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On 9/7/2017 at 4:26 AM, Wolf DeVoon said:

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.

Well, no. Yes, the ~capacity~ for a "native reasoning talent" will be greater for a higher IQ. All other things being equal. Key: "capacity" (or potential). But any man's reasoning is not given - only because he has a greater than average intelligence. A person has to continuously be conscious of reality and to kick reason into gear - and the guy who works at it, is already streets ahead of the more naturally talented guy who thinks his IQ is sufficient in itself and needn't strain himself. If you don't know some men and women who've fallen into that trap, I have. I certainly haven't seen a correlation between high IQ and a guarantee of happiness, success. "Reality" isn't an automatic respecter of one's high IQ level, although other individuals might be more admiring.

The partial fallacy I looked to dispell here is that Objectivism requires extraordinary IQ. (Maybe no more than a tacit acceptance, than explicitly stated). One consideration is for opening the philosophy to a wider audience. We have two well-overlapping spheres: Understanding Objectivism; and using Objectivism as a tool. The highly gifted scholarly types shine at the first (and they are the ones who are well represented in O'ist circles, who can articulate high abstractions). Without I hope to seem to undercut their works, nor to label them as exclusively theoretical, the theory of Objectivism for most other non-academics is most potently born out and learned, by unremitting practice - likewise, just as important, the practice keeps necessitating and encouraging further theoretical knowledge. For an individual to learn theory alone without its application will be sterile, so the two have to work hand-in-glove (the evident effectiveness of that approach, I think, undoes the analytic/synthetic so-called 'dichotomy').

If continually apprehended and utilized like that, I think Objectivism effectively buys the user extra IQ points . Also, (Michael) I believe, the process fosters eventual "wisdom". Objectively, stripped of mysticism, wisdom has to be reasoned-conceptual at its root and in action: what else is it but being able to inductively "join the dots", identify, evaluate, hold abstractions and think in principles - so make deductive insights, foresee consequences, and finally ~make universal~ one's understanding? You don't need to be ancient or "a sage" to create wisdom...

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5 hours ago, anthony said:

Well, no. Yes, the ~capacity~ for a "native reasoning talent" will be greater for a higher IQ. All other things being equal. Key: "capacity" (or potential). But any man's reasoning is not given - only because he has a greater than average intelligence. A person has to continuously be conscious of reality and to kick reason into gear - and the guy who works at it, is already streets ahead of the more naturally talented guy who thinks his IQ is sufficient in itself and needn't strain himself. If you don't know some men and women who've fallen into that trap, I have. I certainly haven't seen a correlation between high IQ and a guarantee of happiness, success. "Reality" isn't an automatic respecter of one's high IQ level, although other individuals might be more admiring.

The partial fallacy I looked to dispell here is that Objectivism requires extraordinary IQ. (Maybe no more than a tacit acceptance, than explicitly stated). One consideration is for opening the philosophy to a wider audience. We have two well-overlapping spheres: Understanding Objectivism; and using Objectivism as a tool. The highly gifted scholarly types shine at the first (and they are the ones who are well represented in O'ist circles, who can articulate high abstractions). Without I hope to seem to undercut their works, nor to label them as exclusively theoretical, the theory of Objectivism for most other non-academics is most potently born out and learned, by unremitting practice - likewise, just as important, the practice keeps necessitating and encouraging further theoretical knowledge. For an individual to learn theory alone without its application will be sterile, so the two have to work hand-in-glove (the evident effectiveness of that approach, I think, undoes the analytic/synthetic so-called 'dichotomy').

If continually apprehended and utilized like that, I think Objectivism effectively buys the user extra IQ points . Also, (Michael) I believe, the process fosters eventual "wisdom". Objectively, stripped of mysticism, wisdom has to be reasoned-conceptual at its root and in action: what else is it but being able to inductively "join the dots", identify, evaluate, hold abstractions and think in principles - so make deductive insights, foresee consequences, and finally ~make universal~ one's understanding? You don't need to be ancient or "a sage" to create wisdom...

High IQ people can be as sloppy and lazy in their reasoning as anyone else.  They just have less of an excuse to be so  than the less bright.

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15 hours ago, anthony said:

 Objectivism effectively buys the user extra IQ points

I give up. Makes Edison and Carnegie hapless clowns of elbow grease, Hugo and Shakespeare exponents of dumb luck.

