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More IQ-ism

There are some devout believers in IQ here, I see. First, I am not anti-IQ because my own is low. It's definitely better than 95% and possibly better than 98%. My reason for questioning the whole IQ concept is that I disagree with the "IQ carved in stone and passed on through the DNA" idea.
I agree with my old friend Stephen Jones that IQ is totally misunderstood in our society.
I am definitely not complaining about meritocracy, and I definitely do not want to get rid of grades and standardized tests; I am definitely not a socialist ,and I do not think everyone is equal.
Just to get all that out of the way. What I am trying to say is a little hard to explain. I will start with the statement that those of you here (and there are many) who feel you are innately superior because of your IQ/SAT/GRE/etc. scores, and that you have good reason to look down your noses at everyone who doesn't qualify for Mensa, are wrong. You are just giving in to one of the strongest of human drives -- the drive to feel special and superior. You can't get away with feeling superior because you're white and male anymore, so IQ is a convenient substitute.
If the carved-in-stone IQ is largely mythical, then what accounts for differences in intelligence? First of all, some of it is relatively fixed and determined by the physical brain -- speed of processing, relative lack of damaged areas, etc. But a lot of it, in my opinion anyway, is determined by the mind, not the brain. Did you ever notice that when you get passionately interested in something, for whatever reason, your ability to concentrate and study and pay attention to details is magnified tremendously. When you are not interested at all it can be almost impossible to concentrate. You have to keep dragging your attention back to the boring details you couldn't care less about.
So I think it's largely motivation and interest. Getting motivated in the first place is what matters. If you are a kid in a poor neighborhood and your parents and teachers don't give a darn about you, it's harder to get motivated, especially since your friends will only laugh at you for caring about geography or history, or whatever.

Dr. Real PC
Friday, July 16, 2004

Well in that case, let's just compare dicks.

muppet
Friday, July 16, 2004

Huh?

Harry Keister
Friday, July 16, 2004

"You can't get away with feeling superior because you're white and male anymore, so IQ is a convenient substitute."

A lot of the people with academic or IQ arrogance are neither white nor male, and I think that was an entirely unnecessary little slam at white males (a group of people that are apparently open game for racism/sexism).

Having said that, comparing racism with intelligenc...err...ism is flawed at the outset. A primary reason racism is shunned (from a logical perspective, putting morality aside) is because it's ranking people based upon an irrelevant criteria - if you choose your new hire because she's `black' or, or discount someone because they're not, you're judging based upon a criteria that couldn't possibly have anything to do with their job (unless the job is "being a black female"). Judging based upon intelligence, in the case of an intellectual job, on the other hand, might be entirely relevant to the job, and thus appropriate. Similarly judging iron bar movers based upon strength is entirely appropriate. Both have a very high degree of correlation with results for the prospective position.

Otherwise I understand what you're saying, but the perpetual comparison with racism/sexism is misguided and dilutes your argument, not to mention that it belittles why racism/sexism are wrong. Yeah people are fundamentally broken, and people think they're better than their fellow beings for a wide variety of reasons, be it fitness, the clothes they wear, intelligence, strength, social grouping, wealth, the car they drive, whatever. Intelligence is hardly alone.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, July 16, 2004

Raw IQ isn't a very good predictor of life success or happiness. In fact high IQ can create certain conditions in the bearer that are detrimental to success and achievement.

Item: at the first and only MENSA gathering I attended, I was turned off by the rampant one-upsmanship and clique arguments. Most of the discussions seemed to be too abstract to care about.  The host/member for this particular gathering was a part time preparer for HR Block who apparently supported his family on a shoestring.

What often happens with high IQ is the lazy genius syndrome: things come so easily to the person early in life that they don't develop good work habits; they're used to taking shortcuts to get the right answer.  The kid drifts through public school and perhaps even college without having to work very hard. Later, when real life demands that you do something boring and tedious that will make your boss a lot of money, many of "us" tend to fold or underperform.

The ones that do best in most careers tend to be the "more ordinary" IQ types who had to learn tolerance of boredom and decent work habits in their younger years.

And besides all that - simple human jealousy can spoil your achievements if you're "gifted". I wish I had a nickel for every asshole in a job that was against me because of primitive jealousy instincts. In fact one boss even gave me a performance review that put me in context by stating that I was "the envy of the group", due in part to past experience, as though I had something to live down or own up to in order to be considered worthy.

Bottom line - being well outside the norm can really suck. It handicaps you in subtle ways that are not easy to understand or predict.

High IQ type (710 average SAT)
Friday, July 16, 2004

Doctor,

You're obsessed with this.  Nobody else really cares.

hoser
Friday, July 16, 2004

I have a high IQ (upper 120's). Yet things like memorization don't come easy to me, and I really suck at relationships and interpersonal communication. In many ways, I'm pretty dumb, and I'm sure that the first image I impress upon a lot of people I meet.

IQ is only one metric of how "smart" a person is, and as it's been stated before, it's no guarantee of success.

Consider the movie "Rain Man", or any autistic person in general. A person may have the mental capacity to instantly count all the change you've dropped on the floor, but still not understand that you can't buy a new car with just that amount of money.

Doofus
Friday, July 16, 2004

Pfffst.  IQ = 120? Dan Quail fodder.

pfffst
Friday, July 16, 2004

First I will say I find this interesting and your thoughts interesting.
Second I will say I am one of those people who take every online IQ test that they see. I just love them. I find them fun. I think I have a pretty decent IQ, thought still trying to convince the pysch who adminstered the test to tell me my overall IQ score so that I can see if I hit the 130 mark. 130 being all that is needed to qualify for mensa. Yes ever since I was ten year old and someone gave me some mensa puzzle books I have wanted to join.
Third, having said that I don't flout IQ, really there is nothing to flout. The proof is in the eating I say, and there is no use waving a high IQ banner if I just plain suck at everything I do. I think there is no point waving the high IQ banner period.
Fourth, admittedly I sometimes would love to get into mensa so I can tell my in-laws that I am in mensa and see the confused look on there faces because they wouldn't even know what mensa was. But that is an in-law issue, nothing to do with touting IQ scores.

>I disagree with the "IQ carved in stone and passed on through the DNA
I also disagree. In fact I was told by my pysch that you have the ability to change your IQ to a certain degree.

>Getting motivated in the first place is what matters. If you are a kid in a poor neighborhood and your parents and teachers don't give a darn about you, it's harder to get motivated, especially since your friends will only laugh at you for caring about geography or history, or whatever

I very much agree with that. I went to a very low socioeconmic school. My graduating grade was 40% in the state.  I was smart, so what happened. I was smart enough, but I didn't have the drive, I was still at a maturity level that I needed external motivators and didn't have them. Something that as a teacher I want to ensure all my kids have.

