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It comes up often, IQ is of substantial importance to thinkers. Yes ... but.

There are several contexts. As a given, man possesses intelligence. "IQ" is simply the measurement of a *capacity*. In that, it doesn't in itself determine a person's outcomes - it's a 'potential' and not the end-all and be-all. IQ comes in degrees - when compared from one to the next - but degree differentials are subordinate to what the individual ~does~ with his intelligence. (Handsome is as handsome does).

In priority, I would place an IQ measurement in final position - after:

a) adhering to reality (rationality) b) amassing, sorting and integrating facts (conceptualism) c) assessing the facts by objective standards (evaluation) d) continually applying 'focus' to all those processes (volition).

All within the capability of every person. The only difference IQ makes between two people who both practice these assiduously, is that the higher IQ will ultimately be able to accomodate a bigger range of concepts. E.g. Ayn Rand's mind could hold 'x' times as much in depth and breadth as an Objectivist of 'average' IQ.

Also, it is not a race. Some may be slower to grasp advanced concepts, and longer effort will eventually get them there.

Also, high intelligence is 'good' - but for whom, and for what? Before one is going to automatically admire superior intelligence or genius (in itself), it must not be forgotten that many of that type were within the ranks of those who perpetuated the most evil known. Nobody can tell me that some quantity of all the "usual suspects" (in the Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler ilk, and hundreds, thousands more of them less known) throughout history and today, did not also have high intelligence. Not to add, the many thinkers in error, or the clever college professors who teach unreal nonsense to young minds.

In counter-point, I have talked with remarkably rational and level-headed individuals - who are called "Simple blue collar workers".

It seems clear then, high IQ unsupported by other elements is insufficient.

How is it that "evil geniuses" would practice evasion?

Orwell again: "There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe them".

(Can it be for them that a superior intelligence feeds it own mind and pronounces that it can never, ever be mistaken?)

It may be, and it would be a damn shame if it's so, that some who are initially drawn to Objectivism from its literature, will drop out. Perhaps they think it an elite club of intimidatingly erudite and knowledgable scholars and students whose apparent high IQ is a prerequisite of entry, which they feel they can't match. They should be assured that this is a philosophy which follows from the simple basics which all mankind possesses, and expands from that base; it is for Everyman to use and apply and the individual himself will find he exceeds by far his own early expectations once he ventures into it - so actualizing his "potential".

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Just some random stuff about IQ, not trying to prove anything.

Edward de Bono, author of some dozens of books about creativity, says having a high IQ is like having a car with a powerful engine. It doesn't make you a good driver. Or having a powerful brain does not imply that you know how to use it.

Taking his analogy in a direction Edward de Bono did not go, having a car with a powerful engine does not imply that you have a destination; or having a powerful brain does not imply that you have a mission in life worthy of your great brain.

Steve McConnell, former Microsoft employee and author of Code Complete, devoted a page and a half to the question of the relationship between intelligence (which I assume means IQ) and productivity as a programmer. Obviously, all else being equal, the more intelligent person will be more productive. But according to Steve McConnell, even more important than intelligence is focus. I guess this means something like the programmer of mediocre IQ with good focus will be more productive than the programmer of astronomical IQ with poor focus. That's his first point. His second point is IQ is something more or less given by nature; if you are not a genius to begin with, you probably can't make yourself into a genius. But focus is a skill and it can be learned. So his bottom line point is you will gain more by trying to improve focus than by trying to improve IQ.

It is well known that in chess there is a huge range of talent. Some people spend much time on chess and never get any good and some people improve quickly. But a certain world champion who was asked in an interview what his IQ is, replied that he did not know and did not want to know and it probably would be a disappointment. Then he said something that puzzled me. He suggested that a super high IQ might be a disadvantage in chess and a certain UK chess player would be world champion if he were less intelligent. I don't know what to make out of that.

Isaac Asimov had a high IQ (170 if I remember right). But by his own say so, he was poor at chess. Everybody beat him in chess. How is this possible? He explained. He was accustomed to everything being easy for him. So he was not in the habit of making an effort. So if he didn't understand something instantly, he quit. Maybe that works in some fields but it didn't work in chess.