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12 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

I give up. Makes Edison and Carnegie hapless clowns of elbow grease, Hugo and Shakespeare exponents of dumb luck.

Like the man said, it is 99% perspiration... But there's often the sublime to the ridiculous in your statements, Wolf. In among those known luminaries, there're also billions on billions of individuals who had and have intelligence - to some degree. (I've put it, there are at least 5 billion out there now, each of whom is able to do several things better than I can, or do other things I never could do: from solving a theorem to rock climbing to knitting a sweater to writing a novel to captaining a ship. And good for them!).

 And you didn't allude to the many other infamous figures who had high IQ - e.g. Karl Marx, I'd guess as one.. 

Intelligence per se, is THE attribute of man to be celebrated. It is the metaphysically given. Equally "given", is men's range of measured intelligence, their IQ, from one to the next, which none of us had any say in and can't take credit or blame for. Luck of the draw. I absolutely celebrate also what certain people have accomplished with (and without) high intelligence. Being just one - and I think, not the most important - of many other talents and self-made qualities (rationality, integrity, competence, mind-independence, drive and determination, etc.) which nobody else can truly see or measure in a person. Because his volition has the ultimate sway, constituting what is "man-made" in his life, as distinct from chance and genetics (like IQ).

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12 hours ago, anthony said:

volition has the ultimate sway, constituting what is "man-made" in his life, as distinct from chance and genetics (like IQ).

I think I said something like that in 1984, lemme look...

Quote

...the capacity and responsibility of free choice exists equally for the intelligent and the stupid, rich and poor, native-born and alien immigrant. An intelligent man faces more complex questions, perhaps, than a slower sibling, but with no more or less responsibility to exercise his powers or let them fall into disuse and sloth. A rich man has more responsibilities, if he is to retain and cultivate his wealth, and a poor man has fewer choices to pursue, if he is to make the most of his situation, but neither is more or less equipped to adopt an honorable moral standard and live according to its mandate. A native son may love his country or spit on its cherished ideals. A newcomer must choose his destination with care, because no one in this life is guaranteed a pre-ordained satisfaction. Life in a free society is not a Garden of Eden.

Laissez Faire Law, pp. 10-11 "Human Rights" (1984)

 

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12 hours ago, anthony said:

volition has the ultimate sway, constituting what is "man-made" in his life, as distinct from chance and genetics (like IQ).

This plays out in common law crime and defenses thereto, the reasonable man test, and in some cases strict liability for stuff you should know or take care to know, like tax law. Volition more than smuts is the affinity for political parties (eek!) religion (eek!) and hard cider (yay!)

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I'm glad to see a healthy skepticism of IQ here.

 

I've done well on IQ tests in the past.  But I'm glad I didn't let that get to my head too much, here are some limitations of IQ tests:

 

no measurement of creative abilities like writing, acting, music, art, etc

limited to a particular language

cultural bias (this may sound like BS but I've read that even on the allegedly bias free Ravven's matrix test based on visual patterns of symmetry, people who use the Arabic alphabet do worse than those who use the Latin alphabet... because many letters in Latin are reflections of on another but letters in Arabic are not) 

motivational issues (people who don't care about there scores will do worse than those who do... if you give IQ tests to black kids they might not be motivated to take them if they believe doing well on them will put them in a class where they will be the only black kid)

no measurement of people skills

they measure skills that people thought were relevant in the past, they don't attempt to predict which cognitive skills will be useful in the future.

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Robin wrote: I've done well on IQ tests in the past.  But I'm glad I didn't let that get to my head too much, here are some limitations of IQ tests: end quote

For me, the Tom Hanks movie about being stranded on a desert island illustrates the concept of “IQ and reason in action.”    

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On 9/8/2017 at 3:42 PM, 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.

