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Monday, January 29, 2018

A just condemnation

Chris Langan, who is a) a lot smarter than I am, b) definitely UHIQ, and c) may in fact qualify for an entirely different category of intelligence, rightly condemns the modern system of education as a massive waste. And worse, an institution literally designed to cripple the most intelligent students subjected to it.
Owing to the shape of a bell curve, the education system is geared to the mean. Unfortunately, that kind of education is virtually calculated to bore and alienate gifted minds. But instead of making exceptions where it would do the most good, the educational bureaucracy often prefers not to be bothered.

In my case, for example, much of the schooling to which I was subjected was probably worse than nothing. It consisted not of real education, but of repetition and oppressive socialization (entirely superfluous given the dose of oppression I was getting away from school). Had I been left alone, preferably with access to a good library and a minimal amount of high-quality instruction, I would at least have been free to learn without useless distractions and gratuitous indoctrination. But alas, no such luck.

While my own background is rather exceptional, it is far from unique. Many young people are affected by one or more of the same general problems experienced by my brothers and me. A rising number of families have severe financial problems, forcing educational concerns to take a back seat to food, shelter, and clothing on the list of priorities. Even in well-off families, children can be starved of parental guidance due to stress, distraction, or irresponsibility. If a mind is truly a terrible thing to waste, then the waste is proportional to mental potential; one might therefore expect that the education system would be quick to help extremely bright youngsters who have it rough at home. But if so, one would be wrong a good part of the time.

Let’s try to break the problem down a bit. The education system is subject to a psychometric paradox: on one hand, it relies by necessity on the standardized testing of intellectual achievement and potential, including general intelligence or IQ, while on the other hand, it is committed to a warm and fuzzy but scientifically counterfactual form of egalitarianism which attributes all intellectual differences to environmental factors rather than biology, implying that the so-called “gifted” are just pampered brats who, unless their parents can afford private schooling, should atone for their undeserved good fortune by staying behind and enriching the classroom environments of less privileged students.

This approach may appear admirable, but its effects on our educational and intellectual standards, and all that depends on them, have already proven to be overwhelmingly negative. This clearly betrays an ulterior motive, suggesting that it has more to do with social engineering than education. There is an obvious difference between saying that poor students have all of the human dignity and basic rights of better students, and saying that there are no inherent educationally and socially relevant differences among students. The first statement makes sense, while the second does not.

The gifted population accounts for a very large part of the world’s intellectual resources. As such, they can obviously be put to better use than smoothing the ruffled feathers of average or below-average students and their parents by decorating classroom environments which prevent the gifted from learning at their natural pace. The higher we go on the scale of intellectual brilliance – and we’re not necessarily talking just about IQ – the less support is offered by the education system, yet the more likely are conceptual syntheses and grand intellectual achievements of the kind seldom produced by any group of markedly less intelligent people. In some cases, the education system is discouraging or blocking such achievements, and thus cheating humanity of their benefits.
His experience in grade school was very similar to mine in fourth and fifth grades.
Kids who score that high on IQ tests tend to be so far ahead of their peers and teachers that they’re often bored out of their minds in school and thus, ironically, don’t tend to be considered great students by their teachers. Is this how it was for you?

Much of the time, yes. I had more than one teacher who considered me a let-down, and sometimes for what must have seemed good reason.

For example, I sometimes fell asleep in class. I can remember trying to resist it, but I wasn’t always successful. I was even known to fall asleep during tests, sometimes before completing them. And by “asleep”, I do mean “asleep”. It was once reported to me by one of my teachers that she had amused the entire class by repeatedly snapping her fingers in front of my face and eliciting no reaction whatsoever.

In fairness, this wasn’t always due to boredom alone. I was often tired and exhausted by distractions. For example, what pugnacious little thugs would be waiting in ambush as I left the school grounds at the end of the day? How many friends and helpers would this or that bully bring with him to the after-school fight for which I had been reluctantly scheduled? Would my stepfather be in his typical punitive mood when I got home? And so on.

Sometimes, I had trouble paying attention even when I wasn’t asleep. I had a habit of partially withdrawing from the class discussion and writing down my own thoughts in my notebook; this made me appear to be attentively taking notes. However, when the teacher would sneak up on me from behind or demand to see what I was writing, the truth would out, and one can imagine the consequences.

As time passed, I would have to say that I grew increasingly resistant and unresponsive to the Pavlovian conditioning on which much educational methodology is based. I suspect that between home and school, there had been a certain amount of cumulative desensitization.

These problems eventually got me stationed nearly full-time in the school library, where I greatly preferred to be anyway. Later, I was finally excused from attendance except as required in order to collect and turn in my weekly assignments.
I wasn't beaten at home and I didn't fall asleep in class, though. I simply read books while the teacher was talking. I'd read the textbook until I finished it, usually by the end of the first week, then whatever novel I was reading at the time. My fourth-grade teacher initially let me do that after I correctly answered the questions she directed at me during her lectures, but as my reading eventually proved distracting and even offensive to the other students, they finally just sent me to the library with the understanding that I would only be allowed to skip my classes as long as I turned in the assigned papers and did well on the class tests. They didn't even make me do any homework, which was nice. As a result, I didn't attend many classes for those two years, with the exception of science class, if I recall correctly.

Labels:

150 Comments:

Anonymous AT January 29, 2018 8:16 AM  

I also spent most of my classes reading other books. Still had my grades knocked down for skipping homework assignments though and was never released to the library.

Blogger The Kurgan January 29, 2018 8:16 AM  

I was relatively lucky in the school I attended despite it being in Africa, unfortunately I can't say the same for my now nearly estranged daughter in Brazil.

Home schooling is really the only thing that makes sense to me now. And places that really permit that the way I mean are becoming few and far between.

Blogger Akulkis January 29, 2018 8:19 AM  

Part of the reason may be that the education Al community is trying to hohithe erformance gap between the achievement lavels possible by the children of bright parents (predominantly living in the suburbs) and the low IQ parents (predominantly living in the ghettos). Because of thethe ideol o intellectual egalitarianism and the blank slate hypothesis.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 29, 2018 8:20 AM  

I spent half of third grade in BIA school, quietly reading whatever I brought from home at my desk. I could read and the rest of the class could not, so the teacher was happy to have me quiet and not bothering her. Then we moved and I homeschooled until college.

Blogger Koanic January 29, 2018 8:21 AM  

School is a social institution in which everyone copies everyone else in order to not get eaten, for those too weak and cowardly to cruise the deeps alone.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 29, 2018 8:22 AM  

The greatest skill for the really intelligent child, in a Western Education System, is the ability to manipulate the teacher.

As to the nature of the problem, it goes back to "Industrialized" schooling. It doesn't work. The part where "it worked" was in the transition state from the older systems, replicated much larger, until the new system achieved its Progressive End-State. The point is never to educate, but to house and produce utterly basic competence.

Education needs to be Skills Attained-based, not Timing-based. It doesn't work at a large scale, but works by being replicated within the individual. The Home School Movement recaptured most of this, which is the reason it works, generally, so well. However, approaches do need to, generally, split around large grouping of cognitive ability. The Langans & the Blockheads can't learn in the same environment, and putting them together hurts both parties. Which is also the reason that the putting children in a communal school doesn't work either.

Blogger Akulkis January 29, 2018 8:22 AM  

@1 AT

Same here. Spent every lecture on my hands biology class reading history and biographical books out of the library. Paifno attention to Dr. Stoddard. Got an A every marking period.

Blogger JACIII January 29, 2018 8:24 AM  

Enforced boredom is mental torture. It's like rubbing the sharpness off of a mind day after day with fine sandpaper.
It pounds into a kids head, "You don't deserve to be interested in what goes on around you. These retards are much more important than you."
I wonder how much of that is percolated from collective unconscious envy from typically dumb educators and how much of it is just the mill grinding away.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 29, 2018 8:25 AM  

Akulkis wrote:Part of the reason may be that the education Al community is trying to hohithe erformance gap ...

Deliberately lying to maintain their narrative? I wonder if they are really that self-aware? In the educational community, I suspect stupidity plays a bigger role than evil.

Anonymous vfm January 29, 2018 8:25 AM  

Akulkis coffee.

Anonymous DuraLexSedLex January 29, 2018 8:28 AM  

Was there supposed to be a link attached to this article? I'd like to read the rest of it.

Anonymous Anonymous January 29, 2018 8:28 AM  

In elementary school I was prmoted from 3rd to 5th grade, didn't work out so well. Just got harassed by bigger kids. In high school I learned to "play the game", was a lab aide, library aide, office aide, did physics olympics, sports, and light and sound crew for the plays - end result, I always had an excuse for not being in class. Everything of value I have ever learned I learned on my own, school was a waste of my time.

Blogger James Dixon January 29, 2018 8:29 AM  

I suspect most of the regulars here could tell similar stories about their educational experiences. The ones already given certainly match mine.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 29, 2018 8:29 AM  

@3 Akulkis

Your typing device murdered your sentences. For the lower level people, it's about "we can all be the same!", but that's not why the System works the way it does. It's a version of the Prussian Military School system from the late 19th Century. The Structure hasn't changed since, and it's why it fails. You can look at the modern approach to Boot Camp to see how radically different things are now in the military, but we're stuck with a school system, that never worked logically, from two centuries ago.

