Archives for category: what i like (and what i’m like)

pew tells me i’m a “young outsider” which does seem to fit me better than their previous assessment of me as a libertarian (not!) — except maybe for the (*ahem*) young part. (*^_^*)

Your best fit is Young Outsider along with 13% of the public.

2012 vote: 37% for Obama | 48% for Romney

This relatively young, largely independent group holds a mix of conservative and liberal views. And while more lean toward the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, Young Outsiders generally express unfavorable opinions of both major parties….

d*mn straight!

They are largely skeptical of activist government, as a substantial majority views government as wasteful and inefficient. Yet many diverge from the two conservative typology groups – Steadfast Conservatives and Business Conservatives – in their strong support for the environment and many liberal social policies.

pew - young outsider - ideological placement

you can take pew’s political typology quiz here.

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as some of you already know, and many of you may have guessed from my atrocious writing style, i have some language difficulties — me and words don’t really get on.

i mentioned before in a comment that i don’t think in words — at least i don’t experience my thinking as happening in words. i think in pictures. well, that’s what i tell people in order to keep it simple. it’s more complicated than that. what i really think in is sort of amorphous blobby things which sometimes seem almost solid enough that i could reach out and touch them, but most of the time they are just blobby things in my mind’s eye.

the best description of this experience that i’ve ever seen is from galton who was describing how he thought. from his “Thought without Words” [opens pdf]:

“Prof. Max Muller says that no one can think of a dog without mentally using the word dog, or its equivalent in some other language, and he offers this as a crucial test of the truth of his theory. It utterly fails with me. On thinking of a dog, the name at once disappears, and I find myself mentally in that same expectant attitude in which I should be if I were told that a dog was in an obscure part of the room or just coming round the corner. I have no clear visual image of a dog, but the sense of an ill-defined spot that might shape itself into any specified form of dog, and that might jump, fawn, snarl, bark, or do anything else that a dog might do, but nothing else….

“It is a serious drawback to me in writing, and still more in explaining myself, that I do not so easliy think in words as otherwise. It often happens that after being hard at work, and having arrived at results that are perfectly clear and satisfactory to myself, when I try to express them in language I feel that I must begin by putting myself upon quite another intellectual plane. I have to translate my thoughts into a language that does not run very evenly with them. I therefore waste a vast deal of time in seeking for appropriate words and phrases, and am conscious, when required to speak on a sudden, of being often very obscure through mere verbal maladroitness, and not through want of clearness or perception.”

me and galton. i don’t feel so bad. (^_^)

yes, so, most of the time when i think, it’s in these amorphous shapes — “ill-defined spot[s] that might shape [themselves] into any specified form[s]“ of whatever i happen to be thinking about. and, yes — i spend all day, every day translating my thoughts into words! when i need to commicate to someone else, that is. exhausting, lemme tell you.

however, when i get tired, especially really tired, then i do start to think in actual pictures. if i were to think of a dog when i was tired, i would definitely see a clear image of a dog in my mind’s eye. the more tired i get, the more “real” the image becomes — i.e. the more i see it in my visual field rather than just in my mind’s eye. another way of putting it would be that the image becomes sharper — more in focus. the pictures never completely take over my visual field, though. the images are always semitransparent. but, when i’m really, really exhausted, and then lie down to sleep, then i experience an uncontrollable, usually rapid fire, slide show in my head (visual field if i open my eyes). which is pretty cool! i enjoy those! (^_^)

the well known high-functioning autist temple grandin has said that she experiences thinking as a sort of video stream. my experience is not that extreme — most of the day i have galton’s “ill-defined” shapes, which then become more clearly defined pictures in my mind’s eye the more tired i get, until eventually they start to invade my vision (always in a semi-transparent way).

