Posts Tagged ‘intelligence’

Just another sem-random test

2017-04-08 21:22:54 PST

Just another sem-random test

How Smart Are You? Take This Quiz to Find Out!
“Hey there, brainiac! Have we got a whopper for you! Well, it’s actually several whoppers to test your knowledge of history, literature, mathematics, and everything else you should, or at least should have learned in high school or college and beyond. Did you graduate high school? College? Get a doctorate’s degree?

Take this quiz and we’ll be able to figure out your education level based on how many you can answer correctly.”

I got: “I got 38 of 50 right
You are a master with that Master’s degree.”

Hmmmm, though I did attend some college, I don’t have any college degree at all – not even so much as an AA or AS from some community college.

Whatever.

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semi-random / select personal stats – or lies, damn lies, and statistics … except they’re all true

2013-09-26 21:36:58 PST

So, I thought it would be interesting/informative to post a bunch of personal statistics. All true stuff. Not exactly a representative sample though, and certainly not a random sampling, but more so to illustrate some general, and key points.

Some general and key points. I’ll state at least a bit of that up-front, so it might emerge a bit more clearly as “theme”, as one reads/skims through this stuff. I won’t highlight all the possible points and themes though … one might also draw one’s own conclusions … and perhaps some more interesting and informative than I could think up, and especially also since I’m inherently not the most objective observer with the subject being myself, though I might happen to know the subject better than anyone else.

General bits. As I’ve more-or-less stated before, lots of different ways of slicing, dicing, measuring and testing me. In/on many such test/measures/statistics, I come out pretty much right around average. Also, on quite a number of such, I come out at relatively extreme ends of the scale – typically in the 15% or less end of either extreme end of the scale/range, often 10% or less, many times 5% or less, and not to uncommonly 2% or less, sometimes even much less than that.

More specific bits. Won’t enumerate or (fully) list them here, but see if one can pick out some patterns – maybe even some I fail to see/recognize myself. But look for patterns in such things as friendships, relationships, academic performance/grades, correlations(?), communication, “connecting”, social stuff, interest/boredom, likes/dislikes, general personality characteristics, thought/analytic patterns, things missing/absent, shortcomings, blindspots, things/capabilities I just don’t have, things I haven’t done, things I have done and do quite well and/or thoroughly or am particularly adept at, etc., etc., and in not necessarily any particular order. Probably a lot more, and doesn’t necessarily include all of those, but that set might be at least a starting “hint” of things to possibly watch for. And, without further introduction …

Age: 50 years old (at least as I’m writing/drafting this)

Oldest age at which I worked, or again worked, a minimum wage job: 21 (at only and exactly minimum wage, not talking something that was pennies or nickles above that).
Most years ever worked for the same employer: 11 and contiguously: 8
Income: none of your damn business, but it’s “decent”, or “enough”, or something like that, not exactly a major concern of mine, anyway, though more is generally better – if it doesn’t also have downsides with it.

Religion: Atheist. For many many many years, I was agnostic – though much of that, highly devoutly so. I became agnostic right around the same time I called the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus into question – yeah, from a quite young age. Though it was simple, easy, and soon that I became a non-believer in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus, that “God” question (and “Jesus”? – WTF – how did that get into the picture?), well, the “God” question was a bit tricker (much easier to disprove the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus), so, … mostly tabled figuring that out ’till I was about 14 or so – when I had enough mental horsepower to much more properly address and figure out the answer to that question … and I more-or-less mostly did, short version being – definitely agnostic – question inherently unanswerable and answer unknowable, thus question almost entirely moot, and … me, at least then, what I later termed myself as – “devoutly agnostic”. Thoroughly reexamined that in early 20s, and reached same conclusion again, and, additionally and even more so, that it didn’t matter – either way there was no determinable or measurable difference of any significance whatsoever, so the question was completely and totally moot – at least for most all intents and purposes as far as I was concerned. And, … a few years ago … updated slightly. Reclassified myself as Atheist. Why? Really the more fitting descriptor and classification, as, in examining it, I was really firmly planted in the “Teapot agnostic” category anyway. So, really ought call it what it more properly is and is the more apt descriptor – Atheist. And, … am I “militantly atheist”? Naw, I don’t go around hammering folks over the head with my (dis)beliefs. People are gonna believe what they’re gonna believe – facts be damned. When people want/need to believe something badly enough, … they will, and do, … doesn’t have to have anything to do with reality. And I’ve seen this in people, … both in others, and even sometimes in myself. I think I mentioned a wee bit of that somewhere in my blog posting stuff – essentially part of psychological survival mechanism … but can have its downsides, too.
But I say stuff like “damn”, and “hell”, and maybe even sometimes, “god”, how could I be an atheist? I also say stuff like sh*t and f*ck, and likewise generally use them as expressionals, not in their literal meaning. Relatively ingrained in the culture, language, and my experience of it, so, … those words – and their expressional usage, also get mixed into my use of language/words – again, not general use of their literal meaning, for f*ck’s sake.

Gender: male
Sexual orientation: heterosexual (perhaps boringly so, but probably somewhere around “average” in that camp/categorization)
Marital/relationship status: single, never married, was once engaged.
Was engaged? Yes, over 8 years, after still not even living in the same country and having not even seen each other in years, and the last couple years or so of that things drifting much more apart than together, I (technically I, anyway) broke it off.
Ever engaged before: No
Ever close to engaged before? No, not really. One woman wanted me to propose, but I never did, she eventually broke it off with me – and that was a damn good thing – I should have broken it off much, much earlier – but I didn’t know better way back then (first “serious” relationship).
Sexual drive/interest?: As best I’ve been able to tell (can’t say I’ve thoroughly researched it), seems to be approximately “average” for my age and gender, and as far as I know always pretty much has been for me.

Number of women I’ve ever had intercourse with in my entire life: 4
Durations, longest to shortest, of sexual phase of said relationships:
on-and-off over a span of several years or so (but was a rather messed up not good relationship)
a few months or less (maybe only a couple months, if that)
about 6 weeks
about 3 days (not that we weren’t compatible, but she lived thousands of miles away, was only out for a short visit, was considering a possible move to the area, and decided not to move to the area)
Total number of women, in my entire life, that I’ve ever had intercourse with that were under 35 years of age: 1
How young was she? she was 21, I was 28, it lasted about 6 weeks … not that we weren’t compatible, but … life happens – it was broken off)
Greatest age span other direction: I was 24, she was 37 … she was my first
My entire life, grand total of women I’ve ever kissed where I was romantically/sexually interested in them: 7 (not 100% sure of that number, but that’s probably the correct number). Hmmmm, and given that the average length of any relationship I’ve ever been in has been much less than 7 years, that’s the vast majority of the time not even making it so far as kissing. :-/ Okay, so the vast majority of the time I don’t make it so far as holding hands, let alone a hug, and there’s nobody there that I’m anywhere close to that being a real possibility to even do that with.
My entire life, grand total number of women I’ve ever gotten so close with, to have at least more-or-less crawled into bed naked with (or something close to that) and at least gotten significantly touchy-feely or something like that, and also including those that I ever had sexual intercourse with, grand total count: 7
Isn’t that damn frustrating, relatively average heterosexual male, relatively average sex drive and such, having spent so little of one’s life involved in a sexual relationship or having sex with any woman or women? Yeah, pretty damn/darn frustrating, but not chief/highest among my frustrations/concerns (ranked higher, if not much, much higher, would at least include good close connection(s) and lack thereof – e.g. (general) lack of good close friend(s), and near total lack of almost any meaningful physical contact whatsoever (random handshakes don’t count and random brief hugs from near total strangers also hardly counts; and perhaps some other things rank comparably high among chief frustrations/challenges).

