by Ron Plachno



Intelligence is a choice - Ron Plachno.

How to Become More Intelligent

Notice that I said "more intelligent." Intelligence is not an absolute. In fact, the first thing intelligent people learn is "how little they know." The second thing that they learn is that even human intelligence today is so vast they can get good at only a few fields. Even Einstein knew that. No, Einstein did not call me, ever. But his actions speak loudly. He conserved his brain power for his science loves. However, each of us certainly can become "more intelligent."

"Intelligence is a choice" - Ron Plachno

As you read the below and if you choose to become more intelligent, at some point this article will seem "moot" and pointless. You will likely say that everything written here is obvious and just common sense. Yes. But the reason I write it is that I see few people doing these things. Perhaps common sense is not so common? And I believe the world would be a safer and more interesting place the more intelligent we all become. Enough. Time to get to the points, as obvious as they may seem later.


If you wish to become intelligent, you must have an open mind and remove all preconceived notions. First of all you cannot be a total slave to a political party. That is the most obvious thing I have found that stops intelligence. Next, you cannot be a slave to an ideology. You cannot completely be a capitalist, a socialist, or a communist or similar type of ideology. All ideologies if blindly followed will stop thinking.

"Blind Loyalty begins by becoming blind." - Ron Plachno

I find that many people, even myself earlier in life, that if you are a member of a political party or a person strongly into an ideology, then you do the worst possible crime in the field of learning of all. And that crime is "beginning with the answer" that you wish it to be. If you begin with the answer, then the questions, answers, and truth itself, become meaningless.

Thirdly, it is fine to believe in God or in the alternative of being an Atheist. However, there are rules. If you choose to believe in God know that the literal belief in the Bible or other Religious book has issues. A book can still be a "Good Book" and yet not have all of the universe's science answers. On the other hand, if you choose to be an Atheist, be a wise one. Know that it is impossible for Science or Logic to prove that there is no God. I cover much of this in my fifth book, "Logic, Science, God, Human Intelligence ... and anything else I forgot (to mention)." Note that my fifth book, finished and in the copyright process, does not prove whether there is a Supreme Being or not. But it does show what the rules are to determining that all would be. And I see few or really none of those rules being discussed on TV. So, just know that things "are complex" and not to get into silly discussions that will lead nowhere. But instead, be smart and have an open mind - and please, please, be tolerant of the belief choices of others.

Accomplishing Section 1: If you accomplish section one and avoid the stoppers, you may find something great as I learned several years back. It is now far easier and faster to learn. You have removed many of the barriers. Your mind is now like a sponge, able to absorb knowledge quickly. But which of that knowledge is right or wrong? That is the next section.


It of course is hard if not impossible to tell truth from fiction. Even lie detector tests we hear are not conclusive. But there are some things to watch for.

Extremes Are Most Often Simply Wrong

If a person tells you that their political party, religious choice, or nationality is always right and that another one is always wrong, they are telling you something different. They are telling you that they should not be believed. Prejudice of all kinds is not only wrong and mean, but it is also stupid. People are more complex than that. I have personally seen both good and bad people actions in both US political parties, in each religious choice and in each nationality. So extremes by groups is just wrong, and it is one thing to watch for.

But this goes even further. There is no such thing as a single human who is all good or all bad. To see this, just honestly review yourself. There are things you have done that make you proud, and some you would like to take back and do over. All humans have the same issue. While I have 5.5 US Presidents that I admire, and they are split out among the parties even though I did not plan that, I would never say that means that those 5.5 US presidents were perfect. No. In each of their cases I can see things that were good and that were bad. That is ... what is being a human all about. Marriages that stay together do so because the two people look past the occasional humanness of the other. So if a person tells you that someone is all good or all bad, then they are likely a bad source of information. Humans are not like that.

