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Dear_one
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11 Apr 2021, 6:44 am

There is a fellow who put up a prize of $25,000 for anyone who can explain a fairly common process to him. His money is quite safe, not because nobody else understands it, but because he cannot learn it.



quite an extreme
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11 Apr 2021, 8:48 am

Dear_one wrote:
There is a fellow who put up a prize of $25,000 for anyone who can explain a fairly common process to him. His money is quite safe, not because nobody else understands it, but because he cannot learn it.

What kind of a 'fairly common process'? Reminds me to "Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it." (Rene Descartes)
For some problems the average human brains just seem to lack the required registers for remembering partial solutions to reassemble the things after solving the separate parts. The Collatz conjecture is kind of that way.


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QuantumChemist
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11 Apr 2021, 10:02 am

quite an extreme wrote:
Dear_one wrote:
There is a fellow who put up a prize of $25,000 for anyone who can explain a fairly common process to him. His money is quite safe, not because nobody else understands it, but because he cannot learn it.

What kind of a 'fairly common process'? Reminds me to "Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it." (Rene Descartes)
For some problems the average human brains just seem to lack the required registers for remembering partial solutions to reassemble the things after solving the separate parts. The Collatz conjecture is kind of that way.


I have taught students in chemistry labs that have this problem. You have to break the procedure down into micro steps for them or they will never get it done. if they have to think about what they are doing, the lab would go on for hours after the listed class time. Yet, these are going to be potential future medical doctors and pharmacists in their goals. One student repeated a general chemistry lab course with me four times before she could pass it. She wanted to become a neurosurgeon.

My worst lab safety violator was in this group. He had a masters in electrical engineering, but incredibly dangerous to himself and others in lab. Multiple times in a semester I caught him picking up solid potassium hydroxide (strong base) pellets with his bare hands. He would not use a spatula nor wear gloves even when they were supplied to him. After a semester of pulling my hair out, i had him removed and banned after he attempted to mouth pipette concentrated hydrochloric acid. He knew the rules, but wanted to try it. I told him I did not want to be witness to his suicide in the lab. His reply was “Oh”.

I wish the above was a completely isolated issue in the lab, but alas is is not. Some just do not have the right common sense level to be there. I just hate being the person that has to tell them.



Udinaas
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11 Apr 2021, 11:09 am

Every test I take has me slightly above average mathematically but gifted verbally. I was a B student in math who could read at a college level in 5th grade.



quite an extreme
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11 Apr 2021, 11:16 am

QuantumChemist wrote:
My worst lab safety violator was in this group. He had a masters in electrical engineering, but incredibly dangerous to himself and others in lab. Multiple times in a semester I caught him picking up solid potassium hydroxide (strong base) pellets with his bare hands. He would not use a spatula nor wear gloves even when they were supplied to him. After a semester of pulling my hair out, i had him removed and banned after he attempted to mouth pipette concentrated hydrochloric acid. He knew the rules, but wanted to try it. I told him I did not want to be witness to his suicide in the lab. His reply was “Oh”.

Potassium hydroxide is the most common stuff for pipe cleaner. Wouldn't ever touch this with bare hands. :mrgreen:
One problem here in Germany is that the Chemistry lessons in the schools aren't even worth to be called that anymore. No interesting experiments and not even simple math. Once in GDR we did lot of that. Most people don't know anything about it and didn't ever learn how to handle chemicals. Looks like they want the kids to become idiots once it comes to science. :(
On the other hand you can't buy a lot of common chemicals here anymore that easily just because they seem heavily afraid of terrorists. There are more and more restrictions regarding that. I totally dislike that kind of development here but most people aren't even realizing it ...


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Dear_one
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11 Apr 2021, 12:42 pm

I have a working hypothesis that everyone is stupid about something. Quite a few people who are very smart in one area assume that they are broadly competent. Climate deniers are often hired from that group. I think it was Edwin Hubble who, despite having seen dust floating in a sunbeam, and the noses of other species, declared that the reason his nostrils pointed down was to avoid space dust. One retired engineer tried to start helping out around the house when the toilet roll ran out. He rolled the new paper onto the old core, wondering how his wife had done it so neatly. I once saw a dozen various business executives at a fishing lodge unable to weigh their biggest fish, as there was no adequate weight for the balance. Then the guide used another fish as a known weight, without comment. I know an excellent chess player who is a hazard in the workshop.



quite an extreme
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11 Apr 2021, 2:16 pm

Dear_one wrote:
I have a working hypothesis that everyone is stupid about something.

May be because there exists more then just a single kind of problems and a single kind of intelligence that you need in life.
Let's try a definition.