Immediate family? Yes
Siblings? Yes, one, about 3 years younger, female.
Parents? Yes, they separated when I was 8, divorced when I was 9, they’re still both living.
Custody: Mother
Visitations?: Yes, but fairly quickly tapered from frequent, through infrequent, to non-existent.
Last time my dad made any effort whatsoever (like picking up phone and dialing or mailing or sending something) to contact me: 1983
Close with … dad? No, see above
Close with … sister? No. Were once-upon-a-time, probably only back before I was a teen. I actually get to speak with her on the phone maybe about once or twice a year. Generally I call, get voicemail / answering machine, leave message, don’t hear back – lather, rinse, repeat.
Close with … mom? No, not really. She’s a radically different (and relatively weird) person. We haven’t been that close since sometime back when I was a teen, or perhaps even earlier than that.
Kids? Nope, and not having any. I wouldn’t do that at my age in any case, even if I’d felt much different about that otherwise – I think having kid(s) at such (relatively) advanced age is quite unfair to the kid(s). Dad ought not be a senior citizen long before offspring even graduate from high school. That’s more like the age a grandpa ought be. Two of my grandparents were at my high school graduation. They were in their later 60s (or very early 70s?) when I graduated high school. I invited my dad, but he didn’t come or even so much as respond (and that was no surprise to me) – yeah, that’s unfair too, but life ain’t fair.
Born in? Locally – in the San Francisco Bay Area
Parents Born in? Both born in California
Grandparents Born in? USA, and if I’m not mistaken, half of them were born within the greater San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite color: Blue
Eyes: Blue
Myers-Brigs: INTJ
IQ: none of your damn business, I may not have specific number(s) handy anyway, and different tests/scales tend to measure rather differently. I’m pretty smart, but probably more notably generally rather consistently hardworking (or that combination thereof). I’m no genius. Those that think making Mensa level consider that to be genius have no idea what genius is. In my very limited exposure to genius, it’s pretty damn friggin’ mind-blowingly impressive. Have a peek looking for the string “genius” for a mere partial hint of that, on beaten down at … for …
Shy?: Yes, rather, but I rather/quite warm up to those I know rather to quite well, and who know me fairly well, and whom I’m comfortable with
Introverted? Yeah, quite, see the INTJ above
What are you like when you get angry? Essentially, I don’t do anger. Have a look, search for the string “angry” on: (some) “Rules” to Live by (or personal philosophy, or redundant stuff (most) everybody may have already thought of and said/done before)
Prone to boredom? Yeah, probably quite a lot so. See, e.g.:
Boredom Proneness Scale (BPS)
and on beaten down at … for … look for the string “could read the same page 10 times”
and on Autistic? Autism spectrum? Asperger syndrome? Neurotypical (not)? And other testing, etc. search for the string “extra round of hearing tests”
Am I on the autistic spectrum, or autistic, or have Aspergers or something like that? Possibly, but best guestimate, likely close – within striking distance – many traits, but probably just (barely) short of the diagnostic criteria … but that’s just a semi-educated best guestimate, and is not at all a professional diagnosis. Plausible deniability can also be a good thing. :-) What diagnosis?

