It's good to know that people are getting on this world younger, because as they grew, they will already have a lot of knowledge.
I was 11 years old when I started, and now I'm very good, principally with Assembly. :)
I always like hearing about the possibility that there could be people smarter than me in the world. :D
Now we just have to show young Marco some other OS. I see teenage rebellion on the horizon.
I think the technical term is Intelligent, not smart. They are more intelligent.
It's a harder pill to swallow, but you have to take it. It's for you own good, says mum.
I don't totally believe that but I think it is a fairly enlightening perspective and generally leads to "truer" understandings, if I were a school teacher I might actually enforce it in my classes.
* or the inverse, "stupid", so if I or someone did something stupid I could not blame it on that person's or my stupidity.
Another issue as well that every news agency fails to mention is intelligence != maturity. They are trying to convey one thing to their audience and they do it well while ignoring other issues that clearly are prevalent and do not make the 'kid' an adult by any means.
Haven't tried doing without the concept of "maturity", I think that would actually be much harder.
Ok... seriously now:
The word is more meaningful than it seems to me you want imply. And it is really a stretch to not see in these extreme cases a clear sign of intelligence above the normal. It can be or not properly developed during growth. But I think that's an entirely different matter. Clearly this kid (and others alike) show an incredible potential as far as their ability to use their brain is concerned. Some of them reach adulthood still with this evident sign and go on to do great things.
However, I do agree that it probably just reveals a superior ability to use our brains, and not necessarily a better brain... if I make myself understood. I also agree there's a tendency to confuse adult-like behavior with an higher sign of intelligence. This is even a part of the social agenda of any parent.
But In any case, I do not fear using the word Intelligence. Least we gain yet another prejudice. I think we have enough of that already.
I love how society constantly tells young ones they are specially gifted and what have you and all only for them to get into the workforce and into the real world and realize they are yet another rat in a giant rat race.
So my conclusion was that it was clouding my perception, thus I still try to think that way as much as possible, which is to say, I believe the "normative" prejudice makes relative intelligence a much more significant factor than it really is (because the concept of intelligence is usually applied stupidly, and to excess, forestalling a more "intelligent" or mindful contemplation).
I think my problem is not so much avoiding intelligence the word, but figuring out what smart means. When I give that compliment, I am not looking into your IQ score.
IQ test are a funny thing. They are about puzzles and are almost non-verbal, and this is supposed to be an accurate reflection of your innate intelligence as opposed to a skill set you possess.
But if you are a kid that plays alone with lego a lot, or rule-oriented games (alone or socially), you will probably do better on an IQ test than some kid who lives in one room with a family of five on a commune where non-structured social/inter-personal activity would take up most of your time. Does that mean kid A is truly smarter than kid B? Obviously not. Does it mean kid A's intelligence has been developed, environmentally, better than kid B? I don't believe that either. But it does mean that kid A will do better on an IQ test.
Which is a good example of what I meant by a misuse of the concept as an explanation. Kid A is not necessarily more intelligent because he has a higher IQ. Kid A is just better at certain kinds of puzzles.