Intelligence and The Flawed Assumption of Transferable Knowledge

February 19th, 2023

General Intelligence training doesn’t exist, knowledge is domain limited and has extremely limited transfer.

You know those human benchmark tests? The ones that ask you to memorise a sequence of numbers, or the order of blocks flashing. These give the impression of testing our intelligence, or skills. A higher score means we’re more intelligent than others, or have some greater aspect somewhere in life compared to those with low scores. However, what would these tests actually do? The only thing it helps with is getting really good at the test itself! Why? Because knowledge, generally, is non-transferable. Being skilled at memorising numbers or flashing patterns doesn’t translate to anything else, besides extremely similar tasks.

  This is even true in cooking and baking. Although they’re so similar, you’re making food to eat, both require a diverging skillset, even if you’re a masterchef at cooking dinner, that might not be so for desserts like pudding. I would deem myself decent enough at cooking, however, the first time I made pudding it was burnt. Only immediately similar skills transferred over, not the overall skill of being good at cooking.

  Writing non-fiction vs fiction is another example. To write non-fiction isn’t overly difficult, just research a bunch and spew out words on a page, that’s exactly what my blog is. Even if we could write non-fiction perfectly fine, that doesn’t mean writing fiction is suddenly easy. Check out my fiction novel, Love, Life and Board games,, it fucking sucks. Seriously, I cringe just thinking about that single chapter. Even for something as similar as writing, intelligence is non-transferable.

  An IQ test isn’t exactly an intelligence test, it measures how quickly we discover and apply the pattern. Ie new job, how fast do you learn. Getting proficient at an IQ test, which you can study and learn, doesn’t suddenly mean you’d pick up everything quickly, nah, you just get really good at performing IQ tests.

  So any time you see shit like benchmark tests or the like, just do it for fun, but don’t take it seriously. Even though the study of intelligence is rather depressing, that there’s no single activity we can do to improve intelligence across all domains. Understanding these restrictions means we won’t waste time on silly tests and, instead, focus on a domain, trying to figure out which skills become transferable to the next role and which ones need to be learnt.

  Otherwise we’d become the Peter Principle, promoted to position of least competence. As people demonstrate skill in their job, they’d get promoted up and up. But, as they climb up, the skills they mastered for their current role doesn’t transfer over to the next. There’s a world of difference between being a programmer and a manager. Thus, eventually, they’re promoted until they don’t show enough competence to be promoted again. Hence they’re promoted to the position of least competence.

Artificial Restriction Elevates Experience

December 18th, 2022

With $300 AUper week, I can’t afford much. $35-50 on foods, a shit ton on rent and whatever meager leftovers as either tourism or a meal out. As such, my meals taste so good, despite not having much. The restrictions elevated my experience of foods. Despite the fact it’s nothing more than some sausages, salads and a bit of relish, I’ve never had such a good meal in my life.

  It also elevated my meals out. Because of how finite my funds are, because of how my meals must be extremely cheap, a meal out is godly. In addition, the restriction of no oil and low carbs means my options for home meals are basically meat, salad and veggies, nothing else. When I eat out, there’s no restrictions, it’s full on food goodness.

  Restrictions, even though artificial, changes ones perspective on life. Much like how you only notice things after you lose them, the same story applies here. If you could meat wagyu steak everyday, then is it really special? Same story with rump or porterhouse steak. Only when you can’t afford it regularly does eating it become special. For how long did you have to wait to afford that steak? For how long have you been craving it. Finally you can cook up the steak and enjoy it. Not being able to afford it for a while only serves to heighten it’s value.

Although I wouldn’t do this forever, it is quite an interesting experience. It must be longer than a week though, at minimum 1-3 months. You see youtube videos of people trying to live under poverty for a week, but that means nothing. Why? Because it’s only a week, in the back of their minds, they can just go back to porterhouse steaks in a few days. With a month, the distance is far too long to imagine going back properly, thus you must change your lifestyle to accommodate a new way of living.