Academics/school (and traces of career bits), and highs and lows of it.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Earliest I can remember goes back to 3rd or 4th grade, not going to detail it here, but picked up a certain pair of technical books, read ’em, was quite interested and fascinated – and that’s what I wanted to be (career specifically related to the subject of that pair of books)
Later, around mid-junior high or so, that significantly changed, based on two key factors. B) – career research – the path to get to what I wanted to be was unsuitably not to my liking and not economically feasible for me to obtain, and A) I’d found and developed (more-or-less stumbled onto) another technical interest, which not only had much of my focus and attention, and I not only quite liked it, but it kept growing, and I kept developing that technical interest/skill, and it was in line with viable career option – so that became my what I want to be when I grow up – and has more-or-less remained that to this day, though it’s somewhat morphed and evolved/transformed along the way, but still relatively similar/related, and much overlap.
Academic lows, highs, and perhaps select random (or not so random) bits
More-or-less flunked out of college – it’s (much!) more complicated than that, but not going to detail it here
College degree(s): none whatsoever
Highest level of education achieved: About mid Jr level at a quite top-ranked college in a quite top ranked program – not going to precisely detail, but within the University of California, and in a program that was quite competitive to get in, and also very well ranked at the time – and in the “competitive to get in”, getting in required academic achievement / test scores well above the admission requirements of the University of California – which are themselves rather high – that was notably due to demand vs. available openings, so it was highly competitive to even be able to get into that program at that school.
totally random: why do emotions sometimes make my typing feel very different … physically … keys feel very different as I’m going through typing this document … but seems to have been a relatively steady build/progression in the change of the feel. Odd, but very much there presently.
Other notable academic lows – there was the Teacher from Hell – She very much coerced me to fit her (counter)example role model of the “bad” kid with the really sucky poor performance, and I more-or-less molded to fit her coercion rather effectively … poor performance, poor grades, faux poor behavior (repeatedly getting blamed for and accused of having done things I didn’t do, and being coerced to confess to having “done” those things I was accused of – though I’d not done such things at all). I remember in that class, that a particular regular test, that getting 3 wrong on it was an F – and I remember getting at or near that a lot – perhaps even sometimes more than 3 wrong. I also got sick a whole lot that school year. Psychosomatic. Can you say little kid under extreme and repeated regular stress? Yeah, that’d do that.
Academic highs and other bits.
First time I ever got straight As. If I’m not mistaken, it was 5th grade. Had a particularly excellent and very encouraging and supportive teacher. I think she well realized what I was capable of, and exceedingly well worked on encouraging and building and fostering that in me. Had a quite good teacher in (half of) 4th grade, and quite possibly also (half of) 3rd grade (some family moves were involved, … parents separated and divorced, etc. … later there was a remarriage for my mom … and a redivorce – my dad has never remarried … though somehow he seems to manage to get into significant relationships a helluva lot more easily and quickly than I manage to, … but darned if I know how. It’s not like he’s ever been around for me to observe (other than when I was quite young – and parents were not having a good relationship – at all) and/or to give me relationship/dating advice).
Of those 3rd/4th grade teachers, if I recall correctly it was 4th grade, but one was particularly effective at figuring out that I wasn’t performing anywhere near up to my capabilities, and managed to put the pressure on, in a useful way, that got me performing much more up to what I was capable of. Perhaps I was quite bored – and mostly used to it, and not trying very hard at all. Well, she put the screws to that … in a useful way. Don’t know that the boredom went away, but at least I was working hard and effectively, and up towards and to the performance levels I could achieve.
Where have I always, or generally or almost always sucked on the academics/school stuff?
Handwriting – it’s always been poor (and only gets worse over the years). I think my best handwriting ever was when I first learned to handwrite – and it was pretty piss poor – not very good and only got me probably about a C grade – certainly not B or A, and … it never got better, … ever, … I think it only slowly got worse and worse over time. Now it’s so damn bad most/much of the time I can’t even read my own handwriting anymore. But I got straight As in 5th grade, and that (probably) included a grade on handwriting? I think that teacher was also slightly generous – in that if I was doing the absolute best I possibly could at something and working damn hard at it … I’d eventually get an A, … I think she figuered out my handwriting wasn’t getting any better … no matter how damn long and hard I worked and practiced at it.
Random aside. Scholarship interview from hell. One particular scholarship interview I went on. At the time, my grades were all straight As – possibly excepting some Bs in English. Definitely one of the top students. And the person interviewing the scholarship candidates – individually, and including me, was really only dealing with such top-notch students. And how’d that interview go? He spent essentially all the whole damn interview berating my handwriting, and telling me were he my teacher, or parent, or something like that – or maybe even me, that he’d have me doing nothing but working on the handwriting, continuously, over and over, hour after hour, day after day, for however long it took, until it was quite excellent, if not perfect, “A” quality handwriting. What a friggin’ *sshole – that was not a nice interview. And the next candidate came in. And, … should’ve interviewed us separately, but what does he do … starts interviewing the next candidate, and, does same thing – take the one less than perfect strength of that candidate, and rips ’em to shreds on it – totally devastating that candidate and ripping ’em to shreds … and even worse, that candidate came in with their parental unit, who was there to witness the whole thing in front of ’em. What a piece ‘o work. Yeah, I remember exchanging some WTF looks between myself and the other candidate. And then this interviewer goes on to say how he just loves interviewing the scholarship candidates every year, and he’s been doing it many years, and intends to do it for many more. What a sadistic bastard. Maybe if I’d told him that, I’d ‘a got the scholarship. Who the hell knows.
PE – as in Physical Education (no, not other stuff people think of under the term PE these days). I always hated PE, but I got straight As in it, at least Jr. high onward. Why/how? Yeah, sure, I sucked at it, didn’t like it, etc., etc. But getting an A was fairly straight-forward. Mostly just a matter of consistently showing up, on time, prepared, not breaking the rules, following instructions/directions … that was about it – a relatively easy A – other than the bit about it sucked and I hated it and I was never any good at it. But, much as I despised it, it was still probably (well, at least physically) relatively good for me. Socially and all that, eh, not exactly a nightmare, but mostly pretty darn unpleasant. Yeah, picking teams, … I’d generally get picked dead last, or close to it, for most anything and everything, … yeah, that’s how not good I was athletically. It’s not like I didn’t develop the general health and physical strength, etc. (at least relative to body frame and such), but … anything like good/better coordination, aim, throwing distance, speed, etc., … yeah, I was towards the bottom on most all of those, so pretty much generally rather sucked for me. I was almost always the smallest and lightest in my class – or at least nearly so – including PE classes – not a good or enviable position to be in in PE classes.
English – I friggin’ hated it. I more-or-less learned enough to do “okay” – as in like actually write “relatively well” – when “relatively well” is compared against typical K-12 students and corresponding grade levels anyway. As far as college or college graduate English skills level comparisons, or better business English skill sets … yeah, I’m still pretty sucky on such comparison scales. Interesting odd bit – foreign language – had bit ‘o that in the K-12 … and, … I often think I learned more about English in my foreign language class than I did in English. Well, not totally and strictly true, but, e.g. “conjugate the verb” – I never had any friggin’ clue what that was or meant or how to do it, … until I had to learn how to do it in another language. A whole lot of the stuff in English that I learned how to do properly – e.g. subject verb agreement – was not by learning the rules, per se. It was mostly learned through analogy/methodology – figuring out how to put together similar sentences and phrases – often simplified versions thereof – such that it became quite clear which way was correct vs. incorrect – then I could back-track that to the more complex construction. Never really learned what all the damn parts were called and what they were. Just learned how to figure out how to put ’em together properly. That was generally “enough” … through high school, and even through college. Yes, college. Sure, my English writing and such was never great. But, it was enough to somehow manage to squeak by passing the University of California (minimum) requirements on English for graduation – so I did manage to (probably barely) cover that. I quite remember very specifically on the test they gave us. They gave us 3 possible topics to write about, and told us to pick one and write about it. That was the test. I couldn’t spell worth sh*t, so the more interesting/challenging part of the test was coming up with analogous words or phrases that I was fairly confident I knew the correct spellings of, and use those in the construction of what I was writing, as opposed to whatever else otherwise came to mind. And write out the test paper that way. And, … quite to my surprise, I passed. No idea how close I was to flunking it though – it was a pass-fail test, and we only got those results – passed, or failed, nothing more detailed than that. I also remember one kind professor in college, in giving me feedback one one of my papers, said that it has some, “Ehm, … typographical errors” … the implication and manner in which he said it, implying that college students – University of California at that, no less, wouldn’t make spelling errors on their college papers, so it must have been typographical errors. Well, those were papers I typed on manual typewriter (I didn’t have access to nor could I afford an electric typewriter). And, … spell check, word processing? Yeah, not then, not for me – at least not something I had any reasonable access to yet – that came some years later. My Misspeller’s Dictionary was one of my most heavily used references … but it didn’t do me much good when I had no clue whatsoever that I’d misspelled the word. And I was on a starving student budget, so it wasn’t like I could pay someone to proofread my papers for me, or type them up, when it was time to turn my handwritten draft into a finished paper. Wasn’t until later years, with computerized spell checking available, that very slowly my spelling started to slowly improve (though it still to this day, quite sucks). But alas, auto-correct (and, egad, auto-mangle – I hate auto-mangle, but that could be a whole ‘nother post) slowed that progression – don’t learn the correct spellings nearly as well when something else corrects them, rather than me having to retype them with the correct spelling.
So, I hated English, though in my compulsory learning of it, some teachers, etc., were much better at it, than others, … and some highly sucked at it.
So, … PE, easy A … why not in English? I did manage to make it to straight As in English in junior high … I don’t even remember exactly how … at this point I really don’t. Yeah, I think I just blocked that crud out … or sufficiently redundant it’s not worth remembering – and replaced with better more relevant information in the brain :-) … or one can hope. Anyway, high school, was more challenging on English. Not in a useful way, but more of what it did and didn’t take to get an A, and in which English classes (not like I had much choice about that … if even any). So, some teachers, and grading/scoring systems, I could get an A, … others it was completely and totally impossible for me. And the last two teachers I had in English, it was completely and totally impossible for me to get an A in English. The first of those two – Jr. year of high school, not only did we have to read books that bored the sh*t out of me, and I couldn’t remember worth beans if my life depended upon it. Heck, to this day – _The Great Gatsby_ – if someone pointed a gun at my head and told me to write a paragraph summarizing the book, I probably couldn’t even produce a paragraph about the book, … and even at the time, I don’t think I remember very much at all about it – even as and right after I read it. So, … gun to my head on that one – and I’d be a dead man.
Random stat: number of times someone’s put a gun to my head: twice (and no, they didn’t ask me about _The Great Gatsby_, or I’d be a dead man and wouldn’t be writing this).
Number of times I’ve been shot: once – okay, that was a BB gun, and no, didn’t count that in times someone put a gun to my head (that was a distance away, and had no idea there was anything pointed at me, until after I’d been shot).
Anyway, one of the key tests the teacher would do, was essentially a memory retention test of this sh*t we were required to read. She’d do stuff like give a short quote, and ask us what character said it, to whom, in what context, what they meant by that or its significance, etc., and much as I wanted to get an A in the class, and read all the material – even reading it many many times, I really couldn’t give a f*ck about the material itself – not to mention I didn’t remember the material worth beans (yeah, probably being totally disinterested in it would do that). Yes I read the damn thing – might’ve read every page up to 10 times, but it didn’t interest me, and I couldn’t remember it worth beans, … so, … I’d get Cs on those key tests (probably would’ve gotten Ds or Fs, were it not for the teacher telling us some fair bits in class about the book … not that listening to her tell about it was at all interesting … more like torture – listening to how she was so interested in it was not at all interesting, but more like some kind of twisted bizarre torture), … and also working my ass of on everything else in the class, best I could hope for was something in the B range … and that was what I got and was stuck with. Anyway, Sr. year in high school, a much better English teacher, but … alas, no way in hell I could break out above a B in that class. Yes, the reading was boring as hell, and, as even older English, it was even more difficult to understand (words, context/history, whatever). So, yeah, the reading bored the hell out of me. But, fortunately, the teacher was damn good and effective and explaining the material. Were it not for that, I never would’ve known sh*t about what I was reading in that class. “Of course” we had to read the stuff first (that was homework), then he’d explain it, so, … pretty futile when I read it, but, whatever, at least later I’d have some clue of what I’d read – at least after he’d explained it anyway. Can’t really say I learned much about English at all in that class, but it was quite bearable, and, probably learned a lot more about other random useful stuff in that class (oh, like life – and no, not from the reading materials) – which is generally a good thing. Anyway, once the teacher got rather familiar with the student’s writing, it was damn near impossible to break out of what he thought of that particular student’s writing. Fairly early on, my writings and homeworks and such were getting graded as “B”. I’d work my friggin’ *ss off trying to get an A, and… I’d still get a B, maybe a B+ if I was really lucky. I’d also slack off and do a half-*ssed job. And, … I’d get a B, … or maybe sometimes a B-. Essentially anything and everything I could do in that class was going to get a B, as long as I didn’t horribly screw up, … so I pretty much resigned myself to a B (and the + and – made zero difference on how GPAs were done at that school), and applied more of my focus and energy to things where I had to work hard(er) to get and maintain As, and/or for interest and/or other reasons I just wanted to perform better and/or to my utmost (e.g. ’cause I actually liked and found quite interesting some of the other stuff).
Things I generally excelled at: math, science, electronics/computers.
Top grades/awards/honors, and notable achievements? I won’t enumerate them here, and did also mention some of them earlier. But, to name some:
About the top 2% or so of high school graduating class (of about 600), various awards/honors up through at least high school (mostly from jr high onward), not going to enumerate them or even mention them all.
high school: the top student in math, science, and electronics – across the board, every class, every year, and most every single test and in some cases all of them.
Calculus and college chemistry – the top student – but that was jr. college, and smaller classes – roughly 30 or so students in the calculus class. Yes, I got all As in that class and all those tests, but, much to my surprise, when the instructor told me specifically how I was doing/scoring, I was not only total A, but the highest in the class. Chemistry started with about 35 students at the beginning of the year, and ended the year with only 3 students finishing the class. I was the only A.
On to University of California. First class in my particular interest/”major”, about 150 students, I got the highest score in the entire class of those about 150 students. Next class in my particular interest/”major” – about 80 students – first midterm – I not only got the highest score, but my score was also about 10% above the 2nd highest score in the class.
One math class in college, well, I generally learn quite well from (science/technical) books, but … the book sucked, and … the teacher sucked too – just didn’t get it. So, … I never learned the stuff, yet, … much to my surprise, I passed. Yeah, … that instructor should’ve flunked 90% of the class, as most of us did not learn the material worth beans. I think that would be another example of how one shouldn’t use a curve for grading.
Time as I write/draft this: 1:12 A.M. (what, me, sleep?), and no, I’m not tired “yet” … though I did get in an about 20 or 30 minute nap much earlier this evening (guess I was tired and/or bored then … yeah, … more bored, … was watching moderately short video (under 20 minutes long) that just wasn’t interesting enough to retain my attention …zzzZZZ – for a bit, anyway). Yeah, … mandatory compulsory training videos that are too slow and I can’t speed up will often likewise also do that to me. Like rereading the same page over and over ’cause it doesn’t interest me and I fail to retain it, well, video like that I can drift off repeatedly – and watching it again and again doesn’t particularly help, as it’s less and less interesting on each consecutive pass. And yes, I passed the required test on that mandatory training. Required to get 80% to pass, and I (“of course”) got 100%. So, … I retained (at least for the short term memory test exercise), at least any bits that weren’t common sense (e.g. random bits highly specific to that exact company) – even if I repeatedly micronapped through the video (hey, they do say sleep helps cement memories in place … and … if the recall is needed shortly theafter, rather than next day … insert micronaps? Who knows, maybe that’s part of how I got 100%). Okay, so I took good notes too (cryptic and nearly illegible, and only the non-common sense bits), but was also open notes test (and I later typed them up, so I might be able to actually read them after my short term memory would no longer have the context to help decipher what I’d written).

