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R Buckminster Fuller vs Capitalism

10:17 am in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

R Buckminster Fuller

R Buckminster Fuller was a man ahead of his time. He was a design genius and a global thinker who came up with the most advanced and amazing designs for housing and transportation. The geodesic dome which are used world wide and Dymaxion Car were ahead of their time. But it was his philosophy and world view that I found the most attractive.

As the picture states we as humans no longer have to toil to feed, clothe and house ourselves as we did in antiquity.   This came about with the industrial revolution and the ability to generate more product than could be sold. When governments had to give price supports to agriculture and buy up surpluses to keep it in business.

The same for other products and services.   Fuller saw this as the picture/quote above states.   So what is our problem ?

It’s not employment. It’s not inequality. It’s not racism, or sexism or any other ism

Or problem is with out thinking. Our self view, which as WendyDavis points out, we have been indoctrinated with, yay I would say brain washed with since we were born.. Our self image as it were.

We judge ourselves and others – our self worth and others worth – by what they have and can get monetarily and otherwise. That unless one in toiling for what they get and are remunerated some arbitrary value, they are some how less worthy of the basics of existence.

But how is that the actor in a daytime TV drama is worth more than the garbage person ? How is that the guy who designs on a computer some idiotic electronic toy worth more that the person who serves my dinner ? Or grows my food or keeps my road free of potholes the size of bomb craters ?

We trouw out daily tuns of food, have 100s of houses sitting empty, throw away perfectly good clothes and electronics only to have them pile up with nothing else better to do with them. Plastics litter the landscape and oceans. Yet we cannot adequately feed or house people ?

It  is NOT or government and economy that needs changing, it our thinking that needs changing. Our view of ourselves and the the world that needs changing.  Our capitalistic values. We live now in a world with satellites and space stations and the ability to talk around the world from a park bench and yet our world view and especially our values have not changed much since Louis XIV and it is killing us and destroying the planet we are perfectly able to save. Unless you want to spend your life or you children spend their lives living in a hovel or cave, we need to change this.

The tyranny of the new philistines.

8:30 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

untitled - flickr

They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want . . . they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. - George Carlin

Society, or the common good, as Chomsky called it, encourages people to focus on themselves and their own success. Programs such as public education and Social Security, which are now under attack, are based on a different perception. “They are based on the perception that we should care about other people….That’s a dangerous perception. It means you should be a human being and not a pathological creature,”

I was looking to see what new software was available to design printed circuit boards just now. My main criteria was for a package that would easily allow me to use a GUI to design the foot prints of new parts I may come across or old parts I may want to use or even ones I make myself. IE their physical characteristics and how they would fit on the board.  I was not surprised to find than few of the packages even allowed this.  Most relied on libraries of parts that come with the packages or supplied by the part manufacturers.  So I will continue to use the one I have which does allow this even though it is lacking in some other areas. I can get around this.

This seems typical of today that if you want to be out of the mainstream….out of what has been determine as normal, you are at best out of luck.

Homogenized plain vanilla society of robotic programmed thinking and acting and speaking has become more and more institutionalized.   And enforced by the police state as we are seeing. Step out of line and the man come and take you way.

And this brain washing and indoctrination begins in the schools.  This was the main point of Norm Chomsky’s talk.

I was quite fortunate growing up. I was not really pushed in any one direction by either of my parents. Especially not by my mother who raised my brothers, sisters and I after my father passed away.  She was an artist and her temperament and belief was to forge ahead in what every direction ones spirit and interests take. Quite the dichotomy  of public education where one is classed in an either or situation. College bound or not.   Male or female. And even after civil rights, white or not.  And as Malvina Reynolds said in her song, destined for Little Boxes. With the primary focus is on personal gain and consumerism rather than cooperation, common good and concern for one’s fellows. Programmed sociopathy.

A situation that Gui Rochat found so appalling when he arrived here from Europe. What he called “Rational Totalitarianism“  in this essay from Counterpunch.

Even now the socialization process for US children is strictly slanted to bourgeois standards and geared towards security, consumption and materialist competition. It is a yoke not easily shed, which sadly later on often leads to desperation amidst a fulsome artificial happiness. Listening to that what cannot be thought of is lacking, preventing all access to an inner life. Individual materialist isolation unfortunately creates strangulated human souls. Any deviation from this set pattern is discouraged in pre-school children as being anti-social, nerdish and not mentally normal. Those who infamously broke away were those sensitive individuals who shielded themselves by eccentricity, chemical or alcoholic dependency gathering then in enclaves like Big Sur, San Francisco and the  Village and if they could afford it, fled abroad.