But it serves the end-goal of indoctrination. That's the point. Meeting educational standards is something enforced by the locals, not but the System or its main supporters.

Anonymous vfm January 29, 2018 8:32 AM  

"I suspect most of the regulars here could tell similar stories about their educational experiences. The ones already given certainly match mine."

Definitely and it wasn't because I was one of the cool kids either.

Anonymous 2106 things I hate January 29, 2018 8:33 AM  

And Chris is not an atheist, though not sure he is a Christian, either.

Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 8:36 AM  

this lines up with my experience in school as well... except the schools already had a gifted program that went all the way down to elementary school... and even that was slow and plodding. I was so bored while taking tests for example I would simultaneously create games and storylines using the various bubbles on the bubble sheets. i would get so into these that sometimes I would be tempted to mark an A when I know the correct answer was C... because A fit the game/story better.

Anonymous vfm January 29, 2018 8:39 AM  

"But it serves the end-goal of indoctrination. That's the point. Meeting educational standards is something enforced by the locals, not but the System or its main supporters."

And just like every other topic it's damn near impossible to convince the normies it's not workable.

Blogger MendoScot January 29, 2018 8:40 AM  

Yup. Fortunately, I'm old enough that this didn't happen to me until l was nearly done with the schooling. I'd say that I received six years of excellent schooling in the colonial system of the rump end of the British Empire, 4 good years in the comprehensive system back in Blighty, then it all went to hell with the introduction of modern teaching methods.
Now I spend an inordinate amount of time fighting the same decay in standards in the University system. And yes, it is quite deliberate on the part of those pushing the decline.

Blogger RC January 29, 2018 8:41 AM  

They pulled me out of 3rd grade and into 4th which was at least something, but then my family moved and the new school didn't believe that was appropriate so I had to endure 4th grade twice. I may be the only perfect GRE Analytical in history forced to repeat 4th grade.

At least at that time the female teachers weren't the unintelligent underachievers that they are today. Home school.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 29, 2018 8:43 AM  

Anyone else get drug in, while violently ill, to sit for Standardized Tests because you could bump the entire school's median by about a few percent? (I truly wish that was a joke.)

Blogger JACIII January 29, 2018 8:43 AM  

Nate wrote:this lines up with my experience in school as well... except the schools already had a gifted program that went all the way down to elementary school... and even that was slow and plodding. I was so bored while taking tests for example I would simultaneously create games and storylines using the various bubbles on the bubble sheets. i would get so into these that sometimes I would be tempted to mark an A when I know the correct answer was C... because A fit the game/story better.

Our poor mother.....

Anonymous Michael Maier January 29, 2018 8:46 AM  

I hate wondering how much more I could have accomplished with appropriate challenges put before me in grade and high school.

Breezing through everything did nothing to teach me perseverance. And I sure wasn't taught that at home.

Anonymous kfg January 29, 2018 8:46 AM  

Yeah, a lot of this sounds like my autobiography, so I buggered off after 6th grade and hid with some modern hunter-gatherers in a semi-topical forest. No cell phone, no Interntet, no spy cameras that can count your freckles from polar orbit. No credit card use outside of big cities either. I disappeared, made a brief flash as I crossed the international frontier and then disappeared again.

I don't mince words, the schools are straight up organized child abuse. Child abuse they now requisition my wealth to support.

Anonymous Starbuck January 29, 2018 8:46 AM  

Hmmm,... I must have been a or even still is a dullard. I had to go to every class and do all the assignments, never had home schooling and still got D's and F's. My parents weren't so proud of their one and only dummy. Intelligence I guess is not one of my achievements. All my syblings got A's through school. My Mom got A's. My kids all got A's.

I thought perhaps I was the milkmans child. Until my dad passed away, I found a box with all of his report cards. He had the same grades and complaints that I had on them. Turns out he got expelled from high school his junior year for throwing the principal into a waste basket. I have no idea how that was achieved. I did manage to graduate high school... on time too.

Yea, I know... explains a lot about me.

Blogger Harambe January 29, 2018 8:47 AM  

I was in the Education Enrichment programme at our school during the last part of Apartheid. It was basically a programme for kids who showed exceptional (or at least sufficiently above-average) potential. It was really nice because we got taught computer programming and advanced math and a bit of lateral thinking and argumentation. However, when we were all declared "equal", that programme got canned and I went back to the same sort of experience noted in the linked piece.

I did try my best at first, but my story ends with me taking the A+ and N+ courses from a private college while I was supposed to be studying for the grade 12 finals. It was the first time in 6 years I had fun while in an academic environment. The only reason I put in an effort to finish grade 12 was because it was a prerequisite for getting into a degree programme at university. Otherwise I'd have quit school at 17 and gone for a distance education degree programme.

I'm not exceptionally intelligent or anything. I did get into Mensa quite easily, but I don't think I'm very much above 140 or so. But my mom started teaching me to read and write pretty early. And I think I was about 3 or 4 when I could recite the names of all the ministers in our national assembly. Though TBF our national assembly was about 1/10th the size it is now.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 29, 2018 8:48 AM  

"As time passed, I would have to say that I grew increasingly resistant and unresponsive to the Pavlovian conditioning on which much educational methodology is based. I suspect that between home and school, there had been a certain amount of cumulative desensitization."

Wow - does this resonate. An apt description of my early childhood education as well. As a young kid, school represented prison. I lived for being outside, using my trucks to build roads, cities and overall just conquer and develop the landscape...albeit on a small scale. School would interfere with this mission. I just remember sitting there in class envisioning and planning what earth moving project was going to be worked on next...once I was released from the confines of that big yellow bus. Being in a christian school under the "self taught" ACE program...there was plenty of time to daydream/plan. So much so , I pretty much received no formal education between grades 3-5. The only thing that saved me from being illiterate was living in a home without a TV, which forced us to read -a lot - and blessed with two very highly intelligent parents.
Fast forward to today, I'm doing what I love- taking raw land and successfully developing it. Probably should have skipped school altogether.

Blogger Harry Goldblatt MD January 29, 2018 8:49 AM  

I remember sitting at my desk in 3rd grade thinking: So this is what prison feels like.
Next semester: So this is what hell feels like.
And I wasn't even bullied.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 29, 2018 8:50 AM  

"As time passed, I would have to say that I grew increasingly resistant and unresponsive to the Pavlovian conditioning on which much educational methodology is based. I suspect that between home and school, there had been a certain amount of cumulative desensitization."

Wow - does this resonate. An apt description of my early childhood education as well. As a young kid, school represented prison. I lived for being outside, using my trucks to build roads, cities and overall just conquer and develop the landscape...albeit on a small scale. School would interfere with this mission. I just remember sitting there in class envisioning and planning what earth moving project was going to be worked on next...once I was released from the confines of that big yellow bus. Being in a christian school under the "self taught" ACE program...there was plenty of time to daydream/plan. So much so , I pretty much received no formal education between grades 3-5. The only thing that saved me from being illiterate was living in a home without a TV, which forced us to read -a lot - and blessed with two very highly intelligent parents.
Fast forward to today, I'm doing what I love- taking raw land and successfully developing it. Probably should have skipped school altogether.

Blogger RC January 29, 2018 8:51 AM  

I've started constructing a back of the envelope formula for calculating the lost intellectual potential inflicted upon our society by the public schools. The lost potential is surely enormous and that doesn't even consider the egregious resources consumed in the process of destroying our best and brightest.

Blogger Koanic January 29, 2018 8:56 AM  

They say they educate, who subjugate.

Blogger Desdichado January 29, 2018 8:57 AM  

My fourth-grade teacher initially let me do that after I correctly answered the questions she directed at me during her lectures, but as my reading eventually proved distracting and even offensive to the other students, they finally just sent me to the library with the understanding that I would only be allowed to skip my classes as long as I turned in the assigned papers and did well on the class tests. They didn't even make me do any homework, which was nice. As a result, I didn't attend many classes for those two years, with the exception of science class, if I recall correctly.

As clumsy and inefficient as that is, that at least is the school dealing with the issue. I doubt today you'd get any such consideration. They'd just keep beating the square peg into the round hole ad infinitum.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 29, 2018 8:59 AM  

High school years biggest waste of my time.

Blogger pdwalker January 29, 2018 9:02 AM  

What I hated were the teachers who’d physically beat you because you finished the entire workbook in an afternoon, one that apparently was supposed to take the whole year.

Favorite year of school? The year i had a teacher who stopped moving my desk away from the library shelf and let me read, read, read.

Anonymous JAG January 29, 2018 9:04 AM  

AT wrote:I also spent most of my classes reading other books. Still had my grades knocked down for skipping homework assignments though and was never released to the library.

My parents had a big dust up with my junior high school in the 7th grade over something similar. I had pre-algebra for math. I'm not high IQ, but math was always easy in school. Monkey simple, in fact. As a result, I refused to do the homework because it was a colossal waste of time. I could do most of the work in my head, and I already understood the concepts.

