The two books are:
Where Are They? & Strange Brains & Genius
The first book: Where are they? is a listing of ( supposedly ) 50 solutions to Fermi's_paradox,
But regretfully, because of persistent redundancy, there are substantially fewer than the promised 50.
The predominant theme of the book that solves the paradox is that we are, in all probability; Alone in the Universe.
Life is just terribly unlikely, and if there Is some kind of auto-chemical preponderance for life to spring from non-life-- As it did on this planet; Very soon after the formation of the planet, then it is at least as improbable for the original primitive life forms to advance to the next step, and there are thousands, if not zillions, of intermediate steps that separate us smart humanimals from free swimming, skinless self-replicating molecules.
This-- of course --discounts the obvious solution that they are already here,
Acting in a completely incomprehensible manner.
The Second book is about several peculiar Genius', and how they were probably genius' Because they were mentally ill...!!! ( principally due to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy & Bipolar Personalities )
What these two books brought together for me though, was the idea that human intelligence has still one more oddity surrounding it.
Where are they? mentions that, as part of it's argument that humanimal intelligence is particularly unlikely, All mammals & some large parrots have 'about' the same level of intelligence...!
And that Humanimals, if you take away the innate ability to use language,
would neatly fall into that community bin of 'All Mammals'.
That is; All mammals, from humanimals to chimpanzees to cats to rats to grey parrots--
can all count up to about 7 without using language, and can tell large quantities from smaller ones,
and can form a reasonably detailed map of their environment.
The only thing we have over the animals in this one quirky mutation, of Language.
It allows to sort out ideas, keep track of them, and recall classes of things without too much hard thinking.
Hard thinking being the rare ability of so very few...???
Without it, we would have all the behavioral characteristics of a troupe of apes...
And considering that we've probably lost most of our 'instinctual' survival skills, and our furry coats,
we would be at a distinct disadvantage if we had to compete with them...!
( why in the world would we have lost all our fur anyways... that was sure dumb... of Evolution...!!! )
Then in Strange Brains, it brings this up again, but now considers that perfectly ordinary, dumb people,
That is; Average People-- are befreit of all the things that make the smart people able to create human culture.
Which is exactly what i've already been thinking for years and years.
But i'm also thinking these days, that there really isn't much difference between dumb and smart people after all...
i was thinking a while ago that smart people think smarter in same way that dumb people think dumbly,
But with one tiny difference...
While dumb people work out problems with their hands, by means of clumbersome trail & error,
Smart people work out those problems by trail & error, in an imaginary world, inside their heads...
And the particularly smart people are able to trick some parts of their brains into doing all this trail & error stuff away from the conscious musings of the ego, so that the solution just 'pops' into their consciousness, without any apparent thought at all...!!!
The more subconscious personalities the smart ego is able to generate and enslave, the smarter they seem...!
Another thought occurred to me at about this same time,
And that is; Humanimals seem to have just the right amount of intelligence to construct a culture and build a civilization...
If nobody had an IQ above 100, we'd all still be blissfully naked & living on the open savanna...!
But just as critically; If Everyone had an IQ of 130+, then they'd be nobody to do the necessary work that the smart people would be thinking up... Everyone would want to be the Chef, and no one would be willing to be the dishwasher.
This sort of arrangement might be alright in another 200 years, when we have plenty of robots to mow lawns,
But if had been the case when we were first moving into caves; if we had suddenly leapt forward in brain power, It would have killed us off for sure...
Curiously; We Did Leap Forward, but just the right amount, so that only 5% or so, would be the really smart people...
i think that this may be why The Asian countries have fallen behind The West-- It is because they are Too Smart...!
That instead of carefully balanced 5%, they have a destabilizing 15% of Smart people...
Which worked for them when there were hardly any of them to begin with--
But now, with a surfeit of people-- it is catching up to them...
Now then; Will we become destabilized in this same way, when our population becomes sufficiently large enough, so that our mere 5% becomes Millions of Excess Genius'...???
( With a large preponderance of them Looking for Mischief...! )