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Category: rant

04/19/06 05:38 - 67ºF - ID#33917

Tell me, how high is your IQ?

I heard a story today about people sitting around boasting about their IQ scores.

This wasn't at my job, and the source of the story shall remain nameless, since it doesn't really matter...

This is an easy target for a rant, and I can't pass up a lame duck waiting to be shot.

Besides, the person who told me the story today heard all of this bullshit in person and asked that I scribble it somewhere so she can spit it back sometime... so here we go...

This rant isn't about any individual person, but rather about the IQ test itself, and, more importantly, the pompous asses who feel the need to tell me (or anyone) their IQ...


My view on the IQ (Intelligence Quotient)(WIKIPEDIA - I.Q.)...


In order to rant, I need to lay down my opinion on the IQ test. I do not feel that the test itself is total crap. It may have some uses. My opinion is that it's abused. Most people don't understand it and take it as a yardstick for intellect. It's not.

The IQ test tells us one thing: How well the subject did in the test. It's a test. That's all... it's not a measurement. It's not a diagnosis. It's just a test.

Still, people insist that thair IQ means something more. I beg to differ, and here's why...

I have some fundamental problems with the idea of an "Intelligence quotient" which I'd like to describe in some detail...

1. Defining intelligence: What is "intelligence" [dict] intelligence[/dict]?
(The definitions I've researched are all quite vague.) I have yet to see a 100% agreeable, all-enconpassing definition. Still, we need to settle on something or we're sunk in this article. In that interest, I think we can all agree that intelligence is a quality relating to the ability of one to think, reason, and solve problems. That's pretty consistant with common definitions you'll fiind out there.

I think this common definition lacks one key factor...

2. Motivation: If you don't need (or want) to solve a problem, the intelligent thing to do is to avoid the problem altogether. Skip it. Move on, nothing to gain/lose, so why waste mental resources.

What if the test isn't "your idea of fun"... There's no direct, tangable consequences for a poor grade. Are you less intelligent for blowing it off? If I don't enjoy crossword puzzles, am I less intelligent as my twin who does enjoy them? I don't think so. Motivation's gotta be there to test problem solving ability and get a real answer.

So, here we have a major problem. The subject has to want to take the test. The IQ tests that are most "accurate" are those taken in early childhood. How many little kids want to take tests? Not all kids motivate the same way, and it's kinda illegal to torture them,so how do we account for motivation? If a little kid doesn't want to take a test, what do the answers really measure? That leads me to the next problem... the test itself...

3 Cultural Bias: This one's obvious. Cultural bias is always a mitigating factor in sociological experimentation. There's copious data out there from folks showing that the test scores are culturally skewed. I'm not going to waste time with that. (You can just search google(GOOGLE - I.Q. Test cultural bias) and find 100's of hits.)

OK. So we're just going to ignore the cultural bias debate. Even if we ignore cultural bias.... I have another complaint...

4. Apples and Oranges: Quantitatively measuring a qualitative trait. Huh?
It seems to me that intelligence is a fluid trait. It's a quality that can have many factors. Some of these factors are measurable. (how many digits can you remember (short term memory)), how quickly can you sort some shapes...etc.

Other factors seem more transient...
How well rested are you?
How much stress are you under?
Have you eaten today? (current blood sugar level)
Are you on drugs? (effecting the neurotransmitter reception in the brain)

Still others are less transient,but change due to your environment...
Are you in shape?
Have you been mentally active lately (reading, painting, writing, coding, studying... any "mental exercise" will boost performance.)

So, I think I've established that intelligence is a fluctuating, situationally dependent, environmentally influenced quality. Great. Now let's measure it with a standardized test. What? No. It don't work that way. It's like trying to tell me who is defninitively the hottest woman ever. Sorry, can't be done. You can have opinions, and even statistical data, maybe even a vote... but somewhere, to someone, Bea Arthur(WIKIPEDIA - Bea Arthur) is the be-all end-all hottie. (Gotta love them Golden Girls)

So, this leads me to my rant.... (Yeah, it took a while to get here. If you're still reading this, wow, i'm impressed. You must have a high IQ...)

The main event: Idiots who tell you their IQ score.

There is no reason to know your IQ score. There's nothing good that can come of it. I took the test as a child. My folks never told me my score. I'm really glad they didn't. (70's passing, right? It's like a regeant's exam, right?)

What could possibly come of knowing your IQ?
If your score is low: Could you under-achieve you whole life and have a convenient excuse?
If your score is high: Could you look down your nose at people, or (even worse) could you just expect everything to come to you?

I've wracked my brain and can't come up with a single good use for knowing your IQ...

So, there's no reason to know your score, fine...

What if you just happen to know it, and it's high? Why not boast about your high IQ? I mean... you aced that test when you were 5. You kicked some bootay... now You get to let everyone know you're a genious, right?

No. Please don't... here's why...

Because it can only say bad things about you, like the following:
1. You really have a high IQ, yet you still managed to become an arrogant ass. Wow. Glad you got that high IQ, ass.
2. You're afraid people think you're stupid, or you think your stupid and saying you have a high IQ might get some respect. Well, now they think you're a jerk, too.


