When things are investigated, knowledge is extended. When knowledge is extended, the will becomes sincere. When the will is sincere, the mind is correct. When the mind is correct, the self is cultivated. -- Confucius

1/1/15

Farmers are Rich Whiners

Living in the Midwest and especially Iowa for so many years, I have grown weary of the mantric stereotype about the farmers: those poor, hard working folks who toil away to feed the world for a pittance...They are glorified, if not worshiped, in local television ads, radio, and newspaper pieces as the heroic low-paid laborers gluing our communities together! Everything in the Midwest is about the farmers- and anyone who does not kiss their asses is a complete fool with no political future, or friends either, to be sure. But let us examine a few details...Are they really hard working and poor, and what kind of people are they?

Hard working???
Modern technologies make farm work much easier than it once was. My dad, who grew up on a farm in Grant Township in Iowa, told me of stuff like plowing with oxen, cutting up trees with axes, and so on. Now, there are tractors with computers and GPS systems that can tell you exactly what percent of your field is planted as you go. All of the thinking is done for you as land is disced, fertilized, plowed, planted, and harvested. Once planting season is done, about a month of work, the farmer waits while it grows. Sure, he fiddles around in his barn shop, mends fences, and so forth- but little actual work is needed aside from driving. The plants grow themselves. I do not question that the average farmer can find plenty to do during growing season. Though if he were tired, laid up, or otherwise preoccupied, the crop would still be there growing unaided and ready to pick later on. Once it is grown, they get  into this mad rush phase, picking all they can ASAP. They run their combines into the night. Then, whatever. I know one Missouri farmer who makes almost monthly trips to Las Vegas and gambles with the 'whales'.


Poor???
Farmers are always portrayed as being very poor, wearing ragged overalls and driving beat up old trucks. Which they do. I met one who had broken a shoestring and replaced it with twine. Just because someone is a miser it does not mean they are poor. Farmers make income off of their crops, sold per bushel. They also sell hay, pigs, cows, chickens, sheep and miscellaneous animals, and any other ventures they can use their lands for. They also receive farm subsidies, which means the government pays them to grow certain crops. So basically if wheat is worth less than corn, the feds even it out: they all make bank! Not to mention the reimbursement for crop insurance and disaster relief. Free insurance and getting paid for your crops if weather destroys them are nice touches the government provides. Plus there is the CRP program, which pays farmers to NOT farm. It is called conservation, and any acres set aside will be paid for by the feds as if they would have had crops on them. Why cash crops such as corn, wheat, milo, or beans are not good enough to hold the soil in place like grasses would, is not explained. One farmer I knew made grass paths between his fields to drive his tractors on, and was paid for this.

In the end, they sell their grains to co-ops which pay them by the pound and per purity and dryness. Most farmers end up with about 2 million dollars worth of harvested grains, which is gross pay. After paying for seeds, tractor maintenance, etc.- what do they really make?

To break it down a little: an acre is an area about the size of an American football field. Most farms have at the very least 100 acres, though the majority have about a thousand or up to 5,000 or even more. So when they grow then harvest grains (remembering the feds subsidize so top dollar is obtained for lower priced crops such as wheat and milo), they get up to soybean or corn prices on it all. The goal is yield. They want more grain per acre. This then pays X amount total. Grain is measured in bushels, and sold by the pound. So if corn is at X amount per bushel, and you yield Y pounds per bushel and Z bushels per acre, multiplied by how many acres you have, you usually end up with a mill or two. For example: average value of soybeans is 10. a bushel, yielding 55 bushels per acre. That makes him 550. per acre, times the official average of about 450 acres. This grosses the farmer 247,500. for that season's crop. Of course there are expenses, but estimates generally run at half or so. This includes tractor payments and the like which many farmers paid off long ago and do not still have. Even so, halving the above would net him 123,750. - not bad for a couple months work. See this page's chart for better detail: Operator returns of Different Farmland Productivities. Current grain values here.

