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(Some Guy)   Any news story about New York kindergartens is guaranteed to be pure comedy gold. The New NYC Gifted Program test emphasizes "abstract spatial thinking and largely eliminates language"   (isteve.blogspot.com) divider line 201
    More: Strange, New York City, New York, New York kindergartens, computational complexity theory, racial equality, normal schools, kindergartens, packet switches  
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6341 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Oct 2012 at 4:22 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-09 07:23:11 PM

Jim_Callahan: Gifted programs are about sticking the kids that have the capacity and desire to actually learn


Gifted people are not necessarily self-motivated or self-starters. Programs should encourage and provide opportunities to develop those traits, but those are not necessary to be gifted.

Jim_Callahan: they lack the "capacity" part and the program is useless to them until they're fluent enough in English to absorb the course materials unassisted.


Not all gifted programs are simply advanced or accelerated course materials, and you can provide translated materials or challenges and opportunities not associated with language. There are not great reasons to deny ELLs access to gifted services; lack of resources, effort, access, etc., are all reasons, but we should work to overcome them.

Jim_Callahan: There's no such thing as a "gifted" five-year-old


Except I have a dozen examples which are to the contrary. Further, I have a few examples of ones which are completely capable of self-directed education in their area(s) of giftedness.
 
2012-10-09 07:24:03 PM

DaCaptain19: not once asking or attempting to create English speakers.


The percentage of people living in America who don't speak English is the lowest it's ever been. A fun bit of historical trivia, the first President born an American ie born into the United States and not one of the colonies, wasn't a native English speaker. Yep, good ole Martin van Buren has the distinction of being the first American born President and the only President who wasn't a native English speaker. He picked up English when he was six or seven most likely, perhaps even as late as 8.
 
2012-10-09 07:25:29 PM

Gyrfalcon: RexTalionis: 5monkeys: If a child in first grade can read at a fifth grade level why are they not encouraged to?

This has the secondary effect of seriously warping a kid's interpersonal development skills.

I was reading off the scale when I was in kindergarten. Seriously, they had no idea what "reading group" to put me in, because the classroom had no books advanced enough for me. There was no way to "hold me back" because I just read ahead in the reading books anyway.

I'm not sure that bored smart kids are any better off than kids being encouraged to develop their smartness.


I was in the same position. My dad taught English so the entire family was very into reading at an early age. While all the other kids were struggling with "See Dick run", I was reading high school level material.
 
2012-10-09 07:26:35 PM

Vangor: Except I have a dozen examples which are to the contrary. Further, I have a few examples of ones which are completely capable of self-directed education in their area(s) of giftedness.


And here's the difference between the US and Finland, and other countries. In Finland when they find they have a really bright kid, they show him or her how to help their classmates and peer learning becomes a regular part of the school day. Of course they have time in their classes to do such things. Instead of focusing on the student as an isolate, they find ways to make them part of the whole.
 
2012-10-09 07:30:43 PM

WhyteRaven74: In Finland when they find they have a really bright kid, they show him or her how to help their classmates


Oh, in the US, we do about the same thing. Teachers frequently use the gifted student as basically a teacher's aide.

WhyteRaven74: Instead of focusing on the student as an isolate, they find ways to make them part of the whole.


Darn my isolationist service-learning component! Sorry, I am being a little hostile because I have genuine disdain for the widespread thought of gifted students teaching peers being tantamount to services.
 
2012-10-09 07:34:28 PM
So? What's wrong with that? Abstract spatial thinking is a pretty good indicator of intelligence, subby. If the language part of the test is holding black children back from getting into the gifted programs (I'm not sure why it would, but let's just say for the sake of argument it does) then moving the test to determining intelligence via non-language means is a step in the right direction.
 