The teacher, a young female, sent a progress report home with me indicating that I was failing the class even though I had As on all quizzes and tests. I was being failed because I refused to do the homework. That went over like the proverbial lead balloon with my parents.

I do believe public school held me back far more than helped me. The only really useful skills I learned in public school was typing and how to drive a car.

Blogger James Dixon January 29, 2018 9:05 AM  

> I doubt today you'd get any such consideration. They'd just keep beating the square peg into the round hole ad infinitum.

Today they'd drug him until he was a good little robot. Home school or die isn't an exaggeration.

Blogger Jimmy The Freak January 29, 2018 9:33 AM  

@50
You have to wonder if kfg even read what he wrote. That was a nice, fat, hanging curve right down the middle of the plate.

Blogger Ian Miguel Martin January 29, 2018 10:13 AM  

I’ll only add that if you attend inner-city public schools, you don’t need a high I.Q. to experience this. A mere 115 or so will do just fine.

Blogger Koanic January 29, 2018 11:30 AM  

I insisted on attending public school in order to oppose the teachers' program of Progressive indoctrination. Now I wonder what kind of Christian generation sends its children to fight its battles.

Probably the same one that armed them with half-truths. A fitting weapon for half a soldier!

Blogger wired216 January 29, 2018 11:32 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 11:34 AM  

KFG

you've said some amazingly outlandish things... but the one that is by far the most fantastically unbelievable.. is the notion that a school board would care enough about a single student that they would discuss that in a meeting... much less actually have a meeting to discuss it.

its far easier to believe you were jaque custeax's cabin boy than it is to believe that.

Blogger wired216 January 29, 2018 11:34 AM  

All of this. As a female Autiste adopted as a newborn by people who could never understand me, school was hell. The only reason I survived was I just quit going. It took 3 envelopes to send all my missed classes home freshman year. My parents do love me though so when the found out, finally, they let me go to Alternative H.S. for the next 3 years. And unlike most other schools the head of it, Roger Dunkell was a God send. He taught us how to think not what to think.

I know there are quite a few Detroiters here so maybe only of interest to them. One of my teachers lived in Brightmore and the locals got mad at the amount of abandoned houses and started tearing them down on their own. They threw the trash in the street. The City of Detroit refused to clean it up. Bill Bonds went on air and challenged Mayor Young to a fist fight over cleaning it up. My teacher got a photo in Time magazine swing a sledge hammer taking down one of the houses, Bill Bonds got fired ( teach always felt bad about that), and the city did finally clean up the trash after national attention. It was a great time to live around Detroit.

Please be advised all poor spelling, grammar are solely the fault of the operator, typing on a phone, who works midnights, and likes cocktails.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 29, 2018 11:37 AM  

DonReynolds wrote:Where did the mania for home school come from?

It is not often possible, to be truthful....and certainly not guaranteed to be better than going to school.


Do you have any reason to think that people who won't learn at home will learn in school? What I have seen is that smart people get educations, dummies don't, no matter where they are. Schools can do training for the dummies, I suppose. So can a barely-literate mommy at home.

Anonymous RedJack January 29, 2018 11:38 AM  

My biology teacher in junior high would let me teach half the lab classes. Not because I was an ass, but because I could do it and the rowdier rednecks liked having one of their own do it.

He was a great teacher. He died from Alzheimer's last year, sad end to a great man. Taught school so he could run a greenhouse on the side.

In retrospect , growing up in a small rural town was ok. I was the Smart kid , but I was THEIR smart kid. I did have problems with authority, so the teachers would use me to their advantage.

No to mention the chemistry teacher gave me the keys to the chemical cabinet. Learned a rather impressive lesson about Nitro

Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 11:38 AM  

"High school years biggest waste of my time."

psht... High school was awesome.

Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 11:39 AM  

"Where did the mania for home school come from?"

This is the dumbest comment on this thread. and that's impressive.

Anonymous kfg January 29, 2018 11:42 AM  

"The only really useful skills I learned in public school was typing and how to drive a car."

When I was 12 I enrolled in adult secretarial classes to learn how to type and take notes properly.

My parents were able to teach me the mechanics of driving a car just fine, and the library had books that covered the theory all the way up to the engineering and dynamics of F1 cars.

People somehow managed to learn basic life skills long before the schools came along.

Blogger tuberman January 29, 2018 11:42 AM  

After reading tons of Literature and other high level non-fiction, I went through a period of wondering what it would be like to come up in an oral-tribal society. I figured, "It's nice being literate, but something is lost in leaving behind oral traditions." I already knew better then the "Noble Savage Myth," yet there is some tribal people who were/are quite noble, and their ways are sometimes revealing of Truths hidden to literate cultures. I spent several years attempting to recover some lost "roots' in oral awareness.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 29, 2018 11:43 AM  

Public school was a nightmare for my brother. None of the students or teachers understood him so he'd spend most of his day in the music/drama area playing an instrument or just writing.

It was no picnic for me but I was a monster in size and read all day long. In high school I simply left campus for most of the year for one of my full time jobs. One year I attended classes for ten days. I have no idea why he kept going to school.

He was several standard deviations smarter than I was and I was around 140. It completely ruined his socialization until he was in his thirties.

I'm still shy. I attracted all the wrong girls and friends until I found the girl I married.

My brother never did marry.

Anonymous Athor Pel January 29, 2018 11:46 AM  

"73. Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother January 29, 2018 10:10 AM
...
. In the spring we'd make meat helmets.
...
"



Meat helmet always cracks me up.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 29, 2018 11:47 AM  

Nate you're an alpha who enjoyed the shit out of the high school scene. You're way to smart to have peaked in high school but if you had it still would have been glorious.

At least in my imagination. If that's not true, leave me my illusions.

Blogger haus frau January 29, 2018 11:50 AM  

@24 starbuck
My brothers were piss poor students. My brother tim was even put into remedial education classes for a while. He now has a degree in history and is teaching english in japan to japanese executives. Tim is a walkimg encyclopedia who can also frame a house and install cabinetry.
My other brother got in trouble more than once for correcting the teacher on math. He is brilliant and does software design.
Public school cant recognize anything outside of a narrow range of ability that it defines as intelligence.

Anonymous Athor Pel January 29, 2018 11:51 AM  

"40. Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 11:38 AM
...
psht... High school was awesome.
"



That's because you were a drummer.

Anonymous Lars Porsena January 29, 2018 11:53 AM  

Teacher: Why don't you show any of your work on these questions?

Me: I dunno. There wasn't any.

Teacher: If you show your work, even if you make a mistake in the math and get the wrong answer, I will see that you knew how to answer the question and give you half credit anyway. You have to show your work to get the half credit.

Me: .... but I got them all right.

Teacher: You have to show the work so I can see that you've learned the material and understand how to solve the problem. You don't have to get all the answers right, just show your work so I can see you understand the process to get to the answer.

Me: ... but I got them all right.

Eventually I figured out there are only so many Saturdays on a calendar before you were legally emancipated and once you already had all the detentions you were free, they had no more leverage on you.

Teacher: Do you want a detention? Don't test me, you'll be in detention!

Me: I'm already in detention. Why not give me 2?

Teacher: You think I'm bluffing with you!?! I am not! You want to be smart, I will give you 2 detentions, not just 1! Just try me!

Me: How about 5?

Turns out she was bluffing and I wasn't.

Blogger James Dixon January 29, 2018 11:56 AM  

> But coasting through High School on intelligence alone left me with a rude awakening in the second or third year of University, when I started to discover that I couldn't toss off a project the night before the due date that I should have been working on for the whole semester!

Yeah, college required me to actually do some work and not just 30 minutes of memorization before the test. Not a lot of work mind you, but anything at all was a shock after high school.

Anonymous kfg January 29, 2018 11:59 AM  

@Nate:

I have pics (and magazine articles, and science papers and . . .) so it happened.

The aspiring biographers I have to chase away now and again (growing up as a subject of press attention I learned not to talk to the press a long time ago) have seen them and believe. It's OK if you don't. I still love ya.

I wasn't allowed a cabin on the Calypso. There were legal issues with me being an alien resident of one country, while the ship was technically the territory of another, and out in the boonies there was no legal authority to clear it.

When I swan out to the ship to chat with the boys I did a lot of hanging on a rope pver the side. That's how I learned about jellyfish.

Feels like somebody set your nervous system on fire.

Anonymous Philalethes January 29, 2018 12:02 PM  

Just for the record: nearly 2½ hours of comments after @33 (9:05am) disappeared. The number was up to 97 last I saw, then restarted at @34 (11:30am). This included at least one by VD. Where'd they go? Maybe it's time to move VP to a platform that works?

Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 12:05 PM  

"Turns out she was bluffing and I wasn't."

and all you ended up doing is making your own life more difficult.

Anonymous Kevin January 29, 2018 12:10 PM  

I agree with the thrust of this. I am not that bright- probably bright enough to make the midwit category and know it, but I believe intelligence is our most important resource for progression as mankind materially. I think we should be better at identifying really bright people and helping them develop in whatever way they feel best. On the other hand many of the brightest people are not interested in slogging through the mindlessness of education to get the specialized knowledge they may need to make contributions in the ultra specialized world we live in. I imagine it’s just too boring as many here describe. But as a group we would probably be better off hiring then tutors who just provided them with whatever resources they need and hope they make a contribution. If we were only helpful in saving some from the despair of being smarter than everyone it would probably be worth it. More worth it than all the counselors in the US helping teens figure out their sexual identify.

