Let’s assume we do, in fact, use only 10% of our brain. If you could unlock the remaining 90%, what would you do with it?
Sorry, too late for that. Having now reached a point of contented equilibrium in my life, why would I rock the boat? And besides, I didn’t achieve as much as I might have with the original 10%, so giving me the extra 90 would be throwing it down the drain.
I also wonder whether some people do have access to more than 10%: whether it’s all a clever piece of evolutionary organisation to ensure we don’t all want to be nuclear physicists. I used to threaten my kids with the most boring jobs they could think of for the rest of their lives if they didn’t do their homework – but where would we be if the jobs we don’t fancy didn’t appeal to someone else? Which is one of the reasons I strongly disapprove of the attitude that everyone should go on to university (college?). What nonsense! Why set them up to fail when they have no interest in/ aptitude for academic study? Far better for them, and for society, to honour and respect what they can do. We need supermarket shelf-packers just as much as we need supermarket CEOs. (Possibly more, in some cases.)
But then I believe that ‘stupidity’ has more to do with mental laziness and/or lack of commonsense than with lack of intellect. I’ve known well-regarded physicists who were too stupid to look both ways before crossing the road. And conversely, I’ve known people whose IQs wouldn’t set the world on fire, but for sheer practical wisdom, they were unbeatable.
As for ignorance – it comes in two flavours, to me. The first is wilful or lazy ignorance – not forgivable. The second arises from lack of opportunity. If you don’t have access to sources of information, you can’t be expected to know.
So all in all, and despite my own woeful performance – let’s make the most of the 10% we’ve got, before we start being greedy and grasping about the 90% we haven’t.