2012-10-09 07:41:27 PM
My 1980's public school special education program for exceptional students on either end of the bell curve was a sham devised to collect extra state funding per gifted/special head. A statistically untenable percentage of students in my school district were deemed "exceptional" to secure said extra funds. The supposed IEP (individualized education program) for these students did not exist. Everyone was in classrooms with their "normal" peers, learning the same lessons, and graded by the same criteria. This mostly meant rote filling in blanks and shutting the hell up.

Early on in junior high, after a battery of fill-in-the-circle-with-a-number-2-pencil exams, my parents were informed I was "gifted." They then had to sign off each grading period on some higher-up governmental agency's paperwork done in triplicate, detailing the coddling, individualized education focus my proud, special brain was to have endured. This program, as mentioned, did not exist. I could memorize dates very well and sat facing forward in alphabetical order with my peers in an exceptional fashion. Meanwhile, my school got an extra $2,000 or so yearly for their efforts.

I spent years skipping out on school and learning on my own, desperately looking for illegal drugs that adults mostly refused to share. Later, due to these absences, my high school principal threatened in his gloating manner to not allow me to graduate. Countering this with a squeeze of my own, I cheerfully offered to expose this IEP ruse to whatever higher-up higher-ups my addled teenaged brain thought might be interested. In triplicate, you know, signed and dated.

I graduated high school. I doubt I am gifted by any scale but that of Applied Blackmail.
 
2012-10-09 07:46:06 PM

Daniels: Arkanaut: xynix: Or you can just send your kid to a private school where they'll learn everything taught in TAG and more.. Mine goes to a college prep school where they teach college prep from 6th to 12th grade. The school has had a 100% college attendance rate since they started graduating kids in 2007 with a 98% "first pick" rate. If you want your kid to be successful then public school is a crap shoot.. you might want to have 3 or 4 kids so one can be successful. If you want your child to have success then pluck them out of public schools after 5th grade and buckle down for the expense of private which is $10,000 to $20,000 a year depending on the school. It is a pure cash outlay.. can't deduct it, get no credits for it, etc etc.

Or you can try to get them into one of many specialized high schools around the city, all of which are just as likely to get them into a decent college as a private school, at a much lower cost.

Or you can just go to public school for free, get in to public college for cheap, and still get a six-figure job in Manhattan because there is going to be a larger population of people who went to cheaper colleges in hiring positions than there are people who dropped $400k in Ivy.


The specialized high schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, etc) are public schools run by the Dept of Ed, you just have to take an admission test to get in. There's also Hunter High School which is free but is a 7-12 program and is run by the CUNY system.
 
2012-10-09 07:48:09 PM

WhyteRaven74: Whoever thought of a gifted test for kindergartner's must have had an iq stated as potato.


Really? You can't imagine that some kindergartners might be further ahead in their development than others? I'm guessing you weren't one of the ones in gifted class at your school.
 
2012-10-09 07:50:32 PM
It's funny how many people think their kid is "gifted."

I guess it's the same percentage of people who think they're "great drivers." Or "great in bed." Or "hard working."
 
2012-10-09 07:53:48 PM

Mithraic_bullshiat: My 1980's public school special education program for exceptional students on either end of the bell curve was a sham devised to collect extra state funding per gifted/special head. A statistically untenable percentage of students in my school district were deemed "exceptional" to secure said extra funds. The supposed IEP (individualized education program) for these students did not exist. Everyone was in classrooms with their "normal" peers, learning the same lessons, and graded by the same criteria. This mostly meant rote filling in blanks and shutting the hell up.

Early on in junior high, after a battery of fill-in-the-circle-with-a-number-2-pencil exams, my parents were informed I was "gifted." They then had to sign off each grading period on some higher-up governmental agency's paperwork done in triplicate, detailing the coddling, individualized education focus my proud, special brain was to have endured. This program, as mentioned, did not exist. I could memorize dates very well and sat facing forward in alphabetical order with my peers in an exceptional fashion. Meanwhile, my school got an extra $2,000 or so yearly for their efforts.

