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Genius verses Academia

dylancatlow
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6/29/2014 9:41:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Although academia is widely regarded as the natural setting for genius, there are some obvious problems with this characterization. For one thing, while academia needs a steady supply of geniuses to keep it on track, genius exists independently of academia. For another, academia functions in a way antithetical to certain crucial ingredients of genius. These facts betray a potentially costly disjunction of public perception and factual reality.

Academic Domination of Technical Information

To define the problem, we must first understand how and why academia controls the flow of technical information. Academia's hegemony over the flow of technical information is aided by:

1. Regulatory interdependence of academia, government and industry.

2. Dependence of the mass media on academic sources of information regarding progress on intellectual fronts.

3. Dependence of grant-giving private foundations on academic evaluations and recommendations.

4. Reliance of private and government employers on academic credentials and referrals for the filling of technical positions, and of private and governmental bodies on academic personnel for advice on technical projects.

5. Academic control of the system of scholastic and professional journals, in which the obstacles to publication and proper attribution are proportional to the obscurity of the author, the importance and controversiality of the topic, and the level and prominence of the periodical.

6. Academic alliance with professional, public, and private interest groups (e.g., the AMA, the ABA, the government) which endeavor to make it illegal to perform services or practice vocations (e.g., doctor, lawyer, teacher) without benefit of matching academic credentials.

Academic Rationalizations

Academia attempts to justify its monopoly over technical information by:

1. Claiming to be the preeminent guardian and seeker of truth and knowledge.

[False. Academia does not pursue the search for truth and knowledge for its own sake, but only in conjunction with various economic and political criteria. In fact, this claim is little more than a ploy designed to channel every dime available for education and research into academic coffers. Meanwhile, academia's standardization imperative fosters ideological conformity rather than intellectual freedom, tending to enforce a degree of specialization severing interdisciplinary connections and limiting knowledge.]

2. Claiming to be the natural habitat of genius, especially in fields requiring a combination of high intellect and extensive knowledge.

[False. A strong case can be made that academia, by actively selecting for intellectual conformity with the ideas and opinions of instructors and those who dominate their fields, passively selects against extreme originality and thus against genius, meanwhile maintaining nearly impregnable barriers against gifted outsiders who lack its credentials.]

3. Claiming to welcome all participants in the search for truth and exclude no one who might be essential to its success.

[False. University applicants are not screened for intellectual creativity, profundity of thought, or work already accomplished. Screening is mass-oriented and, where not based on economic or sociological criteria, tautologically based on academic records and superficial tests of academic achievement. Moreover, compulsory university attendance places extreme, discriminatory financial burdens on those of limited means, while standardized curricula steal critical time and energy from those with important work already in progress. Instead of reaching out to those of special intellectual ability, achievement and independence, academia continues to offer them just what it always has: a pious mixture of phony egalitarianism and stonehearted bureaucracy.]

4. Claiming to be the only organized body with the ability and authority to provide accurate technical information.

[False. Academia has no way of knowing whether or not the most knowledgeable or talented minds in any given field are members of its community, particularly in fields which do not require direct access to privileged data or unique equipment under its exclusive control.]

5. Claiming to be the sole means by which one can master an academic discipline.

[False. Any sufficiently intelligent, motivated person can master abstract principles without attending lectures or paying college tuition. Only where a student requires hands-on training is university enrollment necessary. Raw intelligence is a better predictor of both learning ability and job performance than is level of education.]

6. Claiming to be the sole means by which experts can prove themselves qualified in their fields.

[False. Conceptual mastery of most fields can be determined through standardized testing. Furthermore, "expertise" means crystallized intelligence, which can tend to displace fluid intelligence in the course of education. Thus, where an expert might try to apply outmoded techniques to novel situations on the arrogant assumption that his own training and experience suffice to handle "anything", an intelligent person with less invested in training would more quickly admit his ignorance and synthesize an appropriate solution from first principles.]

In short, academia has arrogated a position which it is not necessarily able or entitled to fill, and may in the process be disseminating misinformation and misleading the public. This situation is especially serious in those fields for which standard scientific methodology is inadequate or inappropriate. There can be little argument that organized higher education is a social necessity, and that the world's colleges and universities have been integral to many of the benefits presently enjoyed by society. But the popular respect and power with which society has repaid it have made it dangerously forgetful ... forgetful that its own value resides largely in the genius of individual minds that exist independently of it.

Where Stops the Buck?

Because of academia's intransigent posture towards those wishing to make meaningful intellectual contributions to their fields of interest - because of the way it forces them, on pain of virtual excommunication, to acquire academic credentials on its own terms and at its own price - many talented individuals have been unjustly excluded. Among them, no doubt, are some of the ablest. Because this represents a terrible potential loss to the intellectual wealth of mankind, the matter cannot be left in academia's hands. Rather, an alternate channel of communication must be maintained for the use of those who find themselves, despite high levels of knowledge and ability, on the wrong side of the academic establishment. At this time, there is just one plausible candidate: the high-IQ community.

It is true that the high-IQ community has occasionally been the butt of well-deserved jokes. By statistical necessity, it consists mainly of its lower strata, which in turn consist largely of that segment of the high-IQ population given to self-pity, social ineptitude and pseudointellectual argumentation for its own sake...people who are "fed up and not going to take it any more!", and who labor under a burning conviction that because they do moderately well on IQ tests, they must by definition have something important to say. And say it they do, often so loudly as to drown out any real genius who might have a worthwhile point to make.

