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Very Smart Idiot

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 01:05 am
I have a high IQ. You'll have to take my word for it. Recently, I don't feel as smart as I used to be, but I'm still pretty smart.

When a topic relating to numbers/math/arithmetic arises, I'm an idiot. My eyes glaze over. I'm gone. Is it a lack of understanding? Not sure. Is it an unwillingness to understand? Not sure. Is it that I don't especially like abstract numbers and just "leave"? Not sure.

The same applies to computers. I have often referred to myself as a computer idiot here, when I'm asking a question. I don't understand why I don't understand. But I do get the same eye glaze.

I'm wondering whether this kind of thing has been researched. Investigated. Is there a way to tell whether being "bad" at something is inability or unwillingness to understand?

I'm remembering when I started studying geometry in high school. I entered the class with some trepidation. I had struggled with algebra the year before. It took me a few days to realize that geometry (according to me) wasn't so much math as logic. I excelled. The next year, trigonometry, was a major struggle again.

Did I see math as something I wasn't good at and live down to my own expectations?
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 02:20 am
@Roberta,
See my explanation on the Gold thread.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 02:22 am
Dunno...but I am interested.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 03:04 am
IQ does not always translate into "smart" in all areas.
I cant be bothered with any kind of math that does not practically effect my life. Once i see a practical application and apply the math theory (usually) I'm good to go.
Spatial problems have also been a grind for me (math and space go hand in hand). Once i started in forestry and found practical applications such as measuring number of trees per hectare, planting density, cubic meters of timber etc I was ok.
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 03:44 am
@dadpad,
Computers certainly have a practical application, dadpad. Helpless and hopeless.

The number issues that prompted me to start this thread are very practical (kinda). They're related to money. Doesn't get more practical than that. I'm still helpless and hopeless.

As for IQ, I think of intelligence as an ability to understand. To absorb and process information. This is one of the reason's why I'm questioning why I don't get it. In theory, at least, and according to my own definition, I should be able to understand.

This is why I'm wondering whether something else is going on.

Although it's certainly true that we're all better at some things than others, I'm dubious about why I don't understand at all.
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 04:03 am
I suspect its because you dont want/need to know the answer.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 04:44 am
Whenever somebody delivers a long monolog, I try hard to pay attention. It does not take long for the words to become meaningless. No amount of trying enables me to get something out of it. I long considered that childhood conditioning somehow was responsible. Lately, I recall that I seemed to have a form of autism as a kid. Not that I was ever diagnosed. I wonder if my inability to follow a long speech is somehow related to that. But, then, the "autism" may actually have been related to poor diet. So many possibilities to consider -

I only bring this up, because I think these situations - yours and mine - may derive in ways we will never know for certain. But, it's interesting to speculate.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 05:35 am
@Roberta,
Roberta- Welcome to the club! I too have (or had Sad ) a high I.Q. But when it came to math, I was, "nowhere".

In my mid teens, I went through an intensive series of intelligence and aptitude tests. I did not know in which direction I wanted to go, and wanted some advice as to my aptitudes.

When I was going over the results with the psychologist, I saw a graph. All of the scores were quite high, except for one lone score, that settled near the bottom of the page. When I asked him what that point on the graph meant, he said, "Math, stay away from it".

In 10th grade geometry, I had a grade in the 40's going into the mid-terms. I just could not "get it". My parents hired a tutor. He happened to be the guy, whom a few years later, wrote the book that was used by students for years as a guide for getting the most out of the S.A.T.s

Anyhow, I met with him about 5 times, and all of a sudden, all was clear. I got a 92 on the Regent's exam. Much to his annoyance, my teacher, who was dying to fail me, was obliged to give me a passing grade.

I have noticed that I have always had problems with spacial perception. I have concluded that this was probably the reason that I struggled so with geometry.

Numbers also are not one of my strengths. Even when I am doing something simple, like adding up bridge scores, I ask one of my friends to check me. Needless to say, they have found more than a few errors.

I was always pretty good at computers, but I believe that my learning curve stopped about four years ago. I think that is because when I first discovered computers, (in about 1999), I was like a kid in a toy store. I downloaded everything in sight, and crashed my old Windows 98 on a regular basis.

I have a subscription to PC World for many years. I used to read every word. I find that lately, some of the stuff that I am reading is just not that interesting to me. I have reached my comfort level with what I can do on a computer, and am probably not inclined to go any further.

Another thing, relating to the math. I think that people tend to emphasize something that they are good at, therefore expanding their knowledge in that area, and stay away from those areas of learning that are more difficult, thereby remaining at a lower level in certain skills.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 06:00 am
@dadpad,
I've also got spatial issues. It's hard for me to reorient tiles or pieces and put them together. I do fine with jigsaws but often it's more because I'm matching colors and shapes or just kinda pounding the pieces into submission by trying every possible combination.