In short, I absolutely agree with you that there is more to intelligence then IQ. Tests can be great when done in the right setting, IQ, apptitude, personality. I think one of the best settings is having them done so you can highlight your own strengths and weaknesses. Find out what you are really good at, and what you need to improve in. Sometimes it takes an outside person to set you straight etc.
However is an isolated thing, and I agree with you.  A boy could be born with olympic athlete parents for generations, he might even been a junior champion. But if he goes and eats Maccas every day, and becomes a couch potatoe....well do you get my point.

Aussie chick
Friday, July 16, 2004

What's a Macca?

MilesArcher
Friday, July 16, 2004

Hey Doc - you might be interested in this new blog post from Phil Greenspun: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2004/07/16#a5355

JWA
Friday, July 16, 2004

IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit. IQ is complete unadulterated bullshit.

OK?

now stfu
Friday, July 16, 2004

People like feeling superior to others and we will find whatever excuse, no matter how stupid, to justify the feeling to ourselves.

Some people feel superior because they attended a private school, other because they attended a public school, some because they are good at sports, others because they don't care for sports, some because they use Windows while others because they use Macs, some because they are white and some because they are black,  and it goes on and on and on.

There are people who feel superior because the got a high IQ in a test, I see it is a pet peeve of yours, but really, so what? Why would you want to decrease the total amount of happiness in the world by spoiling it for them?

"Humans are superior" - John Crichton

A Mensa member who has never told anyone about it
Friday, July 16, 2004

Self-discipline and the ability of delayed gratification are much higher predictors (assurances) of success than IQ.  And while IQ is important for some things, EQ -- emotional intelligence -- is much more important in human relations.

Should be working
Friday, July 16, 2004

Maccas = McDonalds.

Sorry, Aussie talk.

Aussie chick
Friday, July 16, 2004

NB IQ is not unadulterated bullshit.

It is the results of a test. No more no less.

The use of IQ to predict/derive certain things could be thought of, at times, as unadulterated...

Kind of like having all the kids in a class run the 100m running race. The guys that came first get dubbed athletes in all sports, all the rest are told to go home. Something like this is obviously wrong. I can't run a fast 100m, yet I can run a decent half-marathon, am good with a hockey stick etc....

Aussie chick
Friday, July 16, 2004

> those of you here (and there are many) who feel you are innately superior because of your IQ/SAT/GRE/etc. scores, and that you have good reason to look down your noses at everyone who doesn't qualify for Mensa, are wrong

Are there really many people here who look down at those who don't qualify for Mensa? I've never heard of such a thing. Now I have heard of jocks, bullies and cheerleaders looking down their noses at those outside their cliques, but I have never heard that Mensa types are so terribly cliquish. Do you really find that the Mensa-ites in your neighborhood drive around, looking down their noses at their neighbors of supposedly inferior intellect? I am skeptical there is really a large group of people doing this as you seem to be inferring.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, July 16, 2004

> What often happens with high IQ is the lazy genius syndrome: things come so easily to the person early in life that they don't develop good work habits; they're used to taking shortcuts to get the right answer.  The kid drifts through public school and perhaps even college without having to work very hard.

This seeems a very interesting hypothesis - would be nice to test it. If what you are saying is true, then do you think a possible solution would be to have gifted classes, seminar programs, and early matriculation to college for these smart but bored kids? Or would such a program be an unfair and racist attack on nonsmart kids who would not have access to such challengeing programs.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, July 16, 2004

"Are there really many people here who look down at those who don't qualify for Mensa?"

I have to be honest here and say that I do perhaps unfairly stereotype people who seek out and join Mensa as being needy and requiring validation (and besides, the mensa cut-off is the top 2%...that just doesn't sound that exclusive).

I just don't get what the motivation is - Is there some sort of magical mind meld that occurs at one of these get togethers? I mean there are people with high IQs that have terrible memories, and others who have extraordinary memories. There are people with high IQs who are terrible at chess, and others who are fabulous at chess. There are people with high IQs are great at word games, and others that are terrible. You get the point - There's little commonality here.

Of course I'm sure a card carrying Mensa member would presume my skepticism is rooted in either envy (I assure you it is not), or anti-intellectualism. Instead it is just bewilderment about the idea of organizing based upon such a weak commonality. It's akin to starting a "people named Fred" organization - what's the point? Ultimately, and perhaps I'm just a cynic, I suspect many sign up for the sole purpose of telling others that they're a member of mensa in some transparent clutching at acceptance.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, July 16, 2004

I had the good fortune to be in a school with a good program for "gifted" kids (and also a good dyslexic program), and a solid highschool, but I've found that the greatest challenge is to find something both interesting and challenging enough to keep my attention.  I get bored easily.  Seems I have the attention span of a ferret on crack sometimes.

Aaron F Stanton
Friday, July 16, 2004

I'm not a joiner, either, and don't feel the need to carry a card in a club to feel validation.

My boss is in Mensa, and he hired someone from there who knew my wife, and thus I got a job too...so I guess it has its benefits.  I might have been able to skip the intermediaries had I been a member.

Aaron F Stanton
Friday, July 16, 2004

I hadn't thought of what he said as being about actual members of mensa looking down, but rather people who qualify which I guess is the top 2% of IQs?

But as long as we're talking about that, I've never met anyone who told me they are in mensa. Now I'm sure I must know at least a few who are but it's certainly not something that anyone I know tells me about. Also, except on this board, I've never talked to anyone who has told me what their IQ is. What a strange thing to say out of the blue that would be! Now, here it usually comes up in the context of talking about IQ specifically so I think that's ok.

Why do Mensaites get together? Maybe they can't find anyone to talk to who can relate to what they are saying? Tere are country clubs too where people get together who only share that they are rich! Or union halls where the commonality is that they have the same sort of job. Orhow about the sons and dauhters of the confederacy? I don't see why people getting together for whatever reason should be a stupid or pointless thing.

I grew up in a small town. It wasn't until I hit college that I ever ran into someone who could understand what I was talking about - ideas, theories, philosophies. People where I lived talked about gossip and sports mainly, neither of which really interested me. So I was glad to talk to people who were interested in real life and not just the lies of gossip and the irrelevance of sports. That was a cool thing. If these mensaites are getting teh same thing from their club meetings, I don't see why that should be such a horrible problem.

The sense I get from some people around here is that there is an elitism against others who aren't exactly like themselves. I personally find this to be indicitave of a small mind.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, July 16, 2004

In online boards I have come across at least a dozen (I would say several dozen) people who proudly stated their mensa affiliations. In the "real world" I've met perhaps three people who inexplicably brought it up (in a similar vein to the people who steer conversation to the fact that they're in karate or one of its relatives).

"The sense I get from some people around here is that there is an elitism against others who aren't exactly like themselves. I personally find this to be indicitave of a small mind."

