The following is a guest article written by Illuminaticatblog. The views in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Pumpkin Person:
Many commenters on Pumpkin’s blog think very differently. This has led many to call each other autistic. But there is no scientific consensus on what autism is otherwise autism would not be confused with schizophrenia so often. MBTI the personality system does not help. A new system does. It was made by Digibro the Anime YouTuber. Two axis exist.
Lexical thinking is formalized rules thinking. Contrast (impressionistic thinking) is informal rules or patterns that are informal i.e. patterns that are new and hard to explain. creativity does not follow a rules system if new otherwise it is just calculation.
linear vs lateral thinking is easy to explain. multiple vs singular train of thought. they can be conscious or unconscious.
The only true autistic type on the chart would be the human calculator. They will have such a narrow focus that they will only do something if it is complete. They will not deviate and this makes relationships hard because relationships are not a collection of parts that can be categorized.
I am a newtype. I have high lateral thinking and high impressionistic thinking. I think in multiple ways at once and new stuff is coming into my mind all the time.
Here is a chart on blog commenters and their type.
Because the Indian woman who IQ tested me at age 12 looked like a fortune teller, and had a grab bag full of mysterious jig-saw puzzles, blocks, and cards full of cartoon black people, I always loved the idea of IQ predicting destiny. I loved how years after John Gotti left high school and became a mob boss, a biographer found that he scored 110 on a high school IQ test. As Daniel Seligman noted, smart enough to get vey rich, but only in the crime world where he would end up in jail.
Oprah fascinates me because she was a case where brain size was destiny. Despite having everything against her (poor, illegitimate, abused, dark skinned black, fat, lower class, not considered beautiful) the smarts inside her freakishly huge hat size helped make her one of the richest and most powerful people alive just like the human species, despite having everything against us (weak, small, slow. no fur or fangs) used our freakishly large brains to become the World’s richest and most powerful species, causing some to define intelligence as the adaptability to turn situations to your advantage.
Bill Gates fascinates me because only one in a million Americans could have achieved his self-reported SAT score (equivalent to IQ 170) and he went on to become the World’s first centibillionaire decades before Jeff Bezos became the second one.
A self-fulfilling prophecy?
But my fascination with Gates is tempered by the fact that he achieved his high score on a college admission test instead of a nominal IQ test. Why? Because nominal IQ tests secretly predict your future and then get buried in your school files and only decades later do we see if you lived up (or down) to your score.
By contrast college admission tests are arguably a self-fulfilling prophecy because they allow you to enter the best schools and network with the smartest and richest kids which paves the way to success. If Gates hadn’t scored near perfect on the SAT, he never would have gone to Harvard and met Steve Balmer. Maybe he still would have founded Microsoft without him since he knew Paul Allen from Lakeside high school, but if he hadn’t scored high on Lakeside’s admission test, he never would have met Allen and more importantly, never would have cut his teeth on the school’s computer (which were super rare in those days).
So the question is, did Gates’s intelligence cause his success, or did his intelligence test scores cause it? If we could go back in time and prevent Binet from inventing the first IQ test (which led to the Army IQ tests which led to the SAT and Lakeside’s standardized tests) would Gates still have become the first centibillionaire?
IQ researcher Robert Sternberg has long argued that the predictive validity of IQ tests is illusory because standardized tests serve as gatekeepers to the very success they predict. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. We want to live in a meritocracy, but how do we know if IQ tests measure real world adaptability if we keep rigging the game in favour of high test scoring people?
Dale & Krueger
On the other hand, a famous study by Dale and Krueger found it’s the other way around. Standardized tests don’t get their predictive power because elite schools use them as gate keepers, but rather elite schools get their predictive power by recruiting smart hardworking people who would have been just as successful without said schools (with the exception of minorities and lower class people who really do get a boost from elite schools).
It would be interesting to correlate life time earnings with both one’s SAT and PSAT scores. If after correcting for reliability (the PSAT is shorter), both tests predicted money just as well despite the latter not being used in college admission, it might prove that smart people get ahead because they do better in life (and not because they do better on tests).
Getting rich off failing the LSAT
For every high SAT person who becomes super rich because of the opportunities conferred by good schools, there might be another who is financially stunted by their high college admission scores (think of all the brilliant minds doing academic research for 6 figures when they could have made billions on Wall street).
Or take the case of Sarah Blakely. After failing the LSAT twice, she used her intelligence to get ahead naturally. Her bright idea was inventing a type of pantyhose you could wear with sandals and underwear. She went to a patent attorney but he laughed in her face.
Desperate and disillusioned, she asked the universe for a sign (something Oprah tells viewers to do). Then one day she turned on Oprah and discovered Oprah had independently had the same pantyhose idea. Emboldened by this “sign” she started her business and when Oprah heard, she promoted the product on her show, causing Blakely to become a billionaire. So in Blakely’s case, the gatekeeper to success was not the LSAT, but Oprah’s genuine enthusiasm for the value of her product. Whatever her IQ, Blakely had got ahead naturally, and not because someone had socially engineered smart people to get ahead by demanding test scores but because she had a bright idea in real life.
Echoing Oprah’s metaphysical belief that failure is the universe’s way of telling you you’re moving in the wrong direction, Blakely stated:
I failed the LSAT. Basically, if I had not failed, I’d have been a lawyer and there would be no Spanx. I think failure is nothing more than life’s way of nudging you that you are off course. My attitude to failure is not attached to outcome, but in not trying. It is liberating.
As a long time scholar of Oprah’s career, one of the most difficult moments came in 2006 after Oprah chose James Frey’s self-help drug addiction memoir A Million Little Pieces as her book club selection. At its peak, the book club was an unrivaled cultural phenomenon with each selection racing up the New York Times best-seller list, often to #1, and selling hundreds of thousands, if not millions of extra copies.
