What is Genius? Part II - Intelligence

Needless to say, intelligence has traditionally been a key component to the genius label.  But do we really know what it means? In simplest terms, intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. It is not exactly smarts however, because smarts can be earned through learning while intelligence is innate. How can we measure intelligence? Well, you must have heard of IQ tests. IQ stands for intelligence quotient, which is essentially a score for measuring how intelligent you are.  There are many so-called tests on the Internet, but only two are internationally recognized: WAIS-IV and SB5.  The one I took in 2021 was the WAIS-IV, placing me in the high end of the IQ spectrum.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, these tests are more than just gauges of logical reasoning.  The WAIS-IV has four components, which spans perceptual reasoning, verbal comprehension, working memory and processing speed.  See here  for an understanding of scores from commonly accepted tests.  No

What is Genius? Part I - Introduction

The word  genius  carries a uniquely satisfying connotation.  There are probably many definitions of the term, with most narrowly focusing on people with extremely high intelligence.  To me, a more encompassing definition is preferred:  A genius is someone who is exceptionally talented in his/her field(s) and creates meteoric contributions to the world.     Einstein fits the bill but so do Michelangelo, Mozart and Kasparov.  Debates have gone for centuries on what makes a genius a genius.  Recent studies have shown that it is not all about brains.  Nature vs nurture debates have ensued, but I will settle on these four essentials:  Intelligence - yes, brains Creativity - also brains  Grit - persevering through highs and lows  Environmental circumstances  - being at the right place at the right time with the right people Let's spend the next few weeks to deep dive on each characteristic that help to shape a genius. - PTS

Rubik's, Solved!

I tried my hands on a Rubik's Cube in elementary school, only to be met with frustration.  I remembered thinking this was a game only for geniuses.  A second chance came late last year when my 9-5 ordered hundreds of cubes as souvenirs for local marketing events.  After 2 hours of practice over the weekend and with the help of some YouTube hacks, I finally did it! Not Max Park yet, but it made my day.   -PTS

Book Review: The First 20 Hours - How to Learn Anything Fast

Continuous learning has been a cornerstone of my life.   Being an efficient learner is therefore important to me.  I often wonder about the best way to learn and end up "learning about learning" every so often.  No wonder I was naturally drawn to this book by best selling author, Josh Kaufman, given its catchy title. Kaufman first clears the air that devoting 20 hours of your life to something does not make your an expert in the field.  However, it allows you to become good enough and be confident in applying the skill being acquired.  He then distils his learning process into 10 steps: Identify a skill(s) that matters to you If multiple skills are desired, focus your energy on one skill at a time  Define a target level on "what is good enough" Deconstruct the skill into sub-skills  Ensure the right tools are available for learning Remove barriers to practice Make time to practice for at least 20 hours, preferably in regular intervals   Create fast feedback loops Pr

Happy 2022!

Happy New Year! With the arrival of 2022, it is time to put my resolutions to work:  Improve my golf game with a sub-30 handicap (yes, I am that bad) Remaster my butterfly stroke in the pool  Become an advanced chess player by scoring 1500+ on   Write more blog posts by finding a focus topic(s).   No world peace this time, but each goal carries with it a deeper meaning for me -- hence the excitement.  Let's get started! - PTS

139, a Very Sweet Number!

Many people may have taken IQ tests online and achieved flying colors.  I also did a few tests for fun in the past, scoring 150+.  The real deal in intelligence tests however, is  Stanford-Binet  or WAIS-IV.   After taking the  WAIS-IV  test last week with a qualified psychologist, my full scale IQ test score was revealed today.  I have an FSIQ of 139, ranking me in the top 0.5% of the population (1 in 200) and placing in the top category of Very Superior !   My IQ score confirms a long-held suspicion on my intellectual giftedness.  Many of my friends have suggested I take the test for some time.  It was long coming, but I finally took the plunge this year.  And now, it is official.  This result certainly gives my already high self-belief a boost.  I look to overcome more challenges when the going gets tough and open up a world of possibilities by thinking even bigger.  What's next?  Perhaps I should consider applying to Mensa and meet fellow intellectuals for more personal growth.

My Next Career in the Making

Great day spent at the course.  First time in a long time and already wanting back!  This could really be a next career after retirement from the day job.  An imminent challenge is participation in a charity golf event mid-month.  My performance there will be very telling on whether PGA is in the cards.  Joking aside, I am indeed closer to retirement this year.  Getting a taste of university level courses and a retirement hobby is a step in the right direction.  More good to come!   - PTS