Posts Tagged ‘self-fulfillment’

Intelligence

February 27, 2020

This post is inspired by a book by Rowan Hooper titled Superhuman: Life at the Extremes of our Capacity, but very little, if any, is taken from the chapter in that book titled Intelligence.

Unfortunately, intelligence is a much abused concept. Some of that abuse stems from trying to divide intelligence into genetic and learned components, that is nature vs. nurture. It is true that statisticians can break the IQ into genetic and nurtured components, but what people don’t realize is that this is a mathematical abstraction. It does not exist in the real world. Nature and nurture are always inextricably intertwined. This confound has been further magnified with the development of the field of epigenetic. Epigenetics is the study of how the genome is read out, and this readout is a function of interactions with the real world.

The IQ test itself has been used to segregate people into different groups of intelligence. This results in a bias in the effort that goes into educating lower IQ groups. One might think that greater attention should be given to these groups, but the usual result is that the quality of education is lower and teachers can end up spending less effort on low IQ groups.

What is worse yet, is that people can use the results of these tests to define themselves, and to limit the avenues they explore.

The basic problem, then, is not in the IQ test itself, but in how it is used. Nevertheless, the abilities tested by the IQ test should be expanded to better capture the future potential of the child or adult.

The goal of education should be to try to achieve the maximum potential of each child. So initial testing can indicate an initial level of achievement, but the effort should be to try to increase that level of achievement. The Flynn effect is the substantial and long-sustained increase in both fluid and crystallized intelligence test scores that were measured in many parts of the world over the 20th century. So not only can IQ increase, but it has been increasing over time. Some theorists argue that this is the result of advancing technology.

The argument here is not that every individual has unlimited potential, but that there should be no preconceptions about intelligence.

When difficulty is reached at a certain stage, the child can be moved into different areas of achievement. The goal should be to use technology to its best advantage in developing human beings for their own self-fulfillment and to benefit society as a whole.

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Labor Day Message 2014

August 31, 2014

 

Regular readers of the healthymemory blog might receognize some striking similarities between this message and the 2013 message. Unfortunately, not much has changed. When I was in elementary school the predictions were that due to technology we would have much more leisure time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leisure) in the future. I’ll remind you that at this time it was highly unusual for married mothers to be working. In my view, some of the technological achievements, particularly in computing and in broadband, have vastly exceeded these predictions. So I ask you, why are we working so hard? We’re working much harder than when I was in elementary school. And it’s getting worse. Americans now work for eight and a half hours more a week than they did in 1979.

I would further ask, exactly what are we producing? Suppose only those who provided the essentials for living and for safety went to work. What percentage of the working population would that be? Make your own guess, but mine would be less than 10%, so what is going on here?. Currently we are working hard to achieve an unemployment rate at or below 5%. But is this a realistically achievable unemployment rate? Remember that the previous two occasions when the employment rate was at or below 5%, the economic prosperity was bogus. There was the dot com bogus, when people expected to become rich via the internet. Then there was the bogus finance/real estate boom where riches were created via bogus and unsubstantiated financial instruments. So why, absent some other fictitious basis for a boom, do we expect to get back to 5% unemployment

To examine the question of why we are working so hard, I present the following study tht can be found in Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow.It found that being poor is bad. Of course, this finding is not surprising. The surprising finding is that a household income of $75,000 represented a satiation level beyond which experienced well being no longer increased. And this was in high cost living areas. In other areas the number would be lower. So, it is clear that we are working more for no real benefit. Why?

The world’s environmental and resource issues also need to be considered here. As the undeveloped world develops, the demands on resources, the pollution of the environment, and the rate of global warming will increase as the developing world hops on the same exhausting treadmill that the developed world has been on.

I think the problem is that classical economics has outlived its usefulness and has become destructive. Economics needs to undergo a paradigm shift. Classical economics is based on the rationale theory of man. Socials scientists have debunked this theory quite well as have behavioral economists. Computing the Gross National Product (GNP) in terms of hard dollars might seem to b objective, but reminds one of the drunk who is looking for his car keys under the streetlamp rather than in the dimly illuminated part of the parking where he dropped them. Economists need to consider subjective, relevant measures as happiness and life satisfaction, but these measures are given only glancing consideration. Perhaps this is due to the extreme economics supermeme that plagues us and has been discussed in previous healthymemory blog posts.

Once appropriate measures and appropriate philosophies regarding self fulfillment and self actualization are adopted we can get off the treadmill and enjoy the fruits of technology and our lives.

You also might visit or revisit the Healthymemory Blog Post “Gross National Happiness.” There is also an entry on this topic on wikipedia.org.