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Thread: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

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    Default Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    You'r durn tootin' it can! This is an article I found in the Wall Street Journal. In 1996 I wrote a term paper for my Political Science class titled "Keep Them Dumb and Docile." Now, over a decade later it appears someone else has stumbled across the fact that an appropriate education can solve a lot of the socio-economic ills plaguing our nation. If that's so, why on Earth is Education almost always where our government likes to cut spending (when it's not cutting spending on health care)?

    At any rate, this article deals more with the fact that educators and policy simply overlook a students ability to learn in the first place. When I was in school (way back when), IQ tests were standard; but not any more. This has been overlooked in setting policy regarding Education. Anyway, I found it interesting and hope you do as well.
    Enjoy!

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009531
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Thanks Crip.
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    ...why on Earth is Education almost always where our government likes to cut spending (when it's not cutting spending on health care)?
    You've got to be kidding! Our government has done nothing but throw more and more money at education for decades! And, the more money we throw at it, the worse education has gotten. The problem is accountability. Any time there is a push to hold teachers and schools accountable for their product (good education), we get lectured on how difficult it is to be a teacher, how they are underpaid, and how they need more money. To which we respond by giving them more.

    We've said on this forum before that some of the best martial arts schools are run out of garages, and some of the worst have the biggest buildings. I'd suggest it is the same with primary education. Want your kids to get a good one? Home school. Send 'em to the big bucks government store and they'll get a McEducation, dang near every time.

    That's the only way I can think of to relate this thread to martial arts- that and the fact that modern PC education is one of the big reasons we need good Kenpo schools out there in the first place.

    Dan (feelin' ornery enough to post on a political topic today) C

    PS- this type of knee jerk reaction to politics is one good reason to keep them off a martial arts forum- and, believe me, I'm showing a lot of restraint at that.
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    This post is under "General Discussion about non Martial Art stuff"
    Perhaps you should check the heading before posting. In the future, that would probably save you a lot of unnecessary stress.

    Secondly, do your research. I'm not sayiing throwing money at the problem helps. In most cases the money that is granted by the Feds is not properly distributed by the state government.

    Thirdly, the article attributes the problems to poor policy based on liberal rhetoric like trying to classify different types of "intelligence." That's a bunch of hooey and was only put into place to make all the little children feel "special." I studied "Education" for a while and spent some time in different classrooms. Some teachers are better than others, but in the same vien some students have the capacity to learn more than others.

    Did you read the article?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    I skimmed the article. I replied to the quote I posted. I stand by my statements. And, I forgot about it immediately when I went to another thread, so I wasn't unduly stressed. And I'm still feelin' ornery, so there!

    Dan (grrr) C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    I will take the fifth on this thread...
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dianhsuhe View Post
    I will take the fifth on this thread...
    LOL. Good call. I simply thought it was an interesting and entertaining article.

    BTW, the U.S. is ranked 14th in Education World Wide...I think there's room for improvement.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    This has been my argument for a shift from a democracy, to an oligarchy by educational and philosophical elite. A kick I was on as a psych grad student was IQ testing. After performing nearly 500 batteries, I became deeply disheartened. 100 (for one of the major standardized tests) is considered average. Folks at that 100 point can still be some pretty dim bulbs. "Average" basically means the bulk of the population falls within a hiccup of that, with a minority being significantly lower, and a minority being significantly higher. So, a vast majority of dim bulbs have the voting power to drive a democratic vote. Our decisions...propositions, bills, presidential elections...are determined by idiots.

    The masses are not fit for self rule; they are, essentially, too stupid to understand complex issues and their ramifications, and are not qualified to weigh in on them with any informed authority. In anything other than an enfranchised democracy -- wherein a minimum level of education and accomplishment are prerequisites for the right to vote -- rule by the masses is a bad idea.

    So, in the spirit of The Republic, why not take the brightest minds, and rotate them through a smaller parliamentary body?

    Let the arrows fly,

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Hi Dr. Dave,

    A comment and question about the standardized IQ tests. You mentioned that these types of tests represent an average of the population. My understanding is they represent(ed) to a greater degree, the average of 'white middle class America' and all of the socio economic, social beliefs that go with that. When was the last time the test was modified to represent a better proportion of the population? As the population changes (less intelligent) does this skew the future results? If the average is 100, is todays 100 score the same as a score of 100, twenty years ago?