The miscellaneous money making activities are hard to estimate as they are so diverse. Livestock, though, has been documented well. With cows, there are heifers (unbred cows), bred heifers, steers, etc. Read this piece for a dizzying array of cow types. In this article, a cow's value is explained well, though pasture rent is uncommon, as most farmers use their own land to keep their cattle on. So adding back that debit, the estimated value after expenses  becomes 3,597.23 per cow. How many cows does the average farm have? Forty.
A farmer with a herd of 40 cows has 144,000. dollars worth of income walking around his backyard. This is to say nothing of dairy operations, veal, bull sperm sales, and other animals such as chickens and sheep. As far as hay, as you can read here from posts by several farmers, it varies alot and is hard to figure. However it seems to go from about 500 to 1,500 per acre.

Do not forget that farms have the space and resources to do a lot of things town dwellers do not. They can keep one cow to butcher themselves and have free meat for the year. They also get almost unlimited space for large gardens, providing more free food. Many farm wives like to do home canning, saving extra for winter. Most farmers also have a pond, and a lot of fishing is done. Almost all farmers are redneck types that love to hunt, bringing home many deer and other game year round. Suffice it to say they have very small grocery bills. Most also have their own water supplies, septic tanks, and wood or pellet heat.

Other random income sources pop up as well. Seasonal crops such as pumpkins, gourds, and maize provide cash each fall, as well as corn mazes, petting zoos, other activities. Many find other projects to make even more money off-season, such as livestock, alternative crops, online bookstores, crafts, welding repair, etc.

Ever seen a wind farm, with the big turbines? The electric company that owns them has to pay the owner of the land they are on royalties, generally 5,000 to 8,000 per year, per turbine. So if you have ten or twenty on your farm...


Lifestyles...
The vast majority of farmers are red neck types that embellish in hunting, fishing, trapping, mudding, and country music. This is why they do not care one iota that their actions are causing environmental harm and starving children around the world.

When farmers gesticulate that they 'feed the world!', they are just spewing their own hog-washed propaganda. The fact is, most farms grow field corn, which is large, tough, flavorless corn not fit for human consumption. It is all used to feed the cattle. Sweet corn is what humans eat, and not much of it is grown, comparatively. When land is used to feed cattle, instead of growing crops that people could have eaten, it is causing a deficit in potential world food supplies. But like the farcical ethanol industry and its lobbied laws to promote it and force its sales, it is all about profit to farmers. Ethanol can dissolve gaskets in older type vehicles, and causes lower mileage in all. As long as the farmers make even more profits, that's okay...

Any who doubt their wealth need only take a drive in a rural area of the Midwest. Notice that every farm has at least one new house built upon it, or is having one built. Also note how nearly all have semis. Grain can be hauled to town to sell in a grain wagon or straight truck for grain, and is from time to time, but it is so much more convenient to use fancy semis with grain trailers. Farms without at least one semi are becoming rare. (Average cost of a used, bare bones semi tractor not including trailer: more than most of us make in a year. )



To be fair, most farmers are known to be generally kind people. But their quest for profits, like a Star Trek Ferengi, overshadows all else. This 2% of the population owns and controls 51% of American land. No wonder they have so much political power.






(C) james platt 2015. may not be copied or reposted, in whole or part, even if link is included.

9/1/14

HAARP Locations and Non-Locations

Awhile back, I was trying to figure out just how many foreign bases the US had, and learned that site after site reposted the same old exaggerated maps over and over. [Russia was labeled on several as having a US military presence, due to US Marines stationed there as embassy gate guards, for example..] I researched it from the ground up, and made a new list, which disproves all of the sorry old outdated maps people are still reposting to this day. IMHO my list and blog article are the most up to date and accurate info on the net regarding how many bases there are, and where...

Now, a similar event has ocurred: just how many nations have HAARP-like facilities, and where?, I wondered.

HAARP is an ionospheric heater with a large array of huge antennae. It is supposedly to do research, but what it is really for is anyone's guess: the federal government is involved, as well as DARPA. Many claim that when the ionosphere is heated it rises like a bubble, creating a space the atmosphere and its jet streams flow into. This tampering with jet streams at certain times and places could easily alter weather around the world. Sounds logical, though this blogger fails to see how any of this causes earthquakes, which it is frequently blamed for as well. Whatever its purpose, what countries do have ionospheric heaters? If they are opposing nations could they be using them as weather-weapons upon one another?