Chris Langan puzzles me. IQ of approx. 200. There is a video of him shovelling horse manure. A person of much lower IQ could do that. Much of his life he did unskilled or low skilled labor.

Rick Rosner is another guy who puzzles me.

 

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2 minutes ago, jts said:

Just some random stuff about IQ, not trying to prove anything.

Edward de Bono, author of some dozens of books about creativity, says having a high IQ is like having a car with a powerful engine. It doesn't make you a good driver. Or having a powerful brain does not imply that you know how to use it.

Taking his analogy in a direction Edward de Bono did not go, having a car with a powerful engine does not imply that you have a destination; or having a powerful brain does not imply that you have a mission in life worthy of your great brain.

Steve McConnell, former Microsoft employee and author of Code Complete, devoted a page and a half to the question of the relationship between intelligence (which I assume means IQ) and productivity as a programmer. Obviously, all else being equal, the more intelligent person will be more productive. But according to Steve McConnell, even more important than intelligence is focus. I guess this means something like the programmer of mediocre IQ with good focus will be more productive than the programmer of astronomical IQ with poor focus. That's his first point. His second point is IQ is something more or less given by nature; if you are not a genius to begin with, you probably can't make yourself into a genius. But focus is a skill and it can be learned. So his bottom line point is you will gain more by trying to improve focus than by trying to improve IQ.

It is well known that in chess there is a huge range of talent. Some people spend much time on chess and never get any good and some people improve quickly. But a certain world champion who was asked in an interview what his IQ is, replied that he did not know and did not want to know and it probably would be a disappointment. Then he said something that puzzled me. He suggested that a super high IQ might be a disadvantage in chess and a certain UK chess player would be world champion if he were less intelligent. I don't know what to make out of that.

Isaac Asimov had a high IQ (170 if I remember right). But by his own say so, he was poor at chess. Everybody beat him in chess. How is this possible? He explained. He was accustomed to everything being easy for him. So he was not in the habit of making an effort. So if he didn't understand something instantly, he quit. Maybe that works in some fields but it didn't work in chess.

Chris Langan puzzles me. IQ of approx. 200. There is a video of him shovelling horse manure. A person of much lower IQ could do that. Much of his life he did unskilled or low skilled labor.

Rick Rosner is another guy who puzzles me.

 

Capacity is not Content....

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Over on Rebirth of Reason, frequent contributor Luke Setzer has had bad experiences at MENSA meetings and just wrote off all of the High-IQ crowd.  That underscores Orwell's quip about some ideas being so wrong that only an intelligent person can accept them. 

I grew up in Cleveland, which still has a Major Work program in 3-12th grades.  It was started in the 1920s based on Lewis Terman's theories of eugenics. (I was not in Major Work because I was not smart enough.  I went to summer school to catch up. My brother was in it. Fans of "I Love Lucy" reruns, he still denies calling me "Mickey Retardo.")  (See "World Peace Through Massive Retaliation" here. And the related links in "Previously" below that, and others, such as "She's Such a Geek!" reviewed here.)
 

Quote

 

One contrary to an assertion above: "...  Some may be slower to grasp advanced concepts, and longer effort will eventually get them there."

 

In fact, it is an attribute of standard IQ testing that for many problems, no amount of extra time will be enough: you either get it or you do not. That is the nature of intelligence, or at least one aspect of some kinds of intelligence.

We all know that standard IQ tests are shot through with conceptual errors and cultural biases. Quart is to liter as inning is to chukker. Old Objectivists know Ayn Rand's endorsement of Banesh Hoffman's book The Tyranny of Testing.  As I recall, it was in the SATs of the time that Beethoven's "Emperor Concerto" and Strauss' "Emperor Waltz" were both correct answers -- just one out of many...

That kind of "intelligence" is just one aspect of human action.  We are more than the books we read or music we listen to.  The standard IQ test format has no way to measure "natural" ability in the visual arts.  That is why the best (yet limited) intelligence tests are administered one-on-one by a trained psychologist over a series of sessions that explore (as I recall) seven aspects of intelligence, including socialization and empathy.

