caroljane

THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

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Individual intelligence is the dirty little secret in Objectivisim, as it is in every other group of humans engaged in mutual endeavour. It is analogous to the class-based avoidance of publicly discussing individual income levels, which Mr. M. Marotta has pointed out elsewhere on this board.

Objectivists have special difficulties with this universal phenomenon. Ayn Rand did not help her nascent movement much, when she made an offhand quip that an individual IQ could be raised by 20 points. Objectivism is about thinking, thinking for oneself and only for oneself, thinkly correctly and efficiently, and, if you want to, helping students of objecivism to do these things.

The philosophical underpinning is that the "self-made soul" is naturally intelligent because it is naturally rational, and naturally gets on with being productive and happy and so on unless the government manages to enslave it.If the soul is too young to grasp rationality, it will make itself later unless its parents thwart its individual rights, or its schools refuse to teach it to reason properly.

In adult life, people often assort themselves into loose IQ groupings of various kinds, and speculate as people will on the relative intelligence of various group members. IQ testing itself is a hugely contentious area. The score is meaningless in many real-life contexts anyway, except if you score high your life is a little easier in most cases.

Objectivists tend to have high-normal intelligence, but if they don't, there is considerable pressure on them to achieve it, or to prove that they have always really had it but injustice has prevented people from recognizing it.

The Randian hero is sublimely intelligent. Other equal but maybe not so intelligent individuals recognize it, accord it due respect, worship it and so on down the scale.

It's a class system, which exists parallel with the delusion that we are all "middle-class" because we all finished college and/or had a good job at some point.

We all know where we are in the system. Or we think we know.

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Individual intelligence is the dirty little secret in Objectivisim, as it is in every other group of humans engaged in mutual endeavour. It is analogous to the class-based avoidance of publicly discussing individual income levels, which Mr. M. Marotta has pointed out elsewhere on this board.

Objectivists have special difficulties with this universal phenomenon. Ayn Rand did not help her nascent movement much, when she made an offhand quip that an individual IQ could be raised by 20 points. Objectivism is about thinking, thinking for oneself and only for oneself, thinkly correctly and efficiently, and, if you want to, helping students of objecivism to do these things.

The philosophical underpinning is that the "self-made soul" is naturally intelligent because it is naturally rational, and naturally gets on with being productive and happy and so on unless the government manages to enslave it.If the soul is too young to grasp rationality, it will make itself later unless its parents thwart its individual rights, or its schools refuse to teach it to reason properly.

In adult life, people often assort themselves into loose IQ groupings of various kinds, and speculate as people will on the relative intelligence of various group members. IQ testing itself is a hugely contentious area. The score is meaningless in many real-life contexts anyway, except if you score high your life is a little easier in most cases.

What is your point? I actually put the effort into reading your very unclear post and although I understood it I felt tragically uninspired. (sarcasm ON)

Words like nascent and analogous seem to mask the fact this post has no substance or clarity hence (and yes I hate that word) it follows that there were no replies. Hey, Ayn Rand is allowed to quip over her own creation!

Of course schools dont teach reason-they are more worried about birth control and whether mom's dad is a mom-school has been a mind control device forever except for the hard sciences. Your post is muddled at best.

Here is an original clear as a bell idea

http://reliableanswers.com/hs/six_lessons.asp

You state your points like facts- can you back them up?

Go ahead call me stupid I welcome it.

Edited by pippi

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Here is an original clear as a bell idea

http://reliableanswe...six_lessons.asp

You state your points like facts- can you back them up?

Go ahead call me stupid I welcome it.

From the quoted piece.

"It only takes about 50 contact hours to transmit basic literacy and math skills well enough that kids can be self-teachers from then on. The cry for "basic skills" practice is a smokescreen behind which schools pre-empt the time of children for twelve years and teach them the six lessons I've just taught you."