It turns out the conspiracists have latched onto this like piranhas after goldfish. There is one map that everyone reposts endlessly, which connects all of their alleged HAARP-like sites with lines, implying they are synced somehow as well. The few remaining maps out there show dozens, some even hundreds of places as being facilities. How can there be that many, and how do antenna arrays pointed straight up to affect the ionosphere connect like microwave beams on cell towers? They don't.

Exasperated at all of the conspiratorical nonsense some have tied into this, as well as their dot-happy maps which make no sense, I looked into it my own way. The most logical and scarce maps said what? Official sources said what? Logic demanded what? Few nations have the funds nor scientists to build these things on a whim, nor any reasons to. Though India has many brainy scientists and a large budget, they have bigger concerns than the plasmatics of the ionosphere, such as hunger, Pakistani threats, overpopulation, and animal control. So do they really have a string of 24 HAARP-type facilities down their East coast as some maps show?

Any site that even mentions certain words can be considered inaccurate information sources, as their authors are nuts. So if you get onto a website and you see any of the following words, take it all with a grain of salt (if they believe in that garbage they will say anything as the gullible hypesters they are): illuminati, NWO, orgone, FEMA coffins, Clinton, real ID, microchip, nibiru, planet x, mena, leer, lazar, and others. I am not one of those so-called 'skeptics' that poo-poos everything with my nose in the air. I do believe UFOs are real, and have an interest in bigfoot and cryptozoology. I also know the government is a secretive corporate funded evil entity that compulsively lies to the public, wastes our money, and does all kinds of stuff to endanger us. But does that mean we all have to go bananas making outlandish accusations without a scintilla of proof? Just like we have 'troops' in Russia, just like we have 'FEMA coffins', just like there are hundreds of HAARP arrays around the world....You gotta use common sense and demand a little evidence at some point.

So there are things like the "Omaha HAARP facility", which many think is in place because of a youtube vid showing a few radio towers with a cornfield under them. What disinfo could I post for my amusement? Maybe I will say there is a giant robot alien being held in a silo in Nebraska, and I bet thousands will latch onto that in no time. (Will do that, and keep you updated on its net-viral status...)

Digressing, after I combined the info from official sites and the few believable independent sites, it is not too hard to form an accurate, logical picture of the real situation. Which is this:

There is a four-plex facility in Alaska. There is another array in Puerto Rico via the Arecibo dish. A consortium of five European nations runs another array in Norway. There is another one in Russia near Moscow. There is a network of 34 radars (called SuperDARN)  across the globe that keep track of the ionosphere, which may or may not feed info to any one or more of the heating arrays.

So, the USA, Norway as host for Western Europe , and Russia have these facilities. That seems to be it. So much for the mega-dot maps.











©james platt, 2014. do not copy, paste, frame, or repost in any way. links okay.

5/3/14

Ukraine Spells Doom for USA


So I have been watching the world news lately on television. I also happen to read the world news on the internet, directly from several foreign news sites. While the American t.v. news seems thorough and detailed, all narrated matter-of- factly by the dapper newsmen, it is striking what is simply never mentioned: the other side of the stories.

According to American news, this is what is happening in a country called Ukraine:
...Its citizens ousted its corrupt leader, and then the Russians tried to undermine its new democracy with clandestinely funded insurgents. It then agreed to a peace accord which it is not following. Therefore the US and Europeans are showing the Russians they can't just take over other countries and get away with it, so sanctions were invoked. Meanwhile, Russia took over another country called Crimea and annexed it illegally. Their unlawful expansions are being dealt with by the brave Americans and Europeans.

But the rest of the world knows this side of it:
...Ukraine's leader lived no more opulently than any other head of state, and he was ousted by a known fascist party extremist with CIA backing. The new puppet regime with extensive fascist roots, received a day long visit from the head of the CIA, which was publicly admitted to by the American government. Since then, the new regime has stopped payments on money owed to Russia for natural gas deliveries (3.5 billion), actually cut off the water supply to Crimea, and stopped supplying its own troops (i.e.: no food for days at a time). They also invited American mercenaries in for unknown missions. Now, they are attacking Russian citizens with military helicopters in the city of Slaviansk. Meanwhile, Crimea, a former Soviet state, VOTED to rejoin with Russia and was annexed by internationally legal means. So now Russia's pleas for peace and warnings to not harm Russians in Ukraine are ignored.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Ukraine_ethnic_2001_by_regions_and_rayons.PNG
light blue areas are ethnic Russians. they are oppressed minority in danger of genocidal acts.


