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Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Joe Biden has few skills in assimilating new information or in solving problems. What type of intelligence does he have? Hmm… hard to say.

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By now, everyone knows that Joe Biden has few if any skills in assimilating new information or in solving new problems. If only his “81” million voters knew this in advance. What type of intelligence does he have? Hmm… hard to say. Perhaps excerpts and key notes from the award-winning book Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, third edition, 2011, by Professor Howard Gardner, will shed some light on the matter.

Contemporary methods of assessing the intellect are not sufficiently well developed to allow assessment of an individual’s potentials or achievements in, say, navigating by the stars, mastering a new language, or composing music with a computer, among 100s of other tasks.

Previous efforts to establish independent intelligences have been unconvincing, chiefly because they rely on only one or, at the most, two lines of evidence. Separate “minds” or “faculties” have been posited solely on the basis of logical analysis, on the history of educational disciplines, on the results of intelligence testing, or on the insights obtained from brain study.

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Psychology and Testing

Until recent decades, most psychologists would agree with the assessment that intelligence testing was psychology’s greatest achievement, its chief claim to social utility, and an important scientific discovery in its own right.  Most scholars within psychology, and most outside the field, are now convinced that enthusiasm over intelligence tests has been excessive and that there are many limitations in the instruments themselves and in their uses.

▪ Much of the information sought in intelligence tests reflects knowledge gained from living in a specific social and educational milieu. In contrast, intelligence tests rarely assess skill in assimilating new information or in solving new problems. This bias toward “crystallized” rather than “fluid” knowledge can have astounding consequences. No existing technology is explicitly designed to test an individual’s intellectual profile.

▪ The idea of a single “horizontal” problem-solving apparatus is attractive, in fact the carefully selected problems to which it is said to apply turn out to be disturbingly similar to one another. In common with Piagetian psychology, nearly all the problems examined by information-processing psychologists prove to be of the logical-mathematical sort.

▪ It is time that our understanding of human intellect be informed by the findings that have accrued in the biological sciences since the time of Franz Joseph Gall. Yet, because psychologists and biologists inhabit different environments, the task of marshaling biology to explain human intelligence has barely begun.

Individual Adaption

When it comes to the most complex of human capacities, such as language, the individual can withstand even massive damage, including the removal of an entire hemisphere, during the first few years of life and still acquire the ability to speak in a reasonably normal fashion: this recovery suggests that large portions of the cortex remain uncommitted (and thus available for diverse uses) during early childhood.

▪ Numerous studies with rats and other species have confirmed that an enriched environment produces more elaborate behavior as well as palpable changes in brain size. Effects can be surprisingly specific.

▪ Of all the gifts with which individuals might be endowed, none emerges earlier than musical talent. Though speculation on this matter has been rife, it remains uncertain just why musical talent emerges so early and what the nature of this gift might be.

▪ An emerging sense of self proves to be a key element in the realm of the personal intelligences, one of overriding importance to individuals the world over.

An Indispensable Component

Various forms of personal intelligence clearly arise from the bond between the infant and its caretaker — in almost all cases, the infant and its mother. Evolutionary and cultural history have combined to make this attachment link an indispensable component of normal growth.

Comparative psychologists are sympathetic to the possibility that even the most treasured facets of human nature may be found, if in simpler forms, in other animals.

For every goal currently being pursued, there is presumably a set of intelligences which could readily be mobilized for its realization, as well as a set of intelligences whose mobilization would pose a greater challenge.

Viewing Intelligence in a Different Light

We have become much more aware of the roles of history, politics, and culture in circumscribing or thwarting our ambitious plans and in guiding them down paths that could not have been anticipated.

Intelligence should not be assessed in the same ways at different ages. The methods used with an infant or a preschooler ought to be tailored to the particular ways of knowing that typify these individuals and may be different from those employed with older individuals.

Even as computers offer a useful way to think about the marshaling of intelligences to master educational goals, the potential use of computers in the process of matching individuals to modes of instruction is substantial.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Education

Make Universities Accountable for Predatory Student Loan Abuse

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The Biden administration is still talking about delivering on the President’s promise to relieve student loan debt for many Americans. There is continuing discussion on how much debt should be forgiven, how to pay for it, and whether it is fair to all those who have diligently and painfully worked to already pay off their own student loans. After all, if you’re going to eliminate student debt to buy votes, why just limit it to student debt?