Nicky wrote on another site: For instance, in NYC (or NYS, I'm citing this out of memory, so I'm not entirely sure which), an overwhelming majority of genius level IQ tested high-school students are ethnic Ashkenazi Jews. A crazy amount, something like 49 out of 50 "genius" IQ students in NY are Jewish. That's a natural consequence of Ashkenazi Jews being, on average, about ten points above the average population, in IQ. Which is not that much. But small statistical differences result in overwhelming differences when it comes to outliers (in this case, geniuses). end quote

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Taking a baby aspirin a day may not be a good thing, especially in older people. I think there are exceptions as with people who have stents but any benefits are outweighed by the risks. And the promoters of aspirin usage are changing their minds as more data comes in. As always, ask your docto, and keep a list of any prescriptions you take, typed or written down, in the back of your wallet, including OTC things and supplements. Peter    

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18 hours ago, Peter said:

Nicky wrote on another site: For instance, in NYC (or NYS, I'm citing this out of memory, so I'm not entirely sure which), an overwhelming majority of genius level IQ tested high-school students are ethnic Ashkenazi Jews. A crazy amount, something like 49 out of 50 "genius" IQ students in NY are Jewish. That's a natural consequence of Ashkenazi Jews being, on average, about ten points above the average population, in IQ. Which is not that much. But small statistical differences result in overwhelming differences when it comes to outliers (in this case, geniuses). end quote

 

Those statistics  are reasonably sound.  But  what of the causes?  There is a hypothesis which I moderately subscribe to , to wit, the mating  customs of Ashkenazim in Europe  put a high value on males who mastered the intricacies of the Babylonian Talmud and the very strict reasoning  of the Scholars, Rabbis and Sages. These bright young fellows had their pick of the women in the villages and shtetils.  The matchmakers (marriages were arranged  to advantage the families of the women who paid  a bride prices for  a good husband)  would often pair up the brilliant young  Talmud-Bucher  with the daughter of the richest man in the Shtetel.   It turns out this was a breeding program to make intelligent children (although the mechanisms of human biological inheritance were unknown at this time).  Now contrast this with how Catholics arranged things.  The best and the brightest sons  were encouraged to go into the Priesthood where their opportunities for biological mating were .... limited.....  So the Catholics were taking half of the gene pool for intelligence out of circulation.  There you have a crude and semi-plausible account for why the Ashkenazim   were "so  smart".  Also for cultural reasons every Jewish male was encouraged to become as learned as he could in matters of Talmud and Torah.

The logic of and about the Talmud (and logic there was)   was a kind  of hybrid between inferential logic and inductive logic.  It was, at its root  Bayesian reasoning.   To become an accomplished Talmud scholar of repute  required decades of study.  Jews have traditionally put a high premium on "being smart"  and practical!  It is just the thing one needs  to survive in a hostile or potentially hostile environment. So in a strange way, the anti-Semites promoted the  breeding of  super-smart Jews.  One had to have one's wits firmly attached to survive in that environment.

Breeding programs  of other sorts have emerged in the Asiatic nations.  China is renowned  for  turning out its share (and more than their share) of very smart people.  Some thousands of years ago China was several light years ahead of Europe in both abstract thinking and practical engineering.  China, which has dumped Lenin and Marx for good old practical reasons is in the  process of reclaiming its eminent position in the world of ideas and technology.  Japan has also done well  and in the smaller  Asiatic nations as wells as Japan and China  the "tiger-moms" who push their son's  unmercifully is a known phenomena.  There is a shortage of women in the Asiatic nations (sons are preferred to daughters for cultural reasons)  so the brightest and most ambitious males are more likely to "score" in the reproductive  struggle and competition.  

And so it goes.  A combination of genetics and culture, in some cases, is an effective breeding program  for intelligence. 

 

Ba'al  Chatzaf  --- a descendant of Abraham, if not in the flesh, then certainly in the spirit.

 

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The average IQ score of Ashkenazi Jews has been tested to be 108 to 115, which is significantly higher than the population average in various countries where the studies took place. I had heard 117 in a well fed, well nurtured America but that was a long time ago and before modern phones, video games, etc., which decreases reading and thinking during daily activities.

Ba’al wrote:  . . . But  what of the causes?  There is a hypothesis which I moderately subscribe to , to wit, the mating  customs of Ashkenazim in Europe  put a high value on males who mastered the intricacies of the Babylonian Talmud and the very strict reasoning . . . . end quote

Evolutionary processes? What sort of a time span are you talking about? No offense intended but I will agree that mastering the intricacies of “the obscure and unscientific while using very strict reasoning” is still brain fodder. I remember reading about what those communities. Daily interactions *required* that you put on your thinking cap. Radio may have been around but I do not remember any reference to people, especially kids listening to it. Reading, teaching, and smart conversation accompanied daily work. Peter

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They had their pick of women? What? Women had no say? Goldie Hawn, Scarlett Johansson, Alicia Silverstone, Lizzy Kaplan, Lisa Kudrow, Alison Brie, Mila Kunis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jennifer Connelly, Amanda Peet, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jane Levy, and watch out buster, Gal Gadot would marry for love.    