I spent years skipping out on school and learning on my own, desperately looking for illegal drugs that adults mostly refused to share. Later, due to these absences, my high school principal threatened in his gloating manner to not allow me to graduate. Countering this with a squeeze of my own, I cheerfully offered to expose this IEP ruse to whatever higher-up higher-ups my addled teenaged brain thought might be interested. In triplicate, you know, signed and dated.

I graduated high school. I doubt I am gifted by any scale but that of Applied Blackmail.


Applied Blackmail is a very valuable skill. More valuable than Advanced Circle Filling and Facing Forward.
 
2012-10-09 07:57:24 PM

Katie98_KT: Gifted tests are supposed to be administered by a school psychologist. How the hell are kids studying for them in the first place? these aren't the SATs.


Any test can be beaten. You just have to know how.
 
2012-10-09 07:59:29 PM
Scanned that headline too fast and read "abstract spanking". Pulled a neck muscle on the double take.

/This seat? Over here?
 
2012-10-09 08:08:12 PM

Rindred: Cognitive ability is not evenly distributed in the human population. And it can be measured. That is all.


Response:
bfgb.files.wordpress.com


Still, if we spent a fraction of what we spend on polishing a dog turd in special ed instead identifying and promoting gifted students, the net benefit to society would be much higher.

Difficulty: Any test can be beat, and parents will work hard to get their snowflake in.
 
2012-10-09 08:12:27 PM

orbister: FTFA: Several studies show the test produces significant scoring gaps between wealthier white and Asian children and their poor, minority counterparts.

We Europeans can get a bit confused by racial terminology and politics in the US (Spanish-speaking is a race?). Could someone explain to me why Asians don't count as a minority?


They don't fail as much despite coming from properly poor and disadvantaged immigrant backgrounds. For some reason or other.
 
2012-10-09 08:17:14 PM
It's not like most kindergarteners have anything to say that is worth listening to.
 
2012-10-09 08:46:45 PM

Smelly Pirate Hooker: It's funny how many people think their kid is "gifted."

I guess it's the same percentage of people who think they're "great drivers." Or "great in bed." Or "hard working."


I agree with this. I have five kids. One is gifted. (so far, two are toddlers so who knows?) i cringe when most people say their kids is gifted because the school threw them in an enrichment pull out class. Having a truly gifted child in an American school system causes you headaches as a parent trying to get them the education that they deserve. There are so many parents out there with the " my little joey walked first" or "Susie knows her numbers at one year old!" mentality that they see the label as a badge of their awesome parenting. It is some weird competition i don't get. Gifted kids are hard to challenge and hard to keep up with. You wonder if you push too hard, or not enough. You worry if they struggle socially. my having a gifted child says nothing of my parenting, and everything to her ability and focus. She earns every victory herself. I help, but the same amount i help my other children.
 
2012-10-09 08:51:00 PM

keytronic: xynix: Babwa Wawa: There are savants at that age, but they are so few that you don't develop a program around them. If you did, you wouldn't call it a "gifted" program.

It's called TAG and it's really just a way to keep kids from being extremely bored by the dumbed down content created for the lowest common denominator (90 IQ). My son was in it for the 5 years I kept him in public school. They take one day of the week and learn more advanced concepts. It is actually useful because they teach the same things that a child would learn in a private school but its free. By 6th grade however the TAG program get thinned out dramatically based on several criteria and by 8th grade it's thinned out even more. To put it in perspective 1-5th grade about 15% get into TAG and by 8th grade it's close to 3%.

Or you can just send your kid to a private school where they'll learn everything taught in TAG and more.. Mine goes to a college prep school where they teach college prep from 6th to 12th grade. The school has had a 100% college attendance rate since they started graduating kids in 2007 with a 98% "first pick" rate. If you want your kid to be successful then public school is a crap shoot.. you might want to have 3 or 4 kids so one can be successful. If you want your child to have success then pluck them out of public schools after 5th grade and buckle down for the expense of private which is $10,000 to $20,000 a year depending on the school. It is a pure cash outlay.. can't deduct it, get no credits for it, etc etc.