i should mention here that speech also becomes much more of a challenge as the day goes on. and, again, once i’m exhausted, i start to sound like i’ve had one too many gin and tonics. (~_^) i don’t slur my words, it just becomes next to impossible to fetch the words out of wherever they normally hide in my skull. (~_^)

oftentimes, more abstract concepts — like “freedom” or “democracy” or “corruption” — appear in my mind’s eye when i start to get tired (i.e. past whatever point it is that the “ill-defined” shapes start to be replaced by pictures) as printed words. presumably it’s hard for my brain to come up with an image for “freedom,” so i just see “freedom” written out like the words in one of those fridge magnet poem sets. and, yes, now that i think of it, the words are always in lowercase! the font is something plain, like arial. just black font. no colors. again, these are words that i see in my mind’s eye which are representing thoughts that i am having, normally when i start to be a bit tired — toward the end of the day.

so far none of this is synesthesia (afaik). the synesthesia that i think i might have — and it’s a mild form, if it’s synesthesia at all — is something called ticker tape synesthesia. i’d never heard of it before the other day until kevin mitchell tweeted about it. from this abstract:

“Ticker tape is the automatic visualization of spoken words or thoughts, such as a teleprompter. For example, when spoken to, a ticker taper might see mentally the spoken words displayed in front of his face or as coming out of the speaker’s mouth.”

cool! (^_^)

just like i don’t experience temple grandin-style videos when thinking, i don’t have full ticker tapes. BUT i do have either blobs or pictures or words pop up when i listen to other people speaking — again, it moves from blobs to pictures/”printed” words the more tired i get. when i’m quite tired, then i start to see the occasional word (maybe one or two per sentence?) that the other person is speaking pop up in my visual field (although like the pictures, the words are also semitransparent). they don’t ticker tape out of the person’s mouth, though, and it’s not like subtitles either. i just see the words appear and then disappear right in front of wherever i happen to be looking — so it could be in front of the person’s face if i’m looking right at them, but it could be anywhere i happen to be looking. on the other hand, i might just as easily see a picture instead of “printed” word.

i have, i think, another form of synesthesia, too! — spatial sequence synesthesia:

“With spatial sequence synesthesia (SSS), people tend to see numerical sequences as points in space. For instance, the number 1 might be farther away and the number 2 might be closer. People with SSS may have superior memories; in one study they were able to recall past events and memories far better, and in far greater detail than those without the condition. They also see months, or dates in the space around them. Some people even see time like a clock above and around them.”

i have a terrible memory as far as recalling events goes, but, yes, the days of the week and the months all have a “place” — they’re arranged in a semi-circle just above and in front of my head. i “look” at them when i want to remember if wednesday is before or after tuesday. (yeah, i know — weird.) and it feels like i could reach out and grab hold of them. (don’t worry — i don’t! i know they’re not really there.) a lot of concepts or ideas that i have also have locations — i don’t know if this is synesthesia or not. my favorite topics of inbreeding and outbreeding and manorialism, for instance: inbreeding is over here on the left (above my head, again, and a bit in front), outbreeding is on the right (above and in front), and manorialism is right above me. don’t ask me why!

so, my brain is definitely wired funny!

some other conditions that i’ve got that (strongly!) hint at faulty wiring in my brain:

- visual snow: have always had, even as a kid. it’s stationary (thank, goodness!), so it’s not distracting. only notice it if i look at a plain colored background, like a clear blue sky.
tinnitus: again have always had, even as a kid. i’ve got a rather high pitched ringing that i don’t pay attention to unless it’s really quiet (like going to bed at night).
prosopagnosia: face blindness. have a mild version of it. i recognize people that i know well that i see all the time (including myself!), but someone who is only an acquaintance, if i meet them “out of context” (like not at work where maybe i know them from), then…heh…hilarity usually ensues. i won’t bore you with stories, but i’ve got some funny (embarassing!) ones. (*^_^*)
asperger’s: not officially diagnosed, but i pass simon baron-cohen’s tests with flying colors. if i don’t have asperger’s, then there’s something really wrong with me! (~_^)

so, i seem to have mild forms of all these things: autism (asperger’s), visual snow (stationary), tinnitus (background ringing that’s easy to ignore), prosopagnosia (mild face blindness), thinking in “pictures” (but the actual pictures only happen when i’m tired), ticker tape synesthesia (not full ticker tape, just some words here and there when i’m tired), and spatial sequence synesthesia (days of the week, some concepts).

