Also, for example, a kid with ADHD is woefully behind on the "being able to sit and work" ability. I think it's nice that we say "everyone is equal and let's hold hands" But I personally don't understand that.
Knowing the genetic basis for intelligence is kinda like knowing about obscure diseases. When you have the sniffles, it's probably just a cold, not lupus. When you're finding something beyond your grasp, you're probably not working hard enough, or working smart enough.
Sure, if you're a policy maker allocating budgets and looking at the population in aggregate, it makes sense to have a deep understanding of all the problems that may not be fixable. But if you're deciding what to do with yourself, why give yourself the excuse?
The truth is genetics do matter if for no other reason than the fact that who your parents are will greatly determine your opportunities later in life by the fact that they control the country you're born in. Not to mention that your family's mental or physical health history can have a great impact on you as well. If your family has a history of depression, anxiety, attention deficit, dyslexia or substance abuse you are indeed at higher risk of developing those same issues later in life. Also families with those issues can have a greater struggle creating a nurturing environment to break free from the cycle of dysfunction.
I feel that people ignoring the genetic or parental factor are ignoring science & using that ignorance as an excuse to call people lazy so that they feel more in control of their situation despite a considerable amount of their success having nothing to do with their own effort or ingenuity.
My appeal isn't to give people a reason to be lazy, but to admit that we don't know how the brain learns or re-learns things. A person's life my be an eternal struggle until they find help that allows them to escape whatever disease they are dealing with. Ignoring those diseases does not help the person & merely casting them off as lazy or needing to try harder is not a valid remedy.
Because the point of a learning disability is that the person is working their butt off already but still struggling.
It's like having two people try to catch a pig, but one of those pigs is greased. If you tell both participants to use exactly the same effort to catch the pig, the person who has to get the greased pig will probably fail. The person with the greased pig may even try harder than the other person yet still fail to catch the pig.
There isn't an easy solution to mental illness or learning disorders. Again, I am not saying that we should tell people to not try hard, I am just saying that people shouldn't go around saying learning disabilities are an excuse for the lazy or those who don't like to work their butts off.
I admired R., and I looked up to him, and while I doubt I
will ever compete with his genius, I recognize that it's
because of a relative lack of my conviction and an excess
of his, not some accident of genetics.
If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
Of course, if it's possible to learn how to learn--that is, if you can learn more efficient study methods--one would expect to see this disparity (effort expended per unit of knowledge acquired [not that you could measure this]) even in a hypothetical population of genetic clones raised in different environments.
As to why downplaying genetic potential could be a good thing, I've got this excellent pg quote fairly well seared into my brain:
"I'm not saying there's no such thing as genius. But if you're trying to choose between two theories and one gives you an excuse for being lazy, the other one is probably right." - http://www.paulgraham.com/hs.html
Still looking at genetics, look at height--then look at all of the athletes who've defied "sports logic" and excelled in their sport despite the naysayers and their "disadvantage"-- Muggsy Bogues, Doug Flutie, and Martin St. Louis to name a few.
I think knowledge does come easier to some kids, but there are always people with the drive, ambition, and passion that find a way to persevere despite their issue. I know it's cliche but, those that want it, find a way.
If learning comes harder to you then it just means you've got to work that much harder. Bad luck.