book, street, or both: two types of intelligence

this past friday, i was sitting, getting my locs retwisted and having my usual interesting convo with my loctitian, k. he’s ten years older than me and a pretty amazing guy.

this time i had asked him some questions about his work history and along the way, he was telling me about his thinking regarding the three different types of people in the world. he said:

“either you’re book, street, or both.”

as we talked, he made it all very clear to me. he was talking about different flavors or types of intelligence! book = book smart. you play by the rules, are good at things like reading, math, etc. street is street smart. you don’t like rules, but you know when to break them and when not to. you are always scheming and looking for opportunities. etc. and if you’re both… well, you can do both.

book folks almost always work for street folks. and it sucks that most school systems, including the one he grew up in, are built for people who are book. that makes it deeply ironic that the world is mostly run by people who are street.

k considers himself (and most entrepreneurs) street. even though he didn’t do so well in school, he’s always been someone who other people respected and he’s always found his own way to make money. and he’s often a job creator. in fact, at one point (before moving to the u.s.), he actually hired his former high school maths teacher to do accounting for his business! how’s that?!!?

anyway, last thought: since then, in a conversation with my friend, casper, i built on this framework a bit.

my addition: i think it’s really hard for people who are book and street to have bosses. it’s not always because we are resistant to external authority (though that is certainly often part of this reality). it’s because we’re always seeing things as opportunities and moving towards ways to seize them. that type of activity is difficult to oversee because (a) the end isn’t always clear from the outset and (b) the work it takes seize those opportunities doesn’t neatly fit into categories which can be measured.

ok, gotta go work. ciao for now.

words / writing / post-processing
370w / 12min / 4min