Don't confuse bewilderment with elitism. I am fully aware that many of the things I do and believe can be looked upon in a disbelieving awe (hey, here I am on a Friday night writing a post in a forum) and I'm aye ok with that.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, July 16, 2004

Yeah that's cool and makes sense. My last two sentences were  trollish there, ignore them.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, July 16, 2004

Each credible IQ test I've done has told me I'm in the 130+ region (which is Mensa territory). This correlates with the Stanine testing I had done as a kid. So, according to the theory, this should be a good predictor of academic performance.

So how do I have the worst first-year University record of anyone I have EVER seen? Specifically, of ten subjects: Five fails, one withdrawal, two bare passes, one credit, and one distinction (in a "computer studies" subject so it barely counts). If you look at the raw numbers, I would have averaged about 30 percent in my subjects that year. Second year is not much better.

How is this possible? My alleged mental superiority should mean I would be lording it over all the thick proles, but there I am in dumbsville. The first time I did Macroeconomics, I got 3%. The second time, 0%. Again, how is this possible?

The answer is that I have extremely high Indiscipline Quotient and Idleness Quotient scores. I learned these in high school where the only reason I bothered to do any work was to compete with my nerd mates and try to prove myself to them. In University I had no reason to do that because I didn't know anybody, and none of the lecturers had any interest in making sure I turned up to class.

The only time I have done well academically was in my last year at University (when I was driven by fear), and in Junior high school (when I was no doubt driven by other psychological demons).

It wasn't until I got into the "real world" that I started to realise that you can't get by on potential. There is no substitute for hard work. Laziness and a lack of discipline are the shortest paths to ruin, whatever your "on paper" intelligence. The real predictors of success in life are honesty and thoroughness (i.e., hard work).

I think the measurement of IQ is very, very dangerous, because it teaches people that they can coast through life. It's the mental equivalent of inheriting a lot of money: if you're IQ smart and you know it, it's easy to become a mental version of Paris Hilton.

I think some technical types like to wear their IQ as a badge - they consider a guy like Mycroft Holmes to be their hero. I haven't read the stories, but Mycroft was apparently Sherlock's smarter brother. Whenever Sherlock was stuck he could take something to Mycroft and he'd work it out in a second. Mycroft was a lazy git and never did anything with his talent, whereas Sherlock did. To me Sherlock is the real hero, because he achieved something. Mycroft was given a bigger handout and squandered it all.

.
Friday, July 16, 2004

I'm surprised that there's debate on whether smart people really look down on the less smart.

Almost universally, people despise those they see as less smart than themselves, and hate and fear those they see as smarter.

I regularly hear accusations of stupidity being flung around as if they were accusations of moral failure. I'm not talking about people who don't bother to use the intelligence they have - people who are trying their best but who are genuinely struggling, get some pretty merciless treatment.

An example: "It is irritating to ask people to fax you something that can be easily discussed over the telephone- this is a ploy used by the slow-witted to give themselves time to try and understand things, and is not appreciated by busy people of normal intelligence." (John Morgan, Debrett's Guide to Etiquette & Modern Manners, p.314).

Yes, I know it's irritating to be asked to fax things. That aside, why assume that the 'slow-witted' have no right to use strategies to try and understand things? Some people I know have said that the slow-witted have no right to expect to be employed at all. Well, maybe they shouldn't be employed as head of R&D at a bioinformatics company, but why the hell not in a low-level job?

And if one insists that 'normal intelligence' is a virtue instead of a random gift, why not also make a virtue of 'normal patience' and 'normal humility' while they're at it? To whom much has been given, from him much will be demanded, and all that.

Fernanda Stickpot
Saturday, July 17, 2004

> Almost universally, people despise those they see as less smart than themselves, and hate and fear those they see as smarter.

Almost universally?

> I regularly hear accusations of stupidity being flung around as if they were accusations of moral failure.

Ah, now I see why there is confusion -- when *I* do that it's not actually saying they are low IQ. It is a person who is perfectly capable who is acting like an idiot out of greed or shortsidedeness or a belief that they are all that and their plan must not be questioned. That's NOT a case of looking down on some poor genuinely dumb person. In the vernacular, 'stupid' hardly ever means mentally deficient. It means someone who is being a dumbass - usually an executive, but sometimes another coworker. Almost always its someone who is full of themselves who is pushing ntheir weight around and making supid decisions. That is a different thing from having a low IQ.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Oh and the author of that etiquette book is an idiot.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, July 17, 2004

I taught some highschool classes a bit over a year ago, and I repeatedly told them that most human failures are not failures of ability but failures of the will.  In my book, failing to live up to your potential is a much bigger crime than having a low potential in the first place.

Aaron F Stanton
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Dennis: hear hear.

Fernanda Stickpot
Saturday, July 17, 2004

There is no measurement of commonsense other than behaviour.

Intelligence is not a vector, it is a process.

An intelligent idiot is not an oxymoron but a simple description.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Let's drag this discussion back to relevance with JOS and to point out the obvious.

What is the correlation of IQ with excellent software development skills? Personally, I think genius-grade IQ has to be present  in order to be a great SW developer. This is one of the few fields of endeavor where IQ appears to matter a bit more than discipline and tolerance of boredom.

I find that great software developers - the ones at the pinnacle of the bell curve - are blindingly intelligent *and* highly disciplined - and they have at least a decent "emotional intelligence". (I do agree that lack of motivation and "will" will kill the person's chances of greatness as an SW developer more decidedly than lack of inteligence will.)

I have found that high IQ is not a predictor of excellence as a developer, but it is a prerequisite. Sic: I have known extremely intelligent people who wouldn't even bother with programming, and I've known similar people who tried SW development and had no flair for it.

What I see with more normal IQ'd developers is generally a muddle and a struggle. This is the sort that is always disorganized and has to struggle to understand fairly simple abstractions; the type of developer who writes too much sloppy code and who can't see patterns in systems; the kind of developer who can't quite master complexity; these traits, in my opinion, are correlated with middling IQ people who choose to develop software.

Not posting as flame bait, but debate on this rather obvious point seems to have been overlooked...

High IQ type (710 average SAT)
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Well, I guess I got the last word in and everyone defers to my brilliance.

Huh huh, I'm better than everyone else.

:-)

High IQ type (710 average SAT)
Saturday, July 17, 2004

I imagine the silence so far has been one of incredulity, rather than one of mute adoration.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, July 17, 2004

>the lazy genius syndrome

Yeah, everything went well for me till I went to grad school. Even breezed though the first two years of classroom courses and the exam to be a PhD candidate.

Then it was time to write the thesis.

Oops, I did not have the drive to sit and read a paper a week and think about my topic 3 hours a day for two years.

So people with perhaps lower IQs finished and I didn't.

