What intelligence quotient? Is there really a finely honed merit based tool for identifying the best and the brightest society has to offer? Like, off the top of your head: what is a neuron? How many neurons does the human brain have and what if we didn’t have any?
Human brains on average have 86 billion neurons. If we didn’t have any we’d be a sponge which have zero… Interestingly we were taught different until someone questioned it? In 2005 Dr Suzana Herculano-Houzel discovered that although 100 billion was used in all the science text books and journals they were all wrong. None of her colleagues knew where that figure came from so she set upon discovering the true figure. After liquefying human brains she then counted the neurons using a formula.
It’s the same with intelligence – with so many different definitions what we actually have are educated opinions. Intelligence is a formally recognized, organized and categorized structure of human perception. “Catching on, making sense of things or figuring things out” are three characteristics most experts agree on. “Reasoning, learning from mistakes and abstract thinking” are some others. Then there’s the ability to make sense of it all and translate that. The time it takes between individuals is of course taken into account.
Age and its association with either intelligence or wisdom are misleading and constrained understandings of both. After all Einstein was a 25 year old patent clerk when his “Theory of General Relativity” created shockwaves around the world. He was quoted as saying: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” He also said: “A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so” however the heyday of the twenty something physics genius is gone… Today’s average age for Nobel Prize winners in physics is 50 and over 65 for writers.
As with all good mainstream science we can dissect it, wrap it in a multitude of statistics, facts, figures and BS – then stick it into our textbooks. Now really much of the knowledge we retain is on a need to know basis not overcomplexity. Do most of us need to know what a synapse, a neuron or quantum tunneling is? Tesla said: “Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.” Tesla was hands on – believing much of theoretical physics lacked observed reality. It’s the reason why we can read dozens of different theories on its nature with none being real.
Speaking of real, the WAIS-IV, is the current test by which we measure IQ but it has many critics who say the tests are easy to manipulate. Much of this is done in the US as a means to a predetermined outcome. If I asked you why electrons don’t fly out of their orbits of the nucleus of an atom what would your answer be? This issue alone is too complex for the scope of this article because it indicts the entire educational system. How all tests are structured determines the outcome. Determines steering allocations of educational resources including federal discretionary funds. Besides there are plenty of books on the subject.
So then that aside, how smart are you in actual mind power? As of this writing the top three richest people in the world are each worth upward of 70 billion US. If we based intelligence on income most of the rest of the world would be mental microbes. If artistic talent were our measure, we would come to the realization that some of history’s finest artists died paupers.
Most top scientists will never win a Nobel Prize and live otherwise ordinary lives outside of being extraordinarily smart. The same can be said of many religious scholars like St Augustine whose writing is thought provoking and meticulous. In fact some of the most brain draining reads I’ve ever experienced involved philosophy which uses language to transcend mortal thought.
Above: ENIAC was 8.5 by 3 by 80 feet and weighed 27 tons.
Now here’s something I was thinking about: Arguably the first computer unveiled on February 14, 1946 was the ENIAC aka “The Big Brain.” The IBM-701 went public in 1953 and could do 16 thousand OPS (Operations Per Second). Today Intel’s fastest desktop CPU can do over 300 billion OPS. Today’s fastest supercomputer is the Sunway TaihuLight which has a speed of 93 petaFLOPS or 93 quadrillion OPS. So we’ve gone from 16 thousand to 93 quadrillion OPS in around 60 years. We might then conclude that these increases will continue exponentially and computers will shortly surpass the entire human collective in processing power.
While web searching even my most obscure concepts I came to an epiphany. We – the human race have unknowingly taken the next step in our evolution. Where in the past we could work on problems or ideas collectively, we couldn’t do it in real-time. Now we can almost instantly access and filter trillions of ideas and bits of data contributed by hundreds of millions of minds working virtually as one.
What also struck me is how rapidly “AI” (artificial intelligence) is advancing. Autonomous AI internet search bots will soon understand the content they gather using “AC” (Artificial Consciousness). Entire libraries will be read in seconds on quantum scales. These synthetic entities will be our greatest thinkers, inventors, designers, physicists, philosophers, physicians… They’ll access databases containing all the knowledge from the history of human existence. Only, as it may take humans years to go from concept to result, for AI we may be talking minutes.