As for chess, music, and everything else we do, I have given some thought to the problem of "prodigies" children who are fantastically accomplished at some skill such as playing the piano or mathematics.  My theory is that what humans can do is defined by what humans have done and some will always be better and worse at anything along any applicable scale. Someone invented the piano. The piano is within the realm of human action. Therefore, some people will have a "natural" ability to master that device. That applies to everything we have done or can do.  And we do not yet know all of the things that we can to. Some child will someday have an amazing facility with warp drive mechanics...

 

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Hello Michael.

Funny that! Truly, I was on the point of naming this topic: "Objectivism is not a Mensa Society." Had second thoughts.

Useful additions and observations, and I admit to not addressing "problem-solving" (like Jerry's chess geniuses do) as presented by IQ tests, w.r.t. the conceptualizing mind. The one is brain power, the other consciousness power, it seems to me. Of course without dichotomy. And of course, the logic (non-contradictory identification) is true to both. A 'test' under controlled circumstances which has to be finished speedily isn't actually true to thought and life - or is it? Conceptually, I'd still claim that since an individual's reasoning hasn't a time limit (as such), given effort and further time, anyone can inductively grasp an "advanced" concept, premised upon his lower concepts. It's not a race and we all aren't in competition.

It shows, I didn't recall or appreciate very much about IQ testing, and rate it rather less now. Those "cultural biases" - and, irrelevantly, a good/poor memory of general knowledge - can only skew results as you say. (it's chukka, btw).

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18 hours ago, jts said:

Just some random stuff about IQ, not trying to prove anything.

Edward de Bono, author of some dozens of books about creativity, says having a high IQ is like having a car with a powerful engine. It doesn't make you a good driver. Or having a powerful brain does not imply that you know how to use it.

Taking his analogy in a direction Edward de Bono did not go, having a car with a powerful engine does not imply that you have a destination; or having a powerful brain does not imply that you have a mission in life worthy of your great brain.

 

 

The analogy is excellent, and you can extend it to the n'th degree, almost. Any engine has power, with some more powerful. All have limits, and it's up to each to find where those are. Driven constantly at the red line would be deleterious - and then, a lesser powerful engine driven with skill will prove more effective than another driven erratically and casually. The poor driver takes his 8 cylinder, twin turbo engine for granted - and some drive fearfully, with one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake. The worst driver directs his superior engine power over other 'motorists'. Very often, looking under the bonnet and checking the engine's condition is essential. Watch those guages. The better driver makes it his purpose to understand the complexity of engineering design and mechanics of his engine, how it works. The sensible driver only tops up with the best gas and lubricants. He tries it out on trips to the shops, picking up the kids from school, and tests it driving across country, or off road or on a race track. He gains confidence in its efficiency and dependability. He knows he can choose to steer his vehicle in any direction he pleases for his good. The pleasure of the journey is a part of his destination. (etc.) :) Somewhere along the line it comes to the good driver that his engine is him and he is it. His brain has become his conscious mind.

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OK! now we're talking!

Peter Taylor quotes Ellen Moore [Atlantis 2001] in some other thread:

"As for IQ - I pay little attention to it. I know there are people with high IQ scores who are the most inconsistent, and even the dumbest, when it comes to identifying facts and rational thinking. And I know of people who do not score high on tests who are scrupulously dedicated to know the truth in facts and principles, and that they choose to direct their lives on the basis of principles of reason".

Brava Ellen. "I pay little attention to it".

IQ Tests, that empiricist's authoritarian scourge, doesn't need much attention, except of passing interest..

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Anthony wrote: IQ Tests, that empiricist's authoritarian scourge, doesn't need much attention, except of passing interest. end quote

Some random thoughts. I am hoping secondary education and college in the future will better enable people to get the jobs they want and open new possibilities for humanity. However I also see the usefulness of college degrees from odd, old majors like medieval history.

How human’s apply their intelligence is their affair but there needs to be a way for an educator or an employer to “judge” a candidate and IQ is a good predictor. I also think verbal fluency is a good predictor of ability, though chatter boxes don’t predict any possible success. If I were an employer I would give job candidates a “test” of my own devising which could include elements of an IQ test.