Imagination is already silenced in small children when their abundantly produced toys of all description or type pre-empt the eagerly growing mind from wandering beyond the limits of daily reality. Thus isolated from an early age and carefully conditioned to conform to a competitive emptiness, as soon as they are removed from their familiar environment they feel defenseless and out of anxiety react with aggression. This appears daily within the Republic, where threats of unfamiliarity and displacement are counter acted immediately by violent acts and Big Sur was no exception despite its bohemian isolation.


The definition of totalitarian in Webster is: ‘designating of, or like a government or state in which one political group maintains complete control’. One could well expand this definition from the actual political structure of this Republic to a singular mind pattern that seems to define its people. In fact when a human being is fully dependent on outer rules of behavior and when these are internalized as the sole allowable mode of thinking, the individual’s personality is forced to function at the exclusion of any other potential human reality. Even when eagerly seeking enlightenment from the various gurus that came to ply their trade in California the participants in meditation were hampered by their inability to abandon the commands of their positivist indoctrination.

Capitalist reality is the intense conditioning to prevailing standards of a binary either/or social control, like the twin towers of the former World Trade Center in New York which were fully identical but symbolically signified together the indestructible monopoly of American economic power. Similarly the thoughts of US citizens appear to veer between two alternatives which are equal, like the Republican and Democratic parties, as Twiddle Dum and Twiddle Dee, fragile identical twin white eggs with attitude. Either/or exercises of by rote learned and from an early age on deliberately inculcated modes of thought that operate chiefly by what are erroneously called multiple choices, only signify a cosmetic binary difference. But these binary choices are firmly anchored in the underlying tough monolith of established capitalist values. Imagination is entirely suppressed as it would threaten the status quo of socially approved behavior. It prevents a functioning healthy   democracy because that demands a manifold spectrum of untainted choices in one’s private as well as in one’s social life.

This totalitarianism of binary thinking is what keeps the Republic in business because its various cultural divergences are a strong centrifugal force. However it impoverishes the exploration of different realities and equally of all political discourse. You are either my comrade or my opponent, either complicit in creating profit or a ‘mark’ to be exploited, either a productive or an unproductive person and in all of these cases of fictitious alternatives the protagonists are unhappily tied into an unbreakable mental bondage. The question is how to successfully disrupt these chains of mechanical thought and how to liberate minds from false opposites. So far the totalitarian base for domination remains untouched. Only when the sheer illogicality of the present system becomes exposed by a slow attrition of these prefabricated beliefs can there be any hope for the struggle of what was already expressed in a Swiss revolutionary song of 1810: ”Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten …” (our thoughts are free, who can guess their content ?).

A rather harsh but fairly accurate description, I believe.  Which is why this attack on education and the social safety net.  With universities becoming more and more an indoctrination into a robotic business world and public schools attacked for teaching critical thinking skills. Where people would question our capitalistic system geared only toward the elites. The new philistines as it were.

What is ironic in this case is that these attacks are coming not only from the very rich but also from the bourgeoisie middle class and professionals as well. Those with college educations, which goes to show just how deep this indoctrination has gone.

I was lucky in that I had but a brief encounter with the planned suburban communities of boxes and was free to explore my interests in techie things unhindered, if not guided.   And that I had given up on school as anything but a source of sometimes useful information. This of course made it difficult to fit into “normal society”, most of which I have come to loath.  Free thinkers being the real enemy of such a society as has been shown by Brave New World and THX1138.

But all is not lost or gloom and doom. There are alternative communities and techies exploring new ways to use technology for community benefit.   And learning how to make their own drones to keep an eye on big brother. Which big brother grudgingly admits they have little control over.   People – few at first but more and more – talking more openly about throwing capitalism out the widow and trying something else.  All flying under the radar, as it were. Free thinkers all. Even causing the so called liberals and progressives rancor, as they too have been indoctrinated with the capitalistic myth.

It was the free thinkers that brought us the arts and the technological advances and scientific advances.  Robotic mediocrity only brings stagnation and indifference.