I say this and I actually understand quite a bit about computers. But hardware continues to be mysterious to me, and the more I hang around my new colleagues, the more I realize how deficient I am in that knowledge. It's not through a lack of explaining or desire -- I want to learn! But it's hard to get the atoms of my brain to bend that way.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 06:04 am
I understand Roberta, I've always considered myself a bit of an idiot savant. I have some exceptional skill sets that are above average, but in other categories I'm clueless no matter how hard I try. Math is definitely an eye glazer for me. When I was 14 my parents hired a math tutor to help me, but he graciously gave up after a few months. The following tutor must have needed the money more because he stuck it out until I found a way to avoid taking math classes. I was a straight A student in college until I started an MBA program and signed up for Statistics. I dropped out when I realized there was no way I was going to be able to change how my brain works. I approach everything from a loose creative angle and some things can't be solved that way. Maybe it's why I married a math wiz who does math puzzles just for fun, it was easier than learning to do it myself. Considering that you have other talents, and certainly do not lack for intelligence (even after brain surgery), I would say just embrace what you do best, buy a good calculator, hire a computer geek and accept the 'meh" part of your brain for what it is. Life's too short to worry about what you can't do.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 06:10 am
same thing here, good IQ, horrible with math (actually i'm better at math now than when i was younger)

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Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:31 am
@Green Witch,
I really like that last sentence.
"life is too short to worry about what you can't do." it would be a great sig line.
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sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:39 am
@Roberta,
I do think there is a psychological component that can get in the way of whatever "natural" talent there is.

Sozlet, who is good at math, seizes up sometimes. We'll be discussing a concept that's relatively complicated (or new) and she'll just get this blank look and no amount of explanation will get through. She starts to say "I don't know" to everything. So I have to go way back -- "what's 2 + 2"? "What? Well, 4 of course." I ask a few more completely obvious questions, she relaxes. I ask a few more questions of gradually increasing complexity, often related to the question she was originally struggling with, and usually 2 or 3 steps away a light goes on and she says "OH! I get it. The answer is ___" (usually correct).
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:42 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
So I have to go way back -- "what's 2 + 2"? "What? Well, 4 of course."


i think that was my ultimate problem with math, too static, in a universe of infinite possibilities, couldn't the answer just as easily be 9,000,439.762
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 11:03 am
@dadpad,
I've had a similar situation. I was doltish about spatial issues until I spent four years learning landscape architecture, which includes, hah, a lot of design in space - and now pass spatial parts of tests well but not necessarily speedily, as I wasn't a born natural at it though I did catch on. When I took the grading-and-drainage class in school, which involves some math and a lot of space, I cried at least twice trying to figure out the homework, but by the time I was studying for the boards after a couple of years of working in the 'field', it was like taking a test in my hobby, and playing with grading re design became one of my favorite things related to work.

On the failure side, I walked in to university physics class one of two, out of a class of at least a couple of hundred students, who hadn't had high school physics, and I was stone cold lost from day 1, just squeaking out a D because I showed up at the lab hours. I also remember barely living through college algebra, le miserables. I think in those cases, it was a matter of shutting down, a kind of fear closing my brain.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 11:18 am
@ossobuco,
Adds - also recalling dadpad's point, while I was beyond horrid, as in D -, at physics 1A or whatever it was, I got the highest grade in a class that was essentially biophysics - although that was probably only 20 students. Still, big difference, I was interested in the biomechanics. The teacher wanted to hire me for his lab (a electron microscopy lab) but I said no because everybody there seemed to speak only swedish. Amusingly, that highest grade was only a B+. That was a tough school...
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 11:22 am
I think I smart.
I know I have an above average IQ.

Yet, I am unable to determine why the garbage man fainted when he walked down the perfume street in Turkey, but his fellow garbage man did not.
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HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 11:37 am
@Roberta,
People with high IQ would be able to solve highly complex liniar logically matters, but ..when matter, purpose and objective ..etc, becomes unclear people with high IQ often fail, because they need to have defined perimiters and such, that's where RQ comes to play.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427321.000-clever-fools-why-a-high-iq-doesnt-mean-youre-smart.html
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 11:39 am
My parents hired a math tutor for me too. What I learned was that I understood all the principles. Just couldn't do the math.

This became a major issue in my college statistics course. I was not doing well. On the final exam, my answers were insane. Not right. I knew it. I ended up writing an essay explaining the principles and why I thought my answers were wrong. Passed the course. Came as close as I ever wanted to come to failing a course.

Interesting that so many people have math problems or spatial problems.

Is this a genetic thing? A personal orientation thing?

Interesting.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 03:07 pm
IQ tests started as a screening methods for the French army. It was the Binet test. They wanted someone who could do basic things and think quickly. From this second class scientists from the soft science namely Psychology bumped this test to astronomical levels to predict geniuses. They all failed. All those high IQ candidates failed to become geniuses.
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