It's funny, I got my public school education in Canada (rural Canada at that) and I find that there in the US, the caliber of my education reaches the level of most of my privately educated peers. I don't see how I have any choice but to find a way to get my kid into private, prep school, which sucks because I'm not sure if I'll be making enough income to easily afford a 15k tuition bill. One thing is for sure, I will not throw my son to the wolves and let hi ...


ummm, not to ruin your day, eh ? , but if you cant swing a few grand for tuition then your education sucks too buddeh !
 
2012-10-09 08:56:07 PM
epic troll...
 
2012-10-09 09:02:28 PM
All of this testing stuff is getting to be like where you try so hard to make something cool and awesome and it ends up a lame, useless piece of crap that was never worth all the effort put into it.
 
2012-10-09 09:06:13 PM
My gifted program mainly just did whatever we wanted. We'd all vote on things we wanted to study, then study them in depth. One year in elementary school we did castles and managed to see the Biltmore Estate, construct a castle out of cardboard boxes and tubes, and went to a 7 course dinner at a local college. We even dressed up in parts like King, Queen, Knight, Jester, yada.

Most of the things I still remember from school were things from the gifted program.
 
2012-10-09 09:12:08 PM
OK- I've been holding back, but I've privately worked out the solution to all NYC's problems, but instead of language, I'm going to express them in abstract spatial thinking. OK, here goes.

/get all that?
 
2012-10-09 09:21:45 PM

HotIgneous Intruder: Half of you are below average.


half of them are below median, and you apparently are one
 
2012-10-09 09:32:19 PM
Hey, America.
Let's do this.
We can standardize our language.
Let's start with the letter "R"
If you are from Boston, it's "Awe".
If you are fom D.C. public schools, it's "Ah-Rah"
Rhode Island, Chicago, your mileage mat vary.
If you are ( or awe, or ah-rah ) from California, it's Erray.
Or Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrray, depending upon which R or RR you pronounce, (or Pwonounce_ depending upon if you are fwum Chiner, or Vhodeylan)
Now as we can see, or hear, or Heah, now, if you ah from the south, we don't have a standardized vocabulary.
Let's try this exercise. 
SPREAK ENGRISH, TWOOPS!
 
2012-10-09 09:35:23 PM

Gyrfalcon: Then, some time in the 80's, we got this idea that everyone needed to go to college and we were somehow doing kids a disservice if we didn't educate them all to a college-entry level; in other words, if we didn't bring them all up to the same level as the very smartest 15% had been at before. Unfortunately, the only way to do that (as was soon discovered) was to bring the college level DOWN to the middle, because there's just no way to bring the average up to the top. You can't make skim milk into cream, but you can make cream into skim milk. And so schools did. When it proved impossible to make everyone into college material, they instead made "college" material less elite.

 

College for all is one of the worse bill of goods being sold nowadays. The social consequence alone of keeping everyone out of the workforce for four years in their 20s will be massive and ugly. Either that will really fark social security over or we can all forget about retiring in our 60s. Then there's the student loan/jacked tuition issue and the fact that the supply of jobs for college degrees won't magically open up and meet the demand.
 
2012-10-09 09:38:36 PM

WhyteRaven74: ProfessorOhki: : I'd imagine it's all but impossible to create a one-size-fits-all educational program to begin with.

It's what they have in Finland and it's the highest scoring education system in Europe. Then there's the Czech Republic, which like Finland has no gifted or honors classes, no tracking, none of it.


Perhaps, but both have a very low income inequality, don't they? If you've got kids with different support structures at home, there's going to be a discrepancy in the student's performance. Either you create a system that lets each kid go as far as they can, or you level the playing field outside of school. One of those is within the bounds of what schools can do, the other is much harder to accomplish.
 
2012-10-09 09:44:12 PM
African-Americans don't speak English, so how can they compete with people from China on a test in English?

