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Verbal and nonverbal cues that convey interest in dating
Consider for a moment Srinivasa Ramanujan, one of the greatest mathematicians of all time.
This is important and I want to discuss it eventually, but not now.
What I want to discuss now is people who feel personally depressed. There’s a moral gulf here, and I want to throw stories and intuitions at it until enough of them pile up at the bottom to make a passable bridge.
They say “Sure, my daughter feels down, but she needs to realize that’s no excuse for shirking her responsibilities.
She needs to just pick herself up and get on with her life.” On the other hand, most depressed people say that their depression is more fundamental than that, not a thing that can be overcome by willpower, certainly not a thing you can just ‘shake off’.
Once again, the compassionate/sympathetic/progressive side of the debate is that depression is something like biological, and cannot easily be overcome with willpower and hard work. There are frequent political debates in which conservatives (or straw conservatives) argue that financial success is the result of hard work, so poor people are just too lazy to get out of poverty.
Then a liberal (or straw liberal) protests that hard work has nothing to do with it, success is determined by accidents of birth like who your parents are and what your skin color is et cetera, so the poor are blameless in their own predicament.And pretty much all of those people still got more educational opportunities than Ramanujan did. First, we can say that a lot of intelligence is innate, that Ramanujan was a genius, and that we mortals cannot be expected to replicate his accomplishments.Or second, we can say those poor people are just not trying hard enough.And although not all believers in complete voluntary control of weight are mean to fat people, the people who are mean to fat people pretty much all insist that weight is voluntary and easily changeable.Although there’s a lot of debate over the science here, there seems to be broad agreement on both sides that the more compassionate, sympathetic, progressive position, the position promoted by the kind of people who are really worried about stigma and self-esteem, is that weight is biologically determined. Sometimes I see depressed patients whose families really don’t get it.He taught himself mathematics by borrowing books from local college students and working through the problems on his own until he reached the end of the solveable ones and had nowhere else to go but inventing ways to solve the unsolveable ones.There are a lot of poor people in the United States today whose life circumstances prevented their parents from reading books to them as a child, prevented them from getting into the best schools, prevented them from attending college, et cetera. I sometimes blog about research into IQ and human intelligence.I think most readers of this blog already know IQ is 50% to 80% heritable, and that it’s so important for intellectual pursuits that eminent scientists in some fields have average IQs around 150 to 160.But the very phrase tells us where we should classify that belief. I got a perfect score in Verbal, and a good-but-not-great score in Math.Ramanujan’s genius is a “gift” in much the same way your parents giving you a trust fund on your eighteenth birthday is a “gift”, and it should be weighted accordingly in the moral calculus. I shouldn’t pretend I’m worried about this for the sake of the poor. And in high school English, I got A s in all my classes, Principal’s Gold Medals, 100%s on tests, first prize in various state-wide essay contests, etc.