I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

2001-10-17 - 10:52 a.m.

M&Ms? No Smarties

I didn't update yesterday. Not that I had anything earth shattering to write but I really would like to update every day. Let's see, what happened yesterday? I went to school, I worked at Chez's, I went home. That's about it. I bet some people could write a book about that, a good book even. Not me, I didn't find any inspiration in it.

The things that affected me yesterday were three communications from friends. I had a fight via IM with one friend. We're OK now, I knew we would be, but I still hated it.

An ex-friend who I try not to talk to anymore called me last night. She got some really bad news and needed to talk. I couldn't really say no. It put me in an awkward situation; I didn't want to talk to her. There is no good way to get out of something like that though. I still care about her but I know it is really bad for my emotional well-being to get too involved with her.

The last was a Frümessage from Gella. She responded to my entry about intelligence. She made some interesting points, which of course I expect, as she is intelligent. It got me thinking more about it so I'm going to talk about it again.

One thing I learned of general use in math was the concept of the partially ordered set. In a partially ordered set you can compare some elements but not every pair of elements. Intelligence is like that. Yes I can say without fear of contradiction that Einstein was smarter than George W. Bush. Or that a rose bush is smarter than George W. In most cases though it isn't cut and dried. One person can be better at one thing and the second person is better at something else. That is what is wrong with IQ tests; the notion that you can reduce intelligence to a number is ridiculous.

IQ tests basically measure two things, problem solving and memory. It combines these two things with a basically arbitrary weighting system. There is so much more to intelligence and to combine them to one number would require making value judgments on their relative importance. The one thing that tests never measure is creativity. That is really odd because when we call someone a genius that is what we are usually concerned with. Beethoven was miserable with simple arithmetic but if he wasn't a genius who is. For myself I'm great at problem solving and math and spatial relationships but I can't learn languages or song lyrics at all. Even memory is too complex to quantify with one number. I have memorized enough to be a Jeopardy Champ but I can't remember people's names. I usually need context to learn something. I can remember that Babe Ruth had a lifetime batting average of .342 because I also know that Lou Gehrig's was .340 and Ted Williams' was .344. I'm sure to most of you that makes no sense but it is how my mind works.

My basic point is that one number can't describe intelligence. I used to think perhaps a vector could. A vector is an ordered set of numbers, something like (5,3,7,8) where each number would describe a different facet of intelligence. I think that is too simple too. For now I'll just use my keeping me amused standard.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile 2001-10-17
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