Shy, inarticulate, nerdy people could do well at some jobs, but they would do poorly as a sales person. And oddly, I have read that sales people on average don’t do well on IQ tests.

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Peter, I encourage a peek into Barbara's Principles of Efficient Thinking, listed here, and an early passage which bears out that high IQ alone is insufficient (for thought and apprehension of reality). I have seen enough of bad thinking by people actually correlating with (apparently) high intelligence, to wonder if knowledge of his "Intelligence Quotient" gives to the owner a sense of superiority, unjustified.

In small part, BB wrote : "Variations in thinking performance among men often bear little or no relation to variations in intelligence".

it's next to useless to have a big engine if one doesn't know how to drive one's car expertly.

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Anthony wrote: . . . . In small part, BB wrote : "Variations in thinking performance among men often bear little or no relation to variations in intelligence". It's next to useless to have a big engine if one doesn't know how to drive one's car expertly. end quote

If you were an employer, or an educator judging students for admission to college, how would you judge those applicants? Intuition? Perhaps, but you would look at their “record” and you would interview them. And I think *testing* is also a good tool. Some people can “talk up a storm” but they may not be very smart. Some people are new to the earth and have no work record. So I will disagree with BB to the extent that I think intelligence goes along with mental performance, though there will be exceptions. The content of their character is another matter.

Forrest Gump

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On 7/2/2017 at 10:05 AM, Peter said:

Anthony wrote: . . . . In small part, BB wrote : "Variations in thinking performance among men often bear little or no relation to variations in intelligence". It's next to useless to have a big engine if one doesn't know how to drive one's car expertly. end quote

If you were an employer, or an educator judging students for admission to college, how would you judge those applicants? Intuition? Perhaps, but you would look at their “record” and you would interview them. And I think *testing* is also a good tool. Some people can “talk up a storm” but they may not be very smart. Some people are new to the earth and have no work record.

I'd let them all in--and let God sort them out.

--Brant

to the college, not the country

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13 minutes ago, rosariorussell said:

Speaking of Mensa, I am the coordinator of the Objectivism group for Mensans located here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2003376446605830

 

Here is a fact that might be useful to your Chapter:

High I.Q. and $3.27  will buy a small coffee and a plain donut at the local donut shop.

Low I.Q  and  $3.27 will buy a small coffee and a plain donut at the local donut shop. 

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The automobile engine size and driver stupidity metaphors are lame. Let's stick to native reasoning talent, which is IQ. I am in the enviable position of being both stupid and immoral, so I assert with authority that most people are brighter and more rational, evidenced by law-abiding happy home life and successful careers.

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10 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Here is a fact that might be useful to your Chapter:

High I.Q. and $3.27  will buy a small coffee and a plain donut at the local donut shop.

Low I.Q  and  $3.27 will buy a small coffee and a plain donut at the local donut shop. 

American egalitarianism!

--Brant

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When I was much younger, I used to be proud of attaining a high IQ score (around 132 or so as I was told).

But as time has gone along, I've had to struggle hard for the facts in my brain, which leads me to believe I was misinformed. 

But even if I were not, I never discovered the measure for wisdom. If such should ever exist, now, I would probably score pretty high.

Before, though, back when I was, say, in college and strutting around so proud of my above-average IQ, I would have been a wisdom retard.

:) 

Michael

 

 

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3 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

When I was much younger, I used to be proud of attaining a high IQ score (around 132 or so as I was told).

But as time has gone along, I've had to struggle hard for the facts in my brain, which leads me to believe I was misinformed. 

But even if I were not, I never discovered the measure for wisdom. If such should ever exist, now, I would probably score pretty high.

Before, though, back when I was, say, in college and strutting around so proud of my above-average IQ, I would have been a wisdom retard.

:) 

Michael

 

 

Time takes its toll, Old Fellow.  We are all doomed to wear out and die. Enjoy you time while you can still enjoy it. 

I am just as smart as I was when I was 19 years old,  but I have slowed down.  Things that used to take an instant for me,  now take minutes, hours and days. 

So it goes....

