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Spatial Ability a Predictor of Creativity In Science 199

HonorPoncaCityDotCom writes "The gift for spatial reasoning — the kind that may inspire an imaginative child to dismantle a clock or the family refrigerator — is sometimes referred to as the 'orphan ability' for its tendency to go undetected. Now Douglas Quenqua reports that according to a study published in the journal Psychological Science, spatial ability may be a greater predictor of future creativity or innovation than math or verbal skills, particularly in math, science and related fields. 'Evidence has been mounting over several decades that spatial ability gives us something that we don't capture with traditional measures (PDF) used in educational selection,' says David Lubinski, the lead author of the study and a psychologist at Vanderbilt. 'We could be losing some modern-day Edisons and Fords.' Spatial ability can be best defined as the ability to 'generate, retain, retrieve, and transform well-structured visual images.' Some examples of great inventors who have used their high levels of spatial ability to innovate include James Watt, who is known for improving the steam engine, and James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. Nikola Tesla, who provided the basis for alternating current (AC) power systems, is said (or fabled) to have been able to visualize an entire working engine in his mind and be able to test each part over time to see what would break first. Testing spatial aptitude is not particularly difficult but is simply not part of standardized testing because it is considered a cognitive function — the realm of I.Q. and intelligence tests — and is not typically a skill taught in school. 'It's not like math or English, it's not part of an academic curriculum,' says Dr. David Geary. 'It's more of a basic competence. For that reason it just wasn't on people's minds when developing these tests.'"
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Spatial Ability a Predictor of Creativity In Science

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  • Posit two things that are really not measurable (spatial ability and creativity) and then suggest they are correlated.

    A whole lot of rainbows and moonbeams on this one.

    • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @11:20PM (#44339997) Homepage Journal

      You can easily measure them. Getting people to agree on what the measurements mean in practical terms is where we fail.

      • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @11:31PM (#44340027) Homepage Journal

        I'll expand on this.

        What can you do with two sticks and a string?

        Someone who is creative can take the sticks and string and make a variety of things or use them in a variety of ways.

        Someone with spacial abilities doesn't need to actualize those things or uses, they can visualize them in memory and then describe them (assuming they have language to do so - which is typically where formal education enhances existing abilities).

        Try it yourself. First get the supplies though. You may find that you are creative with them in your hands but may struggle to come up with ideas in memory. Children are especially better at handson creativity and struggle with spacial abilities.

        Some ideas.
        Tools, toys, art, machines, instruments. Don't forget that sticks bend and can be broken. Also you could make a component of something more complex.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Ok, well clearly you are a genius. And let's explore that --- because it's important ...

          Schools are targeted for the middle of the bell curve -- they have to be! -- and even the gifted classes are targeted for the bell curve of the gifted students --- which ... well ... it isn't easy to define gifted so lettuce not go there and ok thanks!

          A. Creativity cannot be taught.

          B. Talent is in the context of the time. It isn't fair, but it is true.

          C. The educational system never knows how to detect --- let a
          • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @01:20AM (#44340307) Journal

            Hold on there cowboy...I got this far into your response...

            Schools are targeted for the middle of the bell curve

            Yeah see, the Bell Curve is not accepted in modern science [], especially by people like Chomsky.

            Even those who would disagree with Chomsky...drop whatever school or scientist you want, the idea is defunct.

            It's important to also understand *why* because it's a good introduction to high level statistical analysis and how it can be weilded incorrectly.

            A good analogy is to the work of Freud. Practically everyone knows Freud in some way as a famous Psychologist...anyone who has *studied* Psychology at virtually any level can tell you his basic theories, and they'll tell you, as I'm sure you know, that most of his theories have been debunked and now sit in the history's museum of archaic science.

            Archaic but foundational to be sure.

            The 'Bell Curve' is a concept not a scientific law or observed phenomenon. It was constructed using the language of statistics, but an idea or concept nonetheless. It became 'popular' because of its presentation and the general emergence of data analysis in daily life due to changes in technology.

