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Increasing Your Overall Intelligence.

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Mammon
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Does anyone know of anything that increases your intelligence? Like any books you've read that (besides the obvious Rand stuff) that made you feel like your overall intelligence was increased by it? Any movie, game or anything of the such?

I've been feeling really dumb latelty and I wanted to change that. I'm hoping it's not just genetic. All my siblings made really good grades in school besides me. My older brother was in all the specia classes for smart people, until he seemed to give up in highschool and his grades slipped and he stopped trying. My little brother and sister are on the A & B Honor Roll(or A Honor Roll) every time they dish out awards. I was only on it once.

The point in saying these things is because I've always wondered if I'm just the dumb child. Or just a dumb person. Or I just don't try. Or I'm trying the wrong things.

I get told by people that I'm smart. I want to be smart. I want to be a genius, but I've realized I'm not for sure what that entails. How do you become a genius? Or are you just born one?

I'm so confused.

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Does anyone know of anything that increases your intelligence? Like any books you've read that (besides the obvious Rand stuff) that made you feel like your overall intelligence was increased by it? Any movie, game or anything of the such?

I've been feeling really dumb latelty and I wanted to change that. I'm hoping it's not just genetic. All my siblings made really good grades in school besides me. My older brother was in all the specia classes for smart people, until he seemed to give up in highschool and his grades slipped and he stopped trying. My little brother and sister are on the A & B Honor Roll(or A Honor Roll) every time they dish out awards. I was only on it once.

The point in saying these things is because I've always wondered if I'm just the dumb child. Or just a dumb person. Or I just don't try. Or I'm trying the wrong things.

I get told by people that I'm smart. I want to be smart. I want to be a genius, but I've realized I'm not for sure what that entails. How do you become a genius? Or are you just born one?

I'm so confused.

I've felt much smarter over the past year - but it's just the Rand stuff. I read AS over the New Year's break last year (had never heard of her before), then read all of her other works over the year, and am rereading (MP3) AS now, to cap off the "course." I find that looking for contradictions - searching them out in every detail of what I do, read and hear - makes me much more aware of my surroundings and able to deal with them rationally. (is that a definition of intelligence?) I guess the question you should be asking yourself (if I may be so bold) is what "genius" means to you and why you want to be "it." You might just find a contradiction in your values, the resolution of which might well make you a happier and more purposeful person.

Also, I listen to Mozart when I want deeper concentration and focus. And, although I hesitate to admit it, I find that the soundtrack of Jaws puts me into a productive frame of mind, and has since I was a kid. (I can't explain it)

My older brother was in all the specia classes for smart people, until he seemed to give up in highschool and his grades slipped and he stopped trying.

Sounds a little like me. I was bored and unchallenged in HS. (but grades slipping is often a sign of drugs/alcohol)

If there's one thing I wish I could change in my life, it's that I would have discovered a rational philosophy earlier in life. Have you given your brother a copy of Atlas Shrugged yet?

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Does anyone know of anything that increases your intelligence? Like any books you've read that (besides the obvious Rand stuff) that made you feel like your overall intelligence was increased by it? Any movie, game or anything of the such?

My suggestion, read as much as you possibly can, about everything you find interesting. And don't just read it for the sake of saying you had read it, make sure you soak up each line, and do not progress to the next until you sufficiently understand that one (might make for some slow reading for some time)

Get those songs off your iPod of MP3 player and start loading it up with lecture, books on tape, and other audio courses. You can start with "The Teaching Company" courses can be pricey, but are usually incredibly good. I suggest expanding your fields of study into every major area, history (especially classical history, greece, rome, etc) science, politics, and art. Visit http://www.lecturefox.com/ for a catalog of online audio courses, free and posted from major schools. Berkeley has a good online lecture listing - http://webcast.berkeley.edu/courses.php and so does Yale - http://open.yale.edu/courses/index.html I also recommend the TED lecture series - http://www.ted.com/index.php/ which are video lectures and many are very well done and intelligent.

Pick a foreign language you would like to learn and pick up a Pimsluer CD for it, then join an online community to help you learn it. If you all ready know one, learn another.

Start perusing your local used book store and see if anything jumps out at you.

I hope others might chime in with particular books they found intelligent, interesting, or captivating. I'll add some of my favorites off the top of my head

Science -

Carl Sagan's "Science as a Candle in the Dark - The Demon Haunted World"

Isaac Asimov (any non fiction science book of his is excellent)

Any Richard Feynman book.

