Friday, May 1, 2009

Heredity, Environment & Genius

My NYT Comment #329.
May 01, 2009 4:19 pm


May 1st, 2009 11:13 am
Heredity, Environment and Genius

There is a dynamic interplay between heredity and environment, to produce ABILITY, whether average, mediocre or at the so-called genius level. I would have liked to see included in Brooks' discussion, the 'outlier' factor developed by Malcolm Gladwell.

Part of the crucial role of environment is ACCESS to:

1.Goods (example a spinet or a Steinway)

2. Resources (a parent, a mentor)

3. Social capital -- what-you-know-is-as-important-as-who-you-know.

It also helps if you are not partly impeded by social location -- as a member of an oppressed minority or suffer other deeply stratified setbacks resulting from intolerance, bias and hatred.

On a geopolitical level, ability rising to the 'genius' level probably cannot be fostered under brutal imposition of "shock and awe."

Can SOCIAL JUSTICE cultivate more "geniuses"?
That would be a research enterprise worthy of us all.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
NYTimes copyright
Op-Ed Columnist: Genius: The Modern View
The latest research suggests a more prosaic, democratic, even puritanical take on great accomplishment. It’s not I.Q., but deliberate practice.

Aid Pakistan's Civil Society, Not Pak Military

My published NYT Comment #1
May 01, 2009 8:30 am
May 1st, 2009 8:13 am

Aid Pakistan's Civil Society, Not Pak Military

So now, it's not AfPak or PakAf but AllPak.

Hope the aid (through UN agencies and NGO) is all humanitarian, example development of infrastructure for schools and hospitals and a complete halt to drone strikes, which fuel Taliban and civilian recruitment and aggression.

The fewer foreign forces on the ground, the better.

However, the US still doesn't get it. The US must abandon its arbitrary, profit-oriented, self-appointed GlobalCop interventions.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Pratice
NYTimes Copyright
News Analysis: Now, U.S. Sees Pakistan as a Cause Distinct From Afghanistan