Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New mental exercise

I think I may have developed a new mental exercise. A new aspect of IQ previously ignored revealed itself, the ability to "learn" new material. I wonder if the habit of understanding new material can also be cultivated and strengthed. It seems as if children develop the habit of understanding new material when they are constantly challenged to do so and as we grow into adults we are challenged less and less hence this habit falls by the wayside.

So the new mental exercise will be to "understand" or "learn" a new idea, technique, or event everyday. This is a little vague because how do we know if the thing is new? I'm thinking that this new idea should be something unrelated to our daily ideas or thought processes. For instance if we study physics all day then a good canidate for learning a new idea should come from art or music. If the day before our new idea came from art or music then the new idea for the next day should come from politics and so on.

We should try to "learn" as many ideas from as many different fields so that our minds will be in habit of understanding and learning new things. We can even specialize in one field, we can challenge ourselves to ask deep questions from that field that haven't been addressed.

John G.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

IQ and Genetics II

I think I should add to my previous statements regarding IQ. Given that if IQ is partially or even mostly genetic then it implies that the part of the brain/mind responsible for general cognitive ability is simply an algorithm.

The issue will then turn to the ability learn and execute the algorithm. Computer science states there are certain basic computational requirements to emulate another machine, basically the machine must be a Universal Turning Machine:

Universal Turning Machine

Hence any human capable of performing the actions of the Universal Turing Machine will be able to reason at the highest IQ level. Of course in reality the algorithm will be tailored to humans and will not be in binary, but the above argument shows that this is theoretically feasible.

Another question that may arise is; if it is possible to emulate the cognitive algorithm of anyone else, then why aren't there more geniuses? The quick answer is because we don't have the complete cognitive algorithm of any genius. In fact it may be impossible for the genius him or herself to explain their own cognitive algorithm, for it would require a meta-algorithm above and beyond their own cognitive algorithm which falls victim to Godel's incompleteness theorem. The best we can do is read their thoughts in their journals, diaries, and notes, which give us a partial insight into their cognitive algorithm.

Some might ask if it is possible to emulate at least partially the cognitive algorithms of others then why are there so many people with low IQ's? Since we cannot load the algorithm via a CD-ROM or a DVD-ROM into our minds we must content ourselves with guessing at the cognitive algorithm and then trying to execute that algorithm. Since we are really emulating another mind it will be very computationally demanding to input and execute the algorithm. As such it will take time for our brains to make themselves efficient at executing the partial cognitive algorithm.

John G.