Bob, that dig at Catholics losing their smartest to the priesthood is spot on. Are there Jews who are celibate? But would you, young Talmud reader, pass up a date with Jennifer Connelly? Peter 

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You wrote: The logic of and about the Talmud (and logic there was) was a kind of hybrid between inferential logic and inductive logic.  It was, at its root Bayesian reasoning. To become an accomplished Talmud scholar of repute required decades of study.  Jews have traditionally put a high premium on "being smart" and practical! . . . .  And so it goes. A combination of genetics and culture, in some cases, is an effective breeding program for intelligence. end quote

You also mentioned fewer women in China, while at the same time in Asia there are Tiger Moms who push and persuade achievement. And of course those Moms want smart grandkids. With IQ tests, modern genetic testing, and selective breeding and unfortunately abortions, evolution is still going strong all over the advanced nations of the civilized world. Peter

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10 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

 

And so it goes.  A combination of genetics and culture, in some cases, is an effective breeding program  for intelligence. 

 

Ba'al  Chatzaf  --- a descendant of Abraham, if not in the flesh, then certainly in the spirit.

 

I think you are right. Your hypothesis is born out by anthropology - intelligence research, I believe. Also, by logic.  It all boils down to the mind of every individual up against, and needing to "meet the resistance of reality'" , and having to rise constantly to further challenges in order to cope, survive. The best physical traits of *many* of them survive and continue through DNA. I like to make the physical example of a people living in high altitude regions who had gradually, by necessity, over centuries, by fits and starts, overall gained an improved cardio-vascular system, and who evidently, often become successful marathon runners. Conversely: less resistance, less efforts, and more average-to-lesser physical attributes, by comparison. Why should the physical size of a brain, its "capacity", physical and cognitive, evolved and passed down by great numbers of individuals over many generations, not be affected by the same means? I don't know (Well, I do) why we attach such moral import to even discussing these things, to the point of eminent genetic scientists being silenced, and many researchers on IQ quietly quitting their careers. Simply and obviously, the personal volition of the individual always trumps 'natural capacity'. And high IQ alone is not a guarantee of outcome. (Not that everyone can be an Einstein by choice). Explaining why, it is the anti-volitional, determinists who always get in a froth about the subject. It disturbs their fantasy about egalitarianism. 

A sensible approach, I think, is that one should know the facts and "get over it". Clearly, an ethnic IQ average - or an IQ of an individual - is nowhere near being the end-all and be-all of a person.

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3 minutes ago, anthony said:

I think you are right. Your hypothesis is born out by anthropology - intelligence research, I believe. Also, by logic.  It all boils down to the mind of every individual up against, and needing to meet the 'resistance of reality' , and having to rise constantly to further challenges in order to cope, survive. The best traits survive and continue through DNA. I like to make the physical example of a people living in high altitude regions who have gradually gained an improved cardio-vascular system, and who evidently, often become successful marathon runners. Less resistance, less efforts, and reduced physical attributes. Why should the physical size of a brain, its "capacity", physical and cognitive, evolved and passed down by great numbers of individuals over many generations, not be affected by the same means? I don't know (Well, I do) why we attach such moral import to even discussing these things, to the point of eminent genetic scientists being silenced, and many researchers on IQ quitting their careers. Simply and obviously, the personal volition of the individual always trumps 'natural capacity'. And high IQ alone is not a guarantee of outcome. (Not that everyone can be an Einstein by choice). Showing why anti-volitional, determinists always get in a froth about the subject. It disturbs their fantasy about egalitarianism. 

I often advise that one should know the facts and get over it. An ethnic IQ average - or of an individual - is not the end-all and be-all of a person. 

Per your last sentence, consider kids who are born into privilege and wealth. Can too much "smart" be a detriment?

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

Per your last sentence, consider kids who are born into privilege and wealth. Can too much "smart" be a detriment?