Anonymous Gen. Kong January 29, 2018 12:13 PM  

How many times and in how many ways does it need to be stated?

Homeschool or die.

Much discussion is spent in threads here noting the convergence of various institutions ranging from the military to the church. Few can match the level found in public education. In Kwa-Bananaland, the NEA/AFT is an axis of complete SJW dominance, with the gold-plated administrators serving as the absolute pinnacle of SJW rule. It's not reformable or fixable, and it has a guaranteed source of funding via tax mining.

Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 12:15 PM  

the most recent numbers I can find suggest that 3.5% of all students in the US are now home schooled.

That is huge.

Blogger Akulkis January 29, 2018 12:22 PM  

" ...modern teaching methods..."

Teacher:. Who cares if the traditional method isore effective -- I'M BORED -- to hell with the students!"

Blogger Allen L. January 29, 2018 12:22 PM  

I would argue that the school system, at least in the US, does a credible job for what it is intended to do, though it could be done with a lot less fanfare and at much lower costs. It is only designed to educate that vast swath (90%)of people in the middle of the distribution. Designing a system on the basis of the tails of the curve would be rather foolhardy.

For the left hand tail, that is already handled by the special education system. The problem is the right hand tail. That would require development of a good identification system then segregation to a separate system for growth and education. The teachers would also have to be recruited separately and compensated handsomely. I can hear the squealing now.

Blogger Akulkis January 29, 2018 12:26 PM  

140 is top 1/4 of 1 percentile.

MENSA cutoff is around 120-125. It's truly a n organization for midwits trying to claim that they are geniuses.

Anonymous kfg January 29, 2018 12:32 PM  

"the most recent numbers I can find suggest that 3.5% of all students in the US are now home schooled."

And my parents played a significant role in that. My childhood history only happened as it did because they were atypical. They were the ones who had to take up arms against the system, confront the school board, pay the lawyers, get me out of the country, transport me hundreds of miles, each way, twice a week to the researchers who studied me (Kept me out of school a couple days a week for a couple of years, so there was that).

Allowing me to withdraw from school (they left it as my choice, not theirs) was, at the time, a criminal act.

The fact that there are now legal pathways to home schooling is due, at least in part, to their work.

I was just a boy along for the ride.

Blogger J Van Stry January 29, 2018 12:32 PM  

I'd fall asleep in class, because usually it was incredibly boring and I often knew the stuff already. Mostly because I'd stay up until 3am reading stuff in bed.
Drove my parents crazy.

Thankfully some of my teachers didn't care, because I was passing all of the tests with high marks (in science and math) though in English I got stuck in the remedial class with all of the 'bad' kids in the school.

Who then became my friends and stopped giving me grief, that actually turned out for the best. 40 years later if I run into one of them when back home visiting and we're still friends.

Of course I wasn't stuck into the 'gifted' program (which oddly enough consisted only of kids from rich families, who weren't very smart) but they did create an 'accelerated' class for me, which they then killed off by filling it up with thirty other kids to justify the cost (and most of whom shouldn't have been there) rather than just let me do my own thing and just take the tests.

What sucked was when I got to college and found I had no idea on how to really study, or that I had ADD, and that I was actually a bit dyslexic. Because while a single day's worth of study usually taught you all you needed to pass and entire year long course in Public School, that wasn't the case in Engineering School.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 29, 2018 12:33 PM  

We homeschool. But in high school our kids wanted to play sports and socialize. Church didn't cut it. So we let them go to school.

Mixed bag but it turned out ok. Not great but we made it.

Blogger Akulkis January 29, 2018 12:34 PM  

Bill Bonds got fired for one too many drunk driving arrests.

Blogger Fenris Wulf January 29, 2018 12:38 PM  

Public school was a 12-year prison sentence. That's what it felt like. Pointless busy-work.

And yet, I had it good compared to today's kids. Diversity has broughr in a level of violence that I never experienced in my safe, all-white suburban school. Psychiatric drugging under threat of intervention by child welfare authorities is far more common. No wonder they're called Generation Zyklon.

Blogger RC January 29, 2018 12:39 PM  

RE: Homeschool or die.

We taught the last three at home. Sent the girls to dual-track program at local university a year early and saw just how low the standards were for the public school students. Even I was shocked and I thought I'd seen it all. The older daughter tutors English and a few of the freshman students (and I'm not joking) could not define a noun or verb or construct a simple complete sentence. The homeschooled may become the new elite if we survive the insurrection.

Anonymous Pale male January 29, 2018 12:44 PM  

James Dixon wrote:I suspect most of the regulars here could tell similar stories about their educational experiences. The ones already given certainly match mine.
A thousand times this.

Enforced boredom should not be the default state of the above-average in public schools.  It is child abuse and should be punished as such.

widlast wrote:Everything of value I have ever learned I learned on my own, school was a waste of my time.
I am sorry for everyone who attended your schools.  I got a lot of science, mathematics and geometry.  The way other subjects were taught and tested, particularly history, made them extremely dull, indigestible and downright depressing.

@17 Maybe this is where the one-room schoolhouse model is superior.  Children who run faster than average have the opportunity to pick up what the older ones are learning.  But we have to return to flunking out and expelling the retarded and intentional non-learners.

@20 Average, maybe, but you'd only bump the median by one score slot max.

Anonymous GregMan January 29, 2018 12:48 PM  

I went to high school at a school for the gifted, and it wasn't much better than public school. The students who got the best grades were seldom the actual brightest, just the best at grinding through the classwork. The library and the biology lab were my favorite places, and the classroom was my least favorite. The only real benefit was very few bullies.

Still, I regret not having worked harder. I didn't really start studying until college. Even taking AP exams wasn't that hard for me. College was.

Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 12:49 PM  

"Allowing me to withdraw from school (they left it as my choice, not theirs) was, at the time, a criminal act"

son.. I don't know what state you grew up in... but homeschooling has never not been a thing in the United States.

Anonymous Pale male January 29, 2018 12:51 PM  

Blogger glitch:  missing comments are re-appearing in mid-thread.

Blogger James Dixon January 29, 2018 1:01 PM  

> But in high school our kids wanted to play sports and socialize. Church didn't cut it. So we let them go to school.

As long as it's their decision, you wait till high school to send them, and you make sure they have proper self defense training, that shouldn't be a problem.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 29, 2018 1:03 PM  

This post confirms me a solid mid-wit.

I was tested early and classified as G&T, but I think the teacher giving the tests fudged it a bit to get me qualified. I was strong in verbal and writing skills, but math and logic not so much. A mid-wit with early academic success measured by regurgitating back what I was read or shown in class. I'm such a genius. I was reading adult level by 2nd grade (Ian Fleming, Arthur C. Clarke).

Later in HS I freaked out when I had to work hard in the "advanced G&T" classes to get an A, sometimes even a B. Graduate with a 3.8 something, crashed and burned as a young adult with several false starts at college, never finished a degree. Mostly self taught code-monkey now.

I'm happy that I understand most of what the UHIQ wrote. At least I think I did. Could be wrong.

Anonymous Blastmaster January 29, 2018 1:09 PM  

Teachers have the lowest average SAT scores and teachers colleges especially teach them to teaching kids what to, not how to think. Homeschooled our two boys who are now in college. They both are redpill and see through the brainwashing. Just jumping through hoops

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 29, 2018 1:13 PM  

Lars Porsena wrote:Teacher: Why don't you show any of your work on these questions?

Me: I dunno. There wasn't any.



I went through that with my son, and now with my youngest daughter. I tell them that they need to be able to show what they're doing to communicate with others, and they need to be able to use the process, because the process will give them the right answer when they hit a problem they can't do in their heads. That was a tough sell with my son - it was hard to give him an example problem that he couldn't do in his head.

Sooner or later everyone finds problems they can't do in a single intuitive step. They have to learn to explicitly manipulate the symbols, and show how they manipulate them, so they can know they got it right, and so they can show others they got it right. Partial credit isn't an issue, unless you make silly arithmetic errors.

Blogger The Aardvark January 29, 2018 1:14 PM  

@39

The anti-homeschooling "argument" of "Why do you pull your children out of public school when they should stay in and share JEEE-zus with the other children!" chills me to the bone. By all means, throw the Sunday Schooled, Captain's Clubbed widdle kiddles into the lion's den.

Oh, grown-ups? That is pretty much YOUR job!

Anonymous MillennialFalcon January 29, 2018 1:16 PM  

As I've seen several others note, homeschooling does alleviate this problem.

My brother showed an interest in programming at around 12, after I grabbed a bunch of books on computers at the library and he gobbled them up when I couldn't get them. After that my mom was able to find him more books and a good mentor to help him pursue that knowledge for the rest of his teens. Ended up with a nice tech gig at 17 or 18 and then started his own company a few years after that.