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As I recently told my Dr. @ the annual physical exam..."well here I am, older and uglier than I was a yr. ago. The doc laughed and said..."so's everyone else".

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2 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Time takes its toll, Old Fellow.  We are all doomed to wear out and die. Enjoy you time while you can still enjoy it. 

I am just as smart as I was when I was 19 years old,  but I have slowed down.  Things that used to take an instant for me,  now take minutes, hours and days. 

So it goes....

Somewhere, perhaps from Peikoff, I heard that Ayn Rand said that her mind got better with age, by using it. Whatever.

Introspection or feel is a questionable way to judge one's own mind. What is needed is objective evidence.

Speaking of objective evidence, professional chess players on average are at their peak from age 30 to age 40. Below age 30 they are usually getting stronger with experience. After age 40 the losses to age usually outweigh the gains by experience. Age matters in chess. This is not opinion or theory or speculation, but fact of observation.

Individuals can deviate from the statistical average. For example Victor Korchnoi was playing the best chess of his career at age 47. How did he do it? He was careful about his diet and did yoga and ran 8 miles each day. He stepped up to 10 miles a day in preparation for a world title match with Karpov. Physical fitness and health seem to reduce the effects of age.

Paul Keres was never world champion but he was one the the top chess players in the world for a span of 30 years. How did he do it? He was also tennis champion of Estonia. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Bobby Fischer was quoted as saying that if he gets out of shape physically it's curtains for him in chess. Again the body mind connection. When the body is weak it tends to drag the mind down with it.

Specifically one effect old age or a weak body has on the mind is lack of mental stamina. It is well known that chess players after age 40 tend to weaken in the 5th hour of a chess game.

When a professional chess player performs well below what is expected of him, look for a health problem. One example of this is the case of Kramnik. He beat Kasparov for the world title in 2000. There was talk about a rematch. Kramnik was willing to put his title on the line to prove that it was not a fluke and he can do it again. A bit later he said "I wasn't aware that I had to beat him twice.". Then he did very poorly in a tournament (last place if I remember right). He was not performing like a world champion. People were wondering about him and making jokes about him. Then one day Kramnik made an announcement; he would leave chess for a while to deal with a health problem. He was gone for a few months and people were wondering about this mysterious health problem. When he came back he explained the health problem. It was a rare form of arthritis and he was taking a poison drug for the pain. It didn't do much for the pain but it made him sleepy. You are probably not at your best in chess if you are struggling to stay awake and are stoned besides.

Whatever affects the body probably also affects the mind. Weak body, weak mind. Strong body, strong mind. When someone has a mental health problem, look for a physical health problem.

Was Ayn Rand's mind better in her old age? I doubt. I would need better evidence than her subjective introspective impression. I would need objective evidence. One virtue of chess is it is objective evidence.

 

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23 minutes ago, jts said:

Somewhere, perhaps from Peikoff, I heard that Ayn Rand said that her mind got better with age, by using it. Whatever.

Introspection or feel is a questionable way to judge one's own mind. What is needed is objective evidence.

Speaking of objective evidence, professional chess players on average are at their peak from age 30 to age 40. Below age 30 they are usually getting stronger with experience. After age 40 the losses to age usually outweigh the gains by experience. Age matters in chess. This is not opinion or theory or speculation, but fact of observation.

Individuals can deviate from the statistical average. For example Victor Korchnoi was playing the best chess of his career at age 47. How did he do it? He was careful about his diet and did yoga and ran 8 miles each day. He stepped up to 10 miles a day in preparation for a world title match with Karpov. Physical fitness and health seem to reduce the effects of age.

Paul Keres was never world champion but he was one the the top chess players in the world for a span of 30 years. How did he do it? He was also tennis champion of Estonia. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Bobby Fischer was quoted as saying that if he gets out of shape physically it's curtains for him in chess. Again the body mind connection. When the body is weak it tends to drag the mind down with it.

Specifically one effect old age or a weak body has on the mind is lack of mental stamina. It is well known that chess players after age 40 tend to weaken in the 5th hour of a chess game.

