Abstract insightfulness

More Aeolitalk. One of these days I ought to update that page.

I’ve decided to redefine abstract intuition as “knowing something without knowing how or why you know it, at a level of intellectual abstraction where this knowing can’t be plausibly explained by pure instinct”.

I believe the following example from the old VP thread The Excluded may be described as abstract intuition.

One of the stranger experiences of this IQ range is that I often know with certainty that a novel mathematical fact is true, but then I have to spend 2 to 4 weeks developing a rigorous proof that tells me how I knew it was true. (To be precise, I did know how I knew, but not in anything remotely resembling human math-paper communication.) Intuition is a strange beast.

Berkeley Math Professor, IQ 150

As it says in the definition, it’s not plausible that a person of IQ 150 would have developed this ability if he were raised by wolves (contra Ramanujan, who might as well have been raised by wolves but likely had an IQ in the 170-180 range). So there’s a component of nurture, indicating the development of complex instincts (i.e. intuitions) must be developed.

Abstract insightfulness is the tendency to immediate generation of new mental models (generally nonverbal) from less abstract ones to explain the immediate situation, as enabled by overpowered capabilities in conceptual formation, pattern recognition, factor analysis, and sensory processing. In contrast with my sort of insights, which I’d describe as the low end of temporal lobe epilepsy, I suspect abstract insights have a subjective experience comparable to rapid-fire gestalt shifts. Think of walking in a room, noticing everyone is wearing sandals, noticing that in your experience nothing ever got done in rooms of people wearing sandals, noticing that this is inherent to the design of sandals and the decision to wear sandals…etc etc etc.

This description is inspired by a couple of the examples (which I’ve bolded) of seemingly magic powers in this link that Trebizond dropped:

Furthermore, where the moderately gifted person has a “skill collection”, the profoundly gifted individual has what might as well be magic powers…Profoundly gifted individuals have been known to do things like reinventing the steam engine at age six. Some of them can walk into a room and in an instant infer what kind of presentation is going to be given, and what kind of organization is going to give it. They have been known to make penetrating observations of connections between vastly different disciplines. Some have written a book in a week. Others remember everything they have read. Verbatim. Another still has invented a crude physics and using it to solve problems before she was old enough to talk. It’s entirely plausible for a profoundly gifted individual to think for a few hours about a philosophical school he’s just read about, and have a better grasp of the assumptions and implications surrounding that school than scholars who have studied the discipline for years. Many accomplishments are less extreme than that. Some are more extreme. I said that they might as well be magic powers because they are no more believable to many people than levitation or fairies granting wishes. Moderately gifted achievements are envied. Profoundly gifted achievements are disbelieved, and one social lesson the profoundly gifted learn is that there are certain accomplishments that you don’t talk about… which feels the way most people would feel if people were shocked and offended when they tried to say, “I can read,” or for that matter, “I can breathe.”

These people do not think of themselves as having magic powers. Their impressive abilities are no more breathtaking or astonishing to them than our impressive abilities of walking through an unfamiliar room or understanding a children’s book are to us—and if you don’t believe that walking through an unfamiliar room or understanding a children’s book is an astonishing mental feat, just spend a year in artificial intelligence.

C.J.S. Hayward
The Mindstorm

The primary difference between abstract insightfulness and abstract intuition is that I think profoundly gifted people are stacking new conceptual models on each other so quickly and continually that they’d never be able to verbalize them quickly enough for their conscious minds to keep up. I expect you’d find unusually high adult neurogenesis in these individuals. This would produce a sort of autistic personality entirely different from autism spectrum disorder, where a person’s difficulty in communication is caused by the logistical impossibility of explicitly deconstructing the network of nonverbal conceptual models that produced a conclusion.

“How did you build that steam engine, Suzie?”
(Confused) “…Because that’s how you make it go.”

If my thoughts are correct or nearly so (nevermind how well they’re expressed), then I think I can explain the Alumnus’ dissatisfaction with IMSA.

It’s a commonplace that the gifted can have a rough time of school. What IMSA does is place the profoundly gifted in the position of fixed pace classes designed for people significantly less intelligent than them.

It’s easier to criticize than it is to give a positive alternative; let me give a positive alternative.

First of all, profoundly gifted students can pick things up much more rapidly even than most IMSA students. Something like a factor of four speedup can happen again and again. Many of these students would tear through textbooks if you let them…

They will discover things for themselves. But if you look at learning styles, the profoundly gifted are some of the most able to understand a crystallized abstraction, and the most likely to work ahead in their textbooks.

