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# The foolishness of trying to represent the human mind by a single number (as is done in the IQ concept)

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Different people's minds work in different ways.  Everyone is
intelligent in a different way.  There are many different
abilities, strengths, weaknesses, aspects, slants, tendencies
and inclinations of the human mind.  Trying to assign an "IQ"
to a person is analogous to the following:  Suppose we have
four baskets.  The contents of the four baskets are as follows:

Basket 1  ---  3 apples, 8 oranges, 5 pears, 1
banana
Basket 2  ---  4 apples, 2 oranges, 2 pears, 9
bananas
Basket 3  ---  1 apple, 5 oranges, 10 pears, 2
bananas
Basket 4  ---  10 apples, 4 oranges, 1 pear, 1
banana

Now suppose a number of people are arguing over which of the
four baskets is better, worth more, or superior.  How silly
would be such an argument!  For whether one prefers one basket
to another depends on whether he likes apples better than
oranges, how much better, how much he likes pears and bananas,
etc.  The whole answer must necessarily be purely subjective,
purely opinion.  From a logical standpoint the four baskets are
incommensurate with each other; they can't be compared.  And
just as you cannot lump all the contents of a basket together
(i.e. "add them up") to obtain an single measure of worth for
the basket even so you cannot lump all the different types of
powers, aspects, tendencies, and inclinations of the human mind
together and represent them by a single measure of "worth" or
"superiority" for the mind.  You cannot lump all the various
kinds of abilities together, "add them up", and represent them
by a single number.  To pretend to do so is foolishness!  With
the IQ concept all the various kinds of intelligence and mental
ability are lumped together to get a single number representing
"general intelligence".  It is ridiculous nonsense.  The IQ
concept is simple foolishness.  We live in a society that has
been grossly duped!

I believe the IQ concept, the concept itself, the idea itself,
is one of the main contributing causes of a serious and
prevalent mental problem of our society: the inferiority
complex.  And it is modern psychiatry that invented the IQ
concept.  So if I am right, what does it mean?  It means that
much of the blame for all the misery and suffering of all of
the huge number of people who have been pulled down by the
inferiority complex through the years can be laid right at the
feet of modern psychiatry; that modern psychiatry, instead of
solving mental problems, has played a big role in causing them.
And there is another party that has played a big role, also,
and shares in the blame: the modern education system.  By
endorsing the IQ concept, popularizing it, and propagating it,
the modern educational system has done terrible damage to a
huge number of children --- in a great number of cases ruined
their lives.  I would call that a real crime!  And everyone who
has endorsed the concept and had a part in the process bears
part of the guilt.

Oct 1977

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