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    This has been my argument for a shift from a democracy, to an oligarchy by educational and philosophical elite. A kick I was on as a psych grad student was IQ testing. After performing nearly 500 batteries, I became deeply disheartened. 100 (for one of the major standardized tests) is considered average. Folks at that 100 point can still be some pretty dim bulbs. "Average" basically means the bulk of the population falls within a hiccup of that, with a minority being significantly lower, and a minority being significantly higher. So, a vast majority of dim bulbs have the voting power to drive a democratic vote. Our decisions...propositions, bills, presidential elections...are determined by idiots.

    The masses are not fit for self rule; they are, essentially, too stupid to understand complex issues and their ramifications, and are not qualified to weigh in on them with any informed authority. In anything other than an enfranchised democracy -- wherein a minimum level of education and accomplishment are prerequisites for the right to vote -- rule by the masses is a bad idea.

    So, in the spirit of The Republic, why not take the brightest minds, and rotate them through a smaller parliamentary body?

    Let the arrows fly,

    Dave

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    This has been my argument for a shift from a democracy, to an oligarchy by educational and philosophical elite. A kick I was on as a psych grad student was IQ testing. After performing nearly 500 batteries, I became deeply disheartened. 100 (for one of the major standardized tests) is considered average. Folks at that 100 point can still be some pretty dim bulbs. "Average" basically means the bulk of the population falls within a hiccup of that, with a minority being significantly lower, and a minority being significantly higher. So, a vast majority of dim bulbs have the voting power to drive a democratic vote. Our decisions...propositions, bills, presidential elections...are determined by idiots.

    The masses are not fit for self rule; they are, essentially, too stupid to understand complex issues and their ramifications, and are not qualified to weigh in on them with any informed authority. In anything other than an enfranchised democracy -- wherein a minimum level of education and accomplishment are prerequisites for the right to vote -- rule by the masses is a bad idea.

    So, in the spirit of The Republic, why not take the brightest minds, and rotate them through a smaller parliamentary body?

    Let the arrows fly,

    Dave
    I actually agree with a lot of what you say. The Electoral College is in place for that very reason, and we are indeed a Republic and not a real Democracy. The problem with that is anyone with enough money can buy a spot in the Electoral College. Thomas Jeffereson addressed the concern early on in our nations history but unfortunately was only one voice among many.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by execkenpo View Post
    Hi Dr. Dave,

    A comment and question about the standardized IQ tests. You mentioned that these types of tests represent an average of the population. My understanding is they represent(ed) to a greater degree, the average of 'white middle class America' and all of the socio economic, social beliefs that go with that. When was the last time the test was modified to represent a better proportion of the population? As the population changes (less intelligent) does this skew the future results? If the average is 100, is todays 100 score the same as a score of 100, twenty years ago?

    Thanks
    Read the article. IQ is not necessarily indicitive of any specific socio or economic background. While there are certain ways to improve one's IQ score by a few points, you're basically born with it.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by execkenpo View Post
    Hi Dr. Dave,

    A comment and question about the standardized IQ tests. You mentioned that these types of tests represent an average of the population. My understanding is they represent(ed) to a greater degree, the average of 'white middle class America' and all of the socio economic, social beliefs that go with that. When was the last time the test was modified to represent a better proportion of the population? As the population changes (less intelligent) does this skew the future results? If the average is 100, is todays 100 score the same as a score of 100, twenty years ago?

    Thanks
    These issues were hot topics since the mid seventies, when researchers evaluated for the effects of SES (socio-economic status) on IQ findings, then re-wrote some tests to be appropriate for social contexts aside from WASP America. Two classic examples used commonly to illustrate the point are a test designed for the 'hood, and one designed for Eskimo populations. WASP's failed them miserably, while folks local to those populations scored much higher on those than they did the waspy ones. It raised some good questions about "what is intelligence?" and "how do we measure it accurately?". The obvious argument was that the existing tests were not accurate representations of potential. The rebuttal was that quotient referred to capacity to succeed in the environment of a broader social context (rather than SES microcosms's), and that, like it or not, the WASPy measures were better determinants for success in 20th century United States than the ability to identifiy different kinds of snow, or know a good place to pawn stolen tires, or how to avoid getting shot on the way to school.

    The argument lead to attempts at creating tests that measured problem solving and reasoning capacity on scales not directly related to educational level (ie., solve a visual puzzle to make multi-colored blocks match a template, as opposed to discerning the ultimate meaning of a sentence with double negatives). Some maintain these tests are better measures than the earlier tests; some continue to challenge the accuracy of them measuring anything other than test-taking skills.