So now I have to be a programmer. :weep:

dot for this one
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Sorry to mess up your last word. Just wanted to say that Aaron's "most human failures are not failures of ability but failures of the will" is a good one and I've copied it to my quote book. Agree wholeheartedly.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, July 17, 2004

I like it too, but ...

Does that mean you don't think that having a strong will is an ability?

Mongo
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Ah the conversation continues. Glad I wasn't the first to spoil the last word.

"I think genius-grade IQ has to be present  in order to be a great SW developer. This is one of the few fields of endeavor where IQ appears to matter a bit more than discipline and tolerance of boredom."

I USED to think this too. I still believe you need above average IQ. However, the average IQ of software developers is 110.

One of the most productive software developers I know each year writes 100,000 non-blank non-comment lines of fully debugged multithreaded code that is very complex math stuff. (think game engines). This is about 40 times more productive than the average developer. We were talking about this very subject of IQ being a necessity for developers and he told me in confidence that he had been tested at 117. That's above average, but its far below the supposed genius level that is required. The thing about him is he is both reasonable bright and very creative and absolutely driven and obsessed with what he does - he can sit down and utterly focus and just code for hours, including unit tests and all that stuff so that when it works it works and you don't have to worry about it. I am reminded of how Forrest Gump was able to achive great things by concentrating and following directions. If Forrest Gump was a bit creative as well, he probably would have invented the internet.
 

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Think of the guys on this board who say "I am ten times more productive than the other people here and yet I am only working 2 hours a day."

Let's assume that that is actually true.

What if they were motivated enough to work 8 hrs instead of 2? What would the accomplish?

Well I know the answer to that one - they would start their own company and make themselves 30 million dollars like the guy I just told you about before they are age 30.

When a person says "I work only two hours a day and spend 6 hrs surfing the web, aren't I a clever boy." my reaction to that is "No, you are a dumbass."

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Simon - Mute adoration is good.... :-)

>> One of the most productive software developers I know each year writes 100,000 non-blank non-comment lines of fully debugged multithreaded code

Dennis, that guy's "117 IQ" measurement is probably not taking his real talents into account. Regardless, that is phenomenal and illustrates that brains aren't everything.

High IQ type (710 average SAT)
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Yeah I agree. Yes, he's probably one of a kind, but still.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Yada yada Intelligence is not a scalar quantity and any attempt to treat it as such will be inherently flawed. Does it really matter that much?

Matt
Saturday, July 17, 2004

I am hearing debate about whether having (or knowing you have) a high IQ makes you lazy.

I think that is an untested hypothesis.

I think I am a pretty smart chicky. At least I was in highschool. Yet I did badly.

However  the times I succeed is when reminded of my intelligence. Grade 9 I was in the low level Math, Science, and English classes. A crazy american science teacher made the mistake of thing I had earned a distinction in some interstate chemistry test (one that I never ever went in). Consequently this mistake saw me bumped up a level in science. 10 weeks later I was coming 3rd in maths, in top level english, and 4/5th in science. This happened because achieving in one class (science) helped me achieve in others.

My point:
There are thousands of reasons for doing things. Some good, some bad. I want to join Mensa because of a puzzle book I read when I was 10 years old. No other hidden reason other then wanting to fulfill the dream of a ten year old. There are other reasons of course, mensa seems to have a lot of interest groups and that sort of thing. Some people are motivated by IQ tests. Heck, I am one of them. I don't brag about anything, I don't think I really have anything to brag about. I do use my scores to remind me that I am capable, so when I am staring dumb founded, or needing focus I can give myself a kick.

I am sure there are alot of people doing things for the wrong reasons, but doesn't this hold true for all things throughout life. People will brag about the color of their child's first poo if it suits them. IQ is just another thing. It is not entirely evil, why does this talk make out that it is?

Aussie chick
Saturday, July 17, 2004


One reason that high IQ people may have problems being successful is because they might have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or may have bipolar II disorder.

Most people think of kids with ADD/ADHD as being "Hyperactive", but that isn't always the case. Many kids can have attention deficit problems, but not hyperactivity problems. Psychiatrists are also beginning to realize that it doesn't go away as one grows up, adults (especially intelligent ones) find ways to somewhat cope with it).

The current theory is that persons with ADD and ADHD have problems with their "executive function". Their brain can't filter out all the little inputs (background noises, moving shadows, etc.) that most people just automatically ignore. Once this distraction occurs their brain has to stop and process it. Then their brain has difficulty getting back to the task at hand.

A good analogy is a CPU getting spurious interrupts and that its software can't handle the interrupts correctly and return to the main thread of execution.

There are a lot of misconceptions about ADD/ADHD:

1. Parents and Teachers are just "doping" misbehaving kids. The drugs used to treat ADD/ADHD are actually stimulants, not "downers". Psychiatrists think that these drugs help stimulate the patients "executive functions" so that they can concentrate better.

2. That treating kids with these drugs will result in them abusing drugs later. A large long-term study just recently completed in Britain actually shows that kids diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and treated properly are actually much less likely to abuse drugs. Untreated kids (and adults) turn to illegal drugs and alcohol to "self-medicate" themselves.

3. ADD/ADHD patients can't pay attention to anything. Actually in certain situations, persons with ADD/ADHD can become "hyper-focused". Especially if the tasks involve constant stimulation. A good example is Video Games.

Then there is bipolar II disorder. Unknown to most people there are different kinds of bipolar disorder. There is the classic bipolar disorder that we all read about in the paper or see depicted in the movies.

But their is also are versions known as bipolar II (as well as bipolar spectrum) disorder. For persons with bipolar II the cycle is shifted "downward" They don't get the highs of classic bipolar, but cycle between depression and feeling "normal".

On average it takes 10 YEARS to diagnose someone with bipolar II disorder. Recent research is beginning to find that a significant number (10-20%) of people who are diagnosed with depression actually suffer from bipolar II. In addition, a lot of the symptoms of bipolar II look very similar to ADD/ADHD or it is quite common for one to have both bipolar disorder and ADD/ADHD. This is unfortunate because the drugs used to treat depression and ADD/ADHD may actually make things worse for the patient by pushing them into a mania.

In addition, researchers are beginning to realize that children can have bipolar disorder. In the past it was believed that children couldn't have bipolar disorder because they never exhibited any of the "classic" symptoms. However, they are finding that children exhibit different symptoms that disappear with the same treatment for bipolar disorders in adults.

Fortunately, most people with bipolar II can be treated easier than those with classic bipolar disorder.

The diagnosis for these conditions is tricky. There is no "magic" test that can positively identify a problem. A good psychiatrist needs to first rule out any "physical" cause for a patients problems, conduct a thorough examination of medical records, school records, observations by parents or spouses, and examine a complete family history of possible mental illness (ADD, ADHD, and bipolar have been proven to be partially genetic).