IMSA may have a dozen or so profoundly gifted individuals at any one time…

Furthermore, as well as standing in need of conceptual education, profoundly gifted students could benefit from personal development to help them meet the rest of the world. I don’t know whether it would be correct to say that average education should be about knowledge, gifted education should be about how to think, and profoundly gifted education should be about personal development. I think the idea is worth considering. And I would try to develop some things that aren’t needed in average education and less needed in moderately gifted education, such as how to bridge the gap and meet the rest of the world.

Ibid.

What I’m getting here is that gifted education is about fostering an addiction to noticing (the first half of genius), where profoundly gifted kids are already noticing at such a high level that it can produce pathological social development. For example, Trebizond’s pullquote suggests they need to be given resources to train them out of the gnostic fallacy which tends to develop when your unconscious mental processes are so powerful that they can get you whatever you want and out of any jam…as if you had magic powers.

(And as always, there’s the looming possibility that I’m wrong and this is all made up in my head.)

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27 Responses to Abstract insightfulness

  1. a says:

    >profoundly gifted education should be about personal development.
    Agree with this so much. All the smartest ppl I know spend too much time dick-noodling because they CAN. No focus or process to find out what they really should be doing in life.
    Its also worth mentioning that these ppl are often very open and agreeable, so they don’t even know what they want, or they get sucked in to the leftist horde easily. They go to college and take everything or take courses before they even have a plan. My sister has learned 8 languages and she still isn’t sure what she’s going to do.

    >profoundly gifted education should be about personal development.
    Thinking about this more, because of the way irl socialization is dying all over in our society (“the normies are no longer normal”),I think it is imperative for pretty much everyone with the required horsepower to get really into personal development and especially learn how to deal with people of all dispositions.
    There certainly are verbally gifted socially adept ultra-melons, but there are also plenty of high IQ ppl who simply realized that putting their mind to learning how to deal with and understand ppl is the most important thing they could do for most areas of success (Happiness especially).

    If the normies don’t understand you, its your fault.
    If you do not understand them (instead choosing to paint them as some sort of perverted caricature. “Manboon”, “Sap”. etc) that is your fault as well. Who else’s fault would it be? God, for making you SO damn smart that you can’t get along with most other ppl? Them, for not understanding you? BS, you can change reality. Internal locus of control. Extreme Ownership.
    The only real exception is if you have Asperger’s- I have no clue if its doable for you guys. Definitely worth trying in any case.
    I’ll be looking into how to deal with ppl after finals. It is a universal great thing to understand.

    • Mycroft Jones says:

      Good point. Now, one way to shift reality more easily is by group action and hive mind. In fact others have already figured this out, and if we don’t utilize group mind tactics, we get nowhere. Deck is already stacked against us.

      This is why I look at the moral code of Moses, as interpreted by Jesus. Short, simple. Easy to remember, understand, transmit, and interpret. Also extremely well balanced, minimizes in-group conflict, maximizes cohesion and trust and esprit de corp and that most important thing of all: natural growth through land stewardship and family formation.

      Groups as diverse as the Mongols under Genghis Khan, and the Hell’s Angels, grew quickly and powerfully after adopting major chunks of the code of Moses. I believe that is why governments fear it and try to stamp it out whenever possible. The laws concerning land use and reproduction give long term staying power. That is why the Hell’s Angels are in decline, they only adopted part of the program.

  2. bicebicebice says:

    Intuition is the other side of the matrix where God gets tired of waiting for man to come to his senses so he serves up a eureka-curveball at 150mph out of the seemingly blue, straight to the head. Ouch!

  3. Koanic says:

    What very gifted boys need are very gifted mentors to teach them their place so they don’t grow up feral.

    What very gifted women need is babies.

    • Mycroft Jones says:

      Classic gold, Koanic. As is this post of Aeoli’s. He is so right; we stack abstractions up so fluidly, there isn’t enough time in the world to dumb it down to where normies can understand it. I’ve tried with sympathetic people, and they get bits and pieces, but they always get major things really wrong, then I realize oh there are other chunks they need, and often they don’t have the mental equipment to grasp them in any reasonable time frame.

      That is how we know Jesus was supernatural. He did JUST THAT. Super intelligent, AND he had no communication gap across the IQ chasm.

      We are blessed the Vox Day has spent so much effort in his life to try to communicate across the IQ gap, and yet many of us still frustrate him, although our own IQ’s are high enough we experience similar frustration in dealing with normies.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >What very gifted boys need are very gifted mentors to teach them their place so they don’t grow up feral.

      Not a bad idea.

      >What very gifted women need is babies.

      They yearn for my gifted seed, they tell me so….in real life, I promise.