    The modern solution has been to subject the takee to a series of tests, rather than one or two. So, instead of taking one, you'll take a half-dozen different tests, and we'll write up a general impression of your capacity, as opposed to delivering a single number label. Stanford-Binet, Wechsler, Peabody, etc., in one psychometric marathon. Current criticisms of this approach include practitioner effect (what if the person delivering the test has a bias for or against the person taking it), practice effect (the more you do a thing, the better you get at it), fatigue (after hours of testing, are you just too tired to provide accurate performance?), and a host of others.

    I've always thought the best IQ test was simply conversation. It ain't hard to determine if somone is bright just by talking to them. You may not agree with them, but can they track an idea, expound on their views and the rationale behind them, and evaluate incoming new information appropriately? But then again, there is good argument that this is only one type of multiple intelligences, and an idiot-savant wicked at numbers or music would not pass this test. Unless we define IQ specifically as the capacity to change and excel within a specific social context...which savante's can't. Now we get into that whole, "Aren't little people still people?" thing, and the whole loop starts over again.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    I'll admit I haven't read the article yet, I will. I still wonder if the scoring system will act like a bell curve and the average score of 100 will change according to societal changes. So i ask again, is 100 today equivalent to 100 twenty years ago? This isn't my field of study so pardon my ignorance.

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Read the article. IQ is not necessarily indicitive of any specific socio or economic background. While there are certain ways to improve one's IQ score by a few points, you're basically born with it.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by execkenpo View Post
    I'll admit I haven't read the article yet, I will. I still wonder if the scoring system will act like a bell curve and the average score of 100 will change according to societal changes. So i ask again, is 100 today equivalent to 100 twenty years ago? This isn't my field of study so pardon my ignorance.

    Thanks
    Efforts are made by manufacturers to re-standardize major psychometric tools every so often. MMPI, WAIS, and a host of others are trying to address the very issues you're bringing up.

    Each time a test comes out, some bunch of professors and grad students in "publish or perish" academic climates will try to make a name for themselves by bringing up the next great criticism of the new version. It's quite literallt competitive. That flurry of activity brings up some solid points, some superfluous. The solid ones stick around and get reiterated until the next version is created, and the manufacturers try to incorporate the findings. New tests are used to measure "new" populations.

    Older test populations didn't have the internet or computers, and so were trained to think differently than today's mainstream population. Some tests find modern populations brightening with the advent of new technology and media. However, when older tests were used...standardized on white college students from the 50's and 60's, todays population fails miserably...according to those, we have gotten progressively dumber, and lack reasoning skills developed over classical educational coursework.

    Communication researchers have measured a significant change in attention spans. 40 years ago, people read books, not bullets. Movie scenes would have whole paragraphs of dialogue with a single camera shot. Now, to fit todays shorter attention span, you can't go 10 seconds in a TV or film shot without a switch in subject or camera perspective.

    So who's right? I think they both are. Remember: They measure success capacity within a defined context. College kids from 40+ years ago would crap out in todays educational environment, not knowing how to access information in libraries over the internet, read lectures stored on servers in PowerPoint, or write their papers on Word for submission on a disc or via e-mail. Likewise, a college student from modern life would be seriously challenged to meet the reading and writing requirements for a full under-grad course load from 40 years ago. Can you imagne a 19-yaer old reading Warand Peace or Shakespeare for lit?

    D.
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Dear D:

    With all due respect I think your comment is ridiculous:

    "College kids from 40+ years ago would crap out in todays educational environment, not knowing how to access information in libraries over the internet, read lectures stored on servers in PowerPoint, or write their papers on Word for submission on a disc or via e-mail. "

    Just how difficult do you think it is to do the tasks that you mention?

    I don't beleive that these "difficult taks" are difficult at all and I suspect that most of my 60's generation co-horts feel the same way.

    Granny "Goodwitch" might have a problem but she could be trained as well to exploit today's technology if she desired to do so.

    Nelson
    Thank you for your input. A long-time friend of mine is working 2 jobs at a Souther Cal CSU school, both as head of admissions, matriculation, and as the dean of a humanities department. As one of the people overseeing both ends -- new students coming in, and completed students signing off for graduation -- she has noted that many students returning to school after previous educations and careers need remedial education on fundamentals we may take for granted, such as those I listed above.

    My propensity is to side with her observations...which include the difficulties returning adults have with computers and information gathering. Incidently, professors have kept up with the times...including some profs who have been in the machine long enough to see the differences, and mourn the loss of concentration right along with the returning adult learning students. A dear friend and mentor is a college professor in the communication dept. in a So. Cal. college, who is in Who's Who for education, and spent years as the department head prior to semi-retiring. She pressed for funding for a program to provide these services to professionals returing to school after 20+ years in the workplace. In one of my more prosperous modes, I gained a rep as a good chiro for the teaching community she was part of, and gained as patients many of the profs from several departments at the univiserty (they had great benefits that paid my visits). Those who I spoke with about such things, concurred.