From my own experience, it takes more than 50 contact hours, but it does not take years either. My grandson Nick was reading phonetically by the age of three and a half. Once he learned to read he was able learn a great deal on his own initiative. All his parents (my son and daughter in law) had to do was get him the books he needed and wanted.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Here is an original clear as a bell idea

http://reliableanswe...six_lessons.asp

You state your points like facts- can you back them up?

Go ahead call me stupid I welcome it.

From the quoted piece.

"It only takes about 50 contact hours to transmit basic literacy and math skills well enough that kids can be self-teachers from then on. The cry for "basic skills" practice is a smokescreen behind which schools pre-empt the time of children for twelve years and teach them the six lessons I've just taught you."

From my own experience, it takes more than 50 contact hours, but it does not take years either. My grandson Nick was reading phonetically by the age of three and a half. Once he learned to read he was able learn a great deal on his own initiative. All his parents (my son and daughter in law) had to do was get him the books he needed and wanted.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Ba'al, thank you. Maybe you sensed that I would never bother to follow a link provided by such a source. I am going to send it to my son so that my grandson, future Prime Minister and World Men's Figure Skating Champion Jamie, can reach his goals faster. He will be 2 next month- and can count to 13 now, maybe his parents are already using similar methods. My daughter

in law is a way better mother than I ever was, and my son is just doing what comes naturally, as his own father's son. ("This man's father was..."no, no!Whoever is trying to meld with my mind this time, just go away! I'm trying to be clear and coherent and original and inspiring here!)

Sorry about that. My impression is that young parents today are much better than those of my generation. Maybe the bad ones just keep the kids home all the time so I never see these families, but I really don't think that's likely.

I enjoy your Socrates tag every time it comes up. On this note, I will never tire of looking at Rowan Atkinson either, or of being reminded that there is indeed a free lunch, and I am eating it.

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Ayn Rand did not help her nascent movement much, when she made an offhand quip that an individual IQ could be raised by 20 points.

Do you have a cite for this? I recall Peikoff, I believe in a Q&A from the ‘76 course, deriding IQ testing. Sounds odd that Rand would not only give it a quasi-endorsement, but be this specific (+20 points). One of Scientology's marketing claims is that they can raise IQ, sure you're not mixing them up?

On this note, I will never tire of looking at Rowan Atkinson either, or of being reminded that there is indeed a free lunch, and I am eating it.

Prandium gratis non est is Latin for TANSTAAFL. It comes from Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon, which is a book I think Ba’al would appreciate for all the math and science in it. It’s a tough nut to crack, but there’s lots of fun to be had in the cracking. If you can handle the talking dog and the perversely amorous mechanical duck…

The Rowan Atkinson picture comes from his one-time spoof performance as Dr. Who (he was Ninth Doctor). Previously I used a picture of Christopher Eccleston looking piqued.

parting-doctor-496.jpg

Now someone will have to coax Peter Taylor out of hiding under his bed.

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Ayn Rand did not help her nascent movement much, when she made an offhand quip that an individual IQ could be raised by 20 points.

Do you have a cite for this? I recall Peikoff, I believe in a Q&A from the ‘76 course, deriding IQ testing. Sounds odd that Rand would not only give it a quasi-endorsement, but be this specific (+20 points). One of Scientology's marketing claims is that they can raise IQ, sure you're not mixing them up?

I don't have the reference. Once again I appeal to generosity of the Rand scholars here who might recognize it, but I'm sure it was an interview or a Q&A, and I think there's been some argument about whether she really was joking or in fact implying something serious. You could only know that if you knew the way she said it. She didn't do deadpan as far as I know, so my guess is that she was joking and the audience got that at the time.

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What is your point? I actually put the effort into reading your very unclear post and although I understood it I felt tragically uninspired. (sarcasm ON)

Words like nascent and analogous seem to mask the fact this post has no substance or clarity hence (and yes I hate that word) it follows that there were no replies. Hey, Ayn Rand is allowed to quip over her own creation!