BIX NOOD
 
2012-10-09 09:49:28 PM

Smelly Pirate Hooker: It's funny how many people think their kid is "gifted."

I guess it's the same percentage of people who think they're "great drivers." Or "great in bed." Or "hard working."


I'm amused at how many think random farkers give a fark about their "gifted" child.
 
2012-10-09 09:54:11 PM

vudukungfu: SPREAK ENGRISH, TWOOPS!


What new med did your doctor give you? I wanna try it.
 
2012-10-09 10:03:46 PM

Techhell: FTH: The New NYC Gifted Program test emphasizes "abstract spatial thinking"

Stereotypically, this is where boys that age excel...

FTH: "and largely eliminates language"

Stereotypically, this is where boys that age are weakest...

Hrm. Is the author sure this is actually aimed at African American kids and not a subtle way to exclude women? Maybe I'm more of a feminist than I expected, but reading the headline I expected to find the article to be about boys and girls, not African American kids and other kids.


Considering men are falling quite a bit behind in education, is that a bad thing?
 
2012-10-09 10:03:55 PM

LiberalEastCoastElitist: ... jobs for college degrees won't magically open up and meet the demand.


Sure they did. Remember 20 years ago when you could drop out of high school and get a ditch-digging job? That same job now requires 3 degrees and 5 years experience. Problem solved, right?

/many would be better off skipping college altogether and getting a CDL or yellow-gear license instead
 
2012-10-09 10:22:42 PM

LiberalEastCoastElitist: Smelly Pirate Hooker: It's funny how many people think their kid is "gifted."

I guess it's the same percentage of people who think they're "great drivers." Or "great in bed." Or "hard working."

I'm amused at how many think random farkers give a fark about their "gifted" child.


Yeah, education threads are usually entertaining. There are a lot of xynix types around here who drop by random threads to talk about how successful they think they've been and give what they perceive to be sage advice to people who don't want it, won't use it, and don't care. The thread usually ends up somewhere in the range of 50% critique/discussion/rant and 50% unabashed autofellatio. It makes for some lulz, though.
 
2012-10-09 10:32:38 PM
Sounds like a Racial Diversity Program (No Whitey Program)...not a "gifted" program....why else would you eliminate "language". What...not fair to Illegal Aliens?

Instead of attacking white folks because minority families lack the desire to properly provide basic education for their children.....how about making minority folks "responsible" for their kids basic upbringing and education? Why is it "racist" to expect the same standards from minority families that you do white families.
 
2012-10-09 10:37:49 PM

RentalMetard: LiberalEastCoastElitist: Smelly Pirate Hooker: It's funny how many people think their kid is "gifted."

I guess it's the same percentage of people who think they're "great drivers." Or "great in bed." Or "hard working."

I'm amused at how many think random farkers give a fark about their "gifted" child.

Yeah, education threads are usually entertaining. There are a lot of xynix types around here who drop by random threads to talk about how successful they think they've been and give what they perceive to be sage advice to people who don't want it, won't use it, and don't care. The thread usually ends up somewhere in the range of 50% critique/discussion/rant and 50% unabashed autofellatio. It makes for some lulz, though.


Personally I love listening to the experts who could solve the education problem, if only they didn't have to post another link to a gym-related meme in 26 minutes.
 
2012-10-09 10:52:54 PM

orbister: FTFA: Several studies show the test produces significant scoring gaps between wealthier white and Asian children and their poor, minority counterparts.

We Europeans can get a bit confused by racial terminology and politics in the US (Spanish-speaking is a race?). Could someone explain to me why Asians don't count as a minority?


I think they're saying the asian kids generally are affluent and pushed to do well in school and thus, though they are a racial minority, they don't have the same barriers to getting into the gifted programs that the black and hispanic kids do
 
2012-10-09 11:56:35 PM

downstairs: John Dewey: why is that worthy of ridicule? Assuming that labeling students as gifted is worthwhile (a dubious goal in my mind), I think this is a step in the right direction. Many students who should be labeled as gifted aren't because of the language barrier.


