Tag Archives: brain

The IQ

Many years ago, late 1990’s I think, a big craze about IQ started and a lot of shows were on TV where you could test your IQ. Other shows had segments about intelligence and what the IQ is. It was in magazines, in the papers, and all over the internet.

IQ, as per definition, means Intelligence Quotient.

So what happens in an IQ test is this:
You solve little puzzles, memorize things, answer questions, etc.
It depends a little on where you do the test and who created it.
But in the end you will receive a score that depends on how well you did at solving all the exercises. The score will be an average.

I see a few problems with this system of ranking people and even countries.

  1. It is an average so it does not actually show a number that is representative. Not even by a far stretch.
  2. If you have an average IQ for a big group of people, it is even less representative. It gets worse, the bigger the group.
  3. Why define your own intelligence by a number that averages different fields.
  4. All tests are different. And I mean completely different. In scoring, in types of problems, and in areas being tested.

Why am I so critical about this, you may ask.

Intelligence is something that can get lower or higher, depending on how much you work your grey matter.
You can be massively intelligent in one area and close to retardation in another. So how does your IQ (the average of all the areas being tested) matter at all? Do you function? Can you breath, work, understand? Are you able to learn? Can you adjust to your environment?
Those are the important questions.

I have gone through several IQ tests: At school, at the psychologist, on the Internet, at Mensa, etc etc. Every single test was completely different. And I scored pretty much everything on the scale from 65 to 150.

My score of 65 was the score of my mathematical understanding for example.
But in another test, my mathematical score was 150. So… what now?
While 65 is an extremely low score, pretty much retardation, 150 is extremely high, pretty much genius.
So what the hell am I? A retarded genius?
As a matter of fact, the way it was tested was different in both. And while one way of testing was simple for me, the other one was not.
In reality, my mathematical skills let me navigate everyday life just fine. I add, substract, multiply, divide… Like a 4th-grader. I don’t need more. I understand a few more concepts, but really, whatever I was supposed to understand after 5th grade (many moons ago), it was useless for my life and I forgot it all within a matter of minutes.

My usual average IQ score was always somewhere between 120 and 130. This is still considered above average but my above-average-scores have never helped me finding a job. In real life, no one is interested in your IQ because it really does not tell your future employer if you can do the job. How many completely un-intelligent people have studied and became lawyers and doctors? There is a difference between being book smart and life smart.

Try to think about this:

The lowest average IQs that I was able to find online (please use google, I am too lazy to link stuff atm) were in some parts of Africa with an average of about 70. The highest IQ scores by country. with an average around 99, I found in Asia. And right in the middle of the two extremes were places like Europe or Australia.

How do patterns of triangles or great language skills matter to the person living the middle of Sahara desert? They need other skills, and those skills are not being measured in those IQ tests. That same person with the very low IQ, would probably do just fine surviving that rough life in the desert, because maybe they do well with simple tasks that always stay the same like find water, care for the camels, build a tent, etc.

In places like Japan though, those skills are not needed. School and work 6 days a week and very intense. You will only succeed in live if you keep passing tests well and if you are able to think in those specific ways, that an IQ test checks.

Ok, done.

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Posted by on January 27, 2016 in Uncategorized


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The pendulum and reincarnation


A bit of a ramble / wall of text >> My thoughts on the topic

A friend of mine used to have migrane attacks, really bad ones. At some point his dad came to his house with the pendulum. He kind of… swung out the whole place and found out that the bed was on an magnetic energetic cross which runs through the ground at that place. And when he moved the bed the migranes stopped.

Now my critical mind kicks in. Ok, magnetic waves maybe… Don’t know. But the pendulum? Hm. I used to be a witch. That was my religion and my life for a long long time. I used the pendulum back then and I believed in it a lot. But the more I brought it to the test, the more I dug deep on theory and physics etc, the less believable it became.
My friend, saying that “my dad holds his hands really still and he is not a liar either!” is not a reason to just believe this without looking any further.
For a fact I know that when I used the pendulum I was holding it very still too and I wasn’t lieing when I talked about the results. I believed what I said and I knew I wasn’t swinging that thing.
BUT you know how the tiniest movement, the kind that you can’t control, will make that pendulum swing? Holding it still isn’t enough. Stop the wind around you, stop cold and warm air move around you. Stop your veins from pulsating and so on. Yes, in the end, you hold it as still as you can but it will still swing. And the longer you try, the harder it will swing. Perpetuum mobile anybody? It’s kinda like that, not exactly but kinda.