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What is your point? I actually put the effort into reading your very unclear post and although I understood it I felt tragically uninspired. (sarcasm ON)

Words like nascent and analogous seem to mask the fact this post has no substance or clarity hence (and yes I hate that word) it follows that there were no replies. Hey, Ayn Rand is allowed to quip over her own creation

Thank you for putting in effort and I hope your uninspiration was not truly tragic, as if it were, that could damage you permanently.

I apologize for causing you the effort of looking up two [2] unfamiliar words, as I know you already have four [4] perfectly good ones that your friends gave you, that are still as good as new.

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What is your point? I actually put the effort into reading your very unclear post and although I understood it I felt tragically uninspired. (sarcasm ON)

Words like nascent and analogous seem to mask the fact this post has no substance or clarity hence (and yes I hate that word) it follows that there were no replies. Hey, Ayn Rand is allowed to quip over her own creation!

What? Please google "how to post on internet forums". I mean this sincerley I am not trying to be nasty, you have trouble with it and it is easily fixed.

Btw, you are obviously trying to provoke me, I dont know why, I never came into your threads and attacked you until you did it to me. Maybe you crave attention? Could you please stop?

Edited by pippi

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Btw, you are obviously trying to provoke me, I dont know why, I never came into your threads and attacked you until you did it to me. Maybe you crave attention? Could you please stop?

Yes and no.

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What's the secret?

It's something like the irony derived from the people of Lake Wobegon, "Where all the women are beautiful and all the children are above average."

Derived also from the idea that we are sometimes the least qualified to judge our own competence.

Also derived from the idea that naming oneself an Objectivist tells you not much more about that person's intelligence and reasoning abilities than that the person calls him or herself an Objectivist.

Zee proof is in zee pudding.

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Also derived from the idea that naming oneself an Objectivist tells you not much more about that person's intelligence and reasoning abilities than that the person calls him or herself an Objectivist.

Zee proof is in zee pudding.

William,

Do you include in this secret people like John Allison and David Kelley?

What's the secret?

Michael

You know.

Whaaaat?

Oh...

OK...

Yes I do.

It's how to close your tags when quoting a post.

:)

Michael

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Ayn Rand did not help her nascent movement much, when she made an offhand quip that an individual IQ could be raised by 20 points.

Do you have a cite for this?

From a Ford Hall Forum appearance, apparently -- as cited in Ayn Rand Answers:

Q: Could you write a revised edition of Intorduction to Objectivist Epistemology for people with an IQ of 110, or will it remain available only to people with an IQ of 150?

A: I'd prefer that people raise their IQ from 110 to 150. It can be done.

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Ayn Rand did not help her nascent movement much, when she made an offhand quip that an individual IQ could be raised by 20 points.

Do you have a cite for this?

From a Ford Hall Forum appearance, apparently -- as cited in Ayn Rand Answers:

Q: Could you write a revised edition of Intorduction to Objectivist Epistemology for people with an IQ of 110, or will it remain available only to people with an IQ of 150?

A: I'd prefer that people raise their IQ from 110 to 150. It can be done.

You see...daunce didnt get Rand and Hubbard mixed up...though Hubbard did write better sci-fi.

Is there any evidence given by Rand that people can raise their IQ from 110 to 150?

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Also derived from the idea that naming oneself an Objectivist tells you not much more about that person's intelligence and reasoning abilities than that the person calls him or herself an Objectivist.

Zee proof is in zee pudding.

William,

Do you include in this secret people like John Allison and David Kelley?

What's the secret?

Michael

You know.

Whaaaat?

Oh...

OK...

Yes I do.

It's how to close your tags when quoting a post.

:)

Michael

Gotme. But that's part of what I was thinking about. My inept posting indicates that either I'm too stupid to master basic posting skills, unwilling to learn them, or too lazy to try. The unwillingness is irrational, the laziness is probably immoral.

In Aynville I would be at the bottom of the social scale, unable to cope by the methods I use in Toronto. I'd be lonely, shunned by everyone except the few who were even less lovable than I, longing for butter on my margarine income.

I think I'll stay here.

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Daunce,

You got it right, even as you lamented not being able to!

Dayaamm!