Percentage of time my blog posts are too long: Hmmm, what, 90%? 95%? 98.75%? …

Social/friendships/relationships
Number of good friends I had, up through age 10 (10 years): About 5 to 7 or so? Any of them concurrently? Possibly some modest overlap. Bit harder to qualify “good friend” for such younger ages, so quite debatable.
Number of good friends I had, from my age 11 through 23 (12 years): 4. Any of them concurrently?: No
Number of good friends I’ve had/have, including those that are/were good relationships, from age 24 through current (50) (26 years): 3 Any of them concurrently?: No
Grand total number of relationships that I’ve ever had that ever began from a dating context: zero
Percentage of all relationships that I’ve ever had that started from friendship (or acquaintanceship then to friendship) context rather than starting from a dating context: 100%
Total number of good friends and/or relationships from my age of 23 on up, that ever started from context of first meeting in person (as opposed to via phone, on-line, BBS systems (back in the day) or personal ads in printed newspapers (way back in the day): zero
Not including the last 7 days, number of times someone has touched me, or I’ve touched someone, for more than 30 seconds, within the last 6 months: zero
What about if the last 7 days are included? 2 or 3, but a rather unusual and kind’a contrived circumstance.
Since college, number of people I’ve lived with (as in someone moved in, not just some visit): zero
What about visits or extended visits?: Longest thus far was a stretch of 5 months staying in the same place. And yeah, we got along wonderfully, and even in relatively tiny bit of space (pretty much couldn’t get apart from each other, even if we wanted to). And yeah she still lives in another country – far too long too far apart … that didn’t work out :-(
Preferred living state, alone, or with someone, or ???: With someone, at or above “good friend” level. I had my fill of roommate stuff in college – don’t particularly care for it. Random college roommate bits: was annoying to get locked out of my room, zero advance notice, ’cause the roommate was bonking some chick again. Number of times I had sex in college: zero. Number of times I locked a roommate out: zero. Had a roommate that was sleeping with other women in the room, while I was in the room! Yeah, that took a little getting used to – but not much, … about 3 days (or less) and I was quite used to it, and hardly (if at all) distracted me. Had a roommate that would type his papers, overnight, in the room … loud electric typewriter, with a loud crisp “bang” with every keystroke as it hammered the paper. And he’d do this with the bright overhead light on. Yeah, … that took me about three days(/nights) to get used to – and after that I quite slept through that too.
Longest vacation I’ve ever had/taken: about a week and a half, or so, at least in my entire adult life (And extended periods of unemployment don’t count – as then I was generally working to rectify that – never really counted as a “vacation”, though I might’ve rarely gone briefly on a vacation within – thought that was never more than an extended weekend – never a week or more). As a kid, longest vacation (not counting Summer vacation from school itself) was 3 weeks.
Why are you still single?: Probably mostly because A) I quite suck at social (especially that getting stuff going and getting acquainted and such – especially making it to beyond the idle chit-chat … though I do fairly well once I manage to make it that far), and B) nobody knows me (well, damn close to nobody at all). I’d say, of the 5 “significant” relationships I’ve had – regardless of quality, 3 of those 5 do or would want me or want me back, if I’d be with them, or if they were here. Actually, perhaps that ought be counted more like 3 out of 4 – as one was very short (more like a 3 day fling) … or … maybe 4 out of 5, as, if she were still here or had stayed here … who knows – quite possibly.
But wouldn’t one have to be crazy to not want me? ;-) Well maybe one is. Insanity is allowed as a valid excuse. 8-O
Toughest things I’ve ever done for a (good) friend or “partner” (relationship): Put myself at substantial risk (multiple occurrences) and/or make substantial sacrifices to keep them safe/well.
Pets?: None presently, mostly had some as a kid. I tend to much prefer cats.
Too good to be true? Naw, I’m good, but I’m nowhere near perfect. But true, yes.
And, then I worked on this draft until sometime around 2:30 or 3:something A.M., and … stopped, not because I was tired, but because it was quite sufficiently late(/early), and I needed to be getting up fairly early, so – I worked on putting myself to sleep – as I sometimes do. Tire myself out and/or bore myself to sleep. So, I switched to some utterly unengaging task, and … bored myself to sleep in fairly short order. And, continued writing (and first bits of “real” editing) when? Next evening/night? No, skipped one – to sort’a take a break from it. Next evening after that? Almost. Early morning. I got bored a bit in the early evening, and fell asleep, … then woke up around midnight … not tired at all – well, far too early to get/stay up, so, … after a while, went to sleep again, … then woke up around 3 A.M., … again far too early to get/stay up, so, … went to sleep again, … then work up around 5 A.M., … at that point I’m like f*ck it, I got enough sleep, … whatever, … stay up, … so, … here I am at it (this writing) again (for lack of anything better to do? Whatever). And did I polish it off that morning? No, too much yet to do (mostly read the damn thing and make a lot of edit corrections, and round out some bits here and there) … anyway, that evening, I’ll likely finally get it wrapped up and posted (“polished” is probably overly optimistic – “done” being a more apt descriptor).
Of all the particularly good friends I’ve ever had, or even fairly good friends, how many of them are or have ever been married and/or have or have had kids? Let’s see … at least for those I know about (e.g. not counting friends I only had when I was a kid that dear knows what they’ve done since I last knew or was in contact with them – and, as far as I know, never got married or had kids, … but may have and I might not know). Let’s see, … 2? I think that’s it. One very good friend, when I was in my late teens / early 20s (from about 16 to 23) … he was about 20 years older than me, married (remarried at that) and kids (from both marriages). He died. :-( Still miss him. One much more casual friend – some occasional contact outside of work context, but pretty darn infrequent, and that’s about the only time when there’s any communication there … anyway, that friend is married, has one kid. All the rest, never married, though some quite wanted to, and never were, and one was engaged … but that didn’t work out either. Yeah, not too long ago, a coworker was attempting to explain something, and was like, “Do you have kids?” … and … so much for that attempt at explanation, and, went on to attempt to explain in manner that I just really couldn’t relate to. So, yeah, last time I’ve at all been around a good friend that had family/kids … I was still in my teens or so. Oh, wait, … 3, … forgot, one fairly good friend (well, don’t have that much contact/communication … never have, whatever) is married – never had kids though, and that friend is moderate bit older than I am.
Most I’ve ever bicycled within a single day or 24 hr. period: 200K
Most I’ve ever bicycled in a year: over 5,000 miles.
Longest period I’ve ever gone without bicycling at all: about a dozen years.
Any known allergies? Mostly just the basic hay fever kind of stuff, but have pretty close to zero problem with that in the Bay Area when I’m on the West Side of the Berkeley-Oakland hills – which is where I’ve lived essentially about the last 30 or so years, and fairly rare I venture East of those hills. Also got allergy shots in my late teens, which may have also done some long-term good on that – but didn’t 100% “cure” me of all those allergies, though – at least for the long-term. Before the allergy shots had a fair while to work (which I didn’t start until I was 17 or nearly so, and didn’t continue past 17 due to a move and not being able to afford them after having moved), for essentially all my teen years before that, and going back to age 11, I had really bad hay fever allergies. Basically from about March or so through about September or so, my nose was running a lot, and all the time – constantly running/dripping, blowing the nose – typically couldn’t go more than about 5 to 20 minutes without blowing the nose, lest it drip down my face. Yeah, that probably didn’t help with social connections. About only exception I can think of was PE class. Egad, allergies active, and mandatory suit-up, and … no handkerchief or pocket for such? Well, I guess when much more physically active – blood pumping fair bit to quite a bit, breathing a lot, mostly rather to quite dry air, etc. – not a sustainable state, for – about 40 minutes duration … my nose wouldn’t run so much under that shortish bit of circumstances. So, yeah, hotly and heavily engaging in physical activity holds that off … at least while it’s going on that intensely – but again, we’re not talking a sustainable rate or state.
Any other allergies? Hives. Had that moderate number of times, I think entirely as a kid. And, caused by what? Don’t think we ever definitively figured that out. Whatever it is, seems something I exceedingly rarely encounter, and the reaction not all that bad – other than a bit annoying, so, doesn’t seem to be much of a big deal.
What do you wanna be when you grow up? Heh. Bit late for that question, but what remains? For work? More interesting and challenging – in a good way and that I like (not as in frustrating or beating-the-head-against-the-wall kind of “challenging”) would be rather to quite good. I don’t much cared to be bored – and that includes work, and, … for many of the past years (probably about 8 or so now), much of the work has been pretty boring for me – probably mostly because I know it dang well, and it doesn’t particularly push or challenge my capabilities – at least for the most part – and on the technical stuff (and the non-technical stuff doesn’t interest me). And, what about the non-work stuff? Connecting. That’d be good, … dang friggin’ good. Ideally, some great relationship that would last “forever” … married ‘n all that. Ah well, ain’t even made it so far as cohabitation yet, though was engaged once (and living well over 1,000 miles apart – buggers that). Sometimes I very much feel like I ought give up. Odds certainly aren’t good. :-/ Already 50, and … only ever really came fairly close on that front – only that one most excellent relationship, … goes downhill pretty fast from there. 2nd best relationship only lasted 6 weeks. The remaining relationships, much briefer, and/or just really not good relationships. So, yeah, if it took me about 40 years to find and have one great relationship – and at that, we were over 1,000 miles apart, well, if it takes me another 40 years to, … yeah, … not particularly encouraging odds. Crud. But, … whatever, I haven’t given up hope, … but ’tis pretty discouraging. Yeah, so far this year only had one date and that didn’t even last an hour. Then again, I’ve never had a relationship that came from starting with “dating”, so, maybe I ought mostly forget about the “dating” approach entirely. On the other hand, have had very few friends (or relationships) in my lifetime, whereas, at least overall, I’ve been on quite a number of dates – guestimating I’ve probably been out on dates with maybe like 100 or so different people, … though, the vast vast majority of those were only one date, rarely two, and the number that were three or more … probably under ten of those. And no, that doesn’t mean we had sex on the third date – have gone well past 6 or 12 dates, no sex, not even a kiss or holding hands, … not that it always goes that way (okay, so exceedingly rarely to make it to that many “dates” or repeat meetings with (potential) friend or whatever).
What do I want to do when I retire? Hell if I know. Would be nice to actually have a good relationship. Okay, would be good to have friend(s). Ah, well, I don’t know, futz with some technical goop to keep me occupied? Can’t say I find even that all that enjoyable when there’s zero connection for so long. Not like I need someone else to appreciate it, but geez, … maybe at least once in a great while someone to appreciate that I like it and am interested, and maybe even did something interesting or cool or noteworthy? Ah well, whatever.