Somewhere around here a metaphoric event horizon occurs as was predicted by Dr. John Lilly in his 1978 book “The Scientist” talking about “Solid State Intelligence.” Our machines will become self-reliant eventually controlling human thought through timeline manipulation. They’ll guarantee their own creation, evolution and man’s dependency on them. This for me was incredible – we came to the same exact conclusion years apart.
Philosopher Nick Bostrom suggests that if one were living in a virtual world it would be indistinguishable from a “REAL” one. Elon Musk like many others agree and fears we may already be living in a simulation meaning the change event already occurred. Contrary to popular belief this idea of reality being an illusion predates antiquity. It did not start with Bostrom nor with the Lillys of the world – everyone’s in on this game. Science or theology as in the Christian “Omphalos” hypothesis which presents that God created the world ten thousand years ago. The universe was already complete with stars, planets, Adam and Eve. Much like a well written simulated world program.
So now here we are in a simulation? However we exist, it’s real enough to us. Speaking of what’s real, we’ve touched upon wealth, talent, religion, philosophy, science… but the question was: “How smart are you?” The truth is that it doesn’t really matter because the quotient is an illusion. It measures what a committee decides intelligence is at any given point in time. This usually involves political and cultural interpretations. It doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly be good at math or will now create a great symphony. It means that like millions of others you’ll pass or like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg all University dropouts you can still go on to change the world…
9-Year-Old Mexican Girl With Higher IQ Than Albert Einstein Already Studying to be Astronaut
Adhara Pérez may only be nine years old, but she already has big dreams – which is only fitting, considering the Mexico City native has an IQ of 162, a score even higher than quantum scientists Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
Adhara has been taking IQ tests since she was only four years old, and has been applying her considerable brain power to studying advanced subjects that some of us could only dream of grasping.
At the age of seven, she was already ranked by Forbes magazine in 2019 as one of the most powerful women in Mexico.
The young prodigy is already studying for two degrees: one is systems engineering at the Universidad CNCI, and the other is industrial engineering at UNITEC.
She’s also been invited to pursue a master’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Miami; as well as an offer to study physics at the University of Israel.
To top it off, she’s been invited to join the Aeronautics Program in Alabama and to study Space Science at NASA, reports Telemundo. She hopes to eventually become an astronaut.
However, the youngster is aiming to continue her studies at the University of Arizona and is quickly learning English in hopes of preparing to pursue her dreams.
“I have to stay there for three months to learn and get accustomed to hearing and speaking English,” Adhara explained to NBC San Diego.
At the age of three, Adhara was diagnosed with autism and bullied by neighborhood kids in the Mexican capital for being different. The youngster eventually fell into a deep depression, but this also began her journey toward a brighter future.
Upon being placed in therapy by her mother, she underwent various IQ tests and got a score of 162 – two points higher than Einstein and Hawking, who each scored 160.
Upon finishing high school at the age of eight, she began working on her degrees online. She’s also already written a book about her experience being bullied and the need for perserverence.
“Do not give up, and if you don’t like where you are, start planning where you want to be!”
7 Powerful Books That Will Unleash The Hidden Potential Of Your Mind
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” ~George R.R. Martin
There it is: your mind –all leashed-up, bored, bookless and chasing its own tail in the corner. It’s time to unleash it. It’s time to toss it back into the shocking waters of wonder and awe. It’s time to distract it from the all too familiar tail (or tale, to wit), and give it a juicy carrot to chase around instead. Seven juicy carrots, to be exact.