Did your IQ get higher?

:)

Michael

Yes! It did! I only need the stepladder to talk to you now!

This piece of evidence is leading me to question the very epistemological foundation of my Synaestho-Nihilism. Maybe I'm only a fatalist after all.Must consult Louise.

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Daunce,

Now what if the dirty little secret were that this kind of thing is replicable and widely observable?

Wouldn't the dirt be that Rand-bashers were bashing qua bashing and not bashing as a remedy for a falsehood?

And wouldn't the real secret be that Rand-bashers were bashing without having a clue about what they were talking?

Gosh, that would be so much fun, wouldn't it?

(clapping hands in delight...)

Michael

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Daunce,

Now what if the dirty little secret were that this kind of thing is replicable and widely observable?

Wouldn't the dirt be that Rand-bashers were bashing qua bashing and not bashing as a remedy for a falsehood?

And wouldn't the secret be that Rand-bashers were bashing without having a clue about what they were talking?

Gosh, that would be so much fun, wouldn't it?

(clapping hands in delight...)

Michael

It is fun and I have been having too much. The stepladder was a sincere compliment to you, and to the other much wider and deeper minds than mine on OL, wrapped in frivolity which is my natural bent. I have written elsewhere that I truly admire Rand as person. I know nothing about her philosophy compared with you, and I do bash at that using such handles as I think might be entertaining, but my intent here is not to dissuade anyone from Objectivism, and if you have not sensed that from what I've written in 2011, then I am not writing well enough.

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Daunce,

The idea of making yourself smarter is not magic, nor is it solely philosophy (sorry Ayn). It exists in reality and has different components.

Desire

One major component is focused desire. Without enough focused desire, you do not rise. Period. You stay where you are or go down. (Others might push you, or you can use pharmaceuticals, but these are beyond the scope here.)

Belief

Another major component is belief. One major problem with human beings is that we are wedded to defending our limitations. We will defend them to the death. But once we can observe those limitations exceeded, it seems like everyone starts doing it.

A good example is the 4 minute mile for runners. Until Roger Bannister did it for the first time in 1954 (at least the first recorded time). people constantly lectured each other on how a human being had limited running speed, indicated by the fact that humans could not run a mile in under 4 minutes. Since 1954, so many people have run a 4 minute mile that you can't list them all.

What changed in all those people after 1954? Is there any doubt that before 1954, they would not have done it, just like countless runners before them? Maybe another Roger Bannister was among them and would have done it, but that is not my point--which is without believing they could do it, not just dream about it but do it in reality, they didn't.

Demonstration

The following TED talk is probably more up your alley since it is touchy-feely in a liberal sort of way. (Don't worry. I'm a sap for this stuff, too.) But it does illustrate quite well the power of the Internet, especially Internet video, to drive human improvement by providing easy access to models of the finest experts the human race has to offer. Experts demonstrate for free what is possible. And they teach each anyone who is interested. That makes people get better.

Chris Anderson focuses only on innovation, but there is no doubt in my mind that part of innovation is raising the bar in human ability--at least for some fields. Is not thinking one of those fields? I believe it is.

"Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation"

<object width="446" height="326"><param name="movie" value="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf"></param><param'>http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"/><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><param name="bgColor" value="#ffffff"></param> <param name="flashvars" value="vu=http://video.ted.com/talks/dynamic/ChrisAnderson_2010G-medium.flv&su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/ChrisAnderson-2010G.embed_thumbnail.jpg&vw=432&vh=240&ap=0&ti=955&introDuration=15330&adDuration=4000&postAdDuration=830&adKeys=talk=chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation;year=2010;theme=the_rise_of_collaboration;theme=technology_history_and_destiny;theme=media_that_matters;theme=bold_predictions_stern_warnings;theme=how_we_learn;theme=not_business_as_usual;theme=what_s_next_in_tech;theme=a_taste_of_tedglobal_2010;event=TEDGlobal+2010;&preAdTag=tconf.ted/embed;tile=1;sz=512x288;" /><embed src="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf" pluginspace="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" bgColor="#ffffff" width="446" height="326" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" flashvars="vu=http://video.ted.com/talks/dynamic/ChrisAnderson_2010G-medium.flv&su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/ChrisAnderson-2010G.embed_thumbnail.jpg&vw=432&vh=240&ap=0&ti=955&introDuration=15330&adDuration=4000&postAdDuration=830&adKeys=talk=chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation;year=2010;theme=the_rise_of_collaboration;theme=technology_history_and_destiny;theme=media_that_matters;theme=bold_predictions_stern_warnings;theme=how_we_learn;theme=not_business_as_usual;theme=what_s_next_in_tech;theme=a_taste_of_tedglobal_2010;event=TEDGlobal+2010;"></embed></object>