            Put your three claims to a similar level of'll see easily that they are all logical fallacies:

            A. Creativity cannot be taught.

            B. Talent is in the context of the time. It isn't fair, but it is true.

            C. The educational system never knows how to detect --- let alone help --- talented young people.

            Data and yes even test scores can tell a trained educator a lot. However...and if anything, take away this **one** truth from this post.....even the **best** data (and 'Bell Curve' is based on severely flawed methodology) is only as good as the person who is interpreting and reporting it.

            • "Bell curve" means normal distribution. Unsurprisingly, human intelligence does follow a normal distribution. Are you disputing that intelligence follows a normal distribution or that there is such a thing as a normal distribution?
              • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @04:34AM (#44340779) Homepage
                The normal distribution is just a mathematically very easy handable distribution, thus about everyone tries to morph and recalculate scales until the data set somehow follows a normal distribution. It does in no way mean that the observed phenomenon follows a normal distribution. IQ for instance seems to have had two local maxima, one slightly below the median and one around 125, but recalculating the scores of the IQ questions levelled those two maxima.

                Or to make it more explicit: IQ is especially scaled and scored to ensure the distribution of the scores is gaussian.

            • by Jmc23 ( 2353706 )
              Careful. It's possible to gravely hurt oneself with even the smallest piece of knowledge.
          • Ok, well clearly you are a genius. And let's explore that --- because it's important ... Schools are targeted for the middle of the bell curve -- ....snip.....

            Gack I hate bell shaped curves. They almost never ring true.

            My personal expectation is that the curve is more of a bactrian camel than a dromedary. Statistics are further complicated by maturation, nutrition and more.

            The interesting bit about thinking about two types of camels is that it gets easy to see that decisions based on simple statistics like averages will underspend on the population under one hump and overspend on the population under another hump.

            This is the reason that state and nationa

          • by Jmc23 ( 2353706 )
            Creativity can be taught. It's just exploring possibilities after all. To a certain extent, at intro and medium levels, 'artistic' expression is largely just the working out of possibilities in reality because the person lacks a sufficient visualization system.
        • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
          I found multi-threading easy as I just "visualize" the CPU loading registers and writing to memory, which makes it easy to "see" race conditions. Same thing with trying to design the data-flow of systems and identifying potential choke-points.
        • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @01:21AM (#44340315)
          >What can you do with two sticks and a string?
          The only answer is Nunchucks.
          • by houghi ( 78078 )

            >>What can you do with two sticks and a string?
            >The only answer is Nunchucks.
            Bow and arrow. (Nobody said they all needed to be attached)
            Whip (Nobody said you needed to use both sticks.)
            A rocket launcher (If you are in the A-Team or MacGyver)

            If you think nunchucks are the only way to kill somebody, you lack creativity. There is an article right here [] about it.

            • by Jmc23 ( 2353706 )
              Slowdown Cowboy, you're showing your psychosis.

              The GP mentionned toys as examples, nobody mentionned death and dismemberment.

              • Depending on the length of the string, hammock for a doll. BDSM rack for a doll. Snap one of the sticks into four parts and you can make a doll. A knot puzzle.

    • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @11:25PM (#44340007)
      I have seen a correlation as well. I have always had a knack for spatial relations, and some of the best IT folks I know do as well. I know it is anecdotal, but a large collection of anecdotal evidence is called data. :)
    • by alen ( 225700 )

      how is creativity not measurable?
      people go to school to learn creative skills, art, design and others. all art is based on prior art and to be a successful artist or designer you have to know why things are the way they are.

      i work close to a lot of art galleries in NYC. i work in a building with lots of creative businesses in it. people come in to work every day. in a lot of cases you can see inside and people are in meetings, working, etc.

      art isn't made sitting in starbucks all day thinking you are creativ

      • how is creativity not measurable?

        For example, do you measure quantity? (Reality television) or Quality? (Blade Runner) Finding a widely a accepted benchmark might prove to be a challenge...

      • Art has nothing to do with creativity. Design has nothing to do with it either.

        Writers are creative. Musicians are creative. Engineers are creative. Even politicians are creative. Creativity is the act and process of making something new. It is composed of existing parts and pieces whether those are paint, words, ideas or bits but the arrangement is new and unique (until it is copied - which is not a creative act, unless the process of copying is itself new).