But he kept talking. He said he had all those pains and feels weak so much. His sister is an alternative practitioner and she is doing all these fancy things like regressions and such.
In the esotheric context, just to explain, a regression means that you are being put into a trance like state and you will be able to go back in your memory to very early stages in your life. In theory they are also able to bring you back into a past life.
Now my friend said, with the most serious voice ever, that he would like to try this because maybe, his health problems root in a previous life and if so, if he knew that, he would at least know what to do now.
He said his sister found out that she was raped at a very young age that way.
I am not going to belittle the fact that his sister was raped. In fact I am somewhat confident that the regression worked in this matter. Because after all you are being carefully led back in this stage and you will be able to remember things. Simple psychology. She probably remembered it, which is not unlikely to happen. Many people remember it only once they are grown. Our brains work that way. Our brains block out stuff that we can’t deal with and once we are ready and wanna know, we can try and dig it out. I dug stuff out too by meditating a lot. Wouldn’t call it a regression but it helped me work out my problems and traumata.But I find it a bit far fetched to say, hey maybe I will go ahead and have a look in my previous life.

Why? Because this assumes that there was a previous life.
While I cannot prove or disprove the possibility of rebirth and such things, scientific research has not been able to prove it. I go with science, sorry. I can’t just believe stuff because it feels warm, fuzzy, and convenient.
Let me explain something to you.
Back in my witch-days I believed in reincarnation too. I actually knew of my past life in the 18-hundrets. I think 1860s or so. I knew that I was a man called Luke and that I had a beautiful girl and a little cottage. I was a soldier and owned a brown horse.
I knew all these details of my life, my age, my wife’s name, the colour of my house, what the road looked like, the field and the garden, etc…
But the more I researched and tried to prove reincarnation and souls and energies and nature in general, the less likely it all became. I remember this thing on youtube that I saw where they “weighed the soul” and came to the conclusion that the soul must weigh like 0.02 grams. I remember how I completely bought it until I learnt more about dead bodies and such things.

No, I can’t buy into this anymore, sorry.
I have this ugly habit of using my brain to be critical with weird assumptions. I like to check sources and research and physics and other things that are important for scientific research of things. I am not a scientist but I am not stupid. I can grasp most concepts of physic, biology, chemics, and so on.

It might feel good to believe in things like this but how much good does it do to believe in things just to feel good? Most of these believe systems come with a whole battery of negative stuff too. Over all it always ends up being really bad for the mind to believe in things and blocking your brains (through indoctrination) from asking the important questions:

Why? & How?

Yes, exactly, I can’t prove that these things do not exist but I don’t have the burden of proof. I believe in this stuff as much as I believe in the flying spagetti monster and the invisible pink unicorn.
The people who claim that a statement is true have to prove it, not the person who doesn’t believe it. The non-believer usually doesn’t claim that the statement is untrue, they simply don’t believe it. You want me to believe, you get to prove your point.

See how I get into this huge rant and ramble on forever about this? That’s exactly why I said nothing when my friend talked about it.

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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Uncategorized


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An ADHD brain

For those who don’t know what ADHD is. ADHD stands for  Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. It also exists without the “H” but that’s a bit rarer than the full version of this disorder.

Yesterday I watched a video by a youtuber who tried to explain what it is like to have ADHD and he didn’t like that it is called a “disorder” because he didn’t experience it that way. (I will link that video below)

While I was perfectly able to relate to every other aspect of that video, because I have ADHD, I had to disagree with the part that it’s not a disorder.

Things are called “disorder” because the person having that disorder functions differently, not because there is something wrong with them. Maybe this misunderstanding was the reason for him to disagree with it.

Like the guy in the video, I have never been medicated for it and I am happy about that. Why? Because medication against ADHD usually numbs your brain down but I would like to keep my thoughts because they make me who I am. This type of medication is designed to stop that seemingly randomness in ones brain. The brain of an ADHD person is unable to filter information the way a “normal” brain would. It is not laziness or carelessness of the person. It the brain and the person can’t change that.

Let me give you a few examples from my own life (a bit like in my post about introverts) so you can understand a little better:

When I am supposed to learn something new I usually have a big problem to read and understand because I can’t focus on boring things for extended periods of time. While a “normal” person can usually force themselves to concentrate, my brain can’t do it. Believe me I tried! What works much better for me is everything hands on. Being told (I have a very good memory actually) what I need to know and then seeing it and trying it will teach me faster and I will remember it more reliably.

I have a million hobbies. As a child I would take about every extra class that was even remotely interesting to me. I would be in the school choir, in the band, in the school newspapers, the theater group, acrobatics, soccer, circus group, and musical. When I left that school and joined a different school I joined everything there: HipHop dance, basket ball, theater, French course. Outside school I would find everything that was for free and I would join it. In addition I taught myself to play the guitar. In the band I learnt how to play the e-bass. At my grandparent’s house I taught myself to play the synthesizer and later on I learnt the piano. I tried the violin and the accordeon. I learnt to play tinwhistle and the recorder. I play the drums and most other percussion instruments including the whole orff set. I can also sing, love photography, and filming things. Apart from that my greatest hobbies are baking, cooking, riding the bike, inline skating, and online gaming.
Yes, all of that. And this huge list is missing all the things that were a hobby for only a short time like astronomy or quantum physics.