A lot of people dismiss people claiming to have these disorders as "lazy", or "lack discipline". But there is plenty of research (and not just by drug companies) that prove this is a real problem, effecting real people, and having a real impact on society.

Aragorn
Saturday, July 17, 2004

I'd like to add that the above is just one possible reason why high IQ people may not be sucessful.

I have always beleived that IQ <> Common Sense, Wisdom, or Experience.

Aragorn
Saturday, July 17, 2004

> 1. Parents and Teachers are just "doping" misbehaving kids.

That is true.

> The drugs used to treat ADD/ADHD are actually stimulants

Yes, chemically ritalin has the exact same effect as cocaine. The brain damage from long term use of ritalin is detectable in MRIs and is identical to the brain damage done from long term use of cocaine.

> Psychiatrists think that these drugs help stimulate the patients "executive functions" so that they can concentrate better.

Psychiatrists have the highest rate of client sexual abuse of any profession. They also have the highest suicide rate of any profession, and the highest level of mental illness.

> 2. That treating kids with these drugs will result in them abusing drugs later.

This is true - numerous studies have validated this fact.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Dennis, can you provide references for these studies, and the studies which show brain damage in MRIs?

Fernanda Stickpot
Sunday, July 18, 2004

On the brain damage issue, Dec. 2003 Biological Psychiatry has a study on that and I've got another one around here somewhere - let me look for it.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Carlezon, W.A. Jr. Biological Psychiatry, Dec. 15, 2003; vol 54: pp 1330-1337. News release, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass.

I think that's the reference on the one I just mentioned - study also suggested that ritalin use leads to severe depression.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

OK, well THIS is interesting -- that particular study is the specific one that the pharmaceutical firms quote when they are claiming that ritalin is NOT a gateway drug. The study shows that long term ritalin use specifically decreases that chance that one will get on cocaine and cocaine only. The reason for this of course is that the ritalin has burned out all the pathways by which the cocaine would give a pleasure response. What the study fails to mention is that long term cocaine use ALSO leads to less of a chance of being a cocaine user for the same reason.

Interesting that they like to mention that par of it without giving details and without mentioning the OTHER two results of the study - that ritalin use leads to depression and brain damage.

This is why I recommend everyone read the original sources whenever they can.

Look, I've just shot to hell most of the claims about ritalin being safe and it only took one study. i'll leave it to you to get off your butt and do a modicum of research if you want any more proof that you are abusing your children by giving them this stuff. You people giving this sh-t to your kids should be put in jail and gang raped, which is what should happen to all abusers who abuse their kids this way. Damn pedophiles.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Okay, well, can you provide links to the originals? I would like to read the articles for myself rather than someone else's interpretation of them.

Fernanda Stickpot
Sunday, July 18, 2004

My IQ was tested by Mensa at 167, but it doesn't really mean anything.

I think it just means you're good at IQ tests. I certainly believe that taking lots of them will improve your score. Just like anything else, practice makes perfect.

Steve Jones (UK)
Sunday, July 18, 2004

You can look up the Biological Psychiatry article at your local medical school library. The only link I have to it is for a subscription medical article database that requires a password; I use a relative's password but i can't give it out. Maybe the study is available somewhere else for free on line, I don't know.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Fernanda,

There are actually two articles on ritalin in that issue. you can download either or both of them as pdf files at this site:

http://www.ingenta.com/isis/browsing/TOC/ingenta?issue=pubinfobike://els/00063223/2003/00000054/00000012

There is a fee of $30 per download.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

In case you are wondering, both of those studies were paid for 100% by the NIH which is funded by the US taxpayers. The studies are then pulbished in journals that are not readily available to the general public who must then pay $30 for the priveledge of reading it as well as signing a contract swearing that they will not show others the text of the article.

This protocol was devised by the US pharmaceutical industry in case you're wondering.

If you want to find the truth about things, you need to get down to your local medical library with a list of references. Some of these libraries, nearly all of which are paid for with state and federal tax dollars, will insist on seeing ID and refuse to allow members of the general public access to the articles.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

F-in A man I found one of them!

http://psychlops.psy.uconn.edu/chrobak/psych2000/ritalin.html

Get it before the pharmaceutical police force them to take it down.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Thank you Dennis, I will peruse this at my leisure. Perhaps next time I'm at the university I'll be able to look at the journals.

Fernanda Stickpot
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Fernanda, when you're there, check out the book "Blaming the Blain" if you want to read an intelligent analysis by a doctor with tons of supporting references that exposes a lot of phormaceutical shenanigans as pseudoscience. If you want to get really ticked off at a more rabble rousing approach with mostly the same information but more historical context, try Szabo's "Mad In America". These books are both by credentialed doctors and are real eye openers. Looking up the references alone can keep you busy in a medical library for months. Even if you are so horrified and shocked that you can't believe what they are telling you, you will be much better prepared to discuss these issues with a doctor who is casually prescribing psychoactives for ailments of life without either proper diagnosis or subsequent monitoring.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Thanks, Dennis, but I'm far too used to reading stuff like that to be shocked by it.

Since I'm giving Ritalin to myself, should I turn myself in to be put in jail and gang raped? Mondays are so difficult already, I find.

Fernanda Stickpot
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sorry Dennis, that was mean of me. I don't share your perspective, but I do so very much appreciate your efforts to bring those studies to my attention.

Fernanda Stickpot
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Dennis wrote:

If you want to get really ticked off at a more rabble rousing approach with mostly the same information but more historical context, try Szabo's "Mad In America".

Dennis, I can't find this reference, and I used to be up on this stuff.  There is a book by Robert Whitaker that appears to be the one you're speaking of.

Are you also thinking of Thomas Szasz's "The Myth of Mental Illness"?  If not, may I recommend it?

Mongo
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Right you are, I had them mixed up. Both rabble-rousers who are hated paraiahs in their fields. Both with tons of credible studies and facts that those who hate them don't have an answer for. I tell people even if you don't want to believe them, they are not cranks and its good to see both sides of the story - the medical establishment has closed ranks and makes sure wthat only the shiney happy people side is the one most people see.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

I do believe that giving drugs that cause brain damage and do not treat an actual illness to kids is child abuse, and is worse than sexual abuse, which itself I believe should always draw the death penalty. The reason I say this because sexual abuse is a terrible thing, but at least 5% (not sure of the number but its more than 0%) of victims manage to recover, wheras ritalin/cocaine induced brain damage is permanent.

True, parents are unaware of this but they have a responsibility to find out the facts and not just go along with it because it calms the little devils down and makes them manageable.

Studies have focused on the risk of these drugs in pediatric use where the brain is still growing and these things can have a leveraged effect. Hopefully, adult usage will not be as severe.