Continued below
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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6/29/2014 9:41:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
But the high-IQ community has many levels, and as one moves upward, one is increasingly likely to encounter someone with "the right stuff". At the very top - where it becomes problematic even to extract measurable differences among intellects - the occurrence of what we call "true genius" may actually become probable. This is the level at which the high-IQ community must be taken most seriously, and which must take most seriously its own responsibility for the production of original, academically-uncensored ideas of potential benefit to mankind.

Mega International resides on that level.

http://www.megafoundation.org...
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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6/29/2014 10:10:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 9:41:01 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

Universities, as institutions with power, have of course an interest in the general maintenance of the status quo and therefore will prefer the good, obedient intellectual to the radical genius, but despite reading this I have no idea what you're actually proposing. As far as I'm aware people with extraordinarily high IQs have not been dominant contributors in any field of investigation - do correct me if I'm wrong.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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6/29/2014 10:17:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 10:10:49 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 9:41:01 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

As far as I'm aware people with extraordinarily high IQs have not been dominant contributors in any field of investigation - do correct me if I'm wrong.

And whose fault is that?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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6/29/2014 10:19:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
"The precious, carefully cultivated orchids of academia often forget in the course of their well-referenced but ultimately omphaloskeptical self-explorations that they very much belong to an intellectual closed shop, and that their own cognitive gaps preclude definitive judgments on the cognitive adequacy of the weeds that grow wild and free beyond the sheltering walls of their ivory tower hothouses."
Wocambs
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6/29/2014 10:27:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 10:17:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:10:49 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 9:41:01 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

As far as I'm aware people with extraordinarily high IQs have not been dominant contributors in any field of investigation - do correct me if I'm wrong.

And whose fault is that?

I can't really say with certainty, but so far I have seen no evidence to suggest that individuals with such IQs are any more likely to innovate than individuals with IQs higher than 120 or so.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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6/29/2014 10:33:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 10:27:00 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:17:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:10:49 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 9:41:01 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

As far as I'm aware people with extraordinarily high IQs have not been dominant contributors in any field of investigation - do correct me if I'm wrong.

And whose fault is that?

I can't really say with certainty, but so far I have seen no evidence to suggest that individuals with such IQs are any more likely to innovate than individuals with IQs higher than 120 or so.

That's because society doesn't exploit genius to its full extent, and instead forces it to jump through the hoops of the circular and stifling obstacle course that is academia.
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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6/29/2014 10:41:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 10:33:09 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:27:00 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:17:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:10:49 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 9:41:01 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

As far as I'm aware people with extraordinarily high IQs have not been dominant contributors in any field of investigation - do correct me if I'm wrong.

And whose fault is that?

I can't really say with certainty, but so far I have seen no evidence to suggest that individuals with such IQs are any more likely to innovate than individuals with IQs higher than 120 or so.

That's because society doesn't exploit genius to its full extent, and instead forces it to jump through the hoops of the circular and stifling obstacle course that is academia.

Isn't that true of everyone, though? In fact isn't it the easiest for such gifted individuals to pass through the education system? Such hoop-jumping is presumably very easy for them, and they will receive the highest rewards if they choose to be obedient. It's actually quite funny to see how your perspective on the world leads you to think like this.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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6/29/2014 10:49:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 10:41:39 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:33:09 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:27:00 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:17:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:10:49 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 9:41:01 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

As far as I'm aware people with extraordinarily high IQs have not been dominant contributors in any field of investigation - do correct me if I'm wrong.

And whose fault is that?

I can't really say with certainty, but so far I have seen no evidence to suggest that individuals with such IQs are any more likely to innovate than individuals with IQs higher than 120 or so.

That's because society doesn't exploit genius to its full extent, and instead forces it to jump through the hoops of the circular and stifling obstacle course that is academia.

Isn't that true of everyone, though? In fact isn't it the easiest for such gifted individuals to pass through the education system? Such hoop-jumping is presumably very easy for them, and they will receive the highest rewards if they choose to be obedient. It's actually quite funny to see how your perspective on the world leads you to think like this.

Such hoop-jumping is based on one's ability to absorb and regurgitate platitudes of academic consensus. That is, to conform. Academia is not interested in profundity or creativity; they are interested in progressing strictly within the bounds of established opinion.
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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6/29/2014 10:58:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 10:49:35 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:41:39 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:33:09 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:27:00 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:17:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/29/2014 10:10:49 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 6/29/2014 9:41:01 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

As far as I'm aware people with extraordinarily high IQs have not been dominant contributors in any field of investigation - do correct me if I'm wrong.

And whose fault is that?

I can't really say with certainty, but so far I have seen no evidence to suggest that individuals with such IQs are any more likely to innovate than individuals with IQs higher than 120 or so.

That's because society doesn't exploit genius to its full extent, and instead forces it to jump through the hoops of the circular and stifling obstacle course that is academia.

Isn't that true of everyone, though? In fact isn't it the easiest for such gifted individuals to pass through the education system? Such hoop-jumping is presumably very easy for them, and they will receive the highest rewards if they choose to be obedient. It's actually quite funny to see how your perspective on the world leads you to think like this.

Such hoop-jumping is based on one's ability to absorb and regurgitate platitudes of academic consensus. That is, to conform. Academia is not interested in profundity or creativity; they are interested in progressing strictly within the bounds of established opinion.

I'm a big fan of your vocabulary but 'platitudes' seems a little odd. Anyway, I do agree, but I'm fairly certain memorising a biology textbook is far, far easier when your memory is incredibly powerful, and mathematical problems are far easier to solve when you have a huge amount of mental processing power. Therefore, the innovative individual is least stifled when she has a high IQ, surely, on the grounds that the jumping of the hoops will be vastly less frustrating, time-consuming, etc.