Neuroplasticity

I have been reading a marvelous book called Mindsight by Daniel Spiegel, in addition to other works on neuroscience. (My focus is mostly on neuroeconomics and neuromarketing.)

I'm running out of time, so I will just have to mention a couple of points here without giving any links. At least, here's the Wikipedia article as an introduction for those interested: Neuroplasticity.

The following two experiments are not in that article, but I can find them later if you wish. They are referenced in Mindsight.

1. There was an experiment in Italy a while back with monkeys and brain scans. The monkeys were monitored when they ate to see which parts of their brains lit up during the actions. By accident, one researcher left the scans running and happened to be eating right in front of the monkeys. Lo and behold, the same areas of the brain lit up--just as if they were actually eating.

This experiment has caused a mini-revolution in neuroscience. It is proof that the mind alters the actual brain just by thinking (observing, remembering and imagining).

2. There was another experiment where one group of pianists was given pianos to practice an unfamiliar work on a cruise and another group was merely told to think about practicing it. This was over an extended period (I'm sorry I don't have the details, but like I said, they can be looked up.) In the end, they were all asked to play. The performances by those who only thought about practicing were very close to those who actually practiced.

There are lots and lots and lots of experiments like this (including actual physical muscle growth in people who just think about exercising). They show that the mind can improve brain function just by thinking.

So you draw your own conclusions. None of this is secret and none of it is dirty. Rand knew nothing of these efforts, of course. And I am not too enthralled with that poorly defined and executed whatsamajigger called IQ. But does this mean that Rand should be mocked when she was actually right? Maybe not in the form or scope she indicated, but definitely in the essence.

Why am I not impressed when I hear people scoffing that a 4 minute mile is impossible just because a certain person said it was?

Michael

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Daunce,

The idea of making yourself smarter is not magic, nor is it solely philosophy (sorry Ayn). It exists in reality and has different components.

Desire

One major component is focused desire. Without enough focused desire, you do not rise. Period. You stay where you are or go down. (Others might push you, or you can use pharmaceuticals, but these are beyond the scope here.)

Belief

Another major component is belief. One major problem with human beings is that we are wedded to defending our limitations. We will defend them to the death. But once we can observe those limitations exceeded, it seems like everyone starts doing it.

A good example is the 4 minute mile for runners. Until Roger Bannister did it for the first time in 1954 (at least the first recorded time). people constantly lectured each other on how a human being had limited running speed, indicated by the fact that humans could not run a mile in under 4 minutes. Since 1954, so many people have run a 4 minute mile that you can't list them all.

What changed in all those people after 1954? Is there any doubt that before 1954, they would not have done it, just like countless runners before them? Maybe another Roger Bannister was among them and would have done it, but that is not my point--which is without believing they could do it, not just dream about it but do it in reality, they didn't.

Demonstration

The following TED talk is probably more up your alley since it is touchy-feely in a liberal sort of way. (Don't worry. I'm a sap for this stuff, too.) But it does illustrate quite well the power of the Internet, especially Internet video, to drive human improvement by providing easy access to models of the finest experts the human race has to offer. Experts demonstrate for free what is possible. And they teach each anyone who is interested. That makes people get better.