America, and its European proxy army NATO, have placed troops in 4 countries directly bordering Russia(..Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland..). They also have placed naval flotillas in the Black and Baltic seas, on which they are practicing military exercises. NATO has officially declared Russia to be an enemy. Germany's leader Merkel has hinted at wanting a land war with Russia, releasing the statement recently, “Nobody should be deceived. We are willing to act.” Apparently their 'act' is to shoot down airliners and blame it on Russia- see list here of numerous non-Western articles on this.

So the question few are even asking is: can America even win a war with Russia? Even with NATO backing?? Let's think about that...

The Americans can win any war, through air superiority and high tech gadgets, plus worldwide presence. Right? They walked into Iraq and stomped them, right? Iraq's French powered antiaircraft guns were fitted with targeting microchips that were hacked and defeated with American HARM missiles, so guess why the American invasion went so well? After ten years of enforcement of a no-fly zone and random bombings before this, how strong were they anyway? And this is the example of their power...Regardless, how high tech are American weapons, compared to other countries, especially Russia? Who has more military might?

Russia has all of its military in its homeland territory: Russia. The Americans are dispersed across the globe in bases all over the world. So the comparative totals of how many troops or jets or whatever becomes pointless. How many of those troops or tanks can America deliver onto Russian territory, without sacrificing the security of the bases they originated from? While tanks from Ft. Knox could be safely airlifted to Russia in the event of war, would they really want to move the tanks out of South Korea? Or if the equipment or men in Europe were moved on Russia, the French, German, and UK militaries would protect the landmass from invasion, right? If so- it is a distraction to keep them out of the conflict. If not, they would be tied up with NATO maneuvers and leave their home soil wide open. Either way, Europe is screwed. War in Eurasia will go very badly for the NATO puppets.

Can America take on such a large nation with so many frontiers at once? Russia is the largest country in the world. While their main enemy may be highly mobile and attempt to divide and conquer with numerous small fronts, their enormous landmass only aids their breathing room in event of war.

They are used to war and hardship, having suffered far greater than all other allies combined during world war two. If it were not for the Russians, we would probably be living under a nazi flag right now. They fought hard for their homeland before, and would again. Anyone fights harder to protect his home than anywhere else. Will they really just give up like the Iraqi army did? Doubtful. Here is what no Americans understand: they are not afraid of us, we do not intimidate them, and our 'hegemony' is a joke to them. They are also tired of us encircling their country with military bases.

So what would happen if America or its pet NATO were to try and invade them?

First of all, the Russian military is very serious and does not mess around. Unlike several movies, they are not a bunch of bumbling morons with junk weaponry. They are known to be very well trained and disciplined and have very advanced weapons. They also will be fighting for their homeland- not off playing soldier on some imperialistic jaunt on the other side of the world.

What kind of damage could they do to American technology and firepower though? Many of their systems are considered to be at least as advanced, if not much more so, than their American counterparts. Examples:
rifles
norad/SDI type base  (use google translate, or just peruse pics to get the idea...)



...But we have advanced pilots, as shown by the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. Yes- and they do too: the Swifts and Russian Knights. ...But we have exotic weapons to use when needed. And they have screw drive vehicles, full auto pistols, full auto shotguns, full auto grenade launchers, the 'heavy flamethrower systems', the 'father of all bombs', the S-400 anti-missile systems, self-propelled coastal artillery, and don't forget the Topols.



A Topol is a nuclear missile mounted onto a giant truck. It drives around in the Siberian woods at random, so Americans are unable to target its location. As good as submarine based nukes, and they have them- we don't! All of our land based nukes are in silos...While scattered over large areas, their locations are known and the Russians have more than enough warheads to cover them all many times over.

Regarding the nukes, they have more. At least 1,800 more. And they also have extensive civil defense shelters. America stopped maintaining their shelters after protests in 1961. The govt. did not want to pay for it anyway- even though the scientific studies show you could survive a nuclear war if prepared properly. Funny how Russia and China have extensive plans/shelters in place, and America has nothing at all. What this means to us is that they know they can survive a nuclear war and while dreading it, fear it less than we do. They know that most of them will survive. Couple that with the fact that Russians would never give up and submit to American invaders, a conventional defeat would trigger the nuclear menace as an obvious next step for them to cut the head off the snake of the imperialists.