Ritalin and Cocaine's effects on the body are not exactly the same, but their effect on the brain is indistinguishable. The effects of prolonged cocaine use on the brain are well known - paranoia, alienation, agitation, depression and more.

ADHD, although clamed to have a biological basis, is not measurable through any biological means other than checking for brain damage as a result of ritalin use.

Ritalin does have an effect on people and is a great study aid, as is Cocaine. However, Ritalin has the exact same effect on those who have been diagnosed with ADHD as it does on those who have not. This fact negates the claim that there is a biological condition or deficiency which Ritalin treats. This leaves us to consider if Ritalin is safe for use as a recreational or study drug and the answer is no, it is not safe.

I could see an argument for Ritalin sales to properly informed adults who wish to use it just as they might use tobacco or caffeine, marijuana, or cocaine. But the use of this drug to make spirited children, gifted children, and children with food allergies and poor nutrition more manageable is neglegent and abusive.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, July 18, 2004

"We were talking about this very subject of IQ being a necessity for developers and he told me in confidence that he had been tested at 117."

IQ is not an absolute predictor of anything at an individual level; it just has a broad correlation.  If you have 1000 developers each with a 110 IQ, and another 1000 developers with a 140 IQ, chances are the second group will produce more great developers.  But still there will be some in the 140 group that do worse than some in the 110 group.

It's sort of like height and basketball.  There is an undeniable correlation with height and playing basketball, but still there are some NBA All-Stars less than 6 feet tall and 7-footers who could not land a spot on a college team.

T. Norman
Sunday, July 18, 2004

See, it's things like this that make me glad I no longer have anything to do with the pharma industry.  It's one of those double edged swords in society - I strongly believe that science can be used to benefit our species and the world, but it also can just as easily to further corporate greed without regard to the damage it does.

BTW, thanks for noting my quote, Dennis.  A few of the students got it, most did not, and interestingly, some got annoyed by it because it struck too true for their liking.  Amazing how things were there.  It seems that it is now pretty common for teachers to grade on completion of homework, not correctness.  That stunned me when I found it out.  (For those of you who don't know what this means, if a student is given a twenty point assignment and they answer all twenty questions, under grading by completion they get twenty points regardless of the correctness of the answers.  I never had that happen to me at any point in my education, and they freaked when I graded on correctness.)  I had to explain to them that when they got jobs, their bosses would not care if they "tried real hard" but got things wrong.  The boss will only care if they get it right, not how much effort it took.

Incidentally, there were a large number of ADD/ADHD kids there.  Not all of them were bright - the bright ones refused to use it as a crutch.  (We had to allow learning disabled kids extra time on exams, and ADD/ADHD automatically qualified them.)

Damn, I am tired.  I ramble when I get tired.  Good night.

Aaron F Stanton
Monday, July 19, 2004

Mongo -

I don't believe it to be an ability so much as a choice.  You can choose to attempt a thing, you can choose to give up and no longer attempt it.  Choosing to endure brief pain to eliminate long term misery is something many people do not do.  Delaying gratification is a choice.

It's about managing your life in a rational fashion.  Many people claim to know about long term negative consequences, but they don't perform actions that indicate that they care.  I'm guilty of it, too, I'll admit.  I'm not a perfectly rational person - I'll go eat a Quarter Pounder with Cheese from time to time, knowing full well it's not the best choice to make.  However, I don't smoke, nor do I drink often.  I should exercise more.  These are choices I make.

There I go rambling again, after I already said good night.

Aaron F Stanton
Monday, July 19, 2004

Here's one of the studies showing that ritalin use leads to higher chance of drug abuse:

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/6104436.htm?1c

UM study: Ritalin use may worsen cocaine abuse

BY CONNIE PRATER AND SHARI RUDAVSKY

cprater@herald.com

People who use cocaine regularly may have a harder time breaking the habit if they used Ritalin or the club drug Ecstasy in their youth, a University of Miami study suggests.

The number of U.S. children and adolescents who were prescribed Ritalin and other stimulants surged dramatically in the 1990s.

The study, conducted on laboratory mice, found that rodents given Ritalin and Ecstasy, then later cocaine, showed higher sensitivity to cocaine than those that hadn't been exposed to the first two stimulants.

''If they start using drugs, these guys that have been preexposed to Ritalin and Ecstasy may be more susceptible for relapse than others,'' said Yossef Itzhak, a UM professor of psychiatry and the lead researcher on the study.

Dennis Atkins
Monday, July 19, 2004

----" The study, conducted on laboratory mice, found that rodents given Ritalin and Ecstasy, then later cocaine, showed higher sensitivity to cocaine than those that hadn't been exposed to the first two stimulants."-----

So shouldn't the title of the study be "Ritalin means you can use less cocaine to get high."

Stephen Jones
Monday, July 19, 2004

Sure.

Dennis Atkins
Monday, July 19, 2004

"So how do I have the worst first-year University record of anyone I have EVER seen? Specifically, of ten subjects: Five fails, one withdrawal, two bare passes, one credit, and one distinction (in a "computer studies" subject so it barely counts). If you look at the raw numbers, I would have averaged about 30 percent in my subjects that year. Second year is not much better."

rofl!  first year was the exact same for me, except i never recovered.  2nd year was just as bad, and i did ok in my third year ('cause my gf pushed me, but then we broke up).  i spend 5 years there, and i never amassed enough credits in order to graduate.

i scored 130 when i was 13 so i got placed into a "gifted" program in high school whereupon i coasted for 5 years straight (up in canada, we had grade 13 back then).  my marks were good enough to get into a pretty good university, but i wasn't an extraordinary student by any means.

i've never learned how to motivate myself.  i often find it difficult motivating myself to get out of bed, let alone to work on my own projects.  i'm lazy, undisciplined, and full of life-draining insecurities.

i program well enough, though i get sloppy.  i pride myself in being an efficient worker, while at the same time i hate myself for not achieving up to my potential.

i feel like i've been given every advantage to succeed, and have managed to fail despite.

i have this nightmare that sums up my life in a nutshell: i'm writing an exam that, if i passed, i would be able to live a life of success and countless opportunity.  but i hadn't prepared for it and i don't know any of the answers.  i feel lost and helpless and out of my depth.  i wake up in a panic, thinking that i've missed my life flying by.

Ken
Monday, July 19, 2004

Ken, I sometimes have the same feeling.  I too am frequently unmotivated.  I dropped out of college to pay bills, spent two years doing that, and somewhere along the line heard of molecular nanotechnology.  That set a fire under my ass, so I went back to school, got my BA and then my PhD.

Turns out nobody wants to hire someone with a doctorate in theoretical chemistry for that skillset.  Nobody.  Not the MNT people, not the pharma companies.  So I flailed aimlessly for quite a time.  With the nanotech dream broken, I don't have much motivation save daily life.