Unfortunately for Biden, according to numerous sources including National Review, the executive branch has no generalized power to forgive any amount of student debt. Even Nancy Pelosi confirmed simply that “the president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.” The Department of Education came to the same verdict, determining that the executive branch “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”

Of course, even if he had the authority, forgiving student debt doesn’t make the debt go away. Reality has a way of breaking into such “freeloading” dreams. It’s pay me now, or somebody else pay me later. But why should some future taxpayer pay off anyone else’s student debt?

Whatever happened to wise warnings of “student beware.” When you get an education and agree to pay the tuition, you ought to realize that you must at some point pay for that education. You signed on the bottom line. Face your real-world responsibilities. Hopefully, you picked a degree major that will ensure a career capable of paying off your loans. Students clearly have some responsibility, but what about the universities that took advantage of the money coming from those loans?

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After all, there is ample evidence that student tuitions exploded far faster than inflation when government funds became readily available for student loans. Complaints of excessive tuition increases by students trapped in their programs tended to be met with a less than caring response—pound sand!

Since 2008, the tuition cost or a four-year college degree has increased nearly 25%. In that same period, student debt has doubled, increasing by 107%. 2015 study found that a dollar of subsidized student loans results in a published tuition increase of 58 cents at a typical university, An NBER paper suggests that changes to federal student loans are more than sufficient to explain tuition increases at private nonprofit colleges. And a 2014 study found that for-profit colleges eligible for federal student aid charged tuition 78% higher than that of similar but aid-ineligible institutions.

In short, there is no doubt that tuition was rising faster than the inflation level. Evidence has been clear for decades. In 1987, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett argued that “increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities to raise their tuition, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”

Bennett pointed out in 1987 that federal student aid had risen 57 percent since 1980, while inflation had been 26 percent. A 2020 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office brought the numbers up to date: “Between 1995 and 2017, the balance of outstanding federal student loan debt increased more than sevenfold, from $187 billion to $1.4 trillion (in 2017 dollars).” What is the lesson? The more federal aid to students is available colleges raise tuition more. Salaries rise and bureaucracies expand. There are more courses, more dorms, dining halls, lavish recreational centers, and more money for endowments.

Far too many students find that once they begin their education, their schools raise the tuition at such a high rate that their debt explodes. The university builds their endowment, and the “trapped” student is compelled to finish what they started at a cost they did not expect to have to pay. In such a situation, should not the university be responsible for any increased cost above the increase in cost of living during the same time? It’s time for universities to take responsibility for their share of student debt.

The universities that benefited from these loans should have a part in footing the bill. That means universities that raked in millions to inflate endowments should be holding the bag for those who can’t afford to pay their loans. With universities holding hundreds of billions of dollars in tax-free endowments, any government program to relieve student debt should be completely dependent on taxing those university endowments.

It’s time to counter the Democrats’ vote-buying scheme by making lasting changes to the student loan process. That means putting universities on the hook for their predatory behavior. That will go much further than a temporary payoff that does nothing to solve what is causing the problem.

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Education

Replacement Theory is Not a Theory

Self-loathing liberals despise anything which they even remotely suspect somehow disparages minorities, and that includes all white people

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In 2015, Sue Payne, a conservative radio host, was inadvertantly included in internal White House phone call representing the “Task Force of New Americans.” This endeavor was led by Cecilia Munoz and was comprised of 16 members of the Obama Cabinet. The Obama-Biden administration had planned to initiate a “country within a country.”

Obama goal was to quickly grant citizenship to 13 to 15 million illegal aliens. As these “new Americans” came forward, the communities where they would be placed would be designated as “receiving communities.” As these “new Americans” came out of the shadows, existing U.S. citizens would be pushed into the shadows.

It was emphasized that the newly minted “Americans” must be informed of “the benefits they are entitled to” and that they would “navigate not assimilate.” Fortunately these plans did not materialize.

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Fast Forward to the Present

Jimmy Fallon announced to his studio audience one night that the white population of the U.S. had declined 8.6% in the last ten years, to which his audience responded with boisterous laughter and applause. He was shocked but sought to hide it.