Kindergartners?  Gifted?  No.  They're 5 freaking years old.


Say that to two year old me in '88-'89, reading novels and riding a two wheeled bike.

Genius is most recognizable in small children.
 
2012-10-10 12:58:56 AM

LavenderWolf: downstairs: John Dewey: why is that worthy of ridicule? Assuming that labeling students as gifted is worthwhile (a dubious goal in my mind), I think this is a step in the right direction. Many students who should be labeled as gifted aren't because of the language barrier.


Kindergartners?  Gifted?  No.  They're 5 freaking years old.

Say that to two year old me in '88-'89, reading novels and riding a two wheeled bike.

Genius is most recognizable in small children.


Ummm... Just in case anyone was confused: No. No one is two and reading a novel.
 
2012-10-10 01:13:36 AM

LavenderWolf: downstairs: John Dewey: why is that worthy of ridicule? Assuming that labeling students as gifted is worthwhile (a dubious goal in my mind), I think this is a step in the right direction. Many students who should be labeled as gifted aren't because of the language barrier.


Kindergartners?  Gifted?  No.  They're 5 freaking years old.

Say that to two year old me in '88-'89, reading novels and riding a two wheeled bike.

Genius is most recognizable in small children.


So what happened? Stumbled onto Fark, made a login and suddenly felt all the 'extra' just bleed away?
 
2012-10-10 01:43:24 AM
The Mrs. went to private schools all the way. I went to public except for undergrad. I didn't know until I got there that both Edinburgh and Berlin were public. We both have done well since, but considering the state of public education, we decided to put our children in private schools here in the States. Smaller class size and a more robust curriculum were the major deciding factors.
 
2012-10-10 06:23:31 AM
Naglieri... isn't that the brain-eating amoeba?
 
2012-10-10 06:42:07 AM

TomD9938: A Terrible Human: MoronLessOff: I was in a "gifted" program when I was much younger. Even then, I thought "gifted" meant "special". And "special" meant "retarded".

When I was in Kindergarten I had an aide with me for a long time. I recently asked my mom about this and she said they thought due to me being gray and deprived of oxygen at birth that I might be brain damaged. That's a hell of a thing to find out as an adult.

/Slightly hilarious honestly.

I recently learned that I was a "gray" as well.

I can count to potato!

/ 43


Hmm. I'm gray now. Maybe I should go hire an aide.
 
2012-10-10 08:44:27 AM

John Dewey: Assuming that labeling students as gifted is worthwhile (a dubious goal in my mind), I think this is a step in the right direction. Many students who should be labeled as gifted aren't because of the language barrier.


Why not just IQ test them?
 
2012-10-10 08:47:25 AM

xynix: It's called TAG and it's really just a way to keep kids from being extremely bored by the dumbed down content created for the lowest common denominator (90 IQ).


I think that's our problem right there. Someone with a 90 IQ doesn't need schooling, they need a job. Nothing is going to "educate" them.
 
2012-10-10 08:55:31 AM

orbister: FTFA: Several studies show the test produces significant scoring gaps between wealthier white and Asian children and their poor, minority counterparts.

We Europeans can get a bit confused by racial terminology and politics in the US (Spanish-speaking is a race?). Could someone explain to me why Asians don't count as a minority?


Spanish-speaking is a code-word for Hispanic, which generally means indios from Central and South America, which makes them mostly Asian and comparable to some populations from Southern Asia. Northern Asians, like some Chinese and most Japanese and Koreans, seem to score up there with the white kids and so they don't count as a minority anymore.
 
2012-10-10 08:58:22 AM

DancingElkCondor: Instead of attacking white folks because minority families lack the desire to properly provide basic education for their children.....how about making minority folks "responsible" for their kids basic upbringing and education? Why is it "racist" to expect the same standards from minority families that you do white families.