So that's what I do.  Live one day at a time, pay my bills, and cherish the daily pleasures.  My wife, my kid, good weather, strong coffee, solving small but challenging problems.

My grand dreams are gone.  I'd like them back, but it will be difficult to trust them even if they do come again.

So that's my suggestion to you.  Life is not about one big fight at the end where you win.  Life is about constructing the pattern of daily existence.

Gee, there I go again, and I'm not even tired this time.  Go figure.

Aaron F Stanton
Monday, July 19, 2004

==>> What often happens with high IQ is the lazy genius syndrome: things come so easily to the person early in life that they don't develop good work habits; they're used to taking shortcuts to get the right answer.  The kid drifts through public school and perhaps even college without having to work very hard.

==>This seeems a very interesting hypothesis - would be nice to test it.

I was tested as a child. Seems I was failing the 4th grade and they (parents/teachers/administration) were attempting to decide if I should be held back a year. At one point in the debate, I was forced to take a test. They didn't, at the time, tell me it was an IQ test -- what 4th grader would really care? I've recently seen the paperwork. Tested at 168 in the 4th grade.

I guess that confirms the theory that "smart" kids are lazy. I sure was <grin>.

I've been tested recently (last 5 years) and it's mid 140s. Seems IQ is not very stable and mine is going down. Lost over 20 points in the last 25 years. I guess my neurons are dying at the rate of about 1 IQ point a year. At this rate, I'll be a moron by the time I've got grandkids <grin> .

FYI -- I took the Mensa test, passed, and joined. I've not attended a single meeting, so I can't tell you what they're like. I simply wanted another "boyscout badge" saying I've achieved something. I did. I achieved passing the Mensa entrance exam. No more, no less.

And, I'm still basically a lazy person. <grin>

Sgt. Sausage
Monday, July 19, 2004

Aaron, if I could afford to pay my bills while supporting a wife and a kid, I'd be pretty darn happy with myself.

Ken
Monday, July 19, 2004

Ken -

Well, my wife works.  My salary alone wouldn't cut it with the house and other bills we have.

I'm just saying that day to day life is where you start rebuilding yourself.  Large plans are great motivators, but they can be fragile, and if you are not paying attention to the daily stuff, the whole thing can crumble pretty fast.

Aaron F Stanton
Monday, July 19, 2004

One of the things you said that I have a problem with:

"Look, I've just shot to hell most of the claims about ritalin being safe and it only took one study."

I have to ask why you would think one study was enough - is that usually enough for the scientific community? Have many people replicated these findings? Why is this study more valid than others that suggest other conclusions?

The study itself admits there's a problem comparing IP administration to rats against oral administration to human children; in everyday life injecting Ritalin would be abusage and not usage, so it's not unreasonable to wonder about the validity.

I'm far from being a scientist, nor do I play one on TV, but I am about the most alarmist person in the world and I can't find a way of getting worked up about this.

Fernanda Stickpot
Monday, July 19, 2004

It ONLY took one study, yet there are hundreds of studies showing problems with ritalin and with using stimulants on kids with growing brains in general.

Yet there is not a single study that even substantiates ADHD as an actual disease and not something made up by the marketing departments of the drug firms to legally sell speed at a premium.

Dennis Atkins
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Please show me where those studies are on Medline, and please also explain why you are focusing your attention solely on ADHD and not on other diseases with no objective physical tests yet? (Okay, PET and SPECT scans, but they're no good for diagnostic purposes.) Is Parkinson's fake too? Migraine? Chronic pain? Of course, I may have read the same studies you did, but I sure didn't reach the conclusions you did.

Okay. Ranting now. But if you can, I can, eh? So here goes:

I also wonder where I fit into all this, as the patient. I seem to have a heck of a lot of advocates, all of them agreeing with the conventional wisdom that ADHD is fake and Ritalin is bad mmmkay, and any research that says otherwise is for the birds, but none of them ever did anything for me except "charge me with impossible burdens, though they would not touch me with one finger".

All I remember is that I could never hold my own in an argument because I could never remember what I had just said a moment ago. Had to believe what I was told about what I thought, felt, and wanted because nobody else thought and felt as I was sinful and wicked enough to believe I did. I wanted to be good, not evil, so I listened to others who knew better and were better. Had to accept the shame of not being able to take care of myself because simple, low-level jobs took every ounce of effort I could muster, and knowing I had wasted every opportunity because I was (high IQ, y'know), capable of so much more. Had to accept the judgement of the malevolent, who used my struggle to do simple tasks as a way to discount the end result, which was always successful, but who cares about that? If I were worth anything I'd be doing it as easily as they did.

Oh, and then I find an explanation that I can understand with 100% comprehension instead of struggling along on five to fifteen percent comprehension, the way I usually did. I find a treatment that brings me to full consciousness for the first time in my life, at twenty-five - like getting glasses and suddenly being able to see every leaf on a tree.

Of course my friends and advocates, who had been so generous in telling me who I was and what I thought, were offended. Someone who's fully conscious is so much harder to deal with than someone who's too weak and dopey to put one foot in front of the other. Someone who has found 'a label' might just find out what's inside the jar, instead of relying on you to tell them that that's peanut butter instead of a shit sandwich.

And you know what? I don't have any trouble believing there are people out there who use diagnosis and meds to control others, either. I think that controlling people have an instinct for knowing what you need, and making sure you get the opposite.

Oh, and if I were a speed freak I could find a heck of a lot easier ways to score than jumping through the NHS's hoops of fire, too.

I've been real and solid for nine years now. I don't want to go back to being a ghost with a faint wind whistling through the hole in my heart.

Fernanda Stickpot
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Fernanda, you need to get over yourself.

I also think you need to get off the speed, but as I said, you are an adult and if you want to toke a hit, it's not my business as long as you don't steal to support your habit or drive when wired up.

You can go look up your own dawn references. you've seen them. You know they are out there. Why should I waste my time typing references and then tracking them down on the net? We will just see more of your pattern:

F: I need references.
D: Here you go, look at these journals.
F: I need net references.
D: OK, here are some net references.
F: I don't want to pay money for articles.
D: Here is an article synopsis, go look up at the med library for more of it.
F: I don't have time to go to the med library . Maybe I will. But probably not. I've already read tons of that stuff.

So why the fuck should I waste my time with a sniveling whiney baby like you who cares so little of her health she has to toke drugs and then complain endlessly on this board about how much she hates her job?

By the way, one side effect of long term use of stimulants, in addition to brain shrinkage that models senility, is a loss of focus. So if you do go off the dope, your problem will be real at last. But the longer you take the dope, the worse the problem becomes. As we speak, your brain is irreversably wasting away.