But even homeschooling can leave some really bright people drifting a bit. I knew a homeschooled UHIQ guy growing up whose parents were bohemian musician types. He had a lot of freedom to read and pursue his own interests - I remember him plowing through Blackstone's legal commentaries in the church parking lot when the rest of us were goofing off. But I don't think he ever got a good mentor and now he's kind of an intellectual ronin like Langan.

The freedom of homeschooling + the challenge/focus of a good mentor. That seems to be the ideal set-up for the severely gifted.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 29, 2018 1:17 PM  

Nate wrote:son.. I don't know what state you grew up in... but homeschooling has never not been a thing in the United States.

In Alaska, technically we have truancy laws, but if the parents claim they're home schooling the kids, then they are, and the truancy laws don't apply. I gather most states are a little fussier about it, but I don't think they get any better results.

As I said earlier, smart kids learn, dumb kids don't, and school really can't change that except for the worse.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club January 29, 2018 1:17 PM  

"All of our basic freedoms where compromised the day we walked into kindergarten.

Schools are effectively prisons. Some how they get worse and worse as the decades roll along.

Gang violence, drugs, fights, bullying, all of this crap just to get a card that has letter grades on it. Totally useless for the working world. Your lender doesn't care what your GPA was, he wants your financial statement. Your interviewer doesn't care that you got a D in 8th Grade Algebra, he is interested in how much experience you have and who your references are. The public utility doesn't care that you got a C in high school physics, they want a deposit. Your clients or customers don't care that you got an F in Intro to Business class back in senior year because the teacher's lectures were beyond boring and the cute brunette (who is now your wife) took all of your attention away. All your clients or customers want is a quality product and/or service. Never once will they quiz you about your grades or demand a transcript." -some dude on the interent

Anonymous kfg January 29, 2018 1:19 PM  

"son.. I don't know what state you grew up in..."

Well there ya go, grandson.

" . . . homeschooling has never not been a thing in the United States."

The truant officers, Child Protective Services and Supreme Court of my state were convinced otherwise, until the court ruled that there were certain cases in which it must be allowed.

So you can put it down to that category of law which is enforced until deemed unenforceable.

And I was slated to be removed from my parents custody and placed in foster care.

My family's (both sides) homeland state was the first to institute mandatory public schooling and were pretty hardass about it. Neighboring states followed suit.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 29, 2018 1:24 PM  

"I insisted on attending public school in order to oppose the teachers' program of Progressive indoctrination."

How'd that work out for ya? What were the results? How many kids did you convert? How much of the program did you change or stop?

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 29, 2018 1:24 PM  

The Aardvark wrote:@39

The anti-homeschooling "argument" of "Why do you pull your children out of public school when they should stay in and share JEEE-zus with the other children!" chills me to the bone. By all means, throw the Sunday Schooled, Captain's Clubbed widdle kiddles into the lion's den.

Oh, grown-ups? That is pretty much YOUR job!


Indeed. When Jesus announced the Great Commission, He didn't say ``Send your children to make disciples ...'' If some child, somewhere, effectively shares the gospel at school, that doesn't undo the damage done to the hundreds of thousands of nominally Christian children whose faith is undermined before it can ever develop.

In six decades, I may have met one middle school kid who was strong enough in his faith to actually be able to witness in school. He at least seemed to be sticking with God, which is more than most manage.

For most parents who are anti-home school, school is free babysitting and football. JEEZ-zus and socialization are lies they tell themselves to salve their seared consciences.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 29, 2018 1:26 PM  

kfg wrote:My family's (both sides) homeland state was the first to institute mandatory public schooling and were pretty hardass about it. Neighboring states followed suit.

Massachusetts?

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother January 29, 2018 1:27 PM  

G&T? I prefer Hendricks.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother January 29, 2018 1:28 PM  

IT WAS SOON AFTER THAT I CONSTRUCTED MY FIRST COLD FUSION REACTOR

Anonymous Lars Porsena January 29, 2018 1:38 PM  

Nate - "and all you ended up doing is making your own life more difficult."

I'm on the fence. As a little kid I wanted to be a particle physicist, but I gave up on it for decent reasons I think. Academics like physicists don't even get paid well I had come to find out, and need to spend whole extra decades in academic environments which I didn't really like anyway. Their only employers are government and academia. I am not really cut out for that trajectory and I would not have been any happier, I doubt. More likely postal. God knows I wouldn't be surviving modern Maoist academia as a professor. I had a sense of this coming, you could see it then.

My life feels like Office Space except I skipped the cubicle and went straight to the trades because I saw the reality of it coming in high school.

Process driven environments, as opposed to results driven environments, are maddening and soul crushing to me and I can't really last in a modern bureaucracy. At least something like digging ditches is results oriented. School was all process and I felt like I lived in a Kafka novel. Process without purpose, or at least process who's purpose is to keep people from knowing the purpose by keeping them busy with the process.

I did not mind the detentions because it was just another hour of sitting there in school just like normal school, but with better company.

One time I stood up in history class, with my pen, and went to the pencil sharpener, and just stood there half pretending to sharpen the pen for about 3 minutes, then sat back down. The teacher in that class was pretty decent no disruption was caused by either of us, he was not the type to give someone detention for standing up and stretching.

But when I sat back down I had an exchange with the poor kid next to me that stuck with me forever. He lashed out with complete bitterness and pain. It was not fair. How come I get away with everything, always the badass doing what I want, he would get a detention, it's not fair.

At the time it stuck with me because it was so flattering. He saw me as "that guy" and I was quite floored that other people were seeing ME as "that guy" who gets away with everything. I never saw myself that way but I loved the idea of other people seeing me that way. It was like "social act accomplished!" I've made it, I am the fonz now.

What he didn't get is I didn't get away with everything, I got away with half of it, because I was willing to take the detention for the other half and find out which is which. The fear of detention kept him in line. So he sees me get away with things and gets pissed off, but I knew he didn't see the other half of it because I never saw that kid in detention and I was in all of them, I knew everyone who got detentions. He's whining his dad would kick his ass, why should I get to do these things and not him, but my dad was kicking my ass for doing those things regularly. Our situation was no different.

The thing that strikes me thinking back on it though is all the kid wanted to do was stand up and stretch his legs, that's what made him so hatefully envious of me. Even in a class where he could have gotten away with it he was too conditioned not to even try, like an elephant tied up to a stick in the ground. That's cruel and unusual to have a kid that bitter because he just wants to stretch. In retrospect I feel so bad for him.

But that is what I did not become, that is what having all the detentions freed me from.

Anonymous kfg January 29, 2018 1:39 PM  

"Massachusetts?"

Beautiful place. The coast of course, but I'm particularly fond of the Deerfield River Valley and the North Adams area.

But the politics suck so I won't live there. Let go of the family house in Marblehead a while ago. Not that it's much better in the neighboring states where I've spent most of my life.At least Vermont has constitutional carry and was Classical Liberal before it went all wackjob. The other sitting senator is the first Democrat they ever elected.

Anonymous Anonymous January 29, 2018 1:39 PM  

"I am sorry for everyone who attended your schools. I got a lot of science, mathematics and geometry."

My father had a PhD in physiology. I had his books to read.
I read Gray's Anatomy when I was 6. Our home library was much better than anything the K-12 schools could provide.

Anonymous kfg January 29, 2018 1:42 PM  

"IT WAS SOON AFTER THAT I CONSTRUCTED MY FIRST COLD FUSION REACTOR"

But the perpetual motion machine I built didn't work. It just kept going faster and faster.

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot January 29, 2018 1:42 PM  

It's actually worse than what Chris Langan thinks ...

The real fear of these educators is that you'll grow up to become some sort of Doctor Doom-like character because at their best, they are wholly unable to understand you and you are still growing up.

Apply a little bit of Nietzschean good-versus-evil and it's abundantly obvious to these people that you are The Unfathomable Evil That Lurks Within, and that the best way to deal with you is to simply deny you access to the information they can provide. Amusingly, they tend to do this by parking you squarely in the best seat in the only spot in the school where you can acquire better information for yourself, which is of course the library.

I was voted most likely to succeed by my school, but the private joke I didn't realise at the time was that I was actually voted most likely to succeed in destroying the Earth.

Allow me to put their minds at ease then: there's still time. :-)

Blogger Resident Moron™ January 29, 2018 1:49 PM  

I went to a small private school from the age of 4 to 11, so I was allowed to move myself up classes whenever I was bored. It was surprisingly liberal in the best and oldest sense.

I started high school at 11, turning 12 that year, in a Soviet style (ie 1970s New Zealand) state school and I went from straight As to frustrated boredom in about 3 months.

My marks after that were passes made with minimal effort. I passed my university entrance exams with an average attendance of 1.8 days per week. It was only that high because the sixth form dean threatened to exclude me from the exams if it went any lower.

My view is that if anyone ranks more than 1SD above the mean then there’s nothing intended for mass consumption that will interfere you for long. Not school, not books, not music, not films.

You’re obliged to make your own life interesting because the vast majority out there simply atr not capable of doing so.

C’est la vie.