Well, unfortunately, this isn't what happens... what happens is some other idiot pipes up and says their IQ is 2 points higher than yours. (Which may, or may not be true)

The end result:

Every once in a while, I get stuck in a canversation where someone starts mentioning IQ scores. This usually is an aquaintance or some friend-of-a-friend. How the subject comes up, I never know, but it happens. Some dorkwad decides to talk about how gifted they are. (It's usually a suburbanite who went to prep school. I should know. I am one.)

For some reason, most people actually sit there and endure this type of "intellectual posing".

I am now resolved to put and end to IQ boasting. From now on, I shall do my best to ensure that I state my IQ is at least 10 points higher than any jerkoff who tells me their IQ. What can he/she do? Argue with me? Demand proof? I sure as shit know they aren't carrying their IQ results around. (If they are, that's too priceless to pass up!)

If we all start this, pretty soon, well all be menza material...(Oh I'll get to Menza another day....)

So, the last IQ I had thrown at me was 141. Therefore, my new IQ is 151 until some asshole says they have a higher one.



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Location: Amherst, NY


Category: photos

04/19/06 11:46 - 42ºF - ID#33916

Steuben County Fair - Summer 2005

bored at work today. summer's coming. here's some shots I took at the "Stueben County Fair" last August.

the Stueben County Fair is one of the oldest in the nation (possibly the oldest) and one of the creepiest (possibly the creepiest)...

It's a photographer's dream. An old time carnival/fair right out of the 1920's, complete with creepy carni artwork, old rides, freak shows, and a smash-up derby.

These were taken with my little crappy Cannon Powershot. I plan to bring a better camera back this year. I hadn't planned on going and really wish I'd brought a decent camera.


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Location: Amherst, NY


Category: music

04/14/06 04:27 - 61ºF - ID#33915

Soundtrack #4 - The track strikes back

I've pretty much stuck to posting suggestions with a joyous theme, but as we all know, not every moment is one of exuberant joy. There are dull, drab days in our lives... and we need songs to fill them. So, here's goes...

scene/mood: Rainy, damp and dreary. Perfect song for driving down elmwood with the rain beading on the windows. Stair at the curb as it blurs in and out of focus and cue up this song...
Song: Tied to a Million Things
Artist: the Pale Pacific
Album: Urgencey
Description: Maybe it's where they're from, but the Pale Pacific have put together a track that's smooth yet driving with a somber, yet energetic feel. This indie pop track fits well into any Cd collection. The band sounds like an indie version of Toad the Wet Sprocket.... enjoy.
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Location: Amherst, NY


Category: wild life?

04/14/06 01:51 - 61ºF - ID#33914

See what's incubating at the incubator

I work in a "technology incubator" facility at UB. I know at least a few of you (e:people) know where that is.

According to UB, this is where new business is born. According to me, this is where money comes to die.


Here's the only thing incubating at this facility:


image

This pair of Canada geese have settled in in our entrance way. The male has since grown territorial and protective of the nest, so visitors to our building get gander-assaulted.

It's brilliant. All we need now is some jackass to video tape this and send it to Animal Planet. (I would, but I don't own a video camera.)

The only downside to this is going to be when a car finally rails these geese and we have a gooey, feathery mess in the parking lot. That will suck, but until then, it's a damned circus out there.

So, if you want to see moronic office workers in biz-cas friday attire getting chased by a pooping goose, visit the needlessly imposing building sorta-on UB's North Campus... if you dare!


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Location: Amherst, NY


Category: music

04/13/06 04:03 - 63ºF - ID#33913

Soundtrack entry #3

As the weather continues to improve, it's an easy pick... nothing says springtime, fresh air and all that like...

Scene: The lyrics can set the scene for you. Roll down the windows and get some fresh air. This track makes a perfect background for a sunset drive in the spingtime.
Song: Rodeo Clowns
Artist: G. Love and the Special Sauce
Album: Philadelphonic
Description: It's G. Love. You need some G. Love in your life. When spring approaches, we all need a little G Love in our lives. As always, this track provides the G Love smoothness, and the Philidelphonic sounds...


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Permalink: Soundtrack_entry_3.html
Words: 100
Location: Amherst, NY


Category: not news

04/12/06 10:34 - ID#33912

Turkeys... you heard it here first...

OK, I saw that Channel 2 ran a story last night about the increased presence of turkeys in WNY this spring. That's all well and good, but I published an expose on this situation weeks ago...

(Check the link, yo... )

If you ask me, Channel 2 and their "scientist" got all the facts wrong. Man, I really hate it when they use scientists on news broadcasts. So smug and "facty".

Sure, we've had a ideal turkey weather. I guess we're short on wolves and predators... but they missed the real facts behind the turkey explosion. They totally missed the whole conspiracy involving MTV and Ashton Kutcher.

Man, Channel 2 totally dropped the ball. But never fear, you heard the real news from me. I don't weight the story down with trivial details, like facts, either.
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Permalink: Turkeys_you_heard_it_here_first_.html
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Location: Amherst, NY


Category: signs

04/08/06 02:50 - 36ºF - ID#33911

Communicating with the Masses...