Peter, I assume you are including high IQ in the mix of privilege and wealth, and I have noticed that detriment sometimes, and said as much. The pampered rich kids syndrome is notorious, alone. There were some people I knew well who were undoubtedly very smart (as much as one can measure), came from good backgrounds and who faded or messed up on several levels. "Did not realize their potential" as is said. Not all, however. There may be an arrogance here, arrived out of early successes at school, etc., resulting then in laziness from needing to keep applying their minds, I'm not sure. "I am so brilliant, that even reality must conform to me". ha.

In counterpoint, there's a movie you've probably seen. I watched it again, last night. Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness. Based on a true story, a man who rose above huge 'under-privileged disadvantages' to open his own brokerage. That is volition. A story to inspire one.

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5 hours ago, anthony said:

Based on a true story, a man who rose above huge 'under-privileged disadvantages' to open his own brokerage. That is volition. A story to inspire one.

Tony,

Despite a spate of dark heroes like Tony Soprano and Walter White, the underdog "David and Goliath" story is still the most common template for action movies and novels in the US when writers choose their hero and villain, even when this template gets mixed with a rags to riches template like in The Pursuit of Happiness.

The reason is that this form of story is inspiring by its very nature. People feel that a hero is not much of a hero if he stomps ants. :) But if he beats a monster or a bunch of badass baddies or a system rigged against him, etc., people feel they can have a shot, too.

I agree with you. Pure inspiration. And it feels good.

Even in kid movies, notice that most of the classics start with the kid protagonist being an orphan in a big world that is either bad or indifferent to them.

Michael

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20 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Tony,

Despite a spate of dark heroes like Tony Soprano and Walter White, the underdog "David and Goliath" story is still the most common template for action movies and novels in the US when writers choose their hero and villain, even when this template gets mixed with a rags to riches template like in The Pursuit of Happiness.

The reason is that this form of story is inspiring by its very nature. People feel that a hero is not much of a hero if he stomps ants. :) But if he beats a monster or a bunch of badass baddies or a system rigged against him, etc., people feel they can have a shot, too.

I agree with you. Pure inspiration. And it feels good.

Even in kid movies, notice that most of the classics start with the kid protagonist being an orphan in a big world that is either bad or indifferent to them.

Michael

I was on my way to the eye doctor. No changes reported.  Sorry for typing but not thinking it through, Tony. I remember that movie and it was good.  It is spelled with a “y” instead of an “I,” uh, whoever wrote that. Will was not especially motivated by wealth, power or prestige.

Michael wrote: Even in kid movies, notice that most of the classics start with the kid protagonist being an orphan in a big world that is either bad or indifferent to them. end quote

That carries on from our fairy tales from the German and other European heritages. Dickens certainly mastered that genre. Disney’s “Snow White,” “Cinderella,” and even talking “Dumbo” (he had to be a stand in for a kid) are well done on the same theme.     

The downside to intelligence could be being nerdy, Not being interested in anyone Not interested in your “grand arena of expertise,”  and what if you are ugly but smart enough to pick up on that at an early age from other kids or adults? Stop picking your nose in public you little rat!

As to the upside of wealth, being born in America, and a good effect of a federal government? In the January 2004 issue of Reason magazine there is a brief interview by Julian Sanchez of American Heritage” columnist John Steele Gordon, author of the book, “An Empire of Wealth.” Gordon’s thesis is that: “The United States is rare among the great world powers in that its rise to dominance owes at least as much to its economic prowess as it does to its military might.”

Sanchez asks Gordon, “What would you advise the next president to learn from economic history?”

Gordon replies, “They should understand the story of ‘Gibbons v. Ogden,’ when in 1824 the Supreme Court said that interstate commerce was exclusively the province of the federal government and gave us the first really continental-sized common market in the world. The American economy prospered mightily therefrom. The fewer impediments there are to transactions, the better off everybody is. After ‘Gibbons,’ for instance, the transportation system in this country exploded with the end of the New York monopoly on steamboats. Prices came down wonderfully.”

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DIA director on Fox: Iran is likely at an inflection point. Is that what he just said? I will need to look inflection up.  

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2 hours ago, Peter said:

DIA director on Fox: Iran is likely at an inflection point. Is that what he just said? I will need to look inflection up.  