Richard Dawkins (ignore the material determinism)

Matt Ridley

Philosophy -

any Ayn Rand

any Aristotle

Classical History - (easy to find at local used book stores)

Plutarch's "Lives" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_Lives

Thucydides - "History of the Peloponnesian War" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_th...loponnesian_War

Herodotus Histories - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histories_%28Herodotus%29

I've been feeling really dumb latelty and I wanted to change that. I'm hoping it's not just genetic. All my siblings made really good grades in school besides me. My older brother was in all the specia classes for smart people, until he seemed to give up in highschool and his grades slipped and he stopped trying. My little brother and sister are on the A & B Honor Roll(or A Honor Roll) every time they dish out awards. I was only on it once.

The point in saying these things is because I've always wondered if I'm just the dumb child. Or just a dumb person. Or I just don't try. Or I'm trying the wrong things.

It's not genetic, there is very little overall permanent influence genetics has over people's intelligence, while differences exist, there are about only 12 genes which govern the development of human brains. As long as you are not mentally impaired or severely autistic, you are intelligent enough to learn virtually anything, and learn to do it well (though you probably won't be the best in the world at it) Modern scientific evidence shows that 'genuis' comes primarily from lifelong demanding practice, and not just mind numbing practice but a particular kind of practice in which someone constantly pushes themselves past their own limites.

Threads on this

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...st&p=153833

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/in...ost&p=11833

Some Articles

Research now shows that the lack of natural talent is irrelevant to great success. The secret? Painful and demanding practice and hard work " - http://biz.yahoo.com/weekend/great_1.html

The "Expert Mind"

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa...r=1&catID=2

The idea that people are born "genuis" or "not genuis" is mostly one that was promulgated by people who are seeking justification for their own lack of achievements, the scientific evidence does not back this assessment. People's mental capacities are a complicated interaction of random things (embryonic defects) nature (genetic predispositions, which though minimal are still present) environment (obviously) and choice (do you choose to constantly learn and push yourself?) All the greatest achievers of the world have started out young (directing their own physiological brain development) and studied hard throughout thier whole life. The overwhelming majority of one's intelligence level comes from their choices and the environment, while genetics might prescribe an ultimate limit, 99.99% people don't come anywhere near that anyway.

How do you become a genius? Or are you just born one?

I'm so confused.

Look at what genuises do (throughout their life) or great achievers, and do that. They, at the very least study long and hard, they do better if they start early, but that is no excuse to never start. But ultimately you have to care about what you are studying to get anywhere with anything.

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I hope others might chime in with particular books they found intelligent, interesting, or captivating.

I enjoyed Michio Kaku's "Hyperspace." It discusses the various theories and approaches being used to find the "theory of everything." It's an easy read, but I found it really made me think. Trying to visualize things in the same way that understanding relativity takes some digesting. Even if most of his theories turn out to be wrong, it's still a good exercise in comprehension (and I found it to be a fascinating read).

How do you become a genius? Or are you just born one?

You know the Thomas Edison quote: Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration

Find a problem or project that intrigues you and work on it. Simply working on that will, through the constant process of thinking about it, reveal other, possibly more relevant problems. I would argue that it's more valuable to try to become an expert rather than a genius. The distinction between the two is a fine line, but expertise is usually a prerequisite of (real, practical) genius.

Edited by Chops
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Check out Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw in the Wikipedia.

Visit their life extension and intelligence boosting website at

http://www.lifeenhancement.net/

with or without the hyphen

http://www.life-enhancement.com/

Intelligence is an interplay of many factors.

In addition to the Durk and Sandy formulations, I recommend getting the Eysenck book, KNOW YOUR OWN IQ. It has IQ tests in it. No kidding, take a few of these and you score better on them. I think of it as mental pushups: the more you do, the more you can do.

Learn a foreign language. That is the easiest and most effective way to generally boost your verbal reasoning.

Learn a new city. They found that London taxicab drivers show IQ improvement with time on the job. Because of regulations thay have to PROVE that they can drive a new area before they can do business there, which means learning the map.

Myself, I learned to fly an airplane. That exercised and expanded a lot of skills, including maps... You have to keep physics, trig and weather in your head along with radio procedures and the steering of a craft in 3 dimensions at a mile a minute.

Learn anything new. Take any kind of class in a formalized setting. Working as computer programming technical writer, I signed up for a class in drafting. After a day of sitting and typing, it was nice to stand and draw.

Edited by Hermes
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