Blogger Resident Moron™ January 29, 2018 1:50 PM  

Interfere = interest

Blogger Fenris Wulf January 29, 2018 2:01 PM  

To paraphrase Spinal Tap, there's a fine line between genius and insanity. This Langan guy's metaphysical speculations are reminiscent of Philip K. Dick.

"His largest work is to date unpublished save a few excerpts - over 7000 pages of notes speculating on Greek philosophy, early Christianity, theology, mental illness, and the implicate structure of the universe itself. This work, titled the "Exegesis," spans thousands of years of metaphysics and occult literature. Written during the final few years of his life, it is either his greatest triumph of skeptical empiricism or a deep descent into incomprehensible insanity."

Blogger Zeroh Tollrants January 29, 2018 2:01 PM  

When my daughter, (late 20s), was in elementary school, most of her teachers were fine when they pulled the kids out for gifted classes, which were kind of lame, IMO. However, I was a little surprised when a couple of her teachers were outright hostile, proclaiming they didn't feel it was, "fair."
Flash forward to this Summer & I was speaking to her children, who are in elementary school, (she married very young), and my granddaughter casually mentions that her teacher tried to prevent her & her fellow gifted classmates being able to leave the school & go to another location for gifted classes. Her older brother spoke up, surprised, and said the same thing was happening in his class, as well & that his teacher was trying to prevent his leaving, as well.
This is in a predominantly white school in Kansas, and my daughter's school was 97% white, in Alabama, decades ago, so this isn't a new phenomenon.
We didn't have gifted classes, per se, when I was in elementary school. In each subject, they segregated us by our advancement levels to work in groups. For example, the best readers were the blue birds, the next best red birds, and so on. This worked wonderfully.

Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 2:02 PM  

"The truant officers, Child Protective Services and Supreme Court of my state were convinced otherwise, until the court ruled that there were certain cases in which it must be allowed."

again.. the fact that you grew up in a commie shithole does not mean that your parents are national heros. At best they are state heros. The rest of the country... Alabama.. Texas... kentucky... tennessee... tons of states out west... have all had strong homeschool traditions.

Anonymous TheTruthIsNeverAcceptable January 29, 2018 2:06 PM  

The best man at my wedding's son quit school as soon as he was 16 and drifted around doing construction for a while (he worked for me off and on). In his early 20's he got a job at John Hopkins Applied Physics lab as a night watchman and eventually decided if he wanted to marry his sweetheart, he needed to get a decent job so he got his GED and then an AA in computer programming from the local community college (paid for by his job). He then got certified in Cisco Routers and was hired as a network tech at APL where he still worked. He continued taking courses in network security and ethical hacking and now he manages the security on their network. A true example of the cream rising to the top. He never took an IQ test but he is obviously a sharp cookie who took the road less traveled, but leveraged his opportunities to get to where he wanted to go.

Blogger Koanic January 29, 2018 2:07 PM  

Mandatory schooling is an old idea.

> How'd that work out for ya?

I achieved my objective of learning the lies of my age and the answers to them. As for lives touched, you assume an interest in the interpersonal. There are plenty of sharing caring evangelic infantry, and a deadly absence of competent apologetic aircover. Nothing like a head start on one's life objective.

Anonymous kfg January 29, 2018 2:07 PM  

@Zero Tollrants:

Well, you see, that's "elitism," and all your children are to belong to the Borg.

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira January 29, 2018 2:10 PM  

Sounds familiar. I had a real rough time in school until grade 5 when I finally had a teacher who knew what to do with me: Let me smash through the homework so I could spend my day on one of the three old computers in the class room. None of the other kids seemed to know how to use it, but it kept me from self-destructing in the classroom.

School system needs to die.

Anonymous Causal Lurker January 29, 2018 2:20 PM  

From observation, special educators and classroom aides (the inclusion gang for the left-hand tail) would make the Calvinist Fathers blush at their inadequacy as zealots. Spending even half the left-tail resources on a couple dedicated teachers and aides for the right tail should yield some startling results, but it's bad feelz.

Feelz, my Harrison Bergeron.

Animal Mother, hate to bust your meme, but ... cold and warm fusion are passe. I mentored one student on cold fusion for an ISEF competition. It's mostly low to medium tech. A good shop student (not an AP student, mind you) can build most of the apparatus, with a little help on the whys and whats, and a source for high voltage supply, deuterium and radiation detector.

Anonymous TheTruthIsAlwaysUnacceptable January 29, 2018 2:21 PM  

One of the advantages of home schooling is that you can be taught to learn anywhere.

I have a friend who home schools and her son wanted to use a trip to Walmart as part of their home school day and she said, "No way." I convinced her otherwise when I explained she could use the store as an example of the benefits of categorization and organization. They could examine how the store is laid out and what kind of scheme they use both in the larger sections and then to distribute the products within the sections.

Ever since then, trips to the store become home school lessons, now including math, how to read labels, and various other useful knowledge. The avenues for learning are endless, especially when the kids see it as part of their home school day.

Blogger The Aardvark January 29, 2018 4:48 PM  

@113
"Where did the mania for home school come from?"
From people seeing that agenda-driven public schools were failing to do as advertised.
And continue to do so.

Anonymous Anonymous January 29, 2018 5:41 PM  

I loved all the stories people have told on this thread. I have seen this sort of stuff over and over in my decades of teaching. I believe the stories and feel bad for the people this stuff happened to.

I have always loved the high IQ kids. (I was over +2SD myself)

I have several right now (Catholic private school)in my math classes. I am using Khan Academy this year and it has been really nice. One young kid with 132 IQ kept pushing me to assign more math; so I showed him how to go to the programing stuff and have fun. "Can I do that in class????" Sure kid, and I'll help you if you need it.

Unfortunately, some other teachers get mad if the kids do "other subjects" in THEIR class. I am happy if the kid is learning. --- even if it is learning how to flirt properly :-)




Anonymous Iron Spartan January 29, 2018 5:42 PM  

There isn't a test in standard schools that I have taken that didn't place me in the top .1% or higher. I got a 35 on my ACTs, and that was being so hung over I had to rush a section to go puke. 144 GT on the ASVAB. 1550 (i think) on the SAT.

Still graduated in the bottom half of my high school class because I was either bored, or hated the subject matter, or couldn't be bothered to do busy work on a subject that I could show you I had mastered. Some teachers liked me and would work with me. Some, almost always English majors, hated me with a burning passion. I was rarely disrespectful without provocation, but I knew exactly how to push things without crossing that line and enjoyed enraging a couple of teachers.

I learned the best way to deal with bullies was to be meaner, and tougher. I hit the gym and packed on a lot of muscle which helped me avoid fights. When swarmed I took the leader out. Didn't matter if I was beat in the process, he wasn't walking away. i learned that no one expects you to throw the first punch, and it doesn't matter who started it, it only mattered in the end who finished it. Socially awkward didn't begin to cover it.

Going into the Army helped. Most of the people I was under earned their authority, which made me more tolerant of them. Still managed to get myself in trouble, but damn it was worth it.

I didn't start coming into my own until I was in my 30's and settled down with a good woman.

Blogger Markku January 29, 2018 5:49 PM  

Sorry about wiping out 100 most recent comments. Was preparing to make a backup of the blog. Clicked in the wrong place.

Anonymous kfg January 29, 2018 6:05 PM  

"Clicked in the wrong place."

And so was humanity's doom sealed.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 29, 2018 6:43 PM  

Markku works for the Hawaii emergency management system.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr January 29, 2018 6:52 PM  

My story is similar. Government school was a 12-year prison sentence. I was reading at a freshman college level in 1st grade. Skipped 2nd grade. And still crushed just about everything. My word, what a miserable, boring existence.

I stayed out of trouble, my parents believed that a daily dose of the belt was essential for good order and discipline - and never hesitated.

The really bad problem was that I never developed good study skills. I hit freshman Calculus in college and bounced, struggled with higher math all the way through. Let's just say that as an engineer, I've found my niche in flight test. Professional paranoia and applied History go a long way in that field.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr January 29, 2018 6:55 PM  

What frustrates me about this whole subject is that there are only a limited number of high-grade minds available. You can't afford to waste even a single one of them. And our society squanders intellectual capital assets as if there was no tomorrow.

Blogger tz January 29, 2018 6:57 PM  

Similar experience, except we moved to one of the best suburbs with a large population of Askenazim. I still scored highest on a state math test as a Junior (one senior was a point behind, the rest were over 10% lower).
This created some bad habits as I probably would have been more successful if actuall challenged, but after you develop a habit of getting everything done at A+ level in 2 hours in a 6-8 hour day... It's not that I spent it idling, but with books on advanced science, math, electronics, or writing programs on my SR-52 calculator. The latter is how I got used to programming very efficiently.
I think ADD/ADHD is terribly overdiagnosed. You need something to kill the boredom, so it is either reallocating your attention to something stimulating or chewing your arm off.

Blogger Roger Hill January 29, 2018 6:58 PM  

Interesting how he relates his CTMU model to the opening verse in John's Gospel: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Without the connection, I would be even more lost in fathoming Langan's explanation.