What if they joined forces with another country, instead of, or before resorting to, nukes? While they are not military allies with China, they have common interests and a common foe. China knows full well that America is encircling them too with the so-called “pivot to Asia” policy. If Russia were crippled, they would surely be next, and they would want to prevent that. Russia and China are both part of an economic alliance with increasing military ties called the Shanghai Cooperative Organization, which includes them and four other Asian countries as members, five observer states, three dialogue partners, and one  observer state plus two groups of countries as observers. Would this group morph into a true military alliance if America starts invading Asian nations? This blogger posits that it is very likely the SCO will become NATO's counterbalance. 

A military alliance between the Russians and Chinese would spell doom for American forces. While either of them could in theory win a war with us, both together almost surely would. America fought two fronts before, such as in WWII, in the Pacific and in Europe, and this time we have NATO and ANZUS and the Philippines and Japan....But this time nukes are a big factor, and extensive sea mining, and enormous armies. Tactical nukes, long range weaponry, and stealth jets and boats are all in the mix this time.

Contrary to popular belief, Americans have no monopoly on stealth technology. Russians and the Chinese do as well. The Chinese are especially keen on the stealth boats, and are developing stealth choppers. Russia is making stealth fighter jets and bombers. Iran and India also claim to have stealth jets.

What if a war did occur, what could the Russians do- besides run from us as Americans predict? They have several strengths and a few weaknesses:

-their army is very well trained, loyal, and will have no trouble gaining virtually all possible conscripts if war began.
-they have a lot of superb tanks, excellent rifles, more missiles, better anti-missile systems
-their aircraft are superior in most every way
-most of their nukes are mobile.
-they have powerful friends in strategic places: China, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and others.

-their country is large and hard to patrol all borders. There are too many invasion points to prepare for.
-their navy has only one aircraft carrier so projecting their power is not easy.
-already surrounded by American bases and sea flotillas, they would have many fronts in all directions.

Let us compare a few things directly as well:
America has more (than Russia)- current troops and total population; aircraft, helicopters, airports, major ports, aircraft carriers, subs, frigates, and destroyers; and less coastlines and shared borders to cover.
Russia has more (than America)- active military reserves, tanks, armored fighting vehicles, self propelled guns, towed artillery, multiple rocket launchers, merchant marine strength, corvette class vessels, mine warfare craft, patrol craft; and, less external debt and more foreign exchange currency(more money), and much more oil reserves and production with less consumption.
China has more (than America)- troops, reserves, and population; tanks, towed artillery, multiple rocket launchers, merchant marine strength, total naval vessels, frigates, mine warfare vessels, patrol craft, and possibly more subs; and less debt and more foreign reserves (more money), and more oil reserves and less consumption.

Worthy of special mention here are aircraft carriers. Used to project American imperialism worldwide, they intimidate the smaller countries as they rove the high seas. Russia and China each has only one apiece currently, though both are building more. This means they cannot as easily project their power to other places and their wars will have to be fought at home, on their turf. Unfortunately for the West, defenses have been constructed against them. The Chinese have a ballistic anti-ship missile called the DF-21D. It  can drop straight down onto a carrier from space up to 1200 miles away. The Russians have the Onyx 'Sunburn' anti-ship missile, which is so low flying and fast its sheer kinetic energy can literally capsize a large vessel. Three can sink a carrier. They also have 130mm coastal artillery guns

A few other factors to consider are not just numbers, but how the battles would be fought...
An American flotilla with its aircraft carrier is very formidable, but so is a Sunburn missile.
High tech ranging devices and other gadgets are pretty handy, but not when you are inside a wall of fire.
The UK and France are powerful friends, but not so much when China and Iran has the enemy's back.

They have been preparing for war with us for decades. Do you really think they are going to roll over and beg for mercy while we blast their infrastructure to bits and kill thousands of their civilians? Just because Iraq did, it doesn't mean the Russians will. Encircling and threatening them is playing with fire, to put it mildly.