Intelligence is the ability of realizing and memorizing things and relations and basing on this for finding an optimal solution for existing problems. Regarding the different kinds of existing problems there are different versions of intelligence required to solve those problems an optimal way. A problem is any deviation of an existing state from the optimum. An optimum is the best state that is reachable in opposite to an ideal which is the best state that can be imagined.

Intelligence test are only measuring the specific intelligence that is required for solving the specific problems in just that test. They don't tell anything about the intelligence for other tasks, e.g. for hunting, fishing, fighting, comforting people, realizing other peoples emotions and intentions and dealing with others or for finding the right way in an unknown area and realizing existing dangers in the environment aso. Imaginations and associations and even many emotions are part of the intelligence because they are required for solving many existing problems an optimal way. The wrong ones of those can be a problem as well of course.

The question 'How smart are you?' doesn't makes much sense without telling regarding which kind of problems.


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11 Apr 2021, 2:33 pm

It is interesting how many answers there are to this questions and how many TYPES of answers.
I am someone who feels he doesn't know anything about a subject unless he knows Everything about a subject.
One silly answer to OP's question is "smart enough not to answer this question".

Some people have a theory of "Multiple intelligences" which is kind of like redefining a word to the point of having no meaning.

The trouble of comparing yourself with someone else is that you may be unhappy if you find you are "less than" and the other person may be unhappy of he or she is "less than". If you have empathy for other people you are at a loss in each case. Even if you have no empathy you may not like how the other person reacts to your "greatness" real or imagined.

Changing the word intelligence to mean "good at anything" can help take the sting out - but it also muddies the water for people who are genuinely gifted in that "traditional intelligence" kind of intelligence - especially if they are not also gifted socially.

The definition of "gifted" in the United States depends on the State you live in. It usually means you are 70th to 80th percentile on an IQ or nationally leveled standardized test. It may be higher - such as 85th or 90th is some school districts.
Which is to say - there really is no standard definition.

As a parent of two children who are 2e (twice exceptional - exceptionally gifted and exceptionally "special" in a ADHD or ASD or other "down-side" type way) and being a 2e myself I know that there are times it really does matter what words you use and how they are used. My IQ is a few points below 140 but that is my "full scale IQ" which is the average of several subtest scores. Some are higher the nationally leveled average and others are lower. The two subtest scores which are lower have to do with working memory and rote processing - and this subtest spread is exactly what got me my diagnosis for ADHD. It wasn't any one score but the odd way that two scores lagged by a large amount that was statistically significant.
The statistically significant spread was indicative of executive function problems - which pointed to ADHD. However there is just as much literature that shows a correlation with ASD and executive function problems as for ADHD.

Both my kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD have also had a full IQ test done, and the subtest spread has reappeared for both of them. The oldest is also diagnosed ASD.

Wikipedia has a list of the IQ score ranges and the words that go with them - they have changed over time. "Genius" is a term not officially used any more - at one time I think it meant IQ of 140 or above. The same range now might be called "superior" or "very superior". The term "high gifted" again has no firm definition but refers to upper percentiles, and sort of corresponds to "very superior" but depends very much on context. In terms of rarity the number of people on the planet with a given IQ goes down faster and non-linearly as the "percentile" number goes up.
Percentile is usually a more sensible number to talk about than IQ - as it can be compared more easily across different tests (ans subtests).

The subtests of a standard IQ test each have a correlation to someone's specific theory of "Intellegence". Not everyone agrees that the theories which were included or even with the idea that "Intelligence" is something you can put a single number on. Also the IQ tests are changed or "re-leveled" periodically against national data. One joking description is that "an IQ test score is a number that tells you what score you get on an IQ test".

My fullscale IQ test is too low to get me into Mensa - I think my kids scores are high enough but we never joined. The idea that it might help them to find people that they could "connect with" - perhaps better than the other kids in school - or a Mentor seemed attractive but some people might look down on them too. I think that my SAT scores might qualify me for Mensa because I took them untimed and they were taken in a year when they "counted" as a qualifying test. Newer SAT scores cannot be used. Some grad school entrance tests can be used. I don't have my SAT scores any more and would have to submit forms (and cash) to get them. And they might be disqualified BECAUSE they were taken untimes - I really don't know.

I find that I am, quite frankly, above average in some kinds of "smart" and below average in others. To quote Adrian Monk "it's a blessing . . . and a curse". Being above average is. Being below average is. Frankly in some places and some times being average is too. There really is no correlation with IQ and life success. Being 2E has been a great things at times and has been very very painful at others.

So - I guess I WASN'T smart enough to "not answer" this question. I found other people's answers very interesting reading.