By Catherine Herridge and Cyd Upson: "Iran likely at 'inflection point,' launching attacks to change 'status quo,' Defense Intelligence Agency director tells Fox News."

Quote

EXCLUSIVE – Iran is likely at "an inflection point," and the recent attacks on tankers and the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone appear to be part of an effort to change "the status quo," the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) told Fox News exclusively.

"I'd say that they're probably at an inflection point right now," the director, Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley Jr., explained in his first national TV interview as the leader of the nearly 17-thousand strong agency. Director Ashley said, based on their activity over the last several years, the Iranians would probably say they were in a "favorable" position with their influence over the Iraqi government and the likelihood their longtime regional ally -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- will remain in power.

But, Director Ashley -- whose agency's mission is to understand foreign militaries and the operational environment -- said the United States' withdrawal from the Iran deal and subsequent sanctions made a major impact on the regime. Later this year, DIA expects to release an unclassified military study on Iran, which follows similar reports on China and Russia.

[...]

"China is the long-term concern. If you think about Russia, in so many ways, even though they have thousands of nuclear weapons and a lot of things that are left over from the Soviet era. In a lot of ways they are a declining power, especially economically," Ashley told Fox News.

But, China and Russia are working together against U.S. interests.

"It is a transactional relationship," Ashley said. "This is not a relationship that's built on trust. This is a relationship that's built on a mutual interest, which is, where do they block us... and in many ways, China looks at Russia as a junior partner and that's not something that they like."

Though President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently exchanged letters, Ashley said the findings of the intelligence community -- or "IC" -- have not changed.

"We still continue to assess within the IC that Kim Jong Un is not ready to denuclearize... We're still doing everything we can to make sure that we can characterize the capability that the North Koreans have, that they continue to train hard and build out their forces. And so, whether weʼre in discussions or whatever is happening on the political side of that, for the policymakers and for the senior decision makers, our job is to make sure that we're able to tell them what is happening, because they may go into a negotiation and hear something, but we're able to give them as much ground truth as possible which gives them leverage and advantage."

[...]

 

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3 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Thanks William and Michael. Interesting. I will think about what you have reported. Is Iran closing in on a flash point? What would we and THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE WANT? Can Iran become a peaceful, productive country? Damn. I could go for that, as would 50,  60, or a larger percentage of their citizens,  and the rest of the world.  Wishing for it, with fingers crossed.  Crown Royal is good. Hic. Peter

 

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19 hours ago, Peter said:

Per your last sentence, consider kids who are born into privilege and wealth. Can too much "smart" be a detriment?

Yes.  Being smart and knowing one is smart  and occupying a position of privilege can sap ambition and the urge to excel.  

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20 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Tony,

Despite a spate of dark heroes like Tony Soprano and Walter White, the underdog "David and Goliath" story is still the most common template for action movies and novels in the US when writers choose their hero and villain, even when this template gets mixed with a rags to riches template like in The Pursuit of Happiness.

The reason is that this form of story is inspiring by its very nature. People feel that a hero is not much of a hero if he stomps ants. :) But if he beats a monster or a bunch of badass baddies or a system rigged against him, etc., people feel they can have a shot, too.

 

Michael

Right, what I could call - someone 'meeting the resistance of reality' (good, bad other people, in there too). There's a strong draw on a viewer/reader for a fictional protagonist when the odds are greatly stacked up against him/her - which defines most fiction. For me, most absorbing is the protagonist whom you can see in the process of volitionally creating his character qualities as the story progresses, and as greater pressure on him mounts - iow, he is not 'a done deal,' his integrity and fortitude are tested and grow, he's having to make hard moral decisions as the plot unfolds, keeping you guessing which way he'll turn out, and succeed or not.. As we know, a prominent few of Rand's characters enter with a ready-made virtuous character; and she also shows others develop along the way. We want "heroes" to mentally/emotionally invest in, so it's critical  they are authentic, like us, and rising to bigger challenges than ours. They can do it, you can. Even people who scorn free will, evidently need a film hero who triumphs against adversity - going by nearly all the (although often over-physical) movie scripts one sees, which proves that realist romanticism is not completely dead. I think it's telling that they tacitly recognize their individual power of volition, needing to see demonstrations of it, while intellectually dismissing the idea.  

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