And they said "There's nothing to see in Amherst". Bah! Fooey! Look what I saw today on our beloved strip of commercial class also known as "Niagara Falls Boulevard"...

FISH MEAL


I'm not claiming to be a master of the English language, media, advertising, or marketing. Still, I feel there is absolutely nothing about this sign that would attract me to purchase "fish meal" for $299. Two hundred and ninety nine dollars is an awful lot of money for "Fish Meal". In fact, I'm pretty sure anyone who's seen "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel knows that this is also know as chum[dict]chum[/dict]. Burger King is really stretching when they try to up their bottom line with high priced fish guts. Who buys this sh*t? Those soccer moms in Clarence. That's who.

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I sure am glad they take Visa. Sign me up!

The $299 "fish meal" is worth a picture, but then, right next to it, I saw this gem...

The Worst Job In Information Technology



I used to think that "Printer repair technician" must be the worst job in the IT biz... even worse than "Customer Support Representative". That was until I saw that there was a position known as "HIGH SPEED INTERNET HOUSEKEEPER".

What the... uh... I don't even want to know what they scrub, or why.

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I'd rather be a prostitute who specializes in the oral stimulation of goat genitalia than work at a business with a sign like this.


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It would appear that the Days Inn couldn't afford a ".", much less a sign that made sense.

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Permalink: Communicating_with_the_Masses_.html
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Location: Amherst, NY


Category: music

04/06/06 09:29 - 35ºF - ID#33910

Soundtrack entry #2

Ok, it seems that my last post struck some form of chord with at least a few people, so my research wasn't just a light fluttering among my neurotransmitters. There must be something to this, and so I continue...

This little blog is about improving te soundtrack of my fellow man (or woman... or people... ah whatever... "other people")

Therefore, I'm going with a "feel good" theme right now... I am personally sick of gloomy weather and feel that spring is coming soon. In preparation, I'm prepping my soundtrack (and hopefully someone else's) with some feel good hits. So, after much delay, here's today's 'feel good' two-fer...

Mood/scene: Feeling down on oneself, left out of the mix, but ready to get back into it...
Song: you are invited
Artist: the Dismemberment Plan
Album: Emergency & I
Description: Mathy indie rock with a lot of heart. This track mixes a little bit of cheesy casio and vocals, but explodes with a nice twist. The lyrics are touching and uplifting, like the title. definitely inspires confidence and would make a great "comeback" montage.

and our "bonus track"...

Mood/Scene: Heading out with a bunch of friends. Could fit a "comeback" for anyone who's had a breakup, or run into an old flame...
Song: Outtasite (Outta mind)
Artist: Wilco
Album: Being there
Description: Well, Wilco is a class act and has a lot of great songs, but this country-fried rock ditty combines all of the heart, soul, melody, and guts anyone could want. The line " Look out, here I come again, and I'm bringin' my friends" fits well with today's feelgood comeback theme.
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Permalink: Soundtrack_entry_2.html
Words: 271
Location: Amherst, NY


Category: music

04/05/06 11:52 - 33ºF - ID#33909

Soundtrack for the moment

If you're at all like me, then there is a constant, revolving soundtrack playing in your head. I've been researching this over the past 10 years of my life. Now, my research isn't the least bit scientific. Most of it was done while getting hammered at bars. However, for sociological data, drunks at bars tend to be honest.

Now, add in that I'm a music nerd, and that influences the circles I run in, and my data might be entirely shite.

Still, this is my weblog, so I don't have to prove anything to anyone.... read on if you like subjective ramblings by elitist music nerds...

My non-scientific finding show that most people have some form of "mental soundtrack" that chronicles their current mode. Songs get stuck in our heads, or we gravitate toward certain artists at certain times in our lives.

This might be a universal human trait, or it might be the byproduct of having seen too many John Hughs films at an early age. Regardless of howit happened, it's here to stay.

Now, the next issue I have is the fact that I am a bit of a music nerd. thus, I feel you and your soundtrack shoul not suck. Far too many people end up with crappy life-soundtracks. I'm going to change that with this blog. I intend to post some fine, less-likely choices for your soundtrack.

Listen to my suggestions and your soundtrack will become better and better...

Thankfully, the RIAA hasn't found a way to collect royalties on my mental state, so I can freely choose whatever artist and song I want to play in the constant tape loop of my mind.


So, here's the first song to improve your soundtrack:

Mood/scene = Upbeat, cool, walkin down the street in the springtime...
Song: Emma Blowgun's Last Stand
Artist: Beulah
Album: When your Heartstrings Break
description: Very hip, low-fi sound. Got a nice horn line to make you feel all confident...


I will continue to add soundtrack suggestions to this page as they come to me... Please feel free to post your own. My greatest fear in life is anyone honestly believing that an Aviril Lavine song could be part of their life's soundtrack. That's like saying McDonald's is your "home cookin'".


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Permalink: Soundtrack_for_the_moment.html
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Location: Amherst, NY


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