Death by Degrees or The new Feudalism

6:30 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Feudalism - flickr

I have an Amateur Radio License – Advanced Class. To get a license you have to pass a fairly intense examination where you are quizzed on rules and regulations, operating practice and pretty heavy technical material.  Each section contains 35-50 questions and there are 3 sections.

There was also a morse code requirement but that was dropped when the need for morse code skills was significantly diminished.  There was also a time when to work at a commercial broadcast facility or on any kind of commercial communications equipment required a commercial radio telephone license. But this requirement was dropped by the FCC. Though most employers still require some sort of certification.

What all this adds up to is that to perform in any given discipline, one needs to prove that one knows what the hell one is doing.  Which is only reasonable since you would not want a doctor who does not know any medicine. Training and experience are essential.

But we have turned our educational system into a credentialed pay-to-play stratified feudal system.  Where an advanced degree from an expensive institution is necessary to enter.

According to many on the American left, the “elitist” is a right-wing bogeyman sustained by the mendacious organs of the actual elite — the moneyed one — and by the reactionary reflexes of an anti-intellectual public. Working-class whites, we’re told, vote in the interests of billionaires on the mistaken assumption that culture, not economics, is the main political battlefield, and that godless eggheads, not greedy businessmen, are their true class enemies. The 1-percenters bankrolling the Tea Party thereby deflect the attention of “bitter clingers” away from the wealthy and toward the clubby arrogance of the other 1 percent — the fraction of American students who graduate each year from the top tier of colleges.

The eggheads make sensible targets. Over the last thirty years, the university has replaced the labor union as the most important institution, after the corporation, in American political and economic life. As union jobs have disappeared, participation in the labor force, the political system, and cultural affairs is increasingly regulated by professional guilds that require their members to spend the best years of life paying exorbitant tolls and kissing patrician rings. Whatever modest benefits accreditation offers in signaling attainment of skills, as a ranking mechanism it’s zero-sum: the result is to enrich the accreditors and to discredit those who lack equivalent credentials.

Jean Baudrillard once suggested an important correction to classical Marxism: exchange value is not, as Marx had it, a distortion of a commodity’s underlying use value; use value, instead, is a fiction created by exchange value. In the same way, systems of accreditation do not assess merit; merit is a fiction created by systems of accreditation. Like the market for skin care products, the market for credentials is inexhaustible: as the bachelor’s degree becomes democratized, the master’s degree becomes mandatory for advancement. Our elaborate, expensive system of higher education is first and foremost a system of stratification, and only secondly — and very dimly — a system for imparting knowledgen+1

Where the degree is everything and how you get it and whether or not you actually know anything has become less and less important.  There are people who will write your reports and theses for you for a price, even making sure that they are done in your style.  Places who will teach you how to pass any test and even have examples from major universities for you to study.

It has become a business,  even with business increasingly calling the shots at state universities.

And there is another aspect of this situation that is rarely talked about. That is those who to not parrot the “common wisdom” regardless of their experience or credentials, are summarily dismissed and their ideas discarded.  There is also this belief that if one is not earning a living with ones skills and knowledge, one is not taken seriously.  This seems to be especially true in the arts.

The higher the degree and the more impressive the institution and credentials, the more we genuflect toward them. I find this all rather ironic since most here would not question that those who came from the Chicago Business School – regardless of their credentials – are basically full of cow excrement.

When I started out working in the radio electronics field I had to prove I knew what I was doing. Not by any educational papers, but by actually being able to work on the equipment. This was also the case when I entered the computer field years later, I had to be able to write programs in the required language.

My skills were more important than any credentials I might have.  Up until the early 1960s the FCC test for Ham Radio and commercial licenses were not multiple choice. You had to write down the answer and if the question was about a particular circuit, you had to draw it and label all the parts as well.

Now we have a system where you have to pay to even get the chance to get the degree and many are left with unpayable debts, an unmarketable degree and if the current group of legislators are any indication – little knowledge as well .  With those on the bottom left completely out.


Why Education is this country SUCKS !

8:27 am in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Education - Vectorportal

Education Word Cloud - Vectorportal

And why Finland’s is so much better than ours……From The Atlantic Monthly.

Finland’s approach to education is very different than ours and even that of most of the rest of the world.

