Ed from OC

When she is older or more successful

87 posts in this topic

It also matters to me that the woman I choose to be my wife can understand my work. It doesn't mean she has to be able to invent the stuff in my work. But that I can explain the concepts to her and she will think it over and understand. My work is so important to me that I consider it to be important for visibility in the relationship.

Michael - I can personally relate to this desire, but I can say from experience that this is most likely an unreasonable condition to place on a relationship - and more importantly, an unnecessary one. I think you will find that it's hard enough to find "the right one". Add too many "AND" clauses in your search and the result could well be an empty set for the entire female population. *Very very few* people will ever be truly excellent programmers. (Or physicists for that matter.) To get the sort of "visibility" that you're describing would essentially require that she be equal to your abilities. It is not just an issue of IQ (although even at that, I have to disagree with the premise that IQ is solely about speed of cognition - I can elaborate on this if anybody is interested.) It's an issue of motivation and knowledge, the same things that make somebody want to be in a particular career in the first place.

To use a common (fictional) context: Does Dominique have to have the kind of grasp of architecture of Howard Roark in order to grasp his greatness, and to appreciate the end result of his thinking and creativity, his buildings? Does Dagny have to be a physics genius to love Galt? Sure, up to a certain level, they could explain what they did, but there's a limit unless you have the full knowledge. In a broader context, in the "universe" of Ayn Rand's heroes, they would all admire the others' achievements (and the self-drive that made it possible, which itself is an achievement), without necessarily implying that any particular person had a deep grasp of the technical details.

I think the important issue is that your mate *values* achievement and thinking and properly appreciates you for those virtues.

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I don't get this IQ-as-speed thing. If you are going nowhere, does it matter if you get there fast? Speed of thought is certainly nice, but, to me, much more fundamental to intelligence is the breadth of the concepts one holds in mind, and the depth of integration one can perform.

Another important aspect is the ability to see things from a new perspective. Many scientists could see the same facts, but a genius would see them in a different way that would lead him to a new insight.

Also, what's the connection between the thinking habits a person has and his raw intelligence? Do they reinforce each other? Does it make sense to speak of the two as separate, or might they be the same thing?

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Michael - I can personally relate to this desire, but I can say from experience that this is most likely an unreasonable condition to place on a relationship - and more importantly, an unnecessary one. I think you will find that it's hard enough to find "the right one". Add too many "AND" clauses in your search and the result could well be an empty set for the entire female population.

...

I think the important issue is that your mate *values* achievement and thinking and properly appreciates you for those virtues.

I agree with this.

What I look for is someone who sees me as me; it's the visibility that matters, and seeing my own values reflected in another person. Sense of life matters more to me than intelligence or career.

I've found that I'm happier meeting and getting to know a wide range of women rather than writing them off. I wish I could hop in Professor Peabody's Way-Back Machine and not have blown off so many good opportunities when I was younger. I would say: spend some time with that girl that seems nice, even if she isn't "the one." I may have a good time with her and discover that my preconceptions about what I wanted were a little off. That's the benefit of experimentation.

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What I look for is someone who sees me as me; it's the visibility that matters, and seeing my own values reflected in another person.

Ed,

Could you concretize this further please? What do you mean by your "own values reflected in another person"?

Do you mean she has to like the art you like? and if so, to the same degree? Or do you mean that she has to be virtuous? Or do you mean that she has to be philosophical?

I've read about visibility and sense-of-life in many places -- what I haven't seen is enough concretes.

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Could you concretize this further please?  What do you mean by your "own values reflected in another person"?

What I mean is who you are deep down. You've probably had many conversations where the other person simply doesn't get the point you're making, and views the entire issue from a wildly different perspective. Or, you know how it felt growing up when you wanted to talk about interesting philosophical ideas, but your family just wasn't interested and didn't understand why it mattered to you? That's exactly the opposite of what I want.

I want to turn to the lady on my arm and point something out to her, and then see her get it, too. You know that scene in Casablanca that always leaves you choked up? She gets why, even if she herself doesn't respond as strongly.

And you know how much she loves that one fashion designer? It may not do the same thing for you, but you are glad that it makes her happy, and you enjoy the way she looks when she wears that favorite dress.

Do you mean she has to like the art you like? and if so, to the same degree? Or do you mean that she has to be virtuous? Or do you mean that she has to be philosophical?

To some degree, we would have to like some of the same movies and novels, because those are really important to me. Yes, she'd need to be virtuous, but that's not my point here, because I'm not talking about moral issues per se, but rather optional or personal values and, very specifically, the STYLE of her soul. And, yes, to a degree, she needs to be philosophical in order for us to communicate and have some important values in common, though that's not my precise point either.

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I have to disagree with the premise that IQ is solely about speed of cognition - I can elaborate on this if anybody is interested.

...