When a professional chess player performs well below what is expected of him, look for a health problem. One example of this is the case of Kramnik. He beat Kasparov for the world title in 2000. There was talk about a rematch. Kramnik was willing to put his title on the line to prove that it was not a fluke and he can do it again. A bit later he said "I wasn't aware that I had to beat him twice.". Then he did very poorly in a tournament (last place if I remember right). He was not performing like a world champion. People were wondering about him and making jokes about him. Then one day Kramnik made an announcement; he would leave chess for a while to deal with a health problem. He was gone for a few months and people were wondering about this mysterious health problem. When he came back he explained the health problem. It was a rare form of arthritis and he was taking a poison drug for the pain. It didn't do much for the pain but it made him sleepy. You are probably not at your best in chess if you are struggling to stay awake and are stoned besides.

Whatever affects the body probably also affects the mind. Weak body, weak mind. Strong body, strong mind. When someone has a mental health problem, look for a physical health problem.

Was Ayn Rand's mind better in her old age? I doubt. I would need better evidence than her subjective introspective impression. I would need objective evidence. One virtue of chess is it is objective evidence.

 

It works that way in the physical sciences and mathematics also.  While there are some notable exceptions in both physics and mathematics,  most mathematicians and theoretical physicists hit their peak of mental strength of creativity prior to age 40.  The Fields Medal which is the "Nobel Prize" of mathematics is awarded to mathematicians  up to age 40.  

Euler was in his 70's and still doing top of the line mathematics.  Schrodinger came up with his famous wave equation for quantum theory  when he was just past 45 years of age.  Einstein made no further important contributions to physics past 1919 (he was just 40 then). 

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4 hours ago, jts said:

Somewhere, perhaps from Peikoff, I heard that Ayn Rand said that her mind got better with age, by using it. Whatever.

Introspection or feel is a questionable way to judge one's own mind. What is needed is objective evidence.

Speaking of objective evidence, professional chess players on average are at their peak from age 30 to age 40. Below age 30 they are usually getting stronger with experience. After age 40 the losses to age usually outweigh the gains by experience. Age matters in chess. This is not opinion or theory or speculation, but fact of observation.

Individuals can deviate from the statistical average. For example Victor Korchnoi was playing the best chess of his career at age 47. How did he do it? He was careful about his diet and did yoga and ran 8 miles each day. He stepped up to 10 miles a day in preparation for a world title match with Karpov. Physical fitness and health seem to reduce the effects of age.

Paul Keres was never world champion but he was one the the top chess players in the world for a span of 30 years. How did he do it? He was also tennis champion of Estonia. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Bobby Fischer was quoted as saying that if he gets out of shape physically it's curtains for him in chess. Again the body mind connection. When the body is weak it tends to drag the mind down with it.

Specifically one effect old age or a weak body has on the mind is lack of mental stamina. It is well known that chess players after age 40 tend to weaken in the 5th hour of a chess game.

When a professional chess player performs well below what is expected of him, look for a health problem. One example of this is the case of Kramnik. He beat Kasparov for the world title in 2000. There was talk about a rematch. Kramnik was willing to put his title on the line to prove that it was not a fluke and he can do it again. A bit later he said "I wasn't aware that I had to beat him twice.". Then he did very poorly in a tournament (last place if I remember right). He was not performing like a world champion. People were wondering about him and making jokes about him. Then one day Kramnik made an announcement; he would leave chess for a while to deal with a health problem. He was gone for a few months and people were wondering about this mysterious health problem. When he came back he explained the health problem. It was a rare form of arthritis and he was taking a poison drug for the pain. It didn't do much for the pain but it made him sleepy. You are probably not at your best in chess if you are struggling to stay awake and are stoned besides.

Whatever affects the body probably also affects the mind. Weak body, weak mind. Strong body, strong mind. When someone has a mental health problem, look for a physical health problem.

Was Ayn Rand's mind better in her old age? I doubt. I would need better evidence than her subjective introspective impression. I would need objective evidence. One virtue of chess is it is objective evidence.