Finland’s schools owe their newfound fame primarily to one study: the PISA survey, conducted every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The survey compares 15-year-olds in different countries in reading, math, and science. Finland has ranked at or near the top in all three competencies on every survey since 2000, neck and neck with superachievers such as South Korea and Singapore. In the most recent survey in 2009 Finland slipped slightly, with students in Shanghai, China, taking the best scores, but the Finns are still near the very top. Throughout the same period, the PISA performance of the United States has been middling, at best.

Pasi Sahlberg, director of the Finnish Ministry of Education’s Center for International Mobility and author of the new book Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? has made numerous visits to this country and official here to Finland to find out what is so different. But the people here still do not get it. With all the talks he has given, the one big reason for Finland’s success in education just goes right by them.

During the afternoon that Sahlberg spent at the Dwight School, a photographer from the New York Times jockeyed for position with Dan Rather’s TV crew as Sahlberg participated in a roundtable chat with students. The subsequent article in the Times about the event would focus on Finland as an “intriguing school-reform model.”

Yet one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. “Oh,” he mentioned at one point, “and there are no private schools in Finland.”

This notion may seem difficult for an American to digest, but it’s true. Only a small number of independent schools exist in Finland, and even they are all publicly financed. None is allowed to charge tuition fees. There are no private universities, either. This means that practically every person in Finland attends public school, whether for pre-K or a Ph.D.

This is the one idea that people here do not get. That education in Finland is considered a right of everyone.   Not only that, but there is little – if any – competition in their educational system. Read the rest of this entry →

Economic Fix or Long Term Recovery

5:51 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

I generally try to avoid fast food, preferring to find some place where I can get a meal made fresh.  I also don’t like to make snap decisions or engage in impulse buying. I like to research as much as possible to avoid making some decision that I may regret later on.

Sony was the first Japanese company to market and sell transistor radios in the US. It was able to do this because of their approach to the manufacture of transistors. Though Fairchild and Raytheon both had developed a way to mass produce the transistor, they we focused on making each one work perfectly. This caused their devices to be much more expensive and put their transistor sets out of the reach of many for a long time.

Sony on the other hand too a different approach. When they mass produced the transistors, they assumed that a certain percentage would fail but by determining why they failed and updating their manufacturing techniques, they were able to get the number of failures down fairly quickly while keeping the price per unit low.  This long term model business model is how and why the Japanese were able to beat the US in solid state technology.

Nissan took a similar approach to selling their cars here as well.

But none of this is surprising. This country has always been focused on the short term, immediate gratification.  Looking for the next quick fix or instant high. From the gold rush days to the oil speculators to the various land and real estate speculations.  The Stock market itself being all about instant fortunes. And of course the last big economic bubble was about instant gratification and wealth. From the home owners to the mortgage companies to the investment banks.  And like drug addicts and alcoholics people went for them in droves. And like all substance abusers,  were left with with a major hangover and withdrawal after words.

The political arena was not immune either with nearly all politicians going for the politically expedient to satisfy the public’s insatiable appetite for the next quick fix and the next feel good promise.  But trying to satisfy the users and the dealers both comes with some very real risks.  This short term view could backfire on all parties concerned.

Now we have a major problem with the economy caused by all this quest for some immediate financial gratification. With extreme right wanting all taxes removed immediately and the government shrunk to the size of a pea. The extreme left wanting to implement a socialist agenda that may not apply in all situations. Neither of these  proposals are practical and both could lead to even worse outcomes.

Taxes will have to be raised. If not now, soon. To pay for all those services people have come to rely on and expect. The private sector cannot and will not provide them. And attempting to implement a socialist health care or other system on an economy that is already reeling from a major downturn could have unintended consequences as well.   One needs to step back to get the whole picture. Case in point. The rescue of the auto industry was not just for the auto industry but for those companies that supplied them as well.  Many of which would have gone under making a horrible situation even worse.  Now just think about what would have happened if all the insurance companies were to be immediately put out of business. The initial emotional gratification would have been great but the economic consequences of all those people now out of work would not have been so great. Not to mention the effect it would have had on the retirement accounts and pension funds. Sooner or later it will come to pass simply because we will have no choice but timing is everything.

As a culture we need to ditch this behavior of only looking at the short term benefits and emotional stimulus when making our decisions or setting policy.  We need to act on life rather than react to it.   I know this is not a popular stand to take but the only instant thing I have found that does not leave a bad taste in your mouth is coffee. And only with plenty of sugar.