        • Except not all engineers create something "new". Many, if not most, play a support role. And many engineering disciplines involve following some very precise sets of rules and standards, even in the "design" of new products, so opportunity for "coming up" with something unique, or patentable, is actually quite uncommon. Many new and practical concepts in product design often comes from industrial designers with more of a background in art than in science and technology.

          Most musicians are not creative eit

          • by Jmc23 ( 2353706 )
            You obviously don't play a musical instrument with any competence!

            No matter how constrained you are by a piece of music, you can still be creative in the style that you wring notes out of your instrument.

            In fact, the more constrained you are the greater the gift of creativity needed to do anything useful with whatever leeway given!

            • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
              Sentrion didn't argue that writing music does not ever take creativity, but that many successful music writers can create popular music with almost zero creativity.
      • by Jmc23 ( 2353706 )
        They learn techniques, not creativity. How you rearrange the bits you're given, regardless of field, is creativity.
    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      Spatial ability is testable. I took such a test to get into high school.It is explicitly listed on tests such as the ASVAB.

      Creativity is another thing. There are many types of creativity, and the good news that increasingly school do see the need to encourage creative learning. Of course, given that school are increasingly only concerned with test, it is difficult to find time to engage in unstructured play, which is where we learn creativity. Creativity might be a the ability to put a bunch of stuff

      • Spatial ability is testable. I took such a test to get into high school.It is explicitly listed on tests such as the ASVAB.

        I also took such a test (called the "Eleven-Plus", in the UK years ago to get placed in a selective Grammar School), and I am suprised that someone says it is "untestable".

        The Eleven-Plus consisted of three papers, Maths, English and Intelligence. The intelligence test included a lot of diagramatic puzzles such as being able to pair patterns that were both mirror-imaged and inverted. I hated the English test but loved those spatial puzzles - could do them at a glance. I am now an engineer and need to

      • Everything is testable. The question is are you actually measuring what you think you are. That's why I used the word 'measurable'.

        People have been arguing about whether their test for intelligence actually measures anything useful for decades. Spatial ability is a subset of this so pardon my skepticism.

        And as far as creativity goes, well it's ineffable. The idea you can measure it with a test is absurd. About all you can do is give examples of the results of the application of creativity.

      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
        In my own view of my-self, spatial ability and creativeness are one and the same. I do not come up with creative ways to solve a problem, I visually see the problem in my head and the answer just stares me in the face. Some people say that I am creative, while I just feel like I am just putting together a puzzle and I just see all of the pieces and know where to place them.

        It can take me a lot of blankly staring at a wall to get the image in my head, but once it's there, I typically can "see" what needs
    • yes taking apart a clock is curiosity not spatial reasoning
  • I predict (Score:5, Funny)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @11:19PM (#44339995)

    Dozens of posts will be made in this discussion where people will manage to mention that they have well above average spatial reasoning skills.

    I know this will happen because of my highly developed spatial reasoning skills - it gives me great insight into human behavior.

    • That and the fact that the slashdot audience is heavily skewed towards geeks, (or at least it was) And the best geeks are not only intelligent, but able to put things together in new and interesting combinations... So it would be more than average here. And less than average on a Jersey Shore forum.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's like (motor vehicle) driving skills. Everybody thinks they're above average.

      • Re:I predict (Score:4, Insightful)

        by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:09AM (#44340143)

        It's like (motor vehicle) driving skills. Everybody thinks they're above average.

        And if you take a survey are an F1 drivers meeting, they may be correct.

      • by quenda ( 644621 )

        It's like (motor vehicle) driving skills. Everybody thinks they're above average.

        that's true, and not at all a contradiction.

        The reason is that everyone has different criteria for what makes a good driver.
        they are not all using the same absolute scale. Some are safe. Some are fast. Some efficient.

    • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

      Dozens of posts will be made in this discussion where people will manage to mention that they have well above average spatial reasoning skills.

      I know this will happen because of my highly developed spatial reasoning skills - it gives me great insight into human behavior.