One thing Americans very rarely do is empathize: putting themselves in someone else's shoes. Their imperialistic adventures and corporate oil grabs are just a game to them. They haven't experienced war at home and think it is just a news clip that need not be worried about. So let us turn the tables to make people understand a little better. Here is an accurate analogy of what we are doing to them:

The United States of America has a federal govt. breakdown. It reorganizes as a new country, called the Commonwealth of Independent States. Then after a time becomes simply the American Federation with several states choosing to become their own nations. All is well with these states at first, but then Russia decides to use CIA style regime change tactics in say, our new country-former-state of Georgia. The new government has disagreements with the people of say, Savannah. So the Atlantans threaten them. The UN sets up observers to watch. Sure enough, Atlanta attacks Savannah and starts killing hundreds of its civilians despite UN orders. So the American Federation invades just long enough to save the Savannans, then withdraws. During this incident they find entire warehouses full of Russian weapons stockpiled. So the Russians were setting up a base on our border. Hmmm. Now, four years later, the nation-former-state of say, New York has a similar political upset and the KGB is all over it. There are also Cuban mercenaries sneaking around. We plead for peace but the new Communist govt. of New York is killing civilians in Albany with helicopter gunships. The UN orders peace terms, and no one follows them. Next, Russia sends a military flotilla up the Hudson River and has live fire naval exercises in the Great Lakes. They also anchor their aircraft carrier off Staten Island. Apparently, something is up. Especially since they have placed troops in five Caribbean nations and have declared us to be an enemy. What would Americans think, who would they blame; what would they do? New York is a very strategic place to put a base near DC, after all. We aren't stupid, right?

And do you think Russians are stupid???





Couldn't America just fly in and bomb away like they do everywhere else?




UPDATE: This situation is changing daily, and continual updating is not possible to a great degree: please read news sites linked below. But basically, since this was first posted, the following has happened---
ukrainian armed forces have shelled Russia across the border and shot at their border guards many times; there is significant proof that ukraine shot down the Malaysian airliner and their govt. is obstructing investigations into it; the areas of ethnic Russians have been surrounded and they are being starved; Russia has been bending over backwards to send humanitarian aid to these areas even when inspected by the Intl. Red Cross- american news calls it 'tantamount to an invasion', and ukraine authorities have been blocking aid in every way they can; ukraine depends on Russian natural gas supplies for heat, and they refuse to pay off their debt for gas already sent as well as refusing to pay for future deliveries of gas at a discount rate of $385 instead of $485 normal per 1000 cubic meters of gas- so, the EU decided to pay off their debt for them since ukraine refuses to, in order to keep it on for the winter;  over 100 thousand people are now refugees that have fled ukraine, and nearly 140,000 are internally displaced, and 230,000 are seeking asylum in russia; at least 42 military groups have taken up arms against the new govt. of ukraine- mostly former national guard units; ukrainian authorities arrested two Russian embassy guards while off duty at a cafe, saying 'they had grenades', which they did not. they held them for two days without cause; another convoy of humanitarian aid has been held back for two weeks now while people starve in ukraine; ukraine has started to build a physical wall along its border with Russia- a colossal waste of money and time considering their economy is tanking and the border is 1,226 miles long; ukraine is now actively obfuscating investigation into MH-17 airliner crash- Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Russia are openly opposing the whitewash; ukraine is clamoring to join NATO and also trying to find European countries to reroute gas for them so they won't have to pay for it; the kiev elections were rife with nepotism and all winners were incumbents or their relatives- so the usa and EU approved that election as valid--later the self-proclaimed eastern regions held elections which were verified as accurate and not tampered with, and the west refuses to recognize them; kiev now has stopped all financial aid to the eastern regions including elderly aid benefits, and is threatening to shut off their gas and electricity for the winter; as of november 2014 the kiev regime continues to shell residential areas and schools daily in the eastern areas; mass genocidal graves have been discovered in areas formerly held by kievan troops; kiev forces have shelled a hospital; kiev refuses to attend peace talks in Minsk; kiev troops yet again try to overtake Donetsk airport and lose, this time leaving behind many bodies in nato uniforms with american weapons....


Russian military stats





Ukrainian maps

Note: the news in the US is extremely biased and lacking. NBC is the worst, next to fox of course which isn't real news anyway. What they do not say is the most telling.
Please seek out-of-country info for all subjects and current events! You will be amazed at what was simply not being mentioned before.







