´t want to find out whether one indeed belongs to the circle of the chosen few who crack the case and win the crown? I know I want to be one of those. But after 4 hours of trying, I am now starting to reconsider my point of view…
And I am wondering what really makes up intelligence, what really distinguishes intelligent beings from their fellow comrades. Is it the quality to back down when you hit a wall and search for another way? Or is it the defiance to keep on trying out and coming up with different ways of how to break that wall? I know I would feel very intelligent, very self-satisfied when I would come up with the right solution to this puzzle. Even if it took me several hours. And I am sure it does count as a sign of intelligence when you solve this thing. More so when it just takes you somewhat 30 min.
I could battle on now, struggling on and on and I may still never find the right solution. Or maybe that persistence would pay off just within the next 60 min. I even spend some thought on the idea of writing a little computer program that could solve this riddle for me. And wouldn`t that be intelligent. Of course, this program I had in mind wouldn`t be so clever after all, as it would be based on the principle of simply trying out endless variations of solutions until one of them fits the required standards.
Furthermore, it would be theoretically possible to just make assumptions and guess the right solution. You could be lucky with that. The puzzle is about a Norwegian, a Spaniard, a Japanese, an Ukranian, an Englishman and their various drinking, eating and smoking habits as well as their respective housing situation. Therefore one might even be lucky by making guesses based on the worst racial stereotypes and getting the trophy of solving the puzzle that way. Which would proof again that just because someone seems to be intelligent he can still be an asshole at the same time. Intelligence does not equal good character.
But maybe good character always equals intelligence? At least to some degree?
Intelligence is not a quality easily measured, as it is made up of several faculties which cover a wide range of abilities and behaviors, from self-awareness, emotional knowledge, planning, logical thinking, problem solving to creativity and more. And a simple test, or one simple riddle won`t give you an answer to whether you are one of the intelligent ones or not.
Still it would be a start. And it would sure feel good. That`s why I am gonna give it another go tomorrow. Even though the solution would be easy at hand, right there on that Wikipedia page, just a down-scroll away…but intelligence alone is just not everything. Persistence also comes into that equation and in the end you`re running onto that wall with full speed, again and again, but with your eyes open, always looking for a new twist.
So you might hurt your head. But you will definitely know that wall way better in the end and that `s what people then call knowledge, maybe even wisdom…
That`s worth the try, again, tomorrow. Although for now, I am going to bed, not out of intelligence, not out of persistence, just because it is simply a good idea.

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