      Too bad spatial and temporal reasoning skill are not necessarily the same, so I'll take your prediction about the future with a grain of salt. Both of them deal with contextual/integrative reasoning:
      * the spatial reasoning is focusing on where in the given context - what instantaneous relation need to be there for something to happen. In the artistic creation area: think painting/sculpture
      * the temporal reasoning second one deals with when within the context - what should happen before for something el

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      But I'm a typical Slashdot user with exceptional spatial ability and no social insight. you insensitive clod.

    • And another dozen posts trying to explain that Spatial Ability isn't all that important anyway.
  • First off, it takes multiple types of people to make any real breakthrough. Most of the scientific names we remember were either extrordinarily lucky or were only the part of the team that was most adept at PR. Edison had a stable of scientists working for him, some would say all he did was steal their creativity. Watson was half of the duo credited with discovering DNA, the other half did LSD, and there were multiple other people who may have deserved more credit than Watson anyway. We find the idea of
    • by Phroggy ( 441 )

      If spacial ability in children is a predictor of their scientific creativity later in life, then if we could improve children's spacial abilities, this might produce more creative adults. The next step is to look for ways to do that, and then see if it worked.

  • As a visual thinker myself, the quantum world is very anti-visual, at least in terms of the everyday physics we know and love. While it may have served science well in the past, it may not in the future as the big mysteries are increasingly in the quantum realm.

  • They're right - it's not caught on any of the standardized tests in schools, especially now that all the stupid standardized testing has drilled down to basic math, English, and some limited science and history. I didn't find out until I went through a battery of psychological testing in 8th grade (20 years ago) because I was borderline for the EIP program and my teacher sponsor requested it.

    I guess I'm lucky I just started a new job where I'll get to happily make flow charts and diagrams all day long.
    • by BLKMGK ( 34057 )

      I was caught in about the 5th grade for the same thing - teachers recommended it and I still have the test results. I did a secondary test as well and I still remember being asked why it would be advantageous for a mouse to have more than one hole to run to - seemed like a crazy question! Nowadays the tests aren't so broad and teachers are pretty well beaten up, it's truly sad...

  • The big question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @11:40PM (#44340057) Journal

    Is good spatial ability because of / or an indicator of creativity?
    Or, is creativity because of good spatial ability?

    If spatial ability has some sort of causal effect on creativity then LEGOs (and no, I don't work for them! :) should be required part of every childhood. (How many science Nobel prize winners used LEGOs/tinker toys/wooden blocks when they were little?).

    Also it would be an interesting to see what effect watching movies or even playing video games have had (looking at images on a 2D surface) have had. Maybe that explains the term "couch potatoes" (looking at 2D images exclusively might make the brain very UN-creative). Perhaps 3D video games like FPS would more than make up for this and games like minecraft even more so. Still this is another reason why fully immersive virtual reality can't come soon enough (that is if we don't all get sick from vertigo)!

    I wonder if the stock price if LEGO has changed due to the findings from this study?

    • by BLKMGK ( 34057 )

      Legos I never had but tinker toys, erector sets, and holy smokes those 150n1 electronic kits from Radio Shack! the Erectors i didn't like so much due to sharp edges but I was all over Tinker Toys - which are now plastic crap. I agree that such toys should be required and I would also agree that FPS help creativity and spatial reasoning. Kids who can visualize and find their way around a map like we had with Quake or Wolfenstein should be paid attention to!

    • Neither. Both are indicative of general intelligence, and we don't have a thorough grasp on the mechanism for any of them yet.
  • Isn't this "spatial reasoning" the same as the knack, as described in the classic Dilbert cartoon? Doctor: "Your son has 'the knack'" Mrs. Dilbert: "can he live a normal life?" Doctor: "No. He'll be an engineer."
  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @11:57PM (#44340113) Homepage Journal

    Oddly, I *did* dismantle the family refrigerator when I was 12.

    The parents were away, and the thing stopped working. This was an older units with a separate compressor and motor - a big belted wheel that turned a pulley on the side of the compressor.

    I took off the front panel. pulled out the frame containing the motor and compressor, and discovered the relay wasn't working. I unplugged it, cleaned/sandpapered the contacts, and put it all back before the parents got home (and told them what happened).