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endersdragon34
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11 Apr 2021, 8:20 pm

Ummm I am in law school despite having like a million disabilities and like top 40% of my class... so pretty smart :)



TomBarclay
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11 Apr 2021, 8:49 pm

I am fairly smart (IQ 113) but I lack anyway to express it. I am dyslexia and have ADHD. I do not articulate myself very well. sometimes I feel trapped but I am used to it. I can play dumb really well.


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11 Apr 2021, 9:41 pm

As a kid I always did very well in school from elementary to high school. But at that point certain subjects had become more advanced and I hadn't developed any good study or work habits to compensate for my weaknesses. Calculus and chemistry made absolutely no sense to me, for example. I actually just wrote a program on my calculator that would solve for the variables instead, and then just fudged the "showing my work" portion and skated by. But my semantic memory is very good, and my language skills are great. I've probably gotten lazier over the years, but I could read at a college level at a young age. I was actually tested to be put into a gifted program and didn't make it, but only barely.

But other areas are really lacking. I have trouble with my working memory, my math skills are lacking, and I seem to have issues with common sense in certain situations. Some times I can point out very obvious solutions where others are struggling, but other times I get flustered and lost in situations that seem easy for others. Especially working with my hands, multitasking, and time management.



rottingpetal
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12 Apr 2021, 12:31 am

I could be smarter.
It's become apparent to me that most men (and some women) look down at women who are smarter than they are so I like to play dumb for their sake.



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12 Apr 2021, 2:28 am

When I applied for uni, I put nanoengineering and theoretical physics as my 2nd and 3rd choices. I got my first choice so it was never much of a question, but looking back I wish I had gone with either of those. I'm not smart enough to be a top science student, but it was something I thoroughly enjoyed, and I think being happy is better than being on top. In any case, after over a decade of neglect my math skills are now laughable at best, so that road's closed.


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QuantumChemist
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13 Apr 2021, 9:35 am

quite an extreme wrote:
QuantumChemist wrote:
My worst lab safety violator was in this group. He had a masters in electrical engineering, but incredibly dangerous to himself and others in lab. Multiple times in a semester I caught him picking up solid potassium hydroxide (strong base) pellets with his bare hands. He would not use a spatula nor wear gloves even when they were supplied to him. After a semester of pulling my hair out, i had him removed and banned after he attempted to mouth pipette concentrated hydrochloric acid. He knew the rules, but wanted to try it. I told him I did not want to be witness to his suicide in the lab. His reply was “Oh”.

Potassium hydroxide is the most common stuff for pipe cleaner. Wouldn't ever touch this with bare hands. :mrgreen:
One problem here in Germany is that the Chemistry lessons in the schools aren't even worth to be called that anymore. No interesting experiments and not even simple math. Once in GDR we did lot of that. Most people don't know anything about it and didn't ever learn how to handle chemicals. Looks like they want the kids to become idiots once it comes to science. :(
On the other hand you can't buy a lot of common chemicals here anymore that easily just because they seem heavily afraid of terrorists. There are more and more restrictions regarding that. I totally dislike that kind of development here but most people aren't even realizing it ...


It is happening over here in the US too. I commonly ask my students what chemistry sets they played with as kids. They usually answer that they were not allowed to play with them because their parents were worried that they would hurt themselves. The parents were also afraid of the sets. I see this as a slow downfall of science in a way. The chemistry sets on the market now are a joke. No dangerous chemicals due to liability issues. They will not foster a child’s interest very long. That to me is sad.

I feel like a dinosaur when I talk to my classes about how I learned chemistry. I was actively making explosives out on a relative’s farm by the age of twelve. I extracted natural poisons in bulk quantities by that age. If I tried that today, I would be in jail for a very long time. I played with real dangerous chemistry sets from the 1940s and 1950s as a young kid and survived with only minor burns. (One set was an atomic energy set that contained radium.) Future generations should have been given those chances to do so, but due to the actions of a few people, that was lost to them. The void created by those things taken away has been taken up with other interests that do not involve science.

Science will survive, but I fear the advancements will slow as less people go into the field over time. It is our collective loss.



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13 Apr 2021, 10:01 am

When I was young and scruffy looking, I could walk into an agricultural supply and buy a half gallon of nitric acid. I used it to clean metal. After a few trips, I got some Sulphuric, too, which would surely raise red flags now. Now, I can't get nitric anywhere, and another staple, Sodium Hydroxide, is also hard to find.



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13 Apr 2021, 5:58 pm

Very, in some ways. I was reading at university level at age 7. But I can't seem to manage to pay my bills or do other apparently simple tasks without help.


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