  Why wouldn’t living with $300 per week, in a first world country, be great in the long run? Well, you can’t really go anywhere or do anything. Friends wanna go out and eat? Sorry, I can’t afford that, my budget is $15 dollar meals. Going to some adventure room? Sorry, I cannot afford that. Eventually, they’d just stop inviting you all together. After all, your answer would always be how you couldn’t afford it anyway.

What is a City to Us Without Money? Merely a Walled Garden

November 21st, 2022

With money, a city is luxury and attractions. Without money, a city is a walled garden.

There’s a fair amount to do in the city. Many food places. You could go on meetup and socialise with those new to the city. You could enjoy the markets. Fine foods. Gelato or fish and chips by the harbour. Scenic seaplane tours or a cruise to nearby islands. So so much to do, yet so little time to experience them all. That is, if you had money. $20 meals. $10 drinks. $10 gelato. $200 for seaplanes or $150 for cruise tours.

  What’s a city without money? When your budget allows for a single meal out each week, with no entree or drink. You walk around and see all the sights, the things to do, only to come upon the sad realisiation that they’re walled off to you. Look at that awesome cruise, or that magnificent museum. Both of which you can only stare upon at a distance. Wishing. Hoping to go. So desperate, you want to befriend a rich old couple for a boat cruise..

  Thus, a city is simply the embodiment of sadness. Everywhere your eyes reach is somewhere you can never touch. The city, the central hub that has access to nearly everything. Cuisines of the world. Tourist attractions for days. Music and Arts. Everything someone could want. But not for you, the poor beggar.

  Then what is the city to a poor man, one without funds? The only source of enjoyment would be a few places without admission fee, usually funded by the government. Beyond that would be nature and hikes. These usually aren’t common in larger cities, for by necessity they sprawl outwards and consume all in their sights. Not even mountains are safe. I write this as I live upon a mountain, 145 meters above ground level, where everywhere my eyes can see is a mountains filled with houses on the edges of the summit.

This ongoing capitalist society has divided society, between those who have funds, and can afford luxuries and enjoyments that money brings. And those who have nothing, where not even nature is safe anymore. Welcome to our world.

Is There A Rise Of Ghosting?

September 18th, 2022

Ghosting, the act of seeing a message, application or any form of communication and then never responding. An example would be job applications where the businesses never responds with an accept or reject confirmation. Or finding a sharehouse, where the lister sees your inquiry and then never responds back. They’re countless other examples of ghosting and the thing they have all in common is how frustrating it is for you. You put in time and effort, the least they could do is respond with generic yes or no. Is that so much to ask for? Now for companies, they might be some legal basis, such as preventing evidence on discrimination. But for sharehouse listers? Surely they’d know how frustrating ghosting is, so why inflict those wounds onto others as well?

  Ghosting is not a modern phenomenon, it would’ve been more prevalent with expensive and unreliable communications. If it costs $10 to send a response, would you? There’s a few reasons on the increase of ghosting. First is a power imbalance and winner takes all. If a company has 100 job applications and 1 open position, it doesn’t matter if they don’t respond, they only need 1. Or in the case of sharehouse listing, they’d have multiple interested parties and only need to respond to the 1 who’ll take the house. Second is scale. The sheer volume chews up an extreme amount of time, not sending a rejection email adds up to hours of free time each year.

  Despite ghosting not being a modern phenomenon, it’s rise is partially because there’s virtually no consequences to ghosting anymore. If you didn’t respond with unreliable communications, you could’ve literally died by the time the mail reached you. The inventor of morse code electronic communications made that after sending a letter to his mother, which took weeks, and by then she was already deceased. Before that, in small villages, you could physically see others that didn’t respond to you and they’d be hell to pay without a good reason. Perhaps it’s not a rise, but rather we’re also extremely aware when we’re ghosted, thanks to read receipts.