Chris Anderson focuses only on innovation, but there is no doubt in my mind that part of innovation is raising the bar in human ability--at least for some fields. Is not thinking one of those fields? I believe it is.

"Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation"

<object width="446" height="326"><param name="movie" value="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf"></param><param'>http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"/><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><param name="bgColor" value="#ffffff"></param> <param name="flashvars" value="vu=http://video.ted.com/talks/dynamic/ChrisAnderson_2010G-medium.flv&su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/ChrisAnderson-2010G.embed_thumbnail.jpg&vw=432&vh=240&ap=0&ti=955&introDuration=15330&adDuration=4000&postAdDuration=830&adKeys=talk=chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation;year=2010;theme=the_rise_of_collaboration;theme=technology_history_and_destiny;theme=media_that_matters;theme=bold_predictions_stern_warnings;theme=how_we_learn;theme=not_business_as_usual;theme=what_s_next_in_tech;theme=a_taste_of_tedglobal_2010;event=TEDGlobal+2010;&preAdTag=tconf.ted/embed;tile=1;sz=512x288;" /><embed src="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf" pluginspace="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" bgColor="#ffffff" width="446" height="326" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" flashvars="vu=http://video.ted.com/talks/dynamic/ChrisAnderson_2010G-medium.flv&su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/ChrisAnderson-2010G.embed_thumbnail.jpg&vw=432&vh=240&ap=0&ti=955&introDuration=15330&adDuration=4000&postAdDuration=830&adKeys=talk=chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation;year=2010;theme=the_rise_of_collaboration;theme=technology_history_and_destiny;theme=media_that_matters;theme=bold_predictions_stern_warnings;theme=how_we_learn;theme=not_business_as_usual;theme=what_s_next_in_tech;theme=a_taste_of_tedglobal_2010;event=TEDGlobal+2010;"></embed></object>

Neuroplasticity

I have been reading a marvelous book called Mindsight by Daniel Spiegel, in addition to other works on neuroscience. (My focus is mostly on neuroeconomics and neuromarketing.)

I'm running out of time, so I will just have to mention a couple of points here without giving any links. At least, here's the Wikipedia article as an introduction for those interested: Neuroplasticity.

The following two experiments are not in that article, but I can find them later if you wish. They are referenced in Mindsight.

1. There was an experiment in Italy a while back with monkeys and brain scans. The monkeys were monitored when they ate to see which parts of their brains lit up during the actions. By accident, one researcher left the scans running and happened to be eating right in front of the monkeys. Lo and behold, the same areas of the brain lit up--just as if they were actually eating.

This experiment has caused a mini-revolution in neuroscience. It is proof that the mind alters the actual brain just by thinking (observing, remembering and imagining).

2. There was another experiment where one group of pianists was given pianos to practice an unfamiliar work on a cruise and another group was merely told to think about practicing it. This was over an extended period (I'm sorry I don't have the details, but like I said, they can be looked up.) In the end, they were all asked to play. The performances by those who only thought about practicing were very close to those who actually practiced.

There are lots and lots and lots of experiments like this (including actual physical muscle growth in people who just think about exercising). They show that the mind can improve brain function just by thinking.

So you draw your own conclusions. None of this is secret and none of it is dirty. Rand knew nothing of these efforts, of course. And I am not too enthralled with that poorly defined and executed whatsamajigger called IQ. But does this mean that Rand should be mocked when she was actually right? Maybe not in the form or scope she indicated, but definitely in the essence.

Why am I not impressed when I hear people scoffing that a 4 minute mile is impossible just because a certain person said it was?

Michael

I said that IQ was contentious, and that I thought AR had said it could be raised as a quip. I know it can be raised in the right conditions, I've seen "The Blind Side" which I loved. I will not copy the quote that proves my 1st sentence because I might do it wrong and you will get mad at me again

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Daunce,

Why would I ever get mad at you?

You're a sweet respectable widow.

With an improved IQ...

:)

Michael

Thank you young man, you are so kind to help me down off this ladder. I can see that your mother raised you right.

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