{map: blackseagrain.net}




File:Baltic Sea map.png

{map: normaneinstein}




©james platt 2014



2/7/14

Recalculating the Intelligence Quotient



What is intelligence?
Several methods of measuring it have been devised, though few are all-encompassing of the human mind's capabilities. We all like to think we are "smart" to some degree or another. How people base this assumption is varied. Many base it upon the grades they got or get in school. Since most people go to public schools, this is highly inaccurate. While teachers attempt to educate us with information about their assigned subjects, the fact is that public schools are a complete and utter joke. Attendance, bullying, detentions, favoritism, home life, money for tutoring, and numerous other factors contribute greatly to the grades a public school student receives. Kids of wealthier families can afford all the fees associated with band, sports, and clubs, and hence have more chances to learn as well as receive preferential treatment by the teachers. Kids who can't afford the current fad of clothes are picked on more, have trouble concentrating, and do worse on tests. Similar anecdotes abound.
Once the kids are college age, they may enter that path if they are even told of the ACT and SAT tests beforehand, (I was not), and then once enrolled take remedial courses for what they didn't learn in high school. After years of general courses and partying, they cram all they can into their heads about their chosen specialty. Most degrees are generalized and the students expect all these vague office careers out of them. The percentage of college graduates that get jobs from their degrees is laughably low. Not to mention the yoke of student loans. So much for 'higher learning'.
While book smarts are an important factor in intelligence, it is certainly not the only thing that creates it. Knowing the facts in books is a good base of information to draw from, but how we utilize that trivia is even more important. Scientists are notoriously closed-minded and will vehemently argue against any new info they hear of. Teachers aren't nearly as bad, so would you trust a mathematics professor to do your taxes? Probably, but would you trust him to spay your cat?? You must know alot of information to work as a computer programmer. You also need to know a lot of info to weld properly, or to process credit cards at a store, or to run plumbing lines effectively. All types of knowledge may vary but their commonality is that they all must be learned in depth for our assigned societal tasks to be completed successfully. So learning is required to be successful, but who is to say that the drive through girl is any less intelligent than a mechanic or a science teacher? Figuring out what you need to know and utilizing it is all-important.
Applying information is key to so many things. Learning all about the funeral practices of the Golden Horde may be fascinating, but it applies very little- if at all- in the modern world. No matter how book smart someone is, they are not necessarily smart people overall- just trivia hogs. The contestants on Jeopardy are not only good examples, but also are very similar in flavor to college professors- spouting factoids on all manner of subjects- most of which no one needs to know about for any reason- while knowing a lot about one or two subjects, the facts of which are important only in their field and not to the general populace in everyday life. A contestant today who was winning is an actuary with a mathematics degree. On the final question, he answered "50 Shades", betting 401 dollars on it. The correct answer was "Silent Spring". He clearly had to know his answer was wrong, as it asked about a non-fiction book from 1962. So why did he bet any money on his joke-answer, much less enough money to make him lose the game?? Answer: What is "no common sense"?...
Common sense is something many bookworms just do not have. The much-espoused logic that teachers claim to admire is usually lacking in their everyday thoughts. Logic permeates common-sense, which encapsulates so-called street-smarts.
More important yet is what I call awareness. Awareness is the all-encompassing logic backed by common sense and underwritten with the book smarts. It is what ties it all together. Many people feel that they have this ability but actually do not. Good examples are the conspiracy theorists. While some conspiracies are true and provable, or at least highly plausible with some significant evidence, most are utter nonsense. They rely upon rumors and circular logic combined with myths and flawed science to "prove" their claims. Then the spouting off of the complex yet hair-brained scenarios is repeated over and over again, until it becomes fact in the minds of the weak. Reading these claims may make you open-minded, which is good, but believing them hook, line, and sinker with no attempt to verify them is just stupidity. It is the farthest thing from intelligence, much less awareness in itself.
