I just recently hired my first employee, an electrical engineer out of Chicago, Illinois, but don’t get it twisted. This person isn’t American, which shouldn’t be a shock to anyone reading this since the world over–especially the science experts from the Great Down Under–know that Americans are getting whipsawed out of job-after-job-after-job-after-job. When it comes to people who have honed an actual expertise in “things scientific“, and I’ll even dare say “all things concerning engineering“, no doubt the foreign national has his or her hand in the bag when it’s time to play the game. However, I can’t completely knock the American for trying to compete globally despite the natural fact that the laws of economics are immutable and when violated, the penalties (plural) wreak havoc on those due for the negative consequences. So, how’s that working out for everyone?
That’s a serious question. We’re all living in a world populated by numerous societies (plural) comprised of people that are largely illiterate and incapable of handling simple math. One reason that foreign nationals don’t have all that much of a problem with obtaining “your American jobs” is because most Americans cannot deal with the reality that there is very little math training that takes place in the corporate work environment. If the job requires algebra and you don’t know algebra, you aren’t getting the job–point blank. As far as math in the citizen world goes, I don’t even know how anyone can even begin to understand something the likes of CPI statistics without having some sort of background knowledge in algebra. You see, there is a huge difference in having large numbers of people who are educated and having large numbers of people [with college degrees] and who are still not educated. Here in the United States, people have allowed themselves to view Chinese workers in factories as working on “slave wages” or view them as being “illiterate peasants” when in fact one particular reason China has become a manufacturing powerhouse is that it has a pretty decent system of math education and good bit of the workforce in Chinese manufacturing can do basic algebra, which is essential because if something unexpected happens, the line workers are capable of dealing with the situation without having to call-in those in supervisors or those in higher-level management.
Aside from math skills, you have to look at one’s language skills, and I’m not referring to people who can speak several different languages. Most people who always like to point out their ability to speak in several different languages, and label those abilities as “skills” (snicker), especially young females, can speak several different languages but it’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to reading and writing in different languages (without Google Translate). However, by language, I’m referring to the method utilized in communication. Language is taught in a completely different way over in East Asia than it is here in the U.S. In the U.S., people are encouraged to say what you think in an essay, however, if someone in China were to ask you to write an essay on the Chinese government, you’re not going to pen-down what you actually think of said government. So, what happens is that they’ll employ language that involves the activity of learning both classical and “flowery” phraseology, along with literary allusions. In turn, when you write the essay, you already know what the topic and the conclusion is going to be, the only trouble…er, I mean, hard part is knowing which context of complicated language is appropriate to show people how smart you are. To clarify things a tad bit, but I’ll venture to guess that most Americans are unaware that one reason why Asians-as-a-group tend to be smarter than the-average-bear (i.e., American) is because they use pictographs and ideograms.
With that said, I find it difficult to believe that the presence of “high IQs” is prevalent or even in existence–here in the U.S., not when the overwhelming majority of this country’s citizens have adopted bigoted ethnocentrism as their primary worldview. You can’t have “high IQs” when matters such as abortion, homosexual rights, transgender bathrooms, transparency and “Hope and Change!” are held to such high importance over the stability of your medical industries and pharmaceutical industries and not taking into consideration of how those industries are going to be able to stay intact when Reality™ shows you that the next generation is incapable, uneducated, untrained and even worse, uninterested in becoming the next generation of doctors–U.S.-born doctors, for that matter. The problem with that would be….? The problem with that would be the fact that here in the U.S., the quality of health care is superb in comparison to other nation-States (such as Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, etc.), dual-States (such as Australia) and other developing-States (such as China and India). Why? Because of the level of training that doctors (especially surgeons) have to go through, in addition to the number of years of residency BEFORE career establishment. I’m not saying that all foreign doctors aren’t up to par with American doctors but there are few and far between that have gone through the rigorous training that American doctors have gone through. Therefore, I ask: where are those people with “high IQs”, and why aren’t there more young people, with “high IQs”, interested in becoming doctors and surgeons (hey, all surgeons aren’t created equal, man)?
I’ll ask another question: how come those with “high IQs” are all interested in things that are scientific–or even mathematical–but aren’t directly beneficial to people in general? Some would inquire the same thing about my start-up but The Hexagon Lavish is engaged in scientific R&D that does benefit people directly. The amount of research and development that’s going into PIR (Premier Information Retrieval®) is tremendous and it will take time to bring it into the fray, but at least it’s an efficient use of capital (cash, credit, labor, land, etc.) that’s devoted to developing a product that will be designed to help people. My start-up won’t be throwing away venture capital, grant money or whatever resource the company will be blessed to obtain by engaging in fruitless “scientific” research such as sending people to Mars (people you’ll never see nor hear from again). Politicians, of this generation today, have done nothing but squander the efficient use of capital. For those of you not-in-the-know of things, sectors of the U.S. economy (which is a collective of the 1,539 separately functioning economies spanned all across the United States) are having capital withheld from them so that they remain underutilized, such as R&D.