but enough about me. (*^_^*)

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only not so conscientious:

“Below average on Conscientiousness, indicating that you take a balanced approach between sticking to plans and deadlines and being flexible about updating your current goals.”

in other words, i procrastinate and lack focus. (~_^) (click on image for LARGER version.)

i'm thomas jefferson

take this big five personality test here and find out which u.s. president you are!

h/t teddy roosevelt razib and bill clinton (heh!) ed realist!

previously: i’m abnormal

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too many politically correct people (erroneously) assume that hbd’ers are racists (in the bad sense of the word) or supremacists or neo-nazis who have eeeeeevil intentions.

not me. and not a lot of other hbd’ers either, i think.

to get an idea of where i’m coming from, just read james crow‘s “Unequal by nature: a geneticist’s perspective on human differences.” i agree whole-heartedly with everything he wrote in that article — 110%. here’s a little excerpt:

“It is important for society to do a better job than it now does in accepting differences as a fact of life. New forms of scientific knowledge will point out more and more ways in which we are diverse. I hope that differences will be welcomed, rather than accepted grudgingly. Who wants a world of identical people, even if they are Mozarts or [Michael] Jordans?

“A good society ought to provide the best kind of environment for each person and each population. We already do this in part. We give lessons to musically gifted children. We encourage athletes and give them special training (and sometimes dubious drugs). Students elect courses according to their abilities and interests. We have special classes for those with disabilities, and such classes are becoming more specific as the causes of the disabilities are understood.

“We cannot, of course, tailor-make a special environment for every individual, but we can continue to move in this direction. Finding a genetic basis for a trait doesn’t mean that environment is unimportant. Indeed, more environmental influences on the human organism are constantly being discovered, often through genetic studies.

“A test of our democratic institutions will be the degree to which people can accept all our differences and find ways to fit them into a smooth-working, humanitarian society. And I argue that we should strive not only for maximum personal satisfaction but for maximum contribution; each of us owes society the fruits of our special gifts. I believe strongly that research into the genetic and environmental causes of human differences should continue and be supported. The newer procedures brought about by molecular advances and computers will greatly accelerate discoveries.

I believe that knowledge, even unpleasant knowledge, is far preferable to ignorance. I hope that American society can be less fearful of learning the truth about biological inequalities and more courageous in using discoveries in ways that are humanitarian and promote human welfare.

couldn’t have said it better myself.

(note: comments do not require an email. we’re all inequal. yay!)

theodora has posted sacha simon baron-cohen‘s systemizing and empathy quotient tests. i took them both many moons ago, but i don’t know where i filed away my scores (i’m not very systematic in that sense), so i just took the systemizing one again. (they’re a bit awkward to take since you’ve got to score them manually.)

btw, systemizing according to baron-cohen means:

“[A] person’s strength of interest in systems (defined as the drive to analyse or construct a system). A system in turn is defined as anything that follows rules, key classes of systems including mechanical systems, natural systems, abstract systems, and collectible systems. Rules in turn are defined as repeating, lawful patterns.”

for interpreting the results of the test:

“What your score means

“On average women score about 24 and men score about 30.

“0-19 = You have a lower than average ability for analysing and exploring a system.
“20-39 = You have an average ability for analysing and exploring a system.
“40-50 = You have an above average ability for analysing and exploring a system.
“51-80 = You have a very high ability for analysing and exploring a system. Three times as many people with Asperger Syndrome score in this range, compared to typical men, and almost no women score this high.”

my score? 83. heh. i’m so abnormal. (~_^)

baron-cohen’s also got a whole bunch of other tests to try out if you’re looking for some fun, online time-wasters.

