We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Thank you for this post Dr. Joy. However, I also see in this issue an article titled: "Creativity is Collective". I deplore this assumption--I have watched as poorly qualified teachers introduced the idea of "group work" into the classroom. This of course meant fewer papers to grade and eased the burden of grading the best from the mediocre from the worst in class. Forcing students to learn and work in groups was a great gift to the teacher's unions. However, it has been noted by many people whose voices cannot be heard that this system deprives the individual child in so, so, so many ways. It is often used to "level the playing field" for minority groups.
I am saddened to see the SA drop to such poor scientific assumptions as it does in the article about "collective creativity". Remember this:
"good politics does not guarantee good design!" Group agreement does not guarantee that the problem has been thoroughly examined, or that the collective minds worked diligently to find the best answer. More likely they did what was quickest and easiest for all as none--no one person--would stand out. Thus group learning diminishes the essential individual drive.
On another matter, I also noted that SA refused to publish criticisms and refutations of claims that homosexuality had been discovered to be a DNA issue rather than a cultural/social issue.
Sorry, Dr. Joy I scan this journal with a skeptical eye these days--but, the article you referenced was indeed interesting.
I don't necessarily disagree with the premise of the article but I do disagree with the so-called "proof". The idea that you can give a word test (or any test) and draw specific conclusions is simply incorrect. Certainly we know people who love puzzles and do well with puzzles but who are babes in the woods with mechanical, high tech or real life problems. I worked with a man who didn't read and write very well but who was a mechanical genius and when something mechanical broke on this very complex system they called him. Many years ago I knew a man who was the co-founder of a small company in West Texas that provided irrigation solutions for farmers and ranchers. Seems simple. They hired an experienced engineer to help the company when this cofounder retired. He worked with the old man on projects and one day frustrated he complained to the other owner of the company that the cofounder was "ignorant" of math and science and why did "he" have to work with him. The other owner explained that the cofounder was a genius and that the experienced engineer was hired in the hopes that he could be trained to do what this uneducated, high school dropout genius could do AND if the engineer didn't show some signs of being trainable soon he would be let go.
What is genius? It isn't one thing, some kind of super mind. There are different kinds of genius and not all geniuses are very smart. It is a mistake to too easily judge people as genius, smart, average or stupid. It is fair to judge people by what they do and what they accomplish both good and bad. But judging people by a test or some arbitrary measure is a mistake.