Here's my rant and rave on "IQ" - it does have a real purpose - and I
don't feel that it's at all self-serving but honest:
I refuse to take any more "IQ" tests. I was told in high school
(although it was supposed to be kept from me) that my score from the
4th grade testing was 133. Later, in high school and before leaving
the nest my parents built, I took another and it was 147. When I
finally did leave the nest, my father's domination, and the state of
North Carolina and went west to university, I took another one as part
of a study by the psychology department and it was 152. Then, in grad
school at a different university, I was given another one (the
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) as part of another study. I was not
told my score but only that it was "'something' more than four
standard deviations above the mean." Most sources establish a
standard deviation of 15 points for IQ scores so this put my scdore
(not me, only my score) at something above 160. Mensa, Intertel, and
Triple 9 took me on the documentation I sent from the psych
But I am also a professional flop. I couldn't keep up with S. J.
Gould or Richard Dawkins (both had lower scores than me - I know that
for a fact) and I had so much personal crap going on that I flopped
and came close to blowing my orals (note the clever pun) over a simple
question on Rassenkreissen and evolution. I did not publish anything
after my one and only paper a long time ago but went into medical
laboratory work because I needed the money and academia was not fit
for me, or vice versa. Who knows? Who cares?
The concept of IQ is a mismeasure, sorry for stealing the word,
Stephen Jay, and loaded with misconceptions held by psychologists,
neuroscientists, and especially, the public. Nobody knows what "g" is
anyway and IQ is what IQ tests measure. It's meaningless for living.
And, IQ is not correlated with income (at least above about 110)- so
the old question of "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?" is
inane. That makes me feel a little better. But all in all, having a
lot of "g" does not make life and living with people easier. It makes
it harder - especially when it is combined with ADD or ADHD.
So, if you guys out there have kids that are classified as "gifted" or
"talented" on the basis of an IQ test, you can help them by teaching
them that their scores do not guarantee "success." You can help all
kids by teaching them the attributes and skills by which they may
Finis de fulmination. Ende des Schimpfe. Konetz rechii.
All my high IQ did for me was let me figure out that chasing
"success" was a big waste of a short existence.
I found a job I could do for fun (programming) and make enough
to live on and then semi-retired (went independent) at the age
of 45 or so. Totally retired at 62.
With hobbies of woodworking, model railroading, gardening, and
motorcycling (the last just given up due to arthritis),
retirement has been anything but boring.
My wife of 35+ years and I also got to spend a lot more time
We're not rich (cue a chorus of "Maybe we're ragged and ...")
but we've sure had a lot of good times.
So don't feel too bad if your "talented" kids reject "success".
Yeah, me, too. I figured out that "success" doesn't mean owning a lot of
yachts or 7,000 ft^2 houses. Still, though, I'd like to retire (next
January) to 1300 ft^2 with a 600 ft^2 shop in the back (or, better for me)
attached by a breezeway.
I will retire from the US government at 60. I could work longer but what is
happening to government scientists is both political and administrative
interference with science by people who have no idea what it is. It's a
generation of me-firsters in suits who want to show their alpha wolf power.
But what do you think I meant by "success"?
I suspect you meant the tangible rewards that would announce your
success to everyone around. Sounds like you rethought that as you
matured (welcome to the club!)
I still like Emerson's definition:
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
He went by "Jay" in HS, did he change that?
IQ is a measure of your ability to discern pattern and analogy, in short,
ability to learn. Never pretended to be anything else, but a bunch of
pretenders have tried to make it seem as if it did.
But that's not intelligence or "g" as the psychologists call what they are
trying to measure. Pattern and analogy are important points on IQ tests but
they are not all. There are also cultural components that depend upon
cultural exposure. "Who wrote 'Faust'?" was in the Wechsler I took. I
remember because I almost said "Christopher Marlowe". Memory is also a
component of "g", so it seems.
Some people can learn different things and at different rates. When
learning characteristics are compared with IQ scores, there doesn't seem to
be a really good correlation. And what about insight? Understandings that
come from nowhere and give you new perspectives on ... anything...
woodworking, for example, are important in "g" but not measured in IQ.
And they still do. Pretense is ubiquitous in every society.
Sorry, that's information. Intelligence is integration and employment.
Those questions are likely determinants to find out your cultural
experience. Your answer will be used to weight others.
You echo the "cultural bias" position without consideration of the
undeniable - vicarious learning demands a language. The two considered
universal used to be mathematics and standard English. Though you may
acquire information in many ways - current educational buzzword is
"kinesthetic" learning, it is your ability to retain and employ information
that counts. The convenience of print takes the place of the blocks as soon
as the individual is able to read. Perhaps soon we'll do things by
television, since kids can't read.
Imagination can be learned to an extent, especially if you understand what
it is. What is imagination but the ability to form images in the mind and
use the mind to manipulate and modify them? Moving a piece one way or
another, changing joints and creating them (like the Japanese do with their
fantastic joinery skills), anything that you can see, you might be able to
create in reality. "The battle is won or lost in the mind before the first
soldier takes the field," Sun Tzu.
Imagination is popularly confused with fantasy but fantasy is not what
Albert Einstein meant when he said that imaginations was more important than
Anyway, if you can teach yourself to draw just a little bit or to see things
from different perspectives, you will be doing exercises that really will
improve your imagination and that will improve your skills at designing
projects. Go get five books "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron, "Drawing
on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards, and "The Zen of Seeing" by
Frederick Franck - no, three, three books! - and start drawing. Start with
the Edwards book.
You might also check this out for how the Edwards book has been used:
I'm replying to another and another and another who brought it up and
expatiated on it but changing the title of the thread. I did not start the
discussion but so flippin' what anyway? Ain't digression part of any
conversation in some way or another?
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