(note: comments do not require an email. ass burgers. (~_^))

steve sailer has a post up about sat scores and racial groups, but he’s also included the differences between guys and dolls:

so, guys outscore women across the board. the differences are not so great on the verbal scores as on the math scores. i don’t find that surprising ’cause if women are good at anything, it’s being catty chatty! (~_^)

i’m not really interested in debating this ’cause, afaict, these scores are just another bit of evidence that shows that, on average, men have a higher iq than women. that’s what all the research shows — that’s been my experience in life. ’nuff said, really.

i didn’t take the sats, i took the act. my composite score was 30 (i did better on the natural sciences test = 33; i s*cked on the math test = 27). a 30 act score is something like a 1340 sat score (new scoring, i presume). so, i’m smarter than your average bear, but i ain’t no einstein. (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. i’m a math atheist!)

chris pointed out a neat link to an online test to check out one’s number skillz:

“Panamath measures your number sense and Approximate Number System (ANS) aptitude. After answering a brief set of questions about yourself, you will complete the Panamath test. On each trial of the test, a brief flash of yellow and blue dots will appear, and you will respond whether you think there are more yellow dots or blue dots. At the end, you will see an output of your results and how you stack up compared with others who have taken the test.”

some of the trials are harder than others — the dots can vary in size and (what was a little tough for me) the difference in the number between the yellow and blue dots can be close or not-so-close. it’s harder when they’re closer together in number (at least for some of us it is!):

so, i don’t have totally s*cky math skillz (for my age) — my results were pretty close to, or in, the 90th percentile — but fell short for the harder tests. (~_^)

these scores sound pretty good — and they are, all things considered — but i think they’re prolly pretty s*cky compared to what i imagine a lot of hbders’ scores would prolly be — i’m thinking of someone like the audacious epigone or a reluctant apostate. compared to them, i’d bet that my scores s*ck! *sigh* ah, well. c’est la vie! (^_^)

the other thing is, my response times were also pretty sloooooow. iow, i’m not the sharpest math tack in the box — but i already knew that. (~_^) accuracy quite good — response time, not so much (and i thought i was so speedy!):

i’m smart, but i ain’t no savant. (^_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. how many? uh … one, two, three, four ….)

…i don’t give a sh*t what other peoples get up to.

i’ve recently had a couple of posts up about the gender imbalance issue in china and india, but that’s only because i was annoyed that mara hvistendahl blames the imbalance on westerners|western science (at least partly, anyway). aside from that, i don’t care that chinese people and indians abort female fetuses at greater numbers than male ones. that’s up to them. i find it interesting, but it doesn’t bother me on a personal level.

(well, in one way i do care ’cause i’m concerned about the prospects of war with all those young men hanging about with nothing better to do — and us getting dragged into it. i’m just saying i don’t feel morally upset over how some other peoples conduct their affairs.)

i bring this up because a commenter on another post mentioned the gender imbalance in india and differences between the muslim and christian populations there. he wrote it in such as way that it sounds like an indictment of indian muslims. maybe he didn’t mean it that way, but that’s how it reads anyway.

which made me just want to make it clear that i really don’t give a sh*t how muslims — or any other peoples, for that matter — arrange their societies and live out their lives. like i mentioned above, i am sometimes concerned when what they do might impact me and mine, but on a moral, gut-feeling level, i feel it’s none of my business. i don’t care if women are in burkas or not allowed to drive or have their clitorises cut off — or if some papua new guineans eat their neighbors — that’s up to them. THAT’S human biodiversity!

i just don’t want all that human biodiversity in my country (or anywhere in the west, either).

so, just to be clear, this blog is not about being critical about how other peoples live their lives. it’s (hopefully) more of an exploration of why all the diversity exists in the first place.

(note: comments do not require an email. or any moral sensibilities whatsoever.)


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