It took a long time for me to learn to stick with one project and make that one a success before starting something else. I am 30 now. Can you believe that only a year ago I figured out how to stick with one or two projects instead of starting 20 and keeping everything unfinished?
Why start so many projects, you may ask. Well something appeals to me and I want to do it *NOW” but you know how every project has its boring parts. Once that part starts I will lose interest. I will try to get through it but something else will distract me and I will forget about my project.

No attention-span whatsoever:
You know those jokes? “Oh look! A squirrel!” the randomness, and inability to stay focused in a conversation, might be funny and in jokes a bit overdone, but they are actually true. The guy in the video explains this part perfectly.
Basically while you say something your head fills up with 10 more ideas, you think about those ideas while you talk and suddenly you forget what you were about to say. That is annoying for the person you are talking to but it happens. While this doesn’t happen as much to me, other people with ADHD have that problem a lot. For me it is more when people talk to me. They tell me something and my mind wanders off for no good reason and even when I find the story interesting. I randomly giggle because a thought crosses my mind.
Let me try to explain that. Say my husband explains to me how an engine works, and while he is talking I see a man crossing the street who has a monkey on his shirt, and I in return have to think about a monkey sitting in the car eating a banana, and when the banana is eaten, the monkey throws the banana out of the window, and the next person is stepping on it and falling like in slapstick comedy. At this point I have a stupid grin on my face while my husband explains about how to exchange oil but I missed how he got there and he will get annoyed because he has to find out where he lost me and explain again. – Yes, that happens a lot.

Constant moving:
You know how we seem kind of restless at times? It is one of the side-effects our brain activity has on our bodies. It is not something we are doing consciously. We are venting the hyper activity in our brain by moving our leg or hands constantly. This can be stronger or lighter. I have a very light form of that. I can deal with not moving a lot – not for very long, but I can. And when I move, it is not as much as others. I will either play with something in my hands or move a foot a bit. But usually in a very un-annoying way for the people that are with me at the time.

While all of these things seem like huge problems, there is a good side to it. The fact that you are interested in so many things and you try them all out, makes you know what you are good at. You get to understand a lot of things better because you tried them all. I always thought I would like to become a programmer, but when I tried to learn programming, I found out that it is not my thing really. I love to work on the computer though and that is how I got the job I have right now.

The job I have right now is also a good example for a great work athmosphere that works with people who have ADHD. It should be implemented in normal schools, but that is just my opinion.
What makes my job so special? My employer does have targets and you need to work to a very high quality. This means a certain workload has to be completed at the end of the day and things must be done correctly in 99% of the cases. There is a strict quality review that includes feedback when a mistake has been made so you don’t do it again.
Of course we need to be at work at a certain time and we need to stay for a certain time. All the normal work stuff that everybody knows.
We can have breaks whenever we need them unless there is a meeting of course. We can eat and drink at the desk. We are allowed to listen to music or even watch youtube. As long as the workload is completed and the quality fits, we can do pretty much whatever we like.

What does this to my work?
I am a perfectionist and I like when I do my work 100% correct but I do need a lot of small breaks. Usually I really just stare out of the window for a few minutes when I can’t focus anymore. And when I am in a hurry, I listen to GTA radio (yes… and usually K-Rose, in case anybody wants to know). But this work environment makes it possible for me to deliver good work. So good indeed that I was told that I am top of my team which I have never been told before (in work environments that were not that free and trusting).

So how deal with an ADHD person? (wow that sounds bad!)

  • Don’t take it personal when we lose focus. It’s annoying for you but we can’t help it.
  • When you see that we are losing focus, ask us a question, engage us in the conversation.
  • When we seem random, either ask how we got to that thought, or just deal with it.
  • Don’t tell us to “just focus for a second!” because we can’t. Give us a minute to stare a whole into the wall and then continue.
  • Understand that looking away doesn’t mean that we are not paying attention anymore. Try me, I dare you 😛
  • If you have a child with ADHD that can’t focus on the homework, allow it to have little (LITTLE) breaks of 5 minutes. For example do math problem one, go drink a glas of water, do the next problem, go use the toilet, do the next problem, get a chewing gum, …. and so on. (I might dedicate a post, on how to deal with an ADHD child, in the future.)

AT TEACHERS: Please, don’t just be happy that the medicated ADHD child is so much more quiet now. It is quiet because its brain has been numbed. How good is that for the health, what do you think? And if the child suddenly starts lashing out, do not take it personal. In that case it is likely wrongly medicated, and that is the feedback the parents need. Not a note “Timmy is too aggressive!” but a note “Has Timmy changed his medication? He seems more agitated.” Yes, it’s a few more words, but it helps you, the class, Timmy, and his parents. Try to help those kids, they are not stupid and they are not doing it on purpose!

Here is the video that inspired this post:

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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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