I have little patience for those who blame diseases and stuff on their own personal problems. I was sexually molested by a high school teacher when I was younger. I later killed the bastard and spent some time in prison and that was no picnic either. I spent my time studying and lifting weights and now I don't have a problem with people messing with me. But you don't see me whining and complaining about how I need special treatment from society because of all this.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Dennis, I am sorrier than you can know to hear of what you have suffered. I wish I could say something that would adequately express that.

I do appreciate your concern for me, misplaced as I believe it to be. Nevertheless, it is tasteless to express that concern by accusing me of drug addiction for taking prescribed medication in accordance with generally accepted medical opinion. You may or may not have grounds for challenging generally accepted medical opinion, but you do not have the standing to accuse me in this way.

I would like to point out that I never said or implied that I didn't want to pay for articles, nor that I was not prepared to make any effort to track them down. Rather the opposite. Neither did I say that I "didn't have time" to go to the library and would "probably not" look up the articles. Rather the opposite, I said that I *would* go to the library and look up the articles. The reason I ask you for titles is because I think that "he who asserts must prove". If you have read studies and are prepared to allude to them in support of your arguments, it should not be too much to ask that you provide actual references in the form of titles.

Neither have I ever asked for, or received, special treatment from society. I have no idea why you would think I had. You surely don't need to argue with a straw man, nor to cite anonymous authorities. I have little patience with those that do, and I agree that continuing this discussion is likely to be a waste of time, since you have no respect for my character and I have no respect for your arguments. Accordingly this is the end of my participation.

I dislike being at odds with you I only wish we could agree to disagree, but it seems too late even for that now.

Fernanda Stickpot
Thursday, July 22, 2004

OK, that's fine. As I said, if you want to toke, it's your own business as long as you know that it's causing you irreversible brain damage. Where I have a serious problem is the drug pushers aka school administrators family doctors and shrinks who are selling this dope to kids. These people are child molesters and every last one of them should be shot.

* Several million children are being treated with Ritalin and other stimulants on the grounds that they have attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and suffer from inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity. The stimulants include: Ritalin (methylphenidate), Dexedrine and DextroStat (dextroamphetamine or d-amphetamine), Adderall (d-amphetamine and amphetamine mixture), Desoxyn and Gradumet (methamphetamine), and Cylert (pemoline). Except for Cylert, all of these drugs have nearly identical effects and side effects. Ritalin and the amphetamines can for most purposes be considered one type of drug.

* The number of children being drugged has escalated several-fold in the last few years.

* Ritalin and amphetamine have almost identical adverse effects on the brain, mind and behavior, including the production of drug-induced behavioral disorders, psychosis, mania, drug abuse, and addiction.

* Ritalin and amphetamine frequently cause the very same problems they are supposed to treat--inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

* A large percentage of children become robotic, lethargic, depressed, or withdrawn on stimulants.

* Ritalin can cause permanent neurological tics including Tourette's syndrome.

* Ritalin can retard growth in children by disrupting the cycles of growth hormone released by the pituitary gland.

* The recent finding that Ritalin can cause cancer in some animals was not taken seriously enough by the drug company or the FDA.

* Ritalin routinely causes gross malfunctions in the brain of the child. There is research evidence from a few controlled scientific studies that Ritalin can cause shrinkage (atrophy) or other permanent physical abnormalities in the brain.

* Withdrawal from Ritalin can cause emotional suffering, including depression, exhaustion, and suicide. This can make children seem psychiatrically disturbed and lead mistakenly to increased doses of medication.

* Ritalin is addictive and can become a gateway drug to other addictions. It is a common drug of abuse among children and adults.

* ADHD and Ritalin are American and Canadian medical fads. The U.S. uses 90% of the world's Ritalin. CibaGeneva Pharmaceuticals (also known as Ciba-Geigy Corporation), a division of Novartis, is the manufacturer of Ritalin. It is trying to expand the Ritalin market to Europe and the rest of the world.

* Ritalin "works" by producing malfunctions in the brain rather than by improving brain function. This is the only way it works.

* Short-term, Ritalin suppresses creative, spontaneous and autonomous activity in children, making them more docile and obedient, and more willing to comply with rote, boring tasks, such as classroom school work and homework.

* Short-term, Ritalin has no positive effect on a child's psychology or on academic performance and achievement. This is confirmed by innumerable studies and by many professional reviews of the literature.

* Longer-term, beyond several weeks, Ritalin has no positive effects on any aspect of a child's life.

* Labeling children with ADHD and treating them with Ritalin can keep them out of the armed services, limit their future career choices, and stigmatize them for life. It can ruin their own self image, subtly demoralize them, and discourage them from reaching their full potential.

* There is no solid evidence that ADHD is a genuine disorder or disease of any kind.

* There is a great deal of research to confirm that environmental problems cause ADHD-like symptoms.

* A very small number of children may suffer ADHD-like symptoms because of physical disorders, such as lead poisoning, drug intoxication, exhaustion, and head injury. Physical causes may be more common among poor communities in the United States.

* There is no proof of any physical abnormalities in the brains or bodies of children who are routinely labeled ADHD. They do not have known biochemical imbalances or "crossed wires."

* ADHD is a controversial diagnosis with little or no scientific or medical basis. A parent, teacher, or doctor can feel in good company when utterly dismissing the diagnosis and refusing to apply it to children.

* Ciba spends millions of dollars to sell parent groups and doctors on the idea of using Ritalin. Ciba helps to support the parent group, CH.A.D.D., and organized psychiatry.

* The U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) push Ritalin as vigorously as the manufacturer of the drug, often in even more glowing terms than the drug company could get away with legally.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, July 23, 2004

Marijuana has never been shown to cause any long term damage. The only known negative effects of marijuana attainable by normal use is short term judgement imparment and loss of coordination.

My friend has ADHD and takes medicine for it. He got a 14 on one of the first tests in his math class before switching medication, he recently got a 98 in a class where the average is a 74.

My IQ is a 161 and I can testify to the lazy genius syndrome. I am entering my sophmore year in high school, and I really wish I had been challenged earlier, because I know that someday I will come across a class where I don't just pick things up by osmosis and I have never learned any methods on how to study effectively. I have already begun to see a decline in the easyness of one of my classes, and I know that it will only get worse as I am now going to take a full load of AP courses in a year where no one is supposed to be able to take any. The reason I survived this long is because I went to the montessori school when I was young, and it is quite possibly the greatest educational system I have ever seen/heard of/experienced.

Anon.
Monday, August 02, 2004

Well...
It is highly doubtful that you'd have that many people with IQs like that in one forum. It may be possible, but it looks kind of odd. Anyway IQ is quite often unreliable. You can study for those tests. And if it's an online test, you can cheat on it. And online tests are notoriously crappy anyway.  The more familiar you are with those tests (online or professionally administered) the better you can do. And anyway, some people just aren't good test-takers but are really intelligent.

Have a nice day.
Stfu.

Stfu
Thursday, August 12, 2004

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