I think the important issue is that your mate *values* achievement and thinking and properly appreciates you for those virtues.

Phil, I would love to hear your elaboration!

Michael, I think another point on Phil's side is that not every one is your business partner. It's really cool to have a lover be your partner, but it's not always possible [for me, for ex.] or desirable [for others I've seen]. It's not fundamental either, because really your career is your independent work. So the primary satisfaction is from the creating, not the visibility; in other words you really are pleased about doing the work, you yourself are the source of pleasure. Whereas in love you should get visibility for the entire you.

I wonder if artists feel a bit differently about this?

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Phil, I would love to hear your elaboration!

Actually, Stephen's post right before mine (we were composing around the same time I think) concisely sums up my disagreement. Swiftness of thought isn't a bad thing, and I think it's *often* correlated with intelligence, but it doesn't truly define it. Quickly forming conclusions based on an improperly organized mental hierarchy and bad knowledge will let somebody be wrong more quickly. Whether your thinking is *correct*, and how deep it goes, and how cross-correlated (i.e. integrated) is ultimately more important. I do think that there's a non-trivial biological component to intelligence - as Ed Locke put it once (from memory), it's a product of 3 factors: genetics, environment, and free will. As I would put it myself: they're all important and they all inter-relate. In my observation, people with a higher biological potential for intelligence do tend to be faster thinkers - but you can't ignore the effects of environment, which includes available knowledge including philosophic knowledge, and free will - are they honest and motivated?

An analogy here is CPU power vs. software. Carefully written software on less computer hardware is more useful than buggy software on a system that can operate 10x faster. To quote a computer scientist (from memory so it's a paraphrase) - it might have been Edgar Dijkstra - regarding programming: "We are never willing to sacrifice correctness of programming for a faster program. A faster, wrong answer, is still a wrong answer."

I think an excessive emphasis on speed can also cause otherwise intelligent people to make important mistakes, i.e., "snap judgements", particularly about the nature/character of somebody based on inadequate data, which is fairly common. There's a difference between quickly thinking that you have a full answer (when in fact you don't), and quickly thinking that you don't have enough information and need more, which will require time to acquire or further integrate.

There's a kind of speed that can come from having one's mind and knowledge well organized and thus information is already highly accessible and cross-related - so in that respect, speed of thinking can be directly related to rationality. It's possible, for example, for Objectivists to quickly, but accurately, determine the philosophic meaning (and thus form ideas about proper, and improper, actions) of events, that otherwise intelligent people who have no clear philosophy can be totally confused about, or focus on inessentials.

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Swiftness of thought isn't a bad thing, and I think it's *often* correlated with intelligence, but it doesn't truly define it. Quickly forming conclusions based on an improperly organized mental hierarchy and bad knowledge will let somebody be wrong more quickly.

I would even venture that this tendency to make snap judgments (i.e., judgments that deny the full context) is at the very least a mark of ignorance and at the very worst the mark of the aspiring social-metaphysician.

There is a widespread practice today of using throat-and-nose sounds either to convey some kind of emotion (like fear, "disapproval,"* or disbelief) or as a form of conscious action (e.g., to grab a stranger's attention inappropriately, to break the concentration of a thoughtful individual, or to ruin the poise of an elegant or good-looking person).

I am beginning to believe that in most cases that I've observed, the practice is related to the degree of the practitioner's acceptance of altruism. Sometimes, the sound made is so loud, so distracting that it couldn't be done innocently.

The "smart thinking is quick thinking" line is a false epistemological principle which helps feed this behavior. And I suspect it is why so many geniuses have been martyred in human history. There is no shortage of people out there who think they've "got it figured out." What they never ask themselves is why they're so miserable and fearful all the time.

*I put disapproval in quotes because the term 'disapproval' implies that the approver is reasoning from sound premises and has arrived at a sound conclusion. But, this, I've found, is rarely ever true in this context.

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I would even venture that this tendency to make snap judgments (i.e., judgments that deny the full context) is at the very least a mark of ignorance and at the very worst the mark of the aspiring social-metaphysician.

It could be. It could also be due to rationalism or another type unconcern with sense perception that allows a person to reach conclusions and then go with it without double-checking against reality.

There is a widespread practice today of using throat-and-nose sounds either to convey some kind of emotion (like fear, "disapproval,"* or disbelief) or as a form of conscious action (e.g., to grab a stranger's attention inappropriately, to break the concentration of a thoughtful individual, or to ruin the poise of an elegant or good-looking person).

I am beginning to believe that in most cases that I've observed, the practice is related to the degree of the practitioner's acceptance of altruism.  Sometimes, the sound made is so loud, so distracting that it couldn't be done innocently.

I don't get this at all. What does rudeness, insensitivity, and/or the inability to communicate verbally have to do with self-sacrifice?