What is the difference then? What is true awareness; aware of what exactly? I know someone who believes everything he reads and rattles on about conspiracy theories incessantly- kinda like Mel Gibson's character did in the beginning of the movie called Conspiracy Theory. He says the internet is not real- it is a US Govt. falsification. But then he gets much of his info from websites. He says the news is not real, it is a fabrication of the govt. censors- every story, every bit of footage. And he knows it because, um, well he's just sure of it that's why. So while he thinks he is so extremely smart and self-aware that he is privy to some presumed 'special knowledge' the "sheeple" do not realize, he also has no evidence whatsoever for his claims and his sources are no more than rumors from outlets he says are lying anyway. Get the fruit loop yet? And these are the majority of the supposed aware people--conspiracy theorists and paranoid mental cases that feed into their malarkey. Awareness is not just proclaiming your views are right, but knowing on a much deeper level that you are aware of all possibilities and that your views have been filtered through the tests of open-mindedness and all other opinions. This makes you aware of the bottom line on the subjects you ponder, making you privy to numerous alternative viewpoints- some of which turn out to have merit.
Once you trust a source to fill out all sides of a subject, blindly believing its pronouncements is still not wise. Every article should be believable in itself, for its own reasons. Just because a certain site or writer says something, it shouldn't mean to you that its words are automatically true. A lot of bloggers and other web authors depend upon this to build and maintain a following. Knowing this, they tend to write what their target audience wants to hear. Right wing sites spout off scary stories about commie troop movements, left wing ones chide bush and his foibles. The fans lap it up and everyone's happy, except the free thinkers that is. People that think for themselves, instead of letting others tell them what or how to think, are free thinkers. And these are generally not the ones that lap up political scrawlings day in and day out. Indeed, most people who consider themselves to be intelligent and making up their own minds are actually entirely the opposite. They already have their minds made up, and utilize the sites or other media they know will back up their predetermined ideals. Then any new ideas that the media spouts off become their beliefs as well. Simultaneously, they dismiss out of hand anything the other side says, and use that dismissive attitude to hold up as an example of how they think they are deciding something and 'wisely' poo-poohing the alleged idiocy of them morons.
Them and they are vague concepts of whomever the bad guy is, and is one of the most common terms that conspiracists use. It is a catch-all term that means 'the scapegoat of the day'. Usually the government, frequently the left wing; always the other side. Being smarter, wiser, and better informed than the vague they/them ghosts is not very challenging, and makes the short sighted feel more powerful. Asking a conspiracist to define or name 'them' generally gets an answer of stammering, or at times a list of evildoers will be rattled off. How those tie in can lead to a fruit-loop lecture of great duration. Then blind belief is exposed quite clearly.
At the other end of the spectrum is creativity. Creative people think up ideas on their own and create ways to solve problems. Have you ever just sat there for an hour or so, and planned in your mind how to fabricate a new tool or car part, and then thrown in a wild card such as without welding apparatus? Or have you figured out how to convert a car into a camper lately? Or better yet, questioned precepts of science and thought up alternative possibilities? These are the brain-games of the creative folk. Finding unique solutions to life's dilemmas is creative. Most people are awed when such an idea is suggested; many reject it though. If they would tune in to a motivational show on their televisions once in a while, they may learn to stop rejecting new ideas.
Self-help people sometimes speak of a condition labelled "self-actualized". A self-actualized person has self acceptance and a democratic worldview; they maintain a realistic outlook; are problem-centered, as in trying to solve all things at their root causes; they maintain 'peak experiences', essentially living in the moment at all times; maintain autonomy from others, having their own unique views of what happiness and contentment are; maintain times of solitude and privacy more than others, which they enjoy; have a philosophical outlook and sense of humor; and lastly act spontaneously in all things. While these are all common traits of the intelligent, they together can be labelled as "self-actualization" but do not encompass all things attached to higher thinking.
Intelligence is a combination of all of these factors. Having just one or two is compartmentalized intelligence. Possessing all of these qualities to some degree or another makes for a smooth path to awareness, and true intelligence. Sure, some scientists and professors are truly intelligent, but most are far from it. And a few conspiracies have merit, but most do not. Every person needs to evaluate their own thought processes and determine if they are compartmentalized or not and to what degree.

To summarize, true intelligence requires all of the following at once from a person:
-common sense- includes logic and 'street smarts';
-book smarts and general knowledge;
-self-actualization;
-awareness and free thinking;
-creativity and being innovative;
-ability to learn, and the application of book smarts and logic.
No matter how little the public schools taught you, anyone can work on these factors and greatly increase their intelligence for a better day to day life. 

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(C) James Platt 2014