About how long is this blog posting? Yeah, about 8,400 words. Yep, too long.

beaten down at … for …

2013-09-22 00:36:08 PST

Don’t you hate it when …

Okay, so I’m not some incredible socialite, and I’m definitely not the best at office politics. Okay, so, socially maybe I damn near don’t have a clue.

But, … really. So, … quite recently … doesn’t happen very often, but does come up once in a while, … yeah, repeatedly, more-or-less same kind’a thing.

So, recent example – production problem, at work, impacting multiple systems, it gets handed to me to work to resolve it. So, yes, I did down, rather quickly and efficiently, and find the source of the problem. Some buggy code – I even find and isolate exactly where the flaw is – something flawed in its writing so it would never act as apparently intended – a loop that was clearly intended to (eventually) exit, but as written, never would exit under the conditions it was intended to exit – nor would it ever even exit at all And, “of course”, this code was executed quite repeatedly, so, yeah, the problems literally piled on. Anyway, this was causing problems, in production, and enough that folks noticed and reported it, and it got assigned to me to work on. So, I find the problem in the code. I also find that it’s been recently installed, and who installed it … different group – group I’m not in nor responsible for that code nor fixing it, nor should the group I’m in alter that other group’s code. And I’ve no idea if the person who installed it wrote it or not – not especially relevant, but quite appropriate to work back towards upstream to have it corrected, lest the problem repeat on these and/or many additional systems. So I pass the issue to that person, with the relevant information – and include in it a quite open invitation to contact me if they have any questions or need assistance on the issue. They relay it to person responsible for (author of?) the code – and I also pass to that person a bit more additional information on potentially even better way to address the flaw in the code (it was horribly inefficient, much more resource intensive than it needed to be, and not nearly as robust as it could easily be made with some quite minor changes – though that’s definitely not how I worded it to them). Anyway, pass that to them too – just directly to the one responsible for the code, mentioning, literally, as a P.S., that that section of code could also be made significantly more efficient and robust, and providing with that, example code that would accomplish such – and again, open invitation to contact me if they have any questions or whatever. And, what happens? They contact my supervisor, and I get reamed out. Geez. WTF? Not like I was calling someone stupid or anything like that – harshest word I used was “flaw”, I think I phrased it as “appears to be a flaw here”, and specifically referring to the few lines of code within which the problem existed. Bloody heck. So, I get beaten down at work for good, factual, relevant, helpful, assistance and information. Not the first time that’s more-or-less happened, and even in this particular assignment. Ugh. E.g. got beaten down for telling customer potentially relevant technologies that might be used to solve a particular problem. My gosh, I gave them information that might be useful. Friggin’ politics. Another case, same assignment. A rather serious long-running issue – I put out proposal on what’s needed to bring the relevant resources together to dig down to the bottom of it. And … I get beaten up for that – oh my gosh, I actually (also) sent it to relevant person who could do something about it (relevant stakeholder at the relevant level, and already rather intimately involved with the issue and much of the communications). Yeah, I get … beaten up for it (oh my gosh, shared too much truth and reality or somethin’ like that … I dunno, too damn much politics or whatever, or oh my gosh we don’t want to make any team in the mix possibly look bad – I was not pointing fingers at all, merely pointing out that we needed to get the relevant teams working together to effectively dig to the bottom of the problem and get if fixed). So, yeah, … oddly on that one, got beaten up on it, … and praised … almost at the same time. That key stakeholder in fact, and not facetiously at all, referred to my particular communication on that as “beautiful” – and did in fact get the relevant teams to in fact coordinate together, such that we did in fact, in fairly short order, get to the bottom of the problem (it had been going on a very long time before that). Yeah, results – problem solved, but I get beat up for being key cog that moved the machinery to get the problem fixed. Yeah, I get the “possible disciplinary action up to and including termination” rap for that. What a bunch ‘o sh*t. Ugh. I just don’t get it. Maybe I never will.

Rather reminds me a lot of, stuff like, oh …

OMG, I used red. Yeah, errors in someone’s technical configuration, I highlighted it in the email – so it’s be much easier to see which specific bits I was referring to, and, OMG, I committed the sin of picking red to highlight the errors in. Geez, I get chastised for using red. I dunno, maybe someone got traumatized from the red pen of a school teacher or somethin’ like that, but some folks get horribly upset and hurt if you use red. I see folks usin’ red all the time – even in that same environment – to pick out flaws, errors, failures, etc., but, oh my gosh, I use it, I get called on the carpet for it – and the “don’t use red” lecture.

Of course there’s the “my writing sucks” bit – though, e.g. managers, say it in more politically correct ways. So, yep, hard facts, evidence, information, relevant detail. But, that’s “too much” for a whole lot ‘o folks, too long, blah blah, … end up getting that fair bit over the years – in one form or another (first award I was given at one company was for longest email). Well, one thing my emails tend not to lack, is the needed relevant information … though probably longer than most would like, and not the best organized.

Well, yeah, so English was my worst subject in school (and I also generally hated it – probably mostly ’cause a lot of the compulsory reading bored the sh*t out of me (some of it was so boring I could read the same page 10 times and retain zero of it … eventually I just give up and go on to the next page, … through whole darn books like that … what, me, prone to be bored?) – and the other part I especially hated, was not only were all the rules so damn complex with so many damn exceptions, they’d friggin’ change the rules – e.g. rule I was taught in 1st or 3rd grade, by 7th or 8th grade that English rule had been changed! Bloody heck. It’s not like it was based upon some scientific fact or new discovery, … just some damn convention or another changed.). That’s one of many reasons why I didn’t pursue a career as a writer or something like that, and rather went off in much more technical direction. But, alas, still end up having to write some fair bit. Ugh. And folks get quite picky about it. Maybe I should’a trained/educated myself to be a plumber. Pro’lly would’a bored the sh*t out’a me, but probably nobody’s quite so concerned about one’s English writing skills when one has sh*t (literally) on one’s hands … and … not much risk of being outsourced if one is a plumber … and it actually pays fairly well.

Some work after college, … technical support, (mostly) via phone. Yeah, … more politics – mostly with the customers. Have to “dumb it down” … a lot. Most notably, with a whole lot ‘o the customers, giving ’em facts, information, answers, solving their problem for them, indicating exactly what their problem/issue was, did not go over well, … often did not go over well at all. So, … with a whole hell’a lot of ’em, … had to sort’a play dumb, while, … at the same time, just “accidentally”/coincidentally leading them to discover the answer “themselves”, so that they thought that they found the answer, and “you” (me) on technical support, is just some low level slob that can hardly, if at all help them, and they really never needed my help anyway, ’cause they found the problem “all by themselves” and without my help. Yeah, right. Then why the f*ck did they keep calling back and “coincidentally” discovering the solution “all by themselves” when they had us on the phone with them? Uh huh.