Based on some material of hers I read I figured she peaked in the early 1960s. That may have been from Atlas Shrugged inertia. Her creativity may have peaked early in the writing of that novel. Her immense need to be in control likely throttled her creativity. In that sense she seemed to be, like Howard Roark, more of an engineer than a fountainhead. Frank Lloyd Wright being driven up the Westside Highway in NYC remarked of the George Washington Bridge, "Look at that agonized extravaganza!" His own design had been rejected. The GWB is an engineering marvel, but he didn't do engineering marvels on their face. Wright was a fountainhead of creativity. Ayn Rand was not, not after her magnum opus, which, frankly, wore her out for a few years and then she switched to non-fiction writing. Galt's speech is an agonized literary-philosophical extravaganza and it fits the novel perfectly. The only character in it she just let flow--wrote himself--was the Wet Nurse. If she had let a major character go like that the whole structure of AS would have collapsed and she'd never have finished it.

--Brant

take the Randian addiction to work (qua addiction)--please!

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15 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Based on some material of hers I read I figured she peaked in the early 1960s. That may have been from Atlas Shrugged inertia. Her creativity may have peaked early in the writing of that novel. Her immense need to be in control likely throttled her creativity. In that sense she seemed to be, like Howard Roark, more of an engineer than a fountainhead. Frank Lloyd Wright being driven up the Westside Highway in NYC remarked of the George Washington Bridge, "Look at that agonized extravaganza!" His own design had been rejected. The GWB is an engineering marvel, but he didn't do engineering marvels on their face. Wright was a fountainhead of creativity. Ayn Rand was not, not after her magnum opus, which, frankly, wore her out for a few years and then she switched to non-fiction writing. Galt's speech is an agonized literary-philosophical extravaganza and it fits the novel perfectly. The only character in it she just let flow--wrote himself--was the Wet Nurse. If she had let a major character go like that the whole structure of AS would have collapsed and she'd never have finished it.

--Brant

take the Randian addiction to work (qua addiction)--please!

I take cholesterol medicine, vitamin D and C, and a small aspirin a day. I walk two miles about three days a week, but I also spend too much time on the computer and in my Lazy Boy chair reading and watching television.

Are there any proven ways to remain sharp in older age? I recently saw a news story that “some extra weight” did not affect mental acuity or living longer.  

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2 hours ago, Peter said:

I take cholesterol medicine, vitamin D and C, and a small aspirin a day. I walk two miles about three days a week, but I also spend too much time on the computer and in my Lazy Boy chair reading and watching television.

Are there any proven ways to remain sharp in older age? I recently saw a news story that “some extra weight” did not affect mental acuity or living longer.  

study physics and mathematics in a systematic  thorough way. I have been engaged in a wrestling match with non-equilibrium thermodynamics for the past five years.  It keeps my brains fit.

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4 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

study physics and mathematics in a systematic  thorough way. I have been engaged in a wrestling match with non-equilibrium thermodynamics for the past five years.  It keeps my brains fit.

I do NY Times Sunday puzzles that come in a book of about a hundred and I read voraciously. Unfortunately, I have read the latest from my favorite authors and none of them are publishing anything until later in September or in October. Years ago I went back to take math at a technical college after a lifetime of avoiding it and I really liked it and got a B.    

Interesting advertisement below. I worry about older people who lose a spouse and become remote from friends and family. I think websites like Objectivist Living and Facebook help keep seniors and everyone else from being lonely. You mentioned incontinence issues and I know what you mean. After I sit to go to the bathroom and stand up, a stupid drop of urine exits my body, so I  . . . . oops. not supposed to talk about getting old.

My Mom lost my Dad and she was never the same. She went to live with my sister and her husband but they worked all day. Eventually she went into a nursing home and guess what? She connected with the residents and staff and her mental health improved. She became friends with an Indian American staff member named, Raj. She was much happier, also because she reconnected with her old high school sweetheart, who visited her. Personally, I don’t think I would want to leave my home for a nursing facility but who knows what life will bring?

The last I heard my state of Maryland may be spared hurricane winds. Yippee!