    I also did the clock thing. I modified a mantel clock to a) not ring the hour, and b) start ringing at 2:00 AM and not stop. I hid it under my sister's bed on her wedding night.

    I strongly believe special traits can be developed, including spacial ability. If you believe Geoff Calvin [], there's no such thing as talent or innate ability. Everyone who is identified as an expert in their field (Mozart, Tiger Woods, Jerry Rice &c) had put in enormous amounts of practice before becoming expert. For instance, Mozart was composing at age 4, but didn't write anything particularly good until his twenties (IIRC - may have gotten the ages wrong).

    Feynman, for example, believed that geniuses are common, but due to lack of education, lack of encouragement, poor education, or lack of leisure time they have no chance to blossom. (Meaning: genius-level people are too busy with a job and family to really sit down and create things.)

    The literature and current studies indicate that, barring physical deformity, anyone can become an expert in just about anything. They only have to practice long enough and hard enough.

    • by BLKMGK ( 34057 )

      My fave was taking apart the carb on the family car. It was our second car so no biggie - except the primary was in the shop. I put the silly thing back together wrong and the car would only run for a few seconds before dying. I stayed up quite late tinkering with it until I finally tore it down far enough to visualize how it worked and figure out I'd been putting a part in wrong. My parents were pretty relieved and quite surprised when I found this and the car fired right up just fine. I find that doing me

    • Lack of leisure time is a serious issue. I end up trying to create late at night which is harder the older you get. Even worse is that without enough time to change gears its easy to opt for passive activities like reading or watching video of something rather than actually creating. Passive knowledge gathering is good and you can mentally model quite a lot of an idea but ultimately there is a limit to how far a mental model can go and you need to get direct feedback from an actualized model to move it forw

    • I did the "clock" thing too. What are kids going to find today when they take things apart? Oh, a chip.
    • by RR ( 64484 )

      I strongly believe special traits can be developed, including spacial ability. If you believe Geoff Calvin [], there's no such thing as talent or innate ability.

      Well, I don't believe Geoff Colvin. It's a combination of innate ability and drive, for the people lucky enough to live in that region of Maslow's hierarchy. [] And I suspect that drive is at least partially innate, too.

      I mean, without technological cheating, a blind person is never going to be an expert race car driver. A severely autistic individual is never going to be a great salesman. Though pitch identification can be trained, perfect pitch seems to be independent of musical ability. (Perfect pitch can s

  • High on spatial here (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Now for the story. As a bad kid I was locked up. During that year I went though many psychological tests and IQ tests but it wasn't my first encounter with them. Having been labeled a smart kid (reading college level in grade school), I was somewhat of an outcast because A grades were so simple for me. I think it was simple really, I had read beyond the classes so the material was sometimes below me. I wasn't afraid to ask questions but I have had one lingering demon - math.

    Something about the rote memoriza

  • I looked at these tests and tried to figure it out for a bit but unless I actually cut those things out and folded them up there is just no way I could figure those things out. For some reason I just can't visualize at all. I don't think in pictures or dream in pictures. I am definitely creative though based on what I have done and others evaluations of what I have done. I often come up with unique ways to solve problems that others just can't figure out how they work even after they see them work.

    Overall t

    • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @01:34AM (#44340361) Homepage

      I looked at these tests and tried to figure it out for a bit but unless I actually cut those things out and folded them up there is just no way I could figure those things out.

      Visualizing unfolded parts is a skill that improves with practice. Anybody who does sheet metal work sees such problems routinely. There are programs for this, such as eMachineShop or Autodesk Inventor. Rectangular sheet metal design is not that hard. Origami, though...

      There's a higher level of visualization than this. I used to develop high-end animation software, so I met pro 3D animators. I've seen one draw a head by drawing a series of 2D cross sections freehand, then skinning it. I can use the 3D animation program, but I can't do that.

      Sculptors have that skill, too. There's a classic line: "The story is told that the Pope visited Michelangelo in his studio one day, and on seeing him sculpting his statue of David, the Pope asked, "How do you know what to cut away?" The great artist's response was, "I simply chip away anything that doesn't look like David."'

      That is not a joke. There are people whose 3D visualization is that good.