College, … did damn frigin’ fine in some stuff … definitely not so well with some other bits, … at least later, but, well, whatever – lot ‘o stuff was goin’ on – rather complex, not gonna get into it – certainly not at least here & now. So, anyway, University of California – nothin’ to sneeze at. Was I qualified to get in? Yeah, … and then some – pretty darn well qualified, anyway. Some classes/tests/finals/midterms … Anyway, an example that comes to mind – about 150 students in the class – technical, in my field. How well did I do? Final for the class, I got the highest score in the entire class. Okay, whatever, no biggie. Another class. Again, technical / my field / specialization. About 80 or so students in the class. First midterm. What score did I get? Well, it was the highest score in the class. Not only was it the highest score in the class, but, it was also substantially above – like by 10% or more – the 2nd highest score on that mid-term. Huston, we have a problem. How did the instructor grade exams? 90% or better of the highest test score on the exam, was an A, 80%, B, etc. Yeah, I f***ed up the whole class average on that mid term I did, by scoring so well. Yep, I’m screwed. Well, not quite. Fortunately, the instructor, seeing the huge spread between top and 2nd highest score (and what that would do to the class average grades on the exam), instead, made an exception that one time, and pegged the curve, instead, to the 2nd highest score, rather than the top score. Friggin’ close call. But no way in hell, after that, that I would ever again hit a top score on any of those exams in that class. Definitely would not be the way to win friends and influence people. So, after that first mid-term, I aimed significantly lower – that was a class in which I absolutely did not need or want the attention of getting the top score on any of the exams in that class – so for the remainder I made sure I didn’t achieve such a high score. Hindsight? Yeah, my friggin’ social life sucked anyway. I pro’lly should’a just kept going for the damn best performance I could do in that class – and probably would’ve got the top score on all the exams in that class, and highest overall score in the class. But for the long-haul, what I did and didn’t do on that class didn’t make all that much difference … but more broadly applying same, and doing my best performance (or at least learn the stuff exceedingly well – well beyond what it took to get an A) probably would’ve generally served me fair bit better … at least for the school/academic stuff.

Earlier, … junior college – a bit ‘o that before UC (not gonna cover details … whatever). Anyway, Calculus and Chemistry. Yeah, got As on all that. But, to my surprise, in the Calculus class – about 30 or so students, instructor told me how I was doing … not only A, but the top overall score/points in the class – I knew I was doing well, but I didn’t know I was doing that well. Chemistry … started out with about 35 students. By end of the year, only 3 finished the class for the year. I was not only A, but top score. I really missed it when the only other student in the class that was near/around my level on there needed to withdrawal from the class. That quite sucked – only real “peer” I had there. The other students that remained by then I think only barely passed the class – if they even made it through to the end.

High school … graduating class of ’bout 600. Was I straight A’s? Almost. Some B’s in English. Everything else straight A’s. GPA put me in about the top 2% or so of the graduating class, and I was the top in math, science, and electronics out of all 600.

Elementary school … forget if I mentioned it or not, whatever. IQ testing, for an “extra” class they put the particularly smart/bright kids in … some changes about in moving schools, changing teachers, etc., … had to be “recommended by the teacher” for the testing to happen, so, … it did happen, … but … later. I don’t know what the qualification criteria was on that test, but I took the test, and I qualified for that “extra” class. And, teacher I had earlier subsequently remarked something like, “Oh, doesn’t suprise me. If I’d had him longer in my class, I might’ve recommended that testing”. And, … yet another change in schools, so, … never got to that class at all – didn’t exist at all in the school where we moved to. To this day, I still remember two of the questions on that test. I seem to generally remember all of the questions seeming relatively easy to me. Whatever.

And the moral of the story is … yeah, I’m rambling, sorry.

I guess one of my key points is often having to “play it down”. Do that a fair bit. Most of the time I don’t want the attention for doing especially or particularly well. An occasional “nice job” or “gee thanks” will generally suffice. Many folks often get upset or jealous, or whatever the hell it is that many humans do, when one of their peers, e.g. me, is quite a top performer – they don’t like being out-performed by others. So, yeah, for the most part, I really do not want the attention of focus or to be singled out in that way – tends to highly suck being singled out like that – I prefer to be closer to “blending in” … to the extent feasible. But, also, at the same time, I friggin’ like to – often quite essentially insist upon – mostly through my actions, of doing darn good quality work (or whatever the task is at hand). I do do not like doing things half-*ssed, or anything like that. I do damn fine, e.g., technical work, … quite top class stuff. Okay, so I suck at social, and not so good at office politics and that B.S. Yeah, there’s a reason I didn’t go into sales or something like that. I’m not a schmoozer. Sure, nice, friendly, blah, blah, … though may still manage to rub some folks the wrong way – so, yeah, I don’t understand them, they don’t understand me, it’s gonna happen. Okay, most of the whole friggin’ world doesn’t at all well understand me – oh well – guess I just gotta live with that – I’m in no position to change the whole friggin’ world. I take pride in doing quality work (or whatever the task at hand is – may not be work at all). Not to boast – hell no, nothin’ like that. I just think it ought be done damn well. Really, I think that quite about everything – ought be done as well as feasible. Why the hell not? And, yeah, at least within my area(s) of expertise, I am darn good at what I do (most all the work environments I’ve been in, I’m typically in the top 15 to 10% of the most technically skilled for the relevant technical work skills they have me/us there for). Maybe I ought seek out more challenging work environments (one I’m in presently is not very challenging). One friend ‘o mine, some years back, quite suggested I ought be making about thrice what I do, stating that I’m quite smart and skilled enough to do so, … but I don’t care that much about the money – do quite well enough on that as it is … though more technically challenging would be good/interesting. But too, maybe that friend’s estimates are a bit overly optimistic … and may overlook that I suck at social, don’t do office politics very well, suck at schmoozing, and really am not good at self-marketing either.

“Play it down” – and too, a lot of that is to avoid/escape negative attention/feedback/consequences. Not gonna f*ck up the quality of the work, or whatever, but … try to stay below the radar. Heck, that software bug bit I mentioned – bit I passed to the person responsible for the code – that person could’a dropped in the bit I suggested, and come off lookin’ like relatively brilliant hero … I didn’t want any credit, nor was I asking for any. And if that code I suggested were at all less than perfect, why that person could turn around and blame me for it and point the fingers at me – I got no problem with that, I wrote that example snippet, I stand behind it, at least insofar as providing it for example and suggestion. Ah, but no, instead I get raked over the coals. Similar example bit recently – again – I don’t want the attention, or generally even the credit – fairly complex problem at work, I assisted coworker on getting down to bottom of problem. I fed that information only to that one person. That one person could take what I provided and run with it – no need to give me any credit for it. I don’t care. That one person knows, it gets done and solved well, that’s quite well enough. As long as the person doesn’t misrepresent or lie about it, I don’t care, but unlikely any would even question how the information and solution came about – if someone did it and fixed it, that’s all that most are interested in anyway. They can praise that other person, I don’t friggin’ care – all perfectly fine by me.

Definitely not to boast, but, like anyone, have my strengths and weaknesses. Damn good at some stuff (kind’a limited scope(s) … whatever), about “average” on some fair bit ‘o stuff. And, … quite suck at some other stuff (Social skills? What the hell are those?).

And, maybe there was some other point I had in mind to make, but damned if I can remember – yes can even highly distract myself.

And, maybe, in some ways, I’ve been darn lucky. Not gonna mention anything too specific, but … I remember a classmate. Absolute damn friggin’ genius. Probably the only genius I’ve ever known at all in person … well, at least where I knew, learned, or figured out, that the person was in fact very much a genius. And we’re not talkin’ like Mensa top 2% of IQ or somethin’ like that. No, we’re talking top 0.02% or higher – kind of level that would make an average Mensan look like quite the dullard. Anyway, said classmate, … whole lot ‘o flyin’ below the radar. A few teachers knew – or suspected … but never said as much. But I did learn, through a few incidents and encounters. Learned how absurdly well said classmate had done, on test teacher had given for decades – that had a range of material going from pretty average, up to stuff that would be challenging for most Ph.D. graduates … yeah, said student got perfect score, and was only slightly uncertain of one of their answers on the whole test. Teacher had given that test, for decades, to the top students (about the top 25% of students from each graduating class) at that school … probably testing 2,000 or more students in total – none had ever gotten a perfect score before, and very rare that any student even ever came fairly close to that. I won’t detail, but subsequently I learned – both indirectly, and directly, of many amazing extremely impressive intellectual/cognitive/etc. talents, skills, and capabilities, this student had. And, I’m pretty smart, so, … someone blowing my socks away like that, … takes a helluva lot. Never encountered that, ever, before, or since, … quite rare. But, … under the radar. Said student kept a quite quiet low profile. Most never knew or would have suspected. Yeah, sure all straight As ‘n all that, but damn friggin’ quietly, and without drawing attention to self at all – pretty much, as feasible, disappearing/blending into the background. Anyway, just makes me think, much as that’s an issue on similar for me, and I try to “blend in” … person at that genius level, otherwise having similar issues, … yeah, probably about two decimal orders of magnitude more difficult and harder to bridge (or mostly conceal) that gap, and … fly under the radar. And probably a lot of geniuses don’t want the attention, and have learned to fly under the radar, and avoid that attention – mostly due to all the problems it can cause – mostly for them, to get that kind of and level of attention, and be in the spotlight like that. As if things weren’t socially challenging enough for me as it is, I certainly don’t envy being in the position that student must’ve been in (though can’t say I’d mind having those phenomenal smarts … were it not otherwise an issue).