Peter    

From Newsmax. Solo Seniors at Risk for Death by Loneliness, top doctor warns. . . . According to longevity expert Dr. Gary Small, our need for intimacy and socialization is hardwired into our brain. This makes the quantity and quality of your social connections crucial to your ability to enjoy a long life . . . John Cacioppo is a leading psychologist specializing in the study of loneliness. He reports that loneliness not only speeds up death in sick people, but also makes healthy people sick by putting them into a stressful fight-or-flight mode.

You might think that being lonely simply means you are depressed. To be clear, while loneliness can be a symptom of depression, they are not the same thing. So what does “loneliness” really mean? Well, experts in the field say loneliness is the state of being socially isolated and deprived of intimacy . . . .

As you might imagine, loneliness is a huge problem for America’s older population. That’s because seniors so often lose connections with relatives, spouses, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

 . . . . All these ominous facts and figures worry Dr. Gary Small. Gary Small, M.D., is the director of the UCLA Longevity Center, a medical researcher, and a professor of psychiatry. He lectures throughout the world as a noted brain expert and has written six books about memory and brain health. Over 40,000 readers subscribe to his popular monthly newsletter Mind Health Report.

And while Dr. Small focuses on brain health factors such as eating right, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a strong memory, he now wants to bring attention to the shocking effects of loneliness and relationships on health and lifespan. That’s why he has written about this subject for Newsmax Health in a special report you can get at no charge with a special offer available only to readers of this letter. end quote  

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6 hours ago, Peter said:

I do NY Times Sunday puzzles that come in a book of about a hundred and I read voraciously. Unfortunately, I have read the latest from my favorite authors and none of them are publishing anything until later in September or in October. Years ago I went back to take math at a technical college after a lifetime of avoiding it and I really liked it and got a B.    

Interesting advertisement below. I worry about older people who lose a spouse and become remote from friends and family. I think websites like Objectivist Living and Facebook help keep seniors and everyone else from being lonely. You mentioned incontinence issues and I know what you mean. After I sit to go to the bathroom and stand up, a stupid drop of urine exits my body, so I  . . . . oops. not supposed to talk about getting old.

My Mom lost my Dad and she was never the same. She went to live with my sister and her husband but they worked all day. Eventually she went into a nursing home and guess what? She connected with the residents and staff and her mental health improved. She became friends with an Indian American staff member named, Raj. She was much happier, also because she reconnected with her old high school sweetheart, who visited her. Personally, I don’t think I would want to leave my home for a nursing facility but who knows what life will bring?

The last I heard my state of Maryland may be spared hurricane winds. Yippee!

Peter    

From Newsmax. Solo Seniors at Risk for Death by Loneliness, top doctor warns. . . . According to longevity expert Dr. Gary Small, our need for intimacy and socialization is hardwired into our brain. This makes the quantity and quality of your social connections crucial to your ability to enjoy a long life . . . John Cacioppo is a leading psychologist specializing in the study of loneliness. He reports that loneliness not only speeds up death in sick people, but also makes healthy people sick by putting them into a stressful fight-or-flight mode.

You might think that being lonely simply means you are depressed. To be clear, while loneliness can be a symptom of depression, they are not the same thing. So what does “loneliness” really mean? Well, experts in the field say loneliness is the state of being socially isolated and deprived of intimacy . . . .

As you might imagine, loneliness is a huge problem for America’s older population. That’s because seniors so often lose connections with relatives, spouses, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

 . . . . All these ominous facts and figures worry Dr. Gary Small. Gary Small, M.D., is the director of the UCLA Longevity Center, a medical researcher, and a professor of psychiatry. He lectures throughout the world as a noted brain expert and has written six books about memory and brain health. Over 40,000 readers subscribe to his popular monthly newsletter Mind Health Report.

And while Dr. Small focuses on brain health factors such as eating right, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a strong memory, he now wants to bring attention to the shocking effects of loneliness and relationships on health and lifespan. That’s why he has written about this subject for Newsmax Health in a special report you can get at no charge with a special offer available only to readers of this letter. end quote  

That is a bit out of my range.  I don't connect with people all that well but I do connect with ideas.  I live on a diet of ideas,  abstracts and useful facts. I have been going steadily deafer so I don't converse that much.  My best communication with other people is the written world.  Thank Entropy  my eyes still work!

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