    I cannot imagine such programs would be pushed for by people on the front lines if a need for them did not exist.

    Best Regards,

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Nelson:

    My father, now in his late-seventies, was one of the first guys to work with programming computers for nuclear reactors. He later went to work as a systems engineer and programmer for missile guidance systems in New Mexico (where I was born glowing), then for navigation systems with the Navy in Hawaii (where I started kenpo as a rugrat). Yet, he took his calculus clases and got his degrees in nuclear physics and math using a slide rule.

    At one point in his career, they did a background check, and called him to task for not using the updated protocols for programming an AI-type program for defense systems. His reply was that, when he did the programming, there were no protocols...he was the first. Chagrined, they dropped their complaint.

    He is now more proficient at XP than I ever was in DOS. So I am experientially affiliated with the idea that it's a sumbnall..some, but not all.

    I'm willing to bet you've got some fun stories about early programming, as well. Hopefully beer will provide a means to swap some of them one day.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    intelligence must be guided by the highest moral standards otherwise it can and will bring us weapons of terror and destruction.

    Nelson
    I think this is one of the most insightful components of the whole equation. Hitler was no dummy.

    Without a moral compass to guide the direction of change, it's just energy in action; the outcome could be good, or it could be bad. My problem is the sources of moral standards; I don't think any one institution is sufficiently informationally endowed to provide the guiding light, and tribalistic tendencies seem to keep uis from forming sound ecumenical ethics consortiums.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    I think this is one of the most insightful components of the whole equation. Hitler was no dummy.

    Without a moral compass to guide the direction of change, it's just energy in action; the outcome could be good, or it could be bad. My problem is the sources of moral standards; I don't think any one institution is sufficiently informationally endowed to provide the guiding light, and tribalistic tendencies seem to keep uis from forming sound ecumenical ethics consortiums.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Hitler started a two-front war...that's just plain idiotic though I've heard some claim he was intelligent. He was definately charismatic, but IHMO and out-right moron.

    I don't necessarily think that "true" intelligence always requires a "moral compass". Those that are truely intelligent and use logic and reason as their "compass". For example: they don't do things like kill each other because they realize that is conterproductive to the perpetuation of the species and genocide would ulitmately mean their own demise!

    But that could still be considered an "ethic" I suppose, so I'd have to say you both make a very valid point. Ones value base would influence one's actions......but I would hope logic would overcome superstition. But I must admit history shows that's not always the case.

    Well...you've definately got me thinking more about it than I had planned. LOL.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    >How about raising intelligence? It would be nice if we knew how, but we >do not.

    Actually much of the article is correct and other parts of it are incorrect.

    For example Win Winger has had very successful methods of raising IQ's in adults by use of his "image streaming" techologies.

    Donna Eden has done much on the energy side of intelligence and stress. Go to www.innersource.net.

    And even in the older educational studies, i.e, Thorndike, Rosenthal, etc., much has been verified and proven about "how" one is taught can raise IQ. Also about what one believes about the person being taught BEFORE they teach them (their expectations) will validate the teachings.

    In other words, the students will rise to match the expectations of the trainer.

    Pretty well established research.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Can Intelligence Solve Our Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    This has been my argument for a shift from a democracy, to an oligarchy by educational and philosophical elite. A kick I was on as a psych grad student was IQ testing. After performing nearly 500 batteries, I became deeply disheartened. 100 (for one of the major standardized tests) is considered average. Folks at that 100 point can still be some pretty dim bulbs. "Average" basically means the bulk of the population falls within a hiccup of that, with a minority being significantly lower, and a minority being significantly higher. So, a vast majority of dim bulbs have the voting power to drive a democratic vote. Our decisions...propositions, bills, presidential elections...are determined by idiots.

    The masses are not fit for self rule; they are, essentially, too stupid to understand complex issues and their ramifications, and are not qualified to weigh in on them with any informed authority. In anything other than an enfranchised democracy -- wherein a minimum level of education and accomplishment are prerequisites for the right to vote -- rule by the masses is a bad idea.

    So, in the spirit of The Republic, why not take the brightest minds, and rotate them through a smaller parliamentary body?

    Let the arrows fly,

    Dave
    Thank you Dave,
    I needed a good laugh today;-)
    Doc John

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