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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mandelbrotian Rabbit-Hole

That’s me.
And, as in numerous prior Lamentations, it ain’t Easy.
I can’t help it, though…my interests are all over the map (see: ;and even this doesn’t circumscribe me,lol)
I don’t intend this as a Lament, however.
There’s a place , here in the Texas Hill Country, Pedernales Falls, State Park.(1) I haven’t been there in 30 years, but I remember it…or, rather, I remember a certain feature…
The trails that run all over the Falls, proper…going along them, there are all these holes in the ground, and in these holes, is the River…the Falls…like miniature Cenotes. Most of the Falls are above ground..but there’s a lot of it that is under…
This is analogous to how I view the world.
An example, from last night:
I’ve been in the XFiles, again…combination of Pain and Boredom and  Bad Eyes(hard to read)…and last night,  this episode had a character from Mexico…an Indio from a Tribe I’d never heard of…so I looked it up. Turns out that Mexico, in the second Article of it’s Constitution, recognizes it’s Indigenous People…not Racially, like we do; but Culturally, and Linguistically….so, there are , in effect, 63 “Official Languages” in Mexico.(“Pluricultural”)
A neat Distinction.
So I end up wandering in Wiki…( ,=>( ,=> ( => and away we go!
IPA( is a confusing morass…I think it’s because I’m doing something wrong with my computer…still, Linguistics is a rabbit-hole I fall into quite regularly.
But it doesn’t stop there. Linguistics=> Anthropology…which often leads into one of my well-worn burrows, Mythology.
I’m currently involved in a sort of Film Festival. (Netflix!) Turns out that I really Dig Italian Neorealism.
I’ve always been a Fellini fan…but Netflix has allowed me to broaden and deepen my exposure to foreign films(we call them films, instead of movies, when we’re being all sophisticated, lol)
So I’m 2/3 of the way through Roberto Rossellini’s wonderful trilogy….Roma;Citta Aperta, and Paisa….the next is Germania Anno Zero….(I recommend them all)
Due to my lifelong, if accidental, relationship with Latin(Dinosaurs!), I have accidentally come to understand, mostly, Italian….and, watching these films, I noticed that, during the dialog, a word would open up a hole….like Pedernales Falls…through which I can see Universes, lol.
(see: Finnegan’s Wake…which is deliberately structured in this fashion)
Some random word, opens up a branching cosmos,  each branch, branching, itself, a la Mandelbrot…(2)
Of course, I cannot chase each and all of these branches…most, I let slide, being satisfied with a mere passing glimpse….(otherwise, I’d never finish anything!).
Wife says that this is why folks get upset with me…I come across as a “Know-It-All”, “Lording” my brain over mere mortals.
Of course, that is not my intention…
(neither is Clarirty,(snort))
When I think about this,(Metacognition) I run into a brick wall.
Is this Learned Behaviour?(perhaps from the Ency. Brittannica? qed,etc)
Are there Physiological Differences in my Brain?
Without millions of dollars and a fMRI, these questions are likely to remain unanswered.
In real life(Meatspace), it appears that hardly anyone wants to talk about such things.
One learns to hide one’s Light…not necessarily out of Fear, but out of exhaustion.
I’m reluctant to put this little meander on my blog…so deep has the Prohibition on Smart penetrated.(3)
If this is, indeed, Learned Behaviour, then there is Potential for the Enlightenment to continue….
and this thought leads me into another Hole…why do we not encourage the learning of this Habit of Mind?
Is it a function of where I’ve lived (as in Huntsville was the wrong College Town)?
Is it a Rural Thing? A Texan Thing? A peculiarly American Thing?
Perhaps it’s a Socio-Economic Thing…a Product of our hectic struggling(which IS a Peculiarly American Thing!)
Is it Engineered, somehow…and to some Degree?
It is likely that it’s due to simple statistical distributions, (6…IQ of above around 140 is actually Maladaptive in most of our systems and institutions. Something that shocked me.), as well as the Taboos associated with Intelligence.(if you don’t toot yer horn, who will?)
 We need more of them, arguably.(4,5,6)


1. Do you have many interests?
2. Do you have many talents?
3. Has having so many interests and talents made it difficult to achieve many of the stereotypical hallmarks of success?
4. Does the question “what do you do” make you squirm?
5. Do some people tend to view you as an underachiever?
6. Do most of the rest of the folks see you as an overachiever?
7. Do you have “issues” with people or activities that seem to waste time?
8. Do you suffer fools badly and have a real aversion to conflict? (See #7!)
9. Do you tend to be compassionate, understanding, and communicative…. when not dealing with #7 or 8?
10. Are you uncomfortable in some social situations? Are you sometimes lacking in skills to tactfully extract yourself from those situations?
11. Are you so comfortable in other social situations that you are sometimes unaware of when it is time to go?
12. Do people sometimes feel you are quiet, un-talkative and uninterested in them?
13. Do the rest of the people feel you are very talkative, energetic and interested in what they have to say?
14. Does the idea of being bored seem completely irresponsible to you?
15. Do many people see you as an “expert” in a particular area? Are there almost as many of these “areas” as there are people who think you are an expert. Is the truth more along the lines that although you are more capable than 90% of people at whatever you pursue, you suspect you will never be part of that top 10% and hence a true expert in any one area. This is because people who are the best at what they do, do what they do all the time and that is the opposite of the Universal Man.”

6.      FTA:” As the IQ of a child increases, the probability that he or she has already learned something by the time the educational system teaches it increases. The more frequently this happens, the more inclined the child is to satisfy his or her curiosity outside of the curriculum. At the same time, as IQ increases, the ability to learn autonomously also increases. Depending upon the child’s disposition, somewhere in the 140’s, these two factors converge and the child becomes stubbornly autodidactic. This usually results in poor school performance which ultimately excludes them from participation in the various elite professions.”
 I didn’t know it, till much later, but this describes me, to a T. It is also one of my greatest Fears for my boys…how to head off the numerous mistakes I made, in dealing with the Lowest-Common-Denominator Problem, and, at the same time encouraging their Natural Curiosity.(Dammit! Word keeps wanting to put all of this in “bullets”.I abhor Automatica.)

 7.(see: FTA:” The majority of the extremely gifted young people in my study state frankly that for substantial periods in their school careers they have deliberately concealed their abilities or significantly moderate their scholastic achievement in an attempt to reduce their classmates' and teachers' resentment of them. In almost every case, the parents of children retained in the regular classroom with age peers report that the drive to achieve, the delight in intellectual exploration, and the joyful seeking after new knowledge, which characterized their children in the early years, has seriously diminished or disappeared completely. These children display disturbingly low levels of motivation and social self-esteem. They are also more likely to report social rejection by their classmates and state that they frequently underachieve in attempts to gain acceptance by age peers and teachers. Unfortunately, rather than investigating the cause of this, the schools attended by these children have tended to view their decreased motivation, with the attendant drop in academic attainment, as indicators that the child has "leveled out" and is no longer gifted (Gross, 1993).”)
(Ha. Thank you, Mrs Doris….and, fuck you.)

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