Fallon has said, “The results of the 2020 census just came out. For the first time in American history the number of white people went down,” upon which the predominantly Caucasian audience responded with “glee and elongated clapping.”

Interesting reaction to that,” Fallon said. Interesting? More like bizarre. How can a plethora of white individuals, not merely those in attendance that evening, but rather untold millions across the nation loathe themselves so completely, that they revel in seeing their numbers drop? Do Japanese wish to see their numbers decline relative to the country’s overall population? Do Chileans? Finns? Jordanians? Tunisians? Tucker Carlson is completely correct on this topic and, as such, is the favorite target of the demented Left.

The Left is Giddy

To be sure, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and the ultra-obnoxious Steven Colbert have catered exclusively to ‘progressives’ for upwards of eight years. Progressives populate their audiences, and progressive ‘elites’ dominate their guest spots.

Amazingly, non-hispanic whites in the U.S. today represent only 57.8% of the population, their lowest percentage ever and down from above 80% a mere two score earlier. Is this a cause for celebration? At the Washington Post, uber-RINO columnist Jennifer Rubin joyously greeted the data, citing it as it “fabulous news.”

Concurrently, if you even hint that the demographic decline of white Americans might prove to be unfavorable, you’ll be demonized as a dangerous individual. However, if you seek the elimination of people based on their skin color, and they are white people, this is perfectly okay. Indeed, it’s delightful. It’s entirely progressive! Let us all rejoice!

Self-Hate Abounds

The self-loathing that untold numbers of white liberals have for whites in general is mind-boggling. They have been taught — actually, brainwashed — to regard their ethnicity and skin color as invariably detrimental to society. To them, by virtue of their birth alone, they represent an extreme cultural blight.

This enormous group, tens of millions strong, is comprised largely of Democrats who also happen to comprise the core of cancel culture. These self-loathing guardians seek to financially and politically cremate any person, place, thing, or idea that they regard as offensive to others and, paradoxically, that aren’t necessarily directly offensive to themselves.

Why do white liberals act this way? They are self-appointed care-takers of what they believe is social fairness, justice, and equanimity. At the same time, it’s eye-opening to discover that most minority individuals are flummoxed by what whites seek to cancel, merely because the white majority thinks it offensive to select minorities.

You dislike The Cat in the Hat? On January 21, 2015, Michelle Obama invited The Cat in the Hat characters to the White House to read to young students as part of her ‘Let’s Move, Let’s Read!’ initiative. She noted, “Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.”

Windmill Jousting

Did anybody in attendance that day, Ms. Obama included, regard these characters to be portraying racial stereotypes? Was anybody offended, insulted, or outraged? Newspaper accounts and photographs indicate that just the opposite was true.

So when did The Cat in the Hat and other Dr. Seuss books, and his various characters, become ‘racist’ as not a single word changed, in any of his books? The quick answer: Self-loathing liberals despise anything which they even remotely suspect somehow disparages minorities.

Ironically, these same self-loathing liberals feel morally superior to everybody else. Thus they exhibit an odd psycho-social phenomenon that researchers will be studying for decades, if not centuries, to come: How individuals, programmed en masse to hate themselves, decided to despoil any aspect of our culture that they believe does not meet their ‘standards.’

Stranger Than Fiction

These obtuse standards become entrenched as part of liberal, Leftist, unassailable doctrine and spread via the internet like kudzu. And who among them can tolerate debate of official doctrine?

Those on the right observe this phenomenon with incredulity. How do so many people so thoroughly come to hate themselves, especially for phantom faux pas (i.e. that they haven’t committed)?

As they proceed with their many forms of boycotts, doxxing, and ostracism, and deepen their embrace of cancel culture, it’s difficult to predict when the dam will break. Self-loathing whites, you see, glean positive strokes and virtue signals from one another. They are giddy to be accepted as a member of the ‘morally superior’ strata of humankind.

Self-loathing liberals are hell bent on their ‘righteous mission.’ Each one knows to the marrow in his, her, or its bones that unquestionably they are on the ‘right side’ of history, when in actuality they are on the maniacal side of cultural and social suicide.

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