Anyway, all those skills/talents, and specific knowledge I do have, (generally) good job/income, blah, blah, nice guy, etc., etc., still can’t hardly friggin’ manage to make a good friend, let alone get a date or have a relationship. Hell, maybe “date”s are way overrated. All the (very few) damn best relationships I ever had in my life, never started out with dating someone – always started out somewhere in the friendship realm. But then again, talkin’ very small number statistics on those particularly good relationships I’ve had, so, … who the hell knows. Oh well. Life. And so it goes.

Autistic? Autism spectrum? Asperger syndrome? Neurotypical (not)? And other testing, etc.

2012-06-30 23:54:31 PST

Okay, so I’m certainly not the most social of creatures on the planet. I am both introverted and shy.

But, more recently – and I think for the first time ever, a certain someone – perhaps mostly from their astute and keen powers of observation – was hinting/suggesting that at least perhaps I might be on or towards the autism spectrum. So, … not necessarily at all 100% scientifically accurate, but, nevertheless, I took some online tests – rather expecting they’d likely show something roughly around “normal”, but alas, to me, anyway, at least a bit of a surprise.

(emphasis mine on these online test result bits and quotes)
How neurotypical are you? – I scored:

You are 27% neurotypical!
You aren’t that neurotypical. Social skills aren’t your strong suit and you tend to have more skill in other areas, however, you may still enjoy socializing. It is likely that you are autistic.

Hmmmm… thinks me, … no idea how “accurate” or well sourced, etc. that particular test is. So, I search online for another – one to be fairly assuredly accurate – as least insofar as any readily available online test goes.

So, I found this one:
Take The AQ Test – I scored:
Score: 39
Where it had this to say about that:

Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger’s report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.

I find it interesting, fascinating, and also quite surprising. At not all that far from being half a century old, if, on those scales, I’m really not that “normal”, am not neurotypical, and are or may be autistic and/or at least onto – or quite towards the autistic spectrum, I wonder how and why nobody before ever mentioned, hinted, or suggested such might even possibly be the case. Likewise, I quite missed it too – never thought it might at all possibly be the case, at least in terms of what I’d typically thought of in terms of autism and autism spectrum disorders and Asperger syndrome. I even know someone with Asperger syndrome, and still, though I’d considered the possibilities, I never seriously thought I might actually possibly be somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Anyway, I’ll definitely have to look further into autism and autism spectrum, etc. May quite be something there that needs being paid attention to and/or acted upon.

[If other related or semi-related bits, or unrelated tests aren’t of interest to you, you may want to skip to the very tail end of this blog entry.]

Other various mental/neurological tests.

In elementary school, I got at least one extra round of hearing tests at request of teacher. Teacher thought maybe I had a hearing problem, … probably because teacher would call on me, and I’d be like, “Huh?”, and not particularly aware of the context of whatever the teacher was talking about immediately before calling upon me. The reality in that case most generally was, what the teacher was going on about was rather to quite uninteresting to me, … and/or, even if interesting to me, was droning on at what, at least for me, was a mind numbingly slow place … so, … my head would go off into it’s own world, thinking or daydreaming about much more interesting stuff. Sure, I’d still be sort’a kind’a paying attention to the teacher, but far from my complete and undivided attention. And yeah, all the hearing tests always came back normal.

Again, in elementary school. Teacher recommended me for an “intelligence” test – or at least I’m pretty sure that’s more or less, or exactly what it was. Teacher thought I was rather to quite capable, and likewise smart. So, that teacher recommended I be tested (I actually did damn well in that teacher’s class – excellent teacher, and really the first time I’d ever particularly excelled academically – that was 5th grade – also the first time I ever managed to get lots of A’s (or maybe even straight A’s – I forget precisely what my best set of grades in the class were). Anyway, teacher recommended me for the “IQ” test, or whatever it was. I’ve no idea what the score was, or what the cut-off level was, however, I scored sufficiently high, that they put you in, what was then called “special class” – basically take the bright kids, and for some hour(s) a week, pull ’em out of the regular class stuff, and give ’em some particularly more interesting and challenging stuff to do. Interesting too, that test I took … I was only 10 years old at the time, yet I very clearly still remember two of the questions from that test – I thought they were pretty trivial and I excelled at those two questions. Not sure about all the other questions – I guess not so interesting/memorable – but I guess I generally did at least quite “well enough” on those, and overall. Never got to go to “special class”, though, not even once. Test was done between school sessions. Next session, a whopping 3 days into the new school year, and bye bye to that school – family move to new school in different district – and no such testing or program for the bright(er) kids, they just lumped ’em all together (though they did have a lot of self-paced stuff, at least).

And IQ? Not gonna say specifically – also there are various tests that measure and report different scales on the numbering, etc., so they’re not all exactly one-to-one mapping on the numbers. Additionally, some types of “IQ” tests tend to more measure some types of capabilities and skills than others, and vice versa – so results aren’t particularly uniform. But nevertheless, at least percentage-wise, I typically score somewhere in the range of about top 5% to about top 1.5% or so. Okay, sure, smart, intelligent. But no friggin’ genius. I’ve had some brushes with one I know of genius intelligence level – and by comparison, such genius intelligence and capability levels make me and the vast majority of quite smart people look like a bunch of incapable and untalented dunces – not that we at all are, but by way of comparison, the difference is that dramatic and extreme, that is, at least comparatively, how we appear.

And, as a favorite teacher in high school used to quite commonly say, “Everything is relative.”. I don’t agree 100%, but it certainly is applicable in most all cases.

P.S. – If by chance you started on this “page”/article of my blog as your very first, for “next”, probably best to go to: Me and my blog (a starting point, yep, right *here*!)

When you *really* need …

2012-06-30 09:37:53 PST

When you really need …

You can’t always get what you want
And if you try sometime, you’ll find, you get what you need” – Rolling Stones

“Necessity is the mother of invention”

… and perhaps quite, and maybe even especially, if one doesn’t (consciously?) try, or “invent” or the like.

Ever notice – okay, maybe not for “everyone”, but …
When you really acutely need something, whatever it is, even if you doesn’t realize that you need it, or precisely or at all what it is or would be, well, it “happens”. Miracle? <cough> I think not … not at all. No, I think it’s mostly or entirely:

Evolved. Sure, long way to go, yet still, very highly evolved we are. And I think very often in ways we often, if not completely, fail to realize. If you really need some particular “it” to survive, you will find “it”. Why? If that weren’t the case, those failing to secure “it”, would have died and such inability would mostly disappear from the gene pool. Thus at least mostly, what survives can quite manage to secure any really needed “it”.

Damn friggin’ intelligent and capable – and in ways we often or entirely fail to realize. Part of that evolved. We can manage to do some pretty amazing things. And especially when we must to survive. I think a whole lot of powerful processing goes on there … subconscious, transmitted and received signals on so many levels – body language, gestures, expressions, motions, postures, nature and speed of reaction, intonations and inflections, all kinds of subtle and detailed things in the environment that we might not at all consciously notice, rather to highly accurate perceptions and interpretations thereof, again even if mostly or not at all on conscious levels, pheromones and other chemical messages sent/received, brain/body neurological and chemical connection, physical capabilities substantially beyond what we’d commonly believe or presume, etc. Anyway, much or all of that can combine, to produce some pretty amazing things, notably securing any really acutely needed “it”.