So, store that leash, open up your mind, curl up with your best friend, and dive right on in to the following mind-unleashing books. But keep the light on. As Groucho Marx wittily opined, “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
1.) “The Beginning of Infinity” by David Deutsche
“We never know any data before interpreting it through theories. All observations are, as Popper put it, theory-laden, and hence fallible, as all our theories are.” ~David Deutsche
From epistemology and quantum fungibility to environmental ethics and societal evolution, David Deutsche takes us on a thought-provoking journey into answering a single question: Is there a limit to what can be understood? He comes at a mind-expending answer of “no” by diving deep into the expanding waters of epistemology and ontology. He profoundly claims that our understanding of anything is always at the “beginning of infinity” and there will always be an infinite amount more left for us to understand. Basically surmising that, with accurate and adaptable knowledge, anything is possible unless it is prohibited by the laws of physics.
Highly rational and integrating, The beginning of Infinity launches us into higher thinking on the path toward better and better explanations. He takes us from parochial, outdated ways of thinking to the concept of universality and updated ways of thinking about the universe as a thing to be progressively evolved into using ever-expanding technologies. Thus bridging the gap from man to overman. As he made clear, “There is only one way of thinking that is capable of making progress, or of surviving in the long run, and that is the way of seeking good explanations through creativity and criticism.”
2.) “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.” ~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Thanks to Csikszentmihalyi, the idea of the “flow state” has become a vital aspect of our cultural awakening. The optimal experience is gained through deep discipline in a particular field/art/sport that provides intrinsic reward, challenge, and feedback, thus integrating confidence, concentration, control, adaptability, and connectivity. Time stops or slows down. Insecurities disappear. We stop caring about what others think of us. A creative unfolding of something larger manifests. Everything flows effortlessly in interconnected unison with us as its interdependent spearhead. In short: we stop thinking and just do.
By simply asking the question, “When are people most happy?” Csikszentmihalyi, through time tested research, pinpoints flow states as the answer. Athletes call it “being in the zone,” mystics have described it as “ecstasy,” and artists term it “rapture.” Unleashing optimal experience is about doing what we love as a pathway toward greater meaning, happiness, and a self of higher complexity. By doing what we love in challenging ways, we leverage optimal experience into our lives. This book powerfully explains the psychology of this vital process.
3.) “Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul” by Giulio Tononi
“Murky thoughts, like murky waters, can serve two purposes only: to hide what lies beneath, which is our ignorance, or to make the shallow seem deep” ~Giulio Tononi
Phi takes the reader on a mind-altering journey through the nature of consciousness. It interweaves science, art, and the imagination with golden ratios, Fibonacci sequences, and fractal cosmology. The reader has the joy of perceiving the world through such masters as Galileo, Alan Turing, Darwin and Francis Crick, among others. From neuroscience to pseudoscience, from deep introspection to mindful meditation, Tononi elucidates on how consciousness is an evolving, ever-deepening awareness of ourselves as finite, spiritual beings in an infinite universe.
We learn how consciousness is integrated information and how the power of that integration requires the utmost responsibility and credulity. It teaches how the brain is the seat of our perceptions, and is a creative force par excellence, and can even create new shapes and new qualia. It teaches how, by growing consciousness, the universe comes more and more into being, and synthesizes the one and the many, the ego and the eco, the individual and the interdependence of all things into a unified force of Nature.
4.) “The Art of Fear” by Kristen Ulmer
““Everything is fine” is actually a copout, a stuck place, an obstruction to the exploration of who and what you are expanding into higher and further, not to mention the evolution of humanity.” ~Kristen Ulmer
The Art of fear is about curiously embracing fear rather than conquering or repressing it. It’s about rebuilding our understanding of fear from the ground up. It’s about realizing that Fear is only one of 10,000 employees at You Incorporated, and how they all need a voice. But Fear most of all, lest all voices become repressed shadows. The key to fear, she explains, is being curious about it, thereby harnessing its power rather than conquering it. Between courage and curiosity is everything we need to be fearless.
Ulmer’s personal journey with fear eventually led her to study with Zen masters, from which she learned a mindfulness tool called “Shift” which shifts our perspective of fear from ignorant repression to proactive curiosity, thus aligning it authentically with our true nature. The basic tenet being this: Instead of repressing fear, empower it, by being curious and questioning rather than judgmental and accusing. Honor it with deep respect so it doesn’t operate covertly in twisted ways beneath the surface.