A Crisis of Wisdom

6:31 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

“It is not the same to speak of bulls as it is to be in a bull ring” – Spanish Proverb

Use to be that when you started working at some company or even a small business, regardless of what your schooling was, you started near the bottom or as an assistant of some sort. Only after you were there long enough, did you begin to get more and more responsibility.  Only after you had shown that you had gained enough experience at your present position and competence, were you given a promotion.  Experience was quite often valued as highly as education and in some areas higher.

It is said the wisdom is what you get from experience and experience is what you get from surviving your mistakes.  It wasn’t that long ago the nearly everyone, except the very well off, got some life experience outside their little circle they grew up in. Few went to private schools – public school was the norm. Nearly everyone was required to put in some time in the military – which meant spending time in some foreign country.  All of this required that one have contact with people from varying backgrounds.  Life itself gave you experience. No organized activities when you were young. You had to make your own fun and amusement.  Technology was not nearly the plug-and-play as it is today.  If you wanted to fool with radios and stereos and cars and even TV, you eventually had to learn something about them.

Flying was too expensive for most people and families, so vacations and travel meant driving or sometimes going by train.  You got to see more and experience more. And with luck all this experience gave you some insight and eventually wisdom.   But not from doing it correctly, but from making mistakes.  From missing your train or taking the wrong turn or getting into a fight at school or striking out at sand lot baseball or watching the smoke come out of that stereo kit you just put together or have the engine in your souped up Chevy throw a rod .

Nearly all this has changed though.  Programmed organized activities, private schools, gated communities, specialized higher education and going right from school into their dream job, pug and play technology that is thrown away wen it out lives it’s usefulness.  More and more people living their lives in a bubble and having little experience outside this bubble. All designed to minimize failure and mistakes.  And this I believe is a mistake. I remember hearing a comedian that came up through vaudeville lament that the comedians of today don’t have anyplace where they can be bad.

What we have now in government and business are people with limited life experience and there for little wisdom.  How can you expect anyone like that to have any connection or alliance with those outside their limited experience ? To be able to relate to anyone who is not from the same socio- economic or experiential sphere ? To know anything about the company they manage if they had not worked there before ? Who can know what’s like to be near the bottom when they spent all their lives at the top ?

The problem we have is one not just of political and philosophical differences, but one of lack of wisdom and experience and breadth of life.  One of narro-minded  people who have lead narrow lives.

“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
– Tom Bodett

“Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish… Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.” – Hermann Hesse


Chris Hedges’s on the Endgame Strategy

9:33 am in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

He’s not at all upbeat on the future, to say the least. But does say their are steps that can be taken to prepare for it.

Pulitzer-winning author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has a revolutionary worldview. In the video below, his recent “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters is read aloud by George Atherton.

His conclusions are chilling, but not entirely hopeless.

“We will have to take care of ourselves,” he wrote. “We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.”

This video is from YouTube user wepollock, published June 22, 2011.

And here is the text that was done for Addbusters.

Hedges does say that one of the only ways to survive is to form our own communities outside the establishment.

The game is over. We lost. The corporate state will continue its inexorable advance until two-thirds of the nation and the planet is locked into a desperate, permanent underclass. Most of us will struggle to make a living while the Blankfeins and our political elites wallow in the decadence and greed of the Forbidden City and Versailles. These elites do not have a vision. They know only one word: more.  They will continue to exploit the nation, the global economy and the ecosystem. And they will use their money to hide in gated compounds when it all implodes. Do not expect them to take care of us when it starts to unravel. We will have to take care of ourselves. We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.

Pizza Verdi

3:45 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Now pay close attention to the video before you jump to any conclusions. The sounds you hear in the beginning and what you see.

The Death of Common Sense and the Rise of the Clever Sillies

10:54 am in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

It works for politics as well.

Although it appears that the country…even the world has gone off it’s rocker and the the inmates are currently running the asylum,  what really maybe happening is that we have jettisoned a very basic part of the human condition while perusing with great gusto the fruits of intellect and knowledge. That which was an innate part of the life experience call common sense

Merriam-Webster Online defines common sense as beliefs or propositions that most people consider prudent and of sound judgment, without reliance on esoteric knowledge or study or research, but based upon what they see as knowledge held by people “in common”. Thus “common sense” (in this view) equates to the knowledge and experience which most people already have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have. According to Cambridge Dictionary, the phrase is good sense and sound judgment in practical matters (the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way).