The "smart thinking is quick thinking" line is a false epistemological principle which helps feed this behavior.  And I suspect it is why so many geniuses have been martyred in human history.  There is no shortage of people out there who think they've "got it figured out."  What they never ask themselves is why they're so miserable and fearful all the time.

But many people do think quickly AND accurately -- particularly geniuses. I don't see the connection here with martyrdom and people who think they've "got it figured out."

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I would even venture that this tendency to make snap judgments (i.e., judgments that deny the full context) is at the very least a mark of ignorance and at the very worst the mark of the aspiring social-metaphysician.

It could be. It could also be due to rationalism or another type unconcern with sense perception that allows a person to reach conclusions and then go with it without double-checking against reality.

I admit that I may have been too harsh in my conclusion and that some snap-judgments may stem more from poor epistemology than from malice.

There is a widespread practice today of using throat-and-nose sounds either to convey some kind of emotion (like fear, "disapproval,"* or disbelief) or as a form of conscious action (e.g., to grab a stranger's attention inappropriately, to break the concentration of a thoughtful individual, or to ruin the poise of an elegant or good-looking person).

I am beginning to believe that in most cases that I've observed, the practice is related to the degree of the practitioner's acceptance of altruism.  Sometimes, the sound made is so loud, so distracting that it couldn't be done innocently.

I don't get this at all. What does rudeness, insensitivity, and/or the inability to communicate verbally have to do with self-sacrifice?

You are very generous, Mrs. Speicher, in describing this practice as "the inability to communicate verbally." I suspect that the practice is not innocent - in the cases where the noises are consciously made.

My use of altruism here is in the sense of being "overly concerned with the opinion(s) of others." When these throat-and-nose noisemakers do what they do, I suspect that they are playing to a gallery and side-stepping the responsibility of privately or publicly questioning their premises. This is done at the expense of their target.

The "smart thinking is quick thinking" line is a false epistemological principle which helps feed this behavior.  And I suspect it is why so many geniuses have been martyred in human history.  There is no shortage of people out there who think they've "got it figured out."  What they never ask themselves is why they're so miserable and fearful all the time.

But many people do think quickly AND accurately -- particularly geniuses. I don't see the connection here with martyrdom and people who think they've "got it figured out."

Most accurate "quick-thinking" is the consequence of proper induction, which is a lengthy process. When a genius comes up with an accurate identification, it only seems to be on-the-spot; in actual fact, many private hours of study, conscious analysis, and subconscious integration are involved. We're just not there when it's going on. We see the icing on the cake, but we're absent when it's being baked.

The connection with martyrdom is this: Why do geniuses have such a hard time getting their new identifications across, especially in their lifetimes?

Is it because their audiences revere the established truths that the genius challenges and thus are simply responding to the best in themselves? Or could it be that these audiences are unable to follow the genius's thinking? Or, perhaps they are unwilling to follow the new thinking?

Having said that, there is a more philosophical possibility: some confusion over the nature of thought. I am talking about the difference between induction and deduction. Induction is the more arduous process; deduction can sometimes be very quick indeed by comparison. Perhaps it is deduction that some refer to when they laud cognitive speed.

I have induction in mind, however, in this specific context of martyred geniuses and speedy thought.

Altogether, I do believe the tone of my post was uncharitable, especially since the context was psychological. But, I am simply going by my observations; I believe there's something there worth examining.

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I would even venture that this tendency to make snap judgments (i.e., judgments that deny the full context) is at the very least a mark of ignorance and at the very worst the mark of the aspiring social-metaphysician.

This is interesting--a family member of mine comes immediately to mind when I read this. She is very intelligent, but hampered by both a definite social metaphysics and a tendency to jump to conclusions. These two traits are very obvious in her character but I had never connected them before.

Maybe social metaphysics simply urges a person to be more vocal about their snap judgments, because they use approval from others to be sure the judgment is correct.

There is a widespread practice today of using throat-and-nose sounds...

What are you talking about here? (Do I even want to know?)

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There is a widespread practice today of using throat-and-nose sounds...

What are you talking about here? (Do I even want to know?)

:)

Actually, it's just as it reads: throat-and-nose sounds.

Coughs and sneezes which are overly loud -- these are the public, more-obvious actions and are not very common.

The emotional reactions are more common and generally more subtle, even though they can get moderately loud sometimes. These seem to stem from defensiveness mostly. Sharp, inappropriate sniffs and low coughs, usually when the executor has no illness or allergy to speak of.

The latter are easy to tune out or dismiss - sometimes, they are near-imperceptible. The former, on the other hand, can be so indecently loud as to almost be acts of aggression (kind of like the loud neighbor who characteristically plays very loud music at bedtime).

But, like any hidden phenomenon, once you notice the pattern(s) involved and identify its essence, it loses its "power."

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