Anonymous HollAndMich January 29, 2018 7:10 PM  

I formally tested "beyond university level" in the various aspects of reading/writing by fifth grade. Ditto for mathematics by the end of tenth grade. Yet my customary weekly h.s. math assessment on the part of our best teachers was grade A/F -- 104% on almost every math exam given extra credit and zero for homework submitted. The best teacher used to cluck his tongue and repeat the mantra, "keep this up and it'll be an MBA instead of the PhD."

My parents at that juncture were in the course of their nine marriages toto combined so they gave a fudge concerning my state of being -- my sibling ended up a mental case and drug addict as a consequence of the parenting received. I ultimately obtained engineering/physics UG degrees despite playing intercollegiate sport and paying my way by programming work, a grad degree in CS, and a law degree with LLM completed in 2.5 years. Among other things I run a patent law boutique, own several companies and taught myself guitar and lyric writing well enough to sit on the main floor of the Grammy Awards live broadcast each year for this past decade.

Factory education is tantamount to prison if you're to the Gaussian right. Yet home schooling was never an option for me. If I had procreated, I would never permit my child to attend public school for more than a few years time and only then for the purpose of socializing.

Blogger Crush Limbraw January 29, 2018 7:13 PM  

Stupid Finn!:)
Do you realize you deleted a comment from a Viru Poiss?

Blogger Stephen January 29, 2018 7:22 PM  

At New Zealand schools int the 90's I don't remember learning much I had not already read somewhere else until the last couple years of school, but by then I had practised my day dreaming skills at school too much. I never remember being rewarded for curiosity instead just being told "you are too young to learn that.". I could of been put a head a year but my parents were worried about it "Being too hard for me.". Still made most of my best friends in the years above me. I was in the year where your school grades shifted from the exams which I was good at to internal assessment that I was wear I got bad marks as teachers hated me for not completing my homework.

I resented being moved from Britain to NZ when I was 7 as I sorely missed my relatives, perhaps that would of given me more mentoring than my oblivious parents who always seemed to be underestimating me. As I was the youngest in the family I was expected to forget my homeland and become a "kiwi" the quickest so instead I clung on to my accent the longest even though it got me called a POM, and remained homesick until I became an adult. I dreamed of being deported.

I was supposed to be grateful because NZ is a "Great place to raise children" as it has beautiful mountains that I never saw while stuck in a suburb designed for cars when we did not have one. Nothing but houses and culdesacks and hardly any parks while the English villages I came from had lots of ruins and other places of interest to explore, all the farms had styles and rights of way while NZ farms mostly have "no trespassing" signs. All of NZ's famous scenery is in the middle of nowhere at least a days drive from anywhere don't be fooled by your adventure holiday living their is just living in another culdesac. I keep hearing something about "outdoor lifestyle" but the sun burns so quick, and it was so hot I spent most of the summer holidays hiding and sweltering in the shade. When living in Britain I stay much more fit, I go for a run everyday and hardly break a sweat even in summer. Shame the nation of Britain died while I was in forced exile.

Blogger Crush Limbraw January 29, 2018 7:22 PM  

WTF - Markku - my other comment disappeared - am I now on a VD blacklist?

Anonymous Ron from up North January 29, 2018 7:23 PM  

For a fuller understanding of what you all lived through, go see Gatto.

https://archive.org/details/TheUndergroundHistoryOfAmericanEducation_758

Blogger Nate January 29, 2018 8:01 PM  

"WTF - Markku - my other comment disappeared - am I now on a VD blacklist?"

no. The Web Gods have decided to teach Markku a lesson in humility today.

Blogger Stephen Wyndham January 29, 2018 8:23 PM  

As a kid in SC who started Jr. High in ‘70 at the start of forced integration, I have a no of sympathy for the Yankees and Euros facing a vibrant invasion. They loved to look down on white Southerners as “racists”. Fortunately, I was large for my age and athletic. I had to learn to fight to protect my smaller white friends nearly every day. You have not been bullied until you have a pack of vibrant surround you. I learned with American black guys, if they know you can fight they will leave you alone. They do not want the stigma of getting their a$$ beat by a white boy. So you learn to never back down unless greatly out-numbered or out-gunned by shanks, etc. I’ve got a lot of “war stories”, especially about my inner-city HS. It was a breeze until I got to college, where I realized I was behind many others from less vibrant schools.

Blogger S1AL January 29, 2018 8:34 PM  

I'm suddenly very glad Finland doesn't have nukes.

Blogger Ahärôwn January 29, 2018 10:13 PM  

Roger Hill wrote:Interesting how he relates his CTMU model to the opening verse in John's Gospel: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Yes, I liked that too, although I found all of his thoughts quite clear. More and more, I think that truly intelligent people communicate clearer than the academic midwits, and that anything that is terribly hard to comprehend may very well be written by someone who either doesn't understand it, or pads out their works with big words.

As far as my own school experiences, among other things I remember ending up in the "enriched class" in grade 8, after suffering through the "remedial class" in grade 6. I finally convinced my grade 6 teacher to allow me to read after I finished my work, and remember that glorious spring on the back porch of the outermost portable, reading in the warm breeze and sunshine overlooking the school fields. :D

Blogger Rough Carrigan January 29, 2018 11:40 PM  

The ignorance of the average drone teacher of how an intelligent child will react to the stupifying boredom of her lectures is telling.

I had a good friend with a son in the well regarded school system of a suburban Massachusetts town. His son seemed like a smart kid. But my buddy told me that one day he and his wife got a letter from the school system. It said they needed to come in an talk to them about their 3rd or 4th grade son whatever his age was at the time.

They go in and meet with his teacher and the teacher tells them that their son has to be put in special needs classes. My buddy calls bullshit but his wife is mostly going along with it. My buddy asks why they think he shouldn't be in regular classes. The teacher says their son just isn't able to follow along with the other kids.

My buddy won't go along with them. He's seen his son concentrate perfectly fine. His wife isn't much help but they get the school to have him take some kind of standardized test almost as a challenge. If you're right then he wouldn't score well on the such and such test.

They give his son the test and he scores at the top of the scale. He was simply bored to death by the stupid teacher's pathetic lectures. So, instead of question herself the -gasp- educator was going to fuck up the life of my buddy's son.

Blogger Koanic January 30, 2018 12:30 AM  

> So, instead of question herself the -gasp- educator was going to fuck up the life of my buddy's son.

subjugator

Blogger Thomas Patecky January 30, 2018 2:00 AM  

With a 200 IQ, shouldn't one be able to figure out how to manipulate the system to get what one wants instead of trying to be Good Will Hunting?

Sure I thought K-12 was boring and had pointless busywork, but it was pretty easy to knock off all the homework at the last minute and still get As while using class time as social time.

Anonymous OT January 30, 2018 2:31 AM  

Yes, Langan is a highly interesting character. Isn't it also interesting that he doesn't have kids? It seems to me that many geniuses stayed single or did not have any children, and this is a point that Bruce Charlton makes in his book Genius Famine as well. Apparently neither the genetic cream (Langan et al) nor the genetic scum (like myself) reproduce.

On another note, Langan wrote in a comment that he has a book in the making that he is now able to publish due to the changing political climate. Sounds quite interesting. A job for Castalia?

Blogger Koanic January 30, 2018 2:55 AM  

> With a 200 IQ, shouldn't one be able to figure out how to manipulate the system to get what one wants instead of trying to be Good Will Hunting?

One half of the high IQ is always surprised that the other does not simply adapt its personality to maximize personal convenience. The other half is always surprised that the first still hasn't noticed that the ability and willingness to do this is normally distributed like any other trait. Western Civilization did not arise among Hajnalian Europeans because they were able to disregard their internal strictures at whim. The first half should consider exactly who is defective. There are plenty of races that do not suffer from this "stupidity".

Blogger Harambe January 30, 2018 3:12 AM  

Akulkis wrote:140 is top 1/4 of 1 percentile.

MENSA cutoff is around 120-125. It's truly a n organization for midwits trying to claim that they are geniuses.


That cutoff is for scores below 120-125. Also that cut-off is either 131 or 132 depending on the test. Which puts you at or above Gifted, which is when you complete the mid-wit main quest and level up.

Anonymous Naga January 30, 2018 4:41 AM  

You're the best, Vox. Only a couple degrees from high interest people.

A fellow cripple with a possible solution, if a bit weird.
http://www.megafoundation.org/
http://blog.theultranet.com/
https://youtu.be/UngZfog_ojo

Blogger Stephen January 30, 2018 5:55 AM  

School (especially primary) is based on repetitively drumming the simplest ideas repeatedly until the simplest minds can hopefully remember some of it (not always successful). Intelligent children will learn things much better if you show them how the simple ideas fit into much bigger ideas.

I know I would of gotten much less bored with math class in primary if the exercises were teaching me other things at the same time like Newtonian physics.

Blogger JaimeInTexas January 30, 2018 7:56 AM  

@6
"Education needs to be Skills Attained-based, not Timing-based."

Only partially correct. Real life does not grant anyone an unlimited time to complete tasks. At some point, a student must learn the balance between perfection and a deadline.

Blogger Nate January 30, 2018 7:58 AM  

" Isn't it also interesting that he doesn't have kids? "

no. it isn't interesting. its a damn tragedy.

