Links and Categories

I’ve noticed over the years, that there appears to be no important link between REASONING skills and IQ, though it does seem that those who appear to possess minimal skills of LOGIC often demonstrate the ability to store massive amounts of data without the ability or even the curiosity for understanding what they are LEARNING, if indeed that word  actually fits the situation.

My observation persuades me also to believe that for those whose main tool for learning is rote memorization, new increments of stored data are often organized in the form of TAGS rather than traditional CATEGORIES. Notice how certain individuals, as they attempt to contribute to a conversation, sometimes, actually change the subject by linking to a TAG which leaps the boundaries of the conversation by jumping into a new CATEGORY.

 I believe also that those, whose skills of LOGIC are more pronounced, require understanding of a new subject before choosing to store the new ideas; thus more CATEGORIES than TAGS are needed for this purpose. Quality is the watchword for those whose quest for information is TRUTH and UNDERSTANDING; VOLUME to a wannabe scholar may become the moral equivalent of GREED as experienced by a compulsive gambler.

Rules vs Reason

If you have followed the last two posts and wondered about the underlying principle you have probably decided that it is my usual message applauding reason and railing about the dangers of a rule driven life. Humankind has produced amazing ideas, inventions and works of art. Most of our discoveries have been seriously flawed but we creep forward.

Sometimes we wonder how it could possibly be that a century which is recognized for genius could be filled as it is with hungry, unschooled, poorly clothed, often unsheltered masses. How could the same century produce such conflict?

I believe that answers to the questions have less to do with genetics than with motivation. The spark of genius may simply have to do with how certain groups of people gather information. I can only live in one era and in one local at a time. My friends fortunately are many. Some are poor and uneducated; some are financially and educationally astute. Yet the vast majority, perhaps over 99 % gathers information using the same technique. They (we) peruse the community we are in, inventorying the population seeking socially recognizable traits and then seek to become members of this community. We may actually audition by exhibiting some of our own traits which have proven in the past to keep us safe. If great change is demanded of us in order to become members of this group we then measure the risks and rewards and render a decision. In other words, regardless of social status, none of us want to go it alone, so instead of solving life’s problems as they are presented we use our spectacular reasoning abilities to decide what group we are going to choose to do our thinking for us. In effect, as individuals we follow the flock devoting most of our reasoning power to getting through life safely. When we do this, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to stimulate the society and to help it to grow. The only thing we can offer others is a questionable measure of safety.

There are those however who actually do contribute something new and exciting, inventions, literature, art. Until the twentieth century these people were hated, feared, mistrusted, hung and burned at the stake. It would not be until recent times that their genius would be recognized. And yes, there is some of that kind of thinking around today. The point is not however, to discover a way to overcome the stupid habits of a society but how to learn as individuals to overcome our impediments to growth.

When problems arise we can either seek to educate ourselves about this problem or ask around for someone to render a decision on our behalf.

Every human who has ever lived has had the ability to increase or decrease their intellect, to ignore or to utilize their own sparks of genius. This week in New York is the National Science Fair. Perhaps I should attend. Maybe I will  see a more positive view of life. This weekend I have seen plastic birds fly, solid objects levitate and robotic snakes that can navigate rubble looking for injury victims. See ya there.

Call a Friend Today part 2

From yesterday: (Nancy had a rule that said women should never call men. Ted used to call Nancy everyday. When a month went by without hearing from Ted, she assumed that Ted did not love her anymore. One day she got a phone call from an old friend. “Where were you this morning Nancy?”

“I was in the laundry room doing my ironing” said Nancy. “Where were you?”

“I was at Ted’s funeral.”

A year later Nancy was cleaning out the car that Ted had left her in his will and found his cell phone in the trunk.)

 Following a rule of hers about neatness, Nancy took the newly discovered cell phone into the house. Following her rule to accept everything and to question nothing Nancy laid Ted’s cell phone on the dining room table until she could decide where to store it and went about her day’s activities.

That afternoon her old friend Barbie stopped by. “Isn’t that Ted’s old cell phone? Have you looked at the call history? Let’s check it out. Barbie reached into her purse for a charger and plugged everything into a wall outlet. A few minutes late they opened the call history. The last call was from Ted to Nancy. The time was minutes before his death and had not been answered.

“What do you suppose he wanted” wondered Nancy. “I guess I’ll never know”.