  4. Son of Distant Trebizond says:

    I suspect both the faculties you refer to here are downstream of ‘abstract synaesthesia’, and are thus perceptual in origin. This is much like spoken and written language, which is funny.

    “And, sons of Islam, it may be that thou shalt learn at Journey’s end
    Who walks thy garden, eve on eve, and bows his head, and calls thee Friend”

    http://philica.com/display_article.php?article_id=178

    Click to access Synaesthesia%20-%20JCS.pdf

    Here’s another Hayward link that may interest you:

    https://cjshayward.com/test/

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >I suspect both the faculties you refer to here are downstream of ‘abstract synaesthesia’, and are thus perceptual in origin.

      That would make a weird sort of sense.

      >Here’s another Hayward link that may interest you:

      It did indeed.

  5. This describes my life accurately. I’m not really sure that I ever dropped the gnostic fallacy though. Also in terms of the mental models I use language itself feels like a byproduct of my cognition as opposed to an expression of it. This also gives rise the further anxiety and self-hatred.

    Having separated myself more from the system and society I find I’m happier in small towns being eccentric than in big cities with a red dot on my back all the time. The really smart people hate me because they know I know what’s going on. Oh to be fat dumb and happy.

    • I think meditation is the only thing left for me now. I feel like I’ve broken out the other side of reality and there’s noting really there anyway. Just grass, sun and flutterbys. It was all a dream.

      • Ulixes Orobar says:

        >The really smart people hate me because they know I know what’s going on.

        Hide your power level from the haters.

        >I feel like I’ve broken out the other side of reality and there’s noting really there anyway. Just grass, sun and flutterbys. It was all a dream.

        The stuff inside of your mind is just as real (or, depending on how you look at it, unreal). Anyway, enjoy the dream!

      • come on you know it's me says:

        There are books written by Jung — above all, his Red Book — about the path of meditation, that is, gradually coming to know, accept, and coexist with, all the parts of your mind.

        The really smart people hate me because they know I know what’s going on.
        As Jung says… the “really smart people” are busy, even busier than normies for obvious causes, repressing their unconscious: all their radical fears, self-loathing…
        An aware enquirer upsets them, not because he knows what’s going on, but because by his enquiries and expressed awareness he makes it harder for them to not know what they know but manage to live as if not knowing.
        You awake their unconscious, in other words.

        Language may well be even a producer of cognition, or, at any rate, much more than its expression.
        As someone put it: the thing and its name couldn’t exist without each other.
        The answer to this chicken-or-egg question might be that the thing and its name come simultaneously to being: neither comes earlier.

        You may be the kind of person who feels like a riverbed, with flows of words streaming on your mind, independent of your will, control, choice. I am such a person.
        It feels like a tyranny one has to withstand. Words words words thoughts thoughts thoughts… and I am just a beholder.
        I think certain minds are “first object, then name”, others (like mine) are “first the name, then the associated object”.

        It’s like writers, serious writers. They come in two varieties. Some have the words crossing their mind, and then find a narrational setting to place them in; others see what they want to narrate, and then seek the words, as instruments.

        Sorry for… writing below the standard of this blog :) I hope I still made clear what I mean.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        This implies that you’ve truly achieved detachment from all desire.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Also in terms of the mental models I use language itself feels like a byproduct of my cognition as opposed to an expression of it. This also gives rise the further anxiety and self-hatred.

      That’s psychologically interesting on its own.

      >Having separated myself more from the system and society I find I’m happier in small towns being eccentric than in big cities with a red dot on my back all the time.

      #edenism #nobilid

      >The really smart people hate me because they know I know what’s going on.

      The natural thing is to take advantage of people. If you don’t, it makes people self-conscious of their decisions.

      >Oh to be fat dumb and happy.

      My feeling exactly :-/. But there are perks to being woke.

  6. come on you know it's me says:

    I have a need to share this…
    hope it’s not off-topic? lol

    Tony Blair: ‘It is Absolutely Necessary That Brexit Doesn’t Happen’
    Tony Blair believes that the British voters deserve a second referendum on EU withdrawal.

    What a mentally healthy figure, Tony Blair. He knows the score… has perfect timing, appearance…
    10/10

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >I have a need to share this…
      >hope it’s not off-topic? lol

      I can’t throw stones.

      >What a mentally healthy figure, Tony Blair. He knows the score… has perfect timing, appearance…
      10/10

      It’s always an open question how much of human behavior is “conscious” and how much is mere instinct. I’m not sure whether it matters.

  7. Ø says:

    There is also usually coffee involved

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