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Worry About Smart Kids

2009-12-30

Category: philosophies

I worry a lot about kids. Most of my worry comes from the fact that I was a kid myself, a very long time ago (and still try to maintain some of the maturity level.) The ones that really concern me are the kids who are naturally intelligent but grow up in lower social classes develop without support. It is these kids who are wasted and who can be the most trouble when they go bad.

Intelligence has a full range between the super genius on one side and severe developmental disability on the other. Most people fall in the middle with the largest grouping around the median. For purposes of explanation, I'll compare this to chess playing computers where the intelligent end is IBM's Big Blue, and the low end is video chess on the Atari 2600.

IBM's computer can work through all the possible moves that can occur on the board. It eliminates the ones where it loses and then picks from the ones where it wins. The Atari game looks ahead a few moves and determines a likely strategy. The typical chess player stands no chance against the IBM supercomputer but can probably play well against the Atari. These computers have different levels of complexity that allow them to take advantage of their programming.

That last bit is important. It's not enough that the supercomputer has more processing power; it also has better programming. The Atari program is not intended to compete at that level, so the time and effort injected into programming is not as great. This is the problem with the smart kids in the lower social classes.

If you have an intelligent child, that child must be given the mental exercise necessary to really build up the mind. Going to a school where the curriculum is held back to meet the needs of the average, or slightly below, leaves the smart child unfulfilled and untapped. That's not the end of the problem.

Food has a great impact on mental development. Nutrition programs for the poor help increase the average development of all the people there. It is imperative that we feed these people so they don't grow up to be morons who vote based on NASCAR results. It is in everyone's best interest that we maintain adequate food. This doesn't mean that everyone gets the highest quality, but that no one gets below the minimum needed.

Socialization is another big issue. One often hears poor people talk about how the rich are trying to keep them down. In most cases, the rich are too busy just getting along with their lives to give the poor too much thought. Many of the rich don't understand why the poor don't just stop being poor. That may sound ridiculous, but there is a small amount of truth to it.

Rich people socialize together and talk about the ways of making and keeping money. Poor people socialize and talk about poor people stuff. At some point, the poor have to talk about being more productive. This over simplification is far from likely to happen, but it illustrates one of the problems facing the smart kids. Those smart kids will likely be socialized in an environment where they only hear about being poor and uneducated.

The other big problem facing smart kids today is that, as much as we say otherwise, we don't value intelligence as a society. People will cry out that we need to boost intelligence and need better schools, but no one wants to pay for it. The emphasis is on the average to below average students because that is the majority. Our herds will never follow the intelligent.

Finally, there are those who are around to help. We hire social workers and guidance counselors to help the problem kids. Many intelligent kids become problem kids because they have no focus for their brainpower and become frustrated. Many social workers, guidance counselors, and psychologists barely make it through college with a high enough GPA to get their degrees. The source of the educational struggle is that these people are rarely the gifted types. The school exposed them to the education, the latest research, and the techniques to help, but can they?

Let's return to the chess-playing computer. Let's say there is a problem with the Big Blue programming. Would you expect the Atari to have the processing power and programming to diagnose that problem? Probably not. So, if you have a kid with real brains, would you expect a person with much less complexity to be able to understand the problem, even if they've read about such things? Again, probably not. The kid is lost in a bureaucratic shuffle of people who barely made it and often don't really care as much as their motivational posters suggest.

So, what can we possibly do? That's simple; go back to your favorite place of worship and pray in a manner befitting your beliefs that the next Rasputin isn't growing in the bowels on one of our cities. Hope that some roadside southern church isn't raising a preacher who will raze the nation to cleanse it of sinners. Wish that some nearly retarded bastard isn't elected president and go off attacking countries that aren't involved in attacks on us.

Yea, it really is that hopeless. The main reason is that humans are just a herd of animals that huddle together in fear of the night and are easily spooked by things they don't understand. They are happy enough when someone points out fresh water or greener grass, but don't really want to hear the truth about the sparkly lights in the night sky.


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