Which leads, hopefully to wisdom and good judgment. 

Wisdom is a deep understanding and realizing of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to choose or act or inspire to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time, energy or thought. It is the ability to optimally (effectively and efficiently) apply perceptions and knowledge and so produce the desired results. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true or right coupled with optimum judgment as to action. Synonyms include: sagacity, discernment, or insight. Wisdom often requires control of one’s emotional reactions (the “passions”) so that one’s principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one’s actions.

Bruce G. Charlton gives an explanation of this lack of common sense in those with higher intelligence, though I think this may also apply to those of just above average intelligence as well.  He calls them “The Clever Sillies”

In previous editorials I have written about the absent-minded and socially-inept ‘nutty professor’ stereotype in science, and the phenomenon of ‘psychological neoteny’ whereby intelligent modern people (including scientists) decline to grow-up and instead remain in a state of perpetual novelty-seeking adolescence. These can be seen as specific examples of the general phenomenon of ‘clever sillies’ whereby intelligent people with high levels of technical ability are seen (by the majority of the rest of the population) as having foolish ideas and behaviours outside the realm of their professional expertise. In short, it has often been observed that high IQ types are lacking in ‘common sense’ – and especially when it comes to dealing with other human beings.

He goes on to state that high intelligence, though necessary for solving the problems of quantum mechanics and molecular biology, falls short when dealing with people and everyday problems.

As examples of how IQ may help with evolutionary novelties, it has been abundantly-demonstrated that increasing measures of IQ are strongly and positively correlated with a wide range of abilities which require abstract reasoning and rapid learning of new knowledge and skills; such as educational outcomes, and abilities at most complex modern jobs [1], [2], [3], [4], [5] and [11]. Science and mathematics are classic examples of problem-solving activities that arose only recently in human evolutionary history and in which differential ability is very strongly predicted by relative general intelligence [12].

However, there are also many human tasks which our human ancestors did encounter repeatedly and over manifold generations, and natural selection has often produced ‘instinctive’, spontaneous ways of dealing with these. Since humans are social primates, one major such category is social problems, which have to do with understanding, predicting and manipulating the behaviours of other human beings [13], [14], [15] and [16]. Being able to behave adaptively in dealing with these basic human situations is what I will term having ‘common sense’.

And there is a strong tendency for those with higher intelligence to favor this above the use of common sense. When dealing with social issues, this is can lead to erroneous results.

So, the greater cognitive ability of higher IQ is also accompanied by a somewhat distinctive high IQ personality type. My suggested explanation for this association is that an increasing level of IQ brings with it an increased tendency to use general intelligence in problem-solving; i.e. to over-ride those instinctive and spontaneous forms of evolved behaviour which could be termed common sense.

The over-use of abstract reasoning may be most obvious in the social domain, where normal humans are richly equipped with evolved psychological mechanisms both for here-and-now interactions (e.g. rapidly reading emotions from facial expression, gesture and posture, and speech intonation) and for ‘strategic’ modelling of social interactions to understand predict and manipulate the behaviour of others [16]. Social strategies deploy inferred knowledge about the dispositions, motivations and intentions of others. When the most intelligent people over-ride the social intelligence systems and apply generic, abstract and systematic reasoning of the kind which is enhanced among higher IQ people, they are ignoring an ‘expert system’ in favour of a non-expert system.


Indeed, I suggest that higher levels of the personality trait of Openness in higher IQ people may the flip-side of this over-use of abstraction. I regard Openness as the result of deploying abstract analysis for social problems to yield unstable and unpredictable results, when innate social intelligence would tend to yield predictable and stable results.

In the past if one survived long enough, one would gain the experience needed to acquire common sense and hopefully the wisdom to use it regardless of ones intellect.  Now a days people have the ability to avoid this experience to the detriment of their overall understanding of life and society. And championing some intellectual ideology that is best left in the classroom.   Unfortunately we seek out these people for our leaders and representatives, confusing intellect with wisdom.
Worse yet we now encourage our youth to pursue knowledge an intellect over experience and wisdom, when they all are necessary.