Research and development should be the bread and butter of the United States, in 2014, but it’s not. Instead, you have a President that’s continuously dumping capital inefficiently in flailing sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing. Manufacturing, here in the United States, has shifted to more efficient, greener pastures over in China and India. This is why the U.S. is dealing with so much surplus labor and no where for it to go. Economics works on several levels: Zero Level; First Level; Second Level; Third Level; Fourth Level; and Fifth Level. Surplus Labor created in the final phase of the Zero Level get re-directed to the First Level economic activities and so forth throughout subsequent economic levels until there’s no where for that surplus labor to go. Right now, the U.S. is stuck its Fourth Level Economy, which is technology and with an “education” system that’s failing to produce graduates with the requisite skill-sets (plural) to compete globally in the Fifth Level Economy, this country is stuck. So, where are all the “high IQs” that’s going to lead the U.S. into the Fifth Level Economy? Answer: No where to be found.
In reference to “high IQs”, that leads me to impart of a little bit of my indifference to the mainstream’s definition of these “child prodigies”. Folks become fascinated when they hear of some child prodigy with an astounding IQ of 136, 147, 158, 173 and so on, yet they themselves haven’t the slightest hint as to what it means, what it translates to and so forth. Proclivities and natural propensities play no part in cognition development and intuitiveness; it all bogs down to early development from “first exposure“. This has nothing to do with any Kantian-nonsense (Tabula Rasa); we are all different. No two people on this Earth have the same identical brain chemistry, blood chemistry nor body chemistry. People like to play the genetics game, but it all depends on which game is being played and how that particular game is played, and for some, it depends even more on the rules set forth to confine the players that participate. Of course, if you were to ask me, I think rules, in general, are for those qualified under the banner of low-intelligence. That’s not to put anyone down; in fact, someone could have a “high IQ” and still have low-intelligence. Just look at all these American-asshats willing to take on $120,000 USD in student loan debt just to achieve their sheepskin and still be without a job or have any means to support themselves, their “habits” (snicker) or what have you. But, about the game, oh the game….we could invent a game where a 3, 4 and a 7 is the best that you can end up with–this is how it is in biology. Organisms adapt to their environments and that has more to do with genetics than popular sentiment would have you believe. If probability, natural propensity and proclivity are stacked against you–in odds against you–what you have in your repertoire that will enable you to go against the trio of perceived limitation is perseverance, and this is a human quality. There’s no room for the fallacy of anthropomorphism here. What separates you from the animal kingdom is that you’re able to conceptualize. This is the mindset of these so-called “child prodigies”, and no matter of the aforementioned fact that I stated about no two people on this Earth having the same identical brain chemistry that has nothing to do with how that individual thinks or tends to think.
Are people born with the innate ability to do “difficult” mathematics and science? This is a nature-nurture type of question. On a personal level, I would like to know what I’m up against with my “innate capacities” and what have you. Dealing with a project the magnitude of PIR, I have little-to-no idea what will trigger capacities that I’m unaware of possessing or the capability of reaching any extreme limits of those known capacities if they’re not contested. If my “skills” aren’t nurtured by either a mentor, a “superior” or an idea exercised by creativity, then as a prodigy, I’ll be surpassed by someone crippled by a disadvantaged from the get-go and had to study harder than everyone else in order to build up to his expertise. Jacob Barnett? There’s absolutely nothing fascinating about him at all. The “WOW!” factor originated from mainstream media hype and the very fact that the general public is too dumb to delineate between what classifies a mathematician and what classifies a physicist should tell you something. Most people will conflate the two. You can several of my other blog posts to get a better picture of the difference between the two, but, I can give you a short and succinct difference between the two: a physicist utilizes several tools his research to get a better understanding of the numbers he sees; a mathematician creates those tools. See. Real simple.
Also, a mathematician isn’t going to pretend that knows the nature and totally understands the nature of any problem that surfaces before him. Mathematics is a lot of work and no matter the level of IQ, any real mathematician is still going to have some esoteric area of numerical analysis, measurement theory, field extensions, abstract algebra, topology, fluid mechanics, differential geometry, spherical geometry, PDEs (partial differential equations), ODEs (ordinary differential equations), statistical physics, nonlinear optimization, etc., that he is going to struggle with and it’s the struggle that gets him through the game. The real players develop strategies (plural) by acknowledging what they’re good at and what they’re not good at and then steer themselves in the direction in which skills can be developed. A good way to do this is with a tactic called “mathematical dependency”. It’s as if you’re working backwards, all the way from the “advanced” (snicker) section back to the fundamentals so that when you come across something that must be solved using processes of elimination (i.e., subtraction, unfamiliar methods of division, etc.), you brave the consequences of being “wrong” and just go at it. It will take you years of practice to hone this skill and I, personally, am no where near honing this skill. For the sake of perspective, I’m 33 to this day (June 30th, 2014)…I’ll probably be in my 60s before I qualify as having honed this skill of strategy.
In closing, I’ll say that the world of an individual researcher is much different than that of being a part of a team–a team you manage. Earlier this past weekend, I had interviewed two more candidates: one for the Staff Research Scientist II position (bioinformatics researcher); and the other, a candidate for the Biophysicist position. Both are incredibly talented and I hope to make them both a part of “the family”. However, I’ve realized that I need to be the best on the team at *something*. What that *something* is will have to reveal itself to me–in due time.