Blogger S1AL January 30, 2018 8:21 AM  

"no. it isn't interesting. its a damn tragedy."

It's exceptionally common among the extreme outliers - many of whom regretted it. Off the top of my head, I can only recall Euler as having children.

He was also a devout Christian. It's almost as if there's a correlation.

Blogger Koanic January 30, 2018 8:35 AM  

> its a damn tragedy.

Not necessarily. Having kids in the USA profoundly interrupts the deep work that only genius is capable of. Given a choice between the two, a nation may well be better off milking the genius for cognitive output while applying general eugenic pressures on the rest of the curve. You can't breed for genius, but you can breed for racial average IQ.

A genius' function is to massively improve the reproductive potential of his extended kin group. Godspeed to him.

Blogger B.J. January 30, 2018 9:26 AM  

More people need to read this. Most people don't understand how messed up school priorities are. The other day I listened to this idiot mother, who obviously had idiot children, prattle on about how she didn't care how many smart kids suffered in the presence of her moron spawn. She wanted her children to bully them and beat them up, because in the long run they'd be fine, she reasoned. School didn't matter for them anyway.

So it's spite. They hate you and want to torment you and your children out of resentment for big average. All other rationalizations are lies. Why subject your kids to this torture?

Women like bullies. One thing that always shocked me is how much cover and leeway female teachers gave to obviously rotten children. They just have no understanding of morality or ethics.

Blogger Akulkis January 30, 2018 9:47 AM  

@63

"The problem is the right hand tail. That would require development of a good identification system then segregation to a separate system for growth and education. The teachers would also have to be recruited separately and compensated handsomely. I can hear the squealing now."

We USED to do that.

Russia did that... even during the Soviet Union period... and still does to this day.

Blogger Akulkis January 30, 2018 10:30 AM  

@115. Crush Limbraw

"Stupid Finn!:)
Do you realize you deleted a comment from a Viru Poiss?"

Careful there Crush.
Every Finn has a knife.

Anonymous Pale male January 30, 2018 10:33 AM  

Stephen wrote:I know I would of gotten much less bored with math class in primary if the exercises were teaching me other things at the same time like Newtonian physics.
This is why AP physics is usually taken at the same time as AP calculus.

@131 Those who are too slow need to be flunked out, but we don't allow this anymore.

@136 We do this for people with the means to pursue private schooling.  It's one more way of cementing the advantages of the ruling class.

Anonymous Pinochet January 30, 2018 10:55 AM  

School sux. The total sum of actual learning content from 1st through 12th grade is frighteningly small. A moderately smart kid who had been taught simple reading and arithmetic at home could probably work through and master the entire first grade through 12th grade curriculum in just 2 years at, say, age 11 and 12.

The average public school kid probably has "units" about "colonial times and the first thanksgiving" at least 6 different times between 1st and 12th grades.

The system is designed to stifle curiosity and individuality. It was bad enough when we were kids. Since then they've added in the anti-boy bias, the drugging, the political correctness, and more.

The old indoctrination of "sit still and obey authority," while oppressive and anti-intellectual, was NOTHING compared to the current indoctrination about how white males should die and how communinism is the best system and how every fourth grader should choose their own gender.

And the quality of teachers has plummeted as the smart women who used to be teachers have entered the corporate workforce.

Any of us who weren't impressed with our own experiences should run screaming from these prisons when it comes to our own kids. Especially boys.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 30, 2018 12:17 PM  

Stabby is an adjective best describing Finns.

Blogger Anne January 30, 2018 6:44 PM  

Not so much. Just offer harder classes to the kids who want to take them. Then make it easy for kids who got in them by mistake to switch out and for kids who didn't get in them by mistake to switch in.
And as for the teachers, smart kids are not so much smarter than average teachers that the teachers can't support their learning. That's part of why homeschooling works.

Blogger Ahärôwn January 30, 2018 6:46 PM  

Koanic wrote:> its a damn tragedy.

Not necessarily. Having kids in the USA profoundly interrupts the deep work that only genius is capable of. Given a choice between the two, a nation may well be better off milking the genius for cognitive output while applying general eugenic pressures on the rest of the curve. You can't breed for genius, but you can breed for racial average IQ.

A genius' function is to massively improve the reproductive potential of his extended kin group. Godspeed to him.


The medieval tradition worked this way. Monastic universities for the geniuses, lots of children for everyone else.

Blogger Stephen January 30, 2018 6:55 PM  

A good first step would be repealing truancy laws. Truancy laws are based on the magic dirt equivalent theory that putting children in a certain place makes them smarter. But you can not force people who don't want to, to learn or make stupid people smart. They would be better off learning what they need on the job, including the bright ones. A voluntary school would have pupils more keen on learning and less disruptive.

Blogger Anne January 30, 2018 10:09 PM  

You'd still have kids who came for social purposes unless you kick out the bad actors.

Anonymous Luke January 31, 2018 5:20 AM  

142. Anne January 30, 2018 6:44 PM

"Then make it easy for kids who got in them by mistake to switch out and for kids who didn't get in them by mistake to switch in."

Absolutely. This would help school effectiveness substantially. This can be extended to, as possible, have early tracks in similar but not identical majors overlap as much as possible. This reduces costs for college students to switch majors. Of course, making it harder for students to switch majors is in the interest of academic departments. I saw exactly this with computer majors at (for example) Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

"And as for the teachers, smart kids are not so much smarter than average teachers that the teachers can't support their learning. That's part of why homeschooling works."

If you're saying that homeschooling parents can nearly always be effective teachers (if motivated, have time, and of course deeply CARE about their kids), then I agree. However, if you're saying that a typical 90 IQ female Education degree holder, when confronted by a 140+ IQ male high school student (likely with radically different political and sex role views from her), is likely to empathize well and be a highly effective educational aid and mentor, then I violently disagree. Didn't Vox say something along the lines that when 2 SDs in IQ separate two people, that communication on anything complex or emotional becomes almost pointless to attempt?

Anonymous Luke January 31, 2018 5:43 AM  

136. B.J. January 30, 2018 9:26 AM

"More people need to read this. Most people don't understand how messed up school priorities are. The other day I listened to this idiot mother, who obviously had idiot children, prattle on about how she didn't care how many smart kids suffered in the presence of her moron spawn. She wanted her children to bully them and beat them up, because in the long run they'd be fine, she reasoned. School didn't matter for them anyway.

So it's spite. They hate you and want to torment you and your children out of resentment for big average. All other rationalizations are lies. Why subject your kids to this torture?

Women like bullies. One thing that always shocked me is how much cover and leeway female teachers gave to obviously rotten children. They just have no understanding of morality or ethics."


Ditto me on agreement with you here, including my own experiences during my life, and also being horrified by how schools' "Second Set of Books" (shout out to the late Thomas Ball) works. Those places actually will commonly transfer victims of chronic bullying, rather than the bullies. I would (as a tiny but positive step) see that every school system explicitly forebade that, on pain of immediate unemployment (with no unemployment compensation nor pensions available) for any school employees as much as advocating the former.

Oh, and since it's the MORONS for whom school is potentially least useful, this idiot twat obviously has it backwards. In the words of former Governor Lamm of Colorado, there's no point to spending 10 grand to teach a retarded kid to roll over. OTOH, 10 grand would cover a LOT of math/physics/chemistry books or tutoring for the 140 IQ kid above, who is >3SD in g above that archetypal Education degree holder I described.

Anonymous Crush Limbraw January 31, 2018 10:02 PM  

I'm a little late in replying - but how did you know that?
How true your statement is!
I have three of them from my father - he spent some time there during the WW2.How do I divide them with 4 grandsons?
I have more stories than I tell tell right now.

Blogger Anne February 04, 2018 2:28 PM  

What I was taking about with the homeschoolers was like this: suppose your kid wants to learn French, which mom with her high school diploma doesn't know. She can do this two ways. She can learn French with them, doing all those highly motivated things like putting words on objects and things, or she could give him a text book and grade the work using the teachers manual. While the second method sounds more fun to me, I wouldn't be surprised to find a lot of successful homeschooling mom's choose option 2. It's what you have to do when a subject is too far beyond you, and you know, mom's also need to do their chores.
But back to public school teachers: let's suppose you have a 90 IQ early childhood education major teaching the first grade gifted class. There's a certain set amount of stuff that you have to learn in elementary school, and even with a 90 IQ, she is capable of understanding all of the elementary school scope and sequence, the material is just not that hard. It's only once she gets to the stuff she doesn't know, which would be advanced elective high school classes or college level material that she needs to resort to the mom's method of give the kid a book and trust the answer key. I mean she did go to college and I know in math they are at least required to take basic college math, which is a sort of survey course, and not as dumb as it sounds. I think smart kids would find it an engaging class, and it does go beyond the elementary school level. I do remember that movie about those NASA ladies, and the first scene is something she would have had to let the child teach herself. When the child gets to that point there's a certain amount of just getting out of the way.

Blogger Anne February 04, 2018 2:30 PM  

Oops typo: the first method sounds more fun to me. (The motivated one, but then I'm a lifelong learner type of person, and not all moms are.)

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