Examples, examples, personal and/or otherwise …

Rather to quite hard times – especially over the last several weeks or more. Been feeling way too isolated, and too frequently pretty darn down (and often mostly feeling like crawling in a cave, doing exactly nothing, and not coming out – though that would hardly improve much or anything). Friend count, especially anything in the rather to quite close realm (e.g. where I actually felt quite comfortable with them and could really talk with them – or at least felt I could) … at least in terms of such friend(s) actually at all reasonable available to me and “that close”, or “close enough”, yeah, … that count is a big fat goose egg, and been at that count for way too long – probably well over a year or more now, despite serious efforts to change that for over a year. So, … surviving, and finding that really needed “it”? Yeah, sure, been trying to make friends, social contacts hoping to make friends, blah blah, … ain’t exactly happened (thus far no resulting friend) … at least yet. So, … what’s been happening as of quite late? At least in noteworthy parts, and mostly on autopilot … really not so much thinking it through (at least consciously) – if even at all, mostly just “feeling” it through … and more so simply just reacting, without consciously thinking much about it at all. E.g. me managing to rather significantly f*ck up – quite forgetting something important … not “important” in the grand scheme of things, but … probably mostly a way of me signalling self, that “this is f*cked, and it needs to change!”. Too damn much unberrable rejection. Just friggin’ sick of it. Need acceptance, not rejection. So what do I find myself doing? Pinching off a lot of that rejection. Not only there (OkCupid), but as I think about it, bunch of emails exchanged – okay, so mostly me sending too long of emails, and too many, and what do I find myself doing instead? Teensy uber short email – just one, by itself … hardly any exposure of anything “there” to be “rejected” – or to feel rejected by or about (e.g. not responded to or addressed). Essentially both, major reductions in exposed vulnerability profile … maybe roughly like fat juicy prey, making itself appear much more scrawny and unappetizing to any perceived potential predator or “threat”. And other bit, quite along with that, and in sequence …

So, yeah, me quite shy and all that (and introverted too) – mostly, especially the “shy”, doesn’t help on getting “connected” and making friends or such, especially when such is so acutely needed – or at least some kind of reasonable, and useful support. So, … what happens today (well, yesterday now – past midnight as I continue to write this) – and without my even hardly trying? Sure, been trying to start conversions with strangers and all that … but, though bit improved, hardly close to making any real “connections” out of that yet. So, today, on way home, I managed to talk to a perfect stranger. Big deal, right? Like not. Except, … that’s not how it went. Sure, managed to start to talk. Then the relatively amazing bits. Without so much as particularly thinking about it, not only managed to keep the conversation going, but it was very nice pleasant conversation, she quite interested in me (or “interested enough”), and interested in conversing further, and not only did I give her my contact information, but she was very interested in obtaining my contact information. So, … need and “it”. Really needed that bit of connectedness – and hope – and not some absolutely nothing there and maybe it’ll happen kind’a vague nebulous (and pretty hollow feeling) “hope”, but at least the beginnings of something quite positive, and at least potentially very promising and tangible – not just some mere empty hope, but at least a modest real taste of what may be very possible. So, yeah, really needed that. Can’t even think of anything that’s gone anywhere close to that well – especially at all with me talking to some stranger, at least for the most part, for many years or more! And yeah, really do need something there – or at least different and better, to survive … it’s been rather to quite the struggle recently, … at least on-and-off.

A somewhat similar example, but bit further back in time (roughly year and a half ago, or so?). Was dealing with major super stressful stuff with a once very good friend – was still “friend” at the time (at least I to her, but she no longer capable of being a friend to me), and trying to help her as much as feasible, but things were going incredibly badly, and super major stressful. And, for the most part, it wasn’t something I could or would talk to anyone else about (mostly in regard and deference to friend’s medical/mental privacy and such). But, I really needed the support in going through and dealing with that. And also quite acutely lacked the friend(s) for support on that – she otherwise being one such friend, but she was totally down for the count, and another just too damn distant and inaccessible … and nothing else to speak of. So, … really needed the support! What happened? “Random stranger” – somehow, again, without even specifically really trying or intending to, manage to strike up conversation with one such total stranger … and … went quite well. And, … that total stranger, … our commutes typically overlapped pretty regularly, so such was first of quite a number of conversations. Never really even made it into the “friends” zone, but still, it was “enough” – at least having some nice face-to-face conversation on semi-regular basis … not like I could really talk about what was going on with that other “friend” anyway, but regardless, it was quite good, and very needed.

Psychological survival mechanisms. I’ve certainly seen this in others, and in rare and “ancient” (over quarter century ago, and well before I was even a quarter century old), at least some aspects of it in myself. Something happens that’s totally intolerable and that one cannot accept? Well, one won’t believe it, will remember it otherwise, or the memory will be “blacked out” – still there in the head somewhere – even strongly so – but completely and totally inaccessible from consciousness. Need to believe something, or something differently to survive, be it true, or not, seen or heard or felt, or not? One believes it, and for self, that becomes, … “is” the truth … what one believes, did or didn’t see, hear, experience, etc. – regardless of actual “mere” fact of what did or didn’t occur or is actually real or not. Many would often call such a miracle they’d experienced or witnessed or found, or that “found them”. Not I – I’d always think of such a quite evolved survival mechanism (though far be it from me to generally at all challenge or threaten what someone “found” that they need to survive). Sometimes such can be rather to quite problematic – a seriously interfering delusion, or a reactive coping mechanism that was formerly, or once, needed for survival, but has become more problematic than beneficial. Yet, at least at some time, it was needed to survive.

Some very highly evolved and super fast thinking/reactions. But, evolved in a much higher level sense – hardly something that would be innate, but rather a specifically developed incredible skill – and often much without at all explicitly practicing it. Example, me, major bicycle accident with car. Major damage to car (large, heavy built American car, almost certainly built in the 1970s), twisted the frame of the car so much that the quarter panel in front of the driver’s side door buckled in – and that was not at all a point of impact. Bicycle, a Schwinn Varsity – heavy built cold rolled steel frame – frame severely damaged (the end of that bicycle) … bottom tube (tube that connects between crankshaft area and front towards steering – bent about a good 15 degrees, and pressed in at that same location so much it had a thick bumpy wave to it – the steel there probably about 50% or more thicker and bulged up than before the accident. And the top tube, similarly bent about maybe 12 degrees or more, but pulled and stretched – so much so the metal was quite demonstrably and noticeably thinner, paint stretched out, flaked and broken into tiny diamond shapes, showing lots of bare metal below, and stretch so far that it opened up a small hole through the steel round tubing of that part of the frame, at the uppermost point and side where it had been stretched. And, … how did I fare in that accident? Serious injuries but quite survivable? Not so serious, but still injuries? Maybe damn lucky, and just some cuts, scrapes, bruises and the like, and nothing more? Okay, maybe absurdly so, and just some minor bumps and strains, but absolutely nothing else? How ’bout this – what actually happened injury-wise: Absonlutely no injury to me at all – not even a scrape, strain, no pulled muscles, no bumps, no skin scrape, … absolutely nothing! Zero physical injury at all in the slightest! (Yes, shocked and shaken, but not into physical shock … and even hours/days later, not any injury found later that was earlier missed, or didn’t show up or become noticed right away). So, … how the heck, such a major accident, and not only survive it, but manage to escape completely without injury!? Well, my theory goes like this. Many many years (well over 8, probably 10 or more at the time), and many hours and miles (well over 10,000) of cycling experience and including much of it in and around lots of traffic. But still, how? What, like practiced going through and surviving accidents, or been through many accidents before? Hardly … at least not precisely that. But, my theory goes, that brain had very accurately run those simulated scenarios – and for the most part subconsciously – running a whole lot of “what if” simulations, and figuring out pretty darn much exactly what to do to best survive, and as feasible avoid, accidents – especially anything threatening of life and/or limb. So when the accident actually happened, how did I react? Without thinking at all – no time for that – highly quick reactive, starting in mere fraction of a second – I reacted, … and how? Well, analyzing the situation, even after very careful consideration, I really could not possibly have reacted to and handled it any better than I did. Needed most highly optimal reaction, and without so much as thinking it at all – at least consciously – that’s exactly how I reacted and not only survived it, but went through that major accident (destroyed Schwinn Varsity bike frame – built about like a tank, of heavy steel construction – and even quite significantly bent frame of heavy built American car) … and escaped it with zero injury to myself. And not the only time more-or-less something like that happened in near split second timing. Over many years of bicycling (including many additional years and tens of thousands of miles), sure, some accidents, and some significant numbers of close calls. But when I go back and carefully analyze exactly what happened in each case, near misses – could hardly have handled such better, … and accidents, couldn’t have handled better, were quite unavoidable, and injuries from all those accidents? Never anything beyond some minor scrapes, cut(s), and possibly sometimes some slight strain or bruise – which is really pretty minor given how devastating at least some of those accidents could have been (bicycle often didn’t fare so well).

So, yep, … need – when it’s really truly needed, and to survive – it’s simply just done, found, or “happens”. Others may give quite different explanations, but I’d say it’s some very advanced and quite highly evolved capabilities within us. Too bad we can’t so highly well use and leverage that all or most all the time though … would probably be exceedingly exhausting – takes a lot of internal resource to make those things happen (at least my theory), but when it has to happen, it does. Or … perhaps much or most of the time we do quite use those very exceptional capabilities – and we haven’t yet learned that or particularly how and where we do so.