5.) “Endgame: The Problem of Civilization” by Derrick Jensen
“Premise One: Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. This is especially true for industrial civilization.” ~Derrick Jensen
Endgame will take everything you think you know about being a social being in a seemingly functional society and turn it on its head. Definitely not for the typical statist, nor the faithful law-abiding citizen. Endgame is about the imperative need to immediately dismantle the unhealthy civilization that surrounds us. Endgame is a scathing, raging critique against the unhealthy, unsustainable, and ecologically unsound man-machine that is our modern culture.
Breaking the book down into a series of simple but increasingly provocative premises, Jensen takes us on a mind-bending and convincing ride into the unhealthy belly of the violent, ecocidal beast that is modern day civilization. His basic premise is simple: Industrial civilization is unsustainable. It’s not a question of “if” but a question of “when” it’s going to fail.
He argues that the longer it takes civilization to fall, the worse the tragedy will be. In that light, there are two things we should be doing: Bringing about the fall sooner rather than later; and preparing to survive it. His attitude is caustic and cavalier, but all the better for the shock value it provides. This book really flattens the box we’re all so desperately trying to think outside of. A complimentary (and perhaps less aggressive) read is Beyond Civilization by Daniel Quinn.
6.) Trickster Makes this World: Mischief, Myth, and Art by Lewis Hyde
“Better to operate with detachment, then; better to have a way but infuse it with a little humor; best, to have no way at all but to have instead the wit constantly to make one’s way anew from the materials at hand.” ~Lewis Hyde
Trickster Makes This World is a mythological cornerstone for Sacred Clowns and practicing trickster-gods the world over, digging into the guts of the primordial importance of sacred play and rowdy behavior. Hyde explores how trickster figures represent the “disruptive imagination” that inverts, rearranges, and overturns conventional wisdom. From Raven to Coyote, Monkey to Crow, Hermes to Loki, Eshu to Legba, Hyde reveals connections between mythological tricksters that form a hidden network that connects cultural divides.
The best part about this book is its ability to show how mythology becomes reality. “Trickster consciousness’” is a vital component of human imagination. It reveals that we are the gods of renewal and rebirth, if we choose to be. We are the creators of mischief and mayhem. We are the trickster gods in training. Trickster is us, and we are Trickster. We are the ultimate boundary-crossers. No manmade rules or laws can contain us, unless we let them. Even cosmic rules and laws can hardly contain us. Trickster makes this world by tearing the old world down through high humor, moral ambiguity, foolishness, and strategic transgression and then dances in the ashes of its destruction. But it is precisely from the dancing, the kicking up of dust and ash, where brave new worlds emerge.
7.) “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them” by Joshua Greene
“We need a kind of thinking that enables groups with conflicting moralities to live together and prosper. In other words, we need a metamorality. We need a moral system that resolves disagreements among groups with different moral ideals, just as ordinary first-order morality resolves disagreements among individuals with different selfish interests.” ~Joshua Greene
Moral Tribes is hands-on moral psychology and a refreshing new take on utilitarianism. Greene wraps game theory, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience into a nice digestible package to bolster his theory of cognition, which builds elegantly into a theory of moral psychology. A sweeping synthesis of neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, Moral Tribes opens a can of psychosocial worms that takes the concept of morality to the next level, revealing how we are exceptionally well-adept at solving the dilemma between “Me” and “Us,” through the concept of the “tribe,” but how we are ridiculously less-adept at solving the meta-dilemma between “Us” and “Them.”
Greene’s concept of metamorlity squares this psychosocial circle by counterintuitively applying utilitarianism to our base, knee-jerk reaction to morality (evolved morality) by becoming aware of our apathy in order to become more empathetic. By reinforcing humanity instead of nationalism, and worldly patriotism instead of patriotic nationalism, we turn the tables on both xenophobia and apathy and we become more compassionate and empathetic toward others. When we celebrate diversity instead of trying to cram the square peg of colonialism into the round hole of cultural affiliation, we turn the tables on the monkey-mind’s one-dimensional moral tribalism and we usher in Joshua Greene’s multi-dimensional metamorality.
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