      This may be inherited. I know a good artist whose drawings have hung in the Smithsonian. She has that kind of visualization ability. So do her son and daughter, although neither works as an artist.

      • The problem is that I don't visualize at all. When I close my eyes I don't see any pictures. No dreams in pictures, thinking in pictures etc. Doing this kind of stuff is just not something I can do.

        I can think of very complex problems in ways that others think of as very strange though but lead to very elegant solutions. I tend to be extremely good at taking something apart in my mind and turning it into a computer simulation or solve it in a very unorthodox and simple way.

        I tried to learn to visualize thin

        • by homb ( 82455 )

          Well I am not so sure that the test linked at in the summary is that effective. I personally am pretty good at spatial stuff, and on my first pass of the test it took me a good 15 minutes, scoring 8/9. I thought I did well. But then about 15mn later I showed it to my father in law and went through it again. It took me all of 3 minutes tops, not because I'd done it before but because I'd gotten much better at it. I didn't even need to visualize the cubes any more, I just looked at the flat patterns. I scored

  • When I was in school we got tested for mechanical and spatial reasoning skills as well as math, reading, blah blah. I scored over 90th percentile in mechanical and spatial reasoning and also pegged reading comprehension. Math? I was below middle of the pack, like 45% percentile. Math just never made sense to me but given the chance to work on something mechanical I'm all over it and can often figure out how something works or how ro assemble it just by looking at the pieces. Computers, likewise, are somethi

  • What exactly does one mean by "scientific creativity?" Is it a simple knack for problem solving, or is it something more nuanced and complex, like the sort of ability to postulate entire new theories based on scientific evidence (e.g., Newton and Einstein?) And what exactly does one mean by "spatial ability?" Is such a thing measurable, and if so, what is the scope of such a notion?

    Suppose we are speaking of some notion of creativity in the sense of the latter above, and furthermore, that by spatial abil

  • In the west we tend to reason with words internally. It is difficult to get most people to a real skill level with words and reasonable thoughts. If we tried to deviate and put school hours into spatial reasoning we might cause a loss of verbal cognition and internal dialogues. One would think that games like basketball and baseball would give young people pretty good spatial reasoning as knowing where to be when the fly ball lands involves spatial skills.

  • by novium ( 1680776 )

    I'm disinclined to buy this, although that's admittedly because of my own biases and experience. It's just that my spacial reasoning skills (as of that of my sister, who is one of the most creative and witty people I've ever met) are so insanely poor that it actually counted as a learning disability in school. (And thank god for that, because if I'd had to stick with the "visual math" curriculum my school'd been pushing, I'd still probably being trying to complete per-algebra...or at least their bizarre, my

  • >David Lubinski, the lead author of the study and a psychologist at Vanderbilt. 'We could be losing some modern-day Edisons and Fords.'

    ah yes. Choices choices. Do I want my kid to grow up to be a patent troll? or a slave driver?
    Its so nice to read that David Lubinski, psychologist no less, knows a thing or two about engineering and innovation when he studies them.

  • I have seen hundreds of people who have good spatial skills & always suspected that is what led to the interest in STEM.

    The reason I say this is that young kids with spatial skills develop those before they even hear the acronym STEM before eve kindergarten. They play with tools and disassemble and reassemble all sorts of things...just like I did as far back as I could remember to around 3-4 years of age.

    Some of these people I knew went to college, technical schools and others became skilled builders,

  • ... if you get away from the games long enough to create something. Cool.

  • Memory and spatial ability, and how quickly things a learned in each area. I have a very high degree of spatial ability, and became very good at tech. My guidance councilor insisted that I go to college when all I wanted to do was fix TVs, went one semester and dropped out because I discovered computers and that I didn't need someone to teach it to me. I could fit the pieces of a computer program in my head and spill it out from my fingertips. 35 years later, I'm making over 6 figures without a college ed
  • Testing for intelligence shouldn't be just about what you know and how much you know.. too me, that's more like testing for memory retention. But how do you learn? What do you do with what you know? these can offer much more practical views into a person's intelligence and even dare I say, the level of productivity you could expect. How well do you use what you know?

The moon is a planet just like the Earth, only it is even deader.