Because everyone is equal.

If minority kids are under-performing, it is the result of institutionalized racism.

There is simply no other explanation.

In the same way, among white kids, if one family ends up drunk and Honey Boo-Boo and another ends up wealthy and educated, it's discrimination by elites.
 
2012-10-10 08:58:42 AM

Amos Quito: Marine1: Amos Quito: Rindred: Cognitive ability is not evenly distributed in the human population. And it can be measured. That is all.


Different environments call for different skill sets.

While forward-thinking, planning, logic and reasoning are skills that would be advantageous in warm climates, they would be utterly essential in cold climates with harsh winters, and those who did not possess such skills would have been Darwinized.

Still doesn't explain the average Russian.


Good point.

/I blame the vodak


I finally figured this one out. It comes down to population density. High pop density means you got more people exchanging ideas more often. It's that "wisdom of crowds" thing. On the British Isles, early on, you had a bunch of people crammed into a small space. Lots of information exchange. Hence, a tech boom relative to most other areas. In Mongolia, in contrast, you had widely spaced tribes with little exchange of information given the comm tech available. Ipso fatso, the Brits became more technologically advanced earlier on. (The reason that this didn't work so well in Micronesia is that they were far more isolated from the Asian mainland than the Brits were from the Continentals). Also, some religious faiths actively discourage human technological achievement, while others do not. Just my 2.
 
2012-10-10 09:47:08 AM
 
2012-10-10 09:52:39 AM
Well, that got munged (sorry, I'm on a portable device). Here's the text:

"Russia is an example of a diverse civilization. Asian, European, Middle Eastern, Armenian and Jewish heritage are all represented there. As a result, the situation is more complex than the climate."
 
2012-10-10 11:38:39 AM
Well, finally.
They have hit on some gold, but farked it up as usual.

A truly gifted kid eschews spoken word because it is too slow.
He/she has to drop ther own high speed train of thought to speak down to a normal human.

Which means nuttin compared to your nannys further insulating a real education from the masses.
 
2012-10-10 03:05:50 PM

CornerPocket: Amos Quito: Marine1: Amos Quito: Rindred: Cognitive ability is not evenly distributed in the human population. And it can be measured. That is all.


Different environments call for different skill sets.

While forward-thinking, planning, logic and reasoning are skills that would be advantageous in warm climates, they would be utterly essential in cold climates with harsh winters, and those who did not possess such skills would have been Darwinized.

Still doesn't explain the average Russian.


Good point.

/I blame the vodak

I finally figured this one out. It comes down to population density. High pop density means you got more people exchanging ideas more often. It's that "wisdom of crowds" thing. On the British Isles, early on, you had a bunch of people crammed into a small space. Lots of information exchange. Hence, a tech boom relative to most other areas. In Mongolia, in contrast, you had widely spaced tribes with little exchange of information given the comm tech available. Ipso fatso, the Brits became more technologically advanced earlier on. (The reason that this didn't work so well in Micronesia is that they were far more isolated from the Asian mainland than the Brits were from the Continentals). Also, some religious faiths actively discourage human technological achievement, while others do not. Just my 2.



Makes sense.

Add to that the written word and a high proportion of literacy in a given the population, and information is able to transcend the barriers of geography and time - wisdom, knowledge and ideas are able to spread, grow and be utilized on a broad scale.

This has an exponential effect, as we are witnessing now with the literal explosion of technology over the past couple of centuries, and especially the past few decades. Unfortunately this does not necessarily bode well for humanity, as IMO, our technological capabilities have outpaced our moral and ethical foresight as a species, and we retain many of the baser instincts (selfishness, clannishness, tribalism, greed, envy, etc) that prevent us from utilizing this flood of information wisely.

We now have the capability to destroy ourselves and greatly harm the planet in the process. Are we wise enough to refrain from doing so?

As for religion, I can't see that it is anything other than a liability.
 
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