But the book club also bred resentment from elitists who may have subconsciously thought “How dare an overweight non-Ivy league dark skinned black woman who entertains housewives on daytime TV be the most important literary figure alive!”
For years critics had wished for a scandal to embarrass her & knock her of her high horse, & in 2006 it looked like they found one when it came to light that Frey had fabricated or embellished parts of memoir including the time he spent in prison.
At first Oprah stood by the author, saying that while parts of the memoir may be wrong, the spirit of the book was true, but the critics were having none of it. For the first time in a decade, Oprah found herself being attacked in the opinion pages of the major newspapers. Especially unrelenting was the omnipotent New York Times who had long been jealous that Oprah’s book’s club had usurped their review as the most influential literary force. Every day they would write another story about the Frey scandal and at one point they gave Oprah the Nixon treatment, asking “What did Oprah know and when did she know it?”
A dark day
I went to the internet to defend her, but the trolls were too many:
“This stupid woman never should have been on TV in the first place!” read one comment.
“Looks like someone made a monkey out of old Oprah,” read another.
At the time my coworkers were supposed to take me out for dinner to celebrate a promotion but I cancelled. I crawled into bed and pulled the covers over my head.
How could this have happened to the World’s biggest brained woman? Did I bet on the wrong horse? My whole life felt like one big waste of time.
And then I fell asleep as an ominous Thunder storm began roaring outside.
A new day
When I woke up, the sun shining as fresh air blew into my bedroom from the windows I forgot to close, and bird were chirping.
With great anxiety, I checked the internet.
Gone were all the nasty comments and vicious media coverage. They were replaced by people watching Oprah’s show in Chicago (where it had aired live that morning) and gushing:
“Oprah’s beating the living shit out of James Frey!”
“Oprah’s slaughtering Frey!”
The newspaper headlines were the same:
Oprah obliterates Frey
Queen of Alll Media Takes her Revenge
Oprah scolds Frey for betraying millions of readers
Even the New York Times was singing her praises!
What the hell happened I wondered? In an act of extraordinary genius, Oprah and her female staff had found a way to lure Frey and his publisher, the legendary New Yorker Nam Talese, onto her show as part of a panel discussing “Truth in America” but little did they know that they would be the sacraficial lambs.
Oprah walked Frey through every chapter of his book demanding he admit it was lies. At one point Oprah even got Frey to admit he had lied about his girlfriend hanging herself.
The studio audience moaned in agony
“Well one idea I had” Frey said, before Oprah cut him off. “That’s not an idea James, that’s a lie!”
“You conned us all!” she said, “you betrayed millions of readers”
“I’ve really been embarrassed by all this” Oprah kept saying, using a brilliant technique Chris Mathews calls Shining a Lantern on Your Problem.
Oprah then described a scene where Frey claimed to have had two root canals without novocaine. Frey claimed he wan’t sure.
“James that doesn’t make any sense,” said Oprah “that scene goes on in great detail for 2 or 3 pages and you say you had 2 root canals; so I ask again, were there 2 root canals?”
Frey was defeated. His beard mouth hanging open like dog shocked that its loving master had kicked it. Oprah seemed to see the pathetic face in the live TV monitor and knew her work was done. She cut to commercial, and brought out the publisher.
Oprah then lectured the elite publisher on the need for fact-checking and that the root canal story was an obvious red flag she should have caught.
Then Oprah invited elite columnists from the The New York Times and Washington Post onto the panel.
Richard Cohen praised Oprah for her courage in admitting she was wrong and course correcting and crowned her Mensch of the Year. Oprah insisted he say more, and which point Cohen began lecturing Talese to hire a fact checker! The publish turned bright red and when Oprah saw that the monitor had captured her humiliation too she cut to commercial.
Oprah ended the show by reading a quote from Michiko Kakutani about the importance of truth.
“I believe the truth matters” said Oprah as she furiously stormed off the set to thunderous applause, tossing Frey’s book for dramatic effect.
David Carr gushed: “By the time the program was over, she was surrounded by carnage, but she didn’t have a hair out of place. ”
Others gushed :”This was Old Testament Oprah! Making Frey burn in hell on live TV!”
Barbara Walters said “no one does the right thing all the time but Oprah does the right thing more often than anyone else.”
Packing a roughly 1900 cc brain size, Oprah had somehow turned the biggest scandal of her career into its biggest triumph.
“No one knows how to stage manage their image quite like Oprah,” said David Carr, “and I think her durability over time is that ability to stage manage”.
Another expert said “the sheer shrewdness of Oprah’s handling of the situation was reflected by the fact that her punishment of Frey, not her own judgement, became the story.”
I could hear my chemistry teacher’s definition of intelligence echoing in my mind:
The ability to adapt: To take whatever situation you’re in and turn it around to your advantage.
A few years later, publisher Nan Talese would eloquently lash out at Oprah in an attempt to save face.
Of course Oprah wouldn’t be Oprah if there wasn’t redemption. In the final season of her syndicated talk show, Oprah had Frey back on and apologized for being so tough on him and the two embraced.
Getting a couple emails asking if it’s true this blog has been sold; the answer is no, not yet. I figure it’s worth five figures. One problem is prospective buyers want me to stay on as blogger but I would no longer be owner, just a salaried employee with no editorial control. Another issue is control of the huge library of moderated & pre-redacted comments where most of the sensational content is. I’m reluctant to release the moderated & redacted comments for any amount of money because I don’t want the public being brainwashed by the propaganda some push. I’ve released it for a select few paying customers with the judgement to keep it in perspective, but mass release I do not support.