Too Obvious

While I suggest taking in all information or as much as you can and then "sorting" it, one thing to watch for are things that are "too convenient" for a person with a point - too obvious. I once saw a photo of a US president and his wife with their left hands over their hearts instead of their right hands. At first I went along with it ... but only for a few seconds. Then I said it was too convenient. Since I can also "photo shop" pictures, in less than 5 minutes I turned the photo back into their right hands over their hearts - and even moved the wedding rings to the correct fingers. "Too easy."

Some so called Fact Check web sites say things, and then you find easy flaws in their logic. Recall that a Fact Check site only verifies itself and should be no more believed than any other site. A good fact check site should be great at logic. I have not found one yet that I admire for logic.

I have also twice read that the child doctor, Dr. Spock had a son who committed suicide. Like the others, this seemed "too convenient" to me. So, I checked it out and it was a grandchild. I say that that is just too far removed from Dr. Spock to blame him. Why do not others check things out - especially before hate or hurting the reputation of another?

If it looks too convenient or too easy, there likely is something wrong with it.

The Puzzles Fit

I do find that after a while one can get faster at determining truth from things that they hear. While it might not be foolproof, it is likely better than most humans can do. I see life as sort of a giant puzzle. As you learn and become somewhat a believer on some of it, new puzzle pieces that come in will seem to either fit or not fit. It can be that simple. Something either makes sense with the world you are now beginning to understand, or it does not. Yes, some new information can be startling. But then it deserves to be verified .... first.

Body Language

Of course, intelligent people know that people are really "what they do" and not "what they say." Therefore I am a big believer in watching body language. If a person walks into your store and says you should buy radio advertising time, their speech and their feet do not match. Their mouth says radio advertising is best. Their feet say that personal contact is best. They just told you that personal contact is best.

But there is more, far more on body language. Not so smart people talk often and talk fast. Intelligent people are more deliberate and also more concerned that they could be in error. Also, some times the actions match the speech, and sometimes they do not. And just because a person talks loud and dresses well, that most likely means nothing, but also may mean that they are a fraud. Confucius born about 551 BC thought so as well:

"Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue."
- Confucius

Also people who show you disrespect by trying to intimidate you with "This discussion is closed" or "Most scientists agree" or "Most people agree" are most often frauds. It means that they either do not know the reasons for their belief, or they cannot defend it, or they wish to show you zero respect, or perhaps all of the above. If someone tries to give you knowledge in an intimidating manner, know that it is likely in error.

Accomplishing Section 2: I do find that while determining truth is not an exact science, one can get "decent" and faster at it, and more quickly see that which needs to be verified. This again, leads to becoming more intelligent ... faster.


A politician recently tried to make a point about Science even though some of us feel certain that "Political Science" is not really a science degree. The politician said that this item was as certain as gravity. Well, that was a bad move to make in front of some real scientists. The last I checked Science is still confused about gravity. But then again, a real Science person, or a seeker of truth, both would continue to question things. In the case of gravity, some scientists find that it seems to act differently in Space than on earth. Some scientists think gravity should have a particle associated with it, just as light has a photon particle, but have found no particle associated with gravity. And some scientists think gravity might even go in reverse during times like the "Big Bang."

But of course the list of what people "were certain of" and then were proven wrong can be a long list. At one time some people believed in bloodletting and witch craft. Many believed the earth was flat. It was common to think that asbestos saved lives. Doctors did not think they had to wash their hands before surgery. Yes, just as a scientist, we should continue to question "things we are just certain about."

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln


Know that not everyone wishes to know the truth. Some people would rather live in fantasy. Be careful. Know that one of the first thing dictators have done in the past is to eliminate the smart people, and then go to book burning to avoid others becoming smart. Be wise enough to know that "Intelligence is a choice," a choice that not everyone will make or will wish to make.

Hope this Helps someone. It very much helped me. And I had to learn it the hard way. :)

Ron Plachno - November, 2015
Portions taken from my earlier books which are all copyrighted in the US Library of Congress

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