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Quote: "Reed’s entanglements serve as an apt metaphor for the school life of severely gifted children."

Ah, "severely gifted" -- what a meme. What a commentary on the times in which we live. I can imagine psychologists surveying this new frontier with barely concealed joy, in particular now that the DSM is being abandoned.

People need to understand that, in modern times, to avoid one or another mental illness diagnosis, you can't be too smart or too dumb, you can't be hyperkinetic or hypokinetic, you can't be extraordinary in any way. You have to be the very definition of dull and unimaginative. You have to be a psychologist.


The diagnosis criteria for most mental illnesses include that the patient is negatively affected by their specific symptoms.

Or regarding the specific quote, in the context of going to a normal school, "severely gifted" might be the right word for describing these children. If these children are given something meaningful to do in school instead, then the moniker would not be apt.


> The diagnosis criteria for most mental illnesses include that the patient is negatively affected by their specific symptoms.

Even if this were true (which it isn't) the psychiatrist can always argue that the fact that someone else doesn't like the symptoms negatively affects the patient and therefore he is ill.

Circular reasoning like this is common practice.


> Even if this were true (which it isn't)

Maybe I was being too general, but the diagnosis criteria I remember from when I've looked at such (including ADHD, Autism spectra disorders, and Depression) have included such qualifiers, IIRC.

Checking ASD, the following is one of the criteria:

    The deficits result in functional limitations in effective communication, 
    social participation, social relationships, academic achievement, 
    or occupational performance, individually or in combination.
While the word "negatively affected" is not specifically used, I would at least argue that the above is morally the same.

Of course the diagnosing psychiatrist could always fudge the facts, but arguing whether or not psychiatrists accurately apply diagnosis criteria is a different matter to arguing that "to avoid one or another mental illness diagnosis, [...] you can't be extraordinary in any way".


> whether or not psychiatrists accurately apply diagnosis criteria is a different matter to arguing that "to avoid one or another mental illness diagnosis, [...] you can't be extraordinary in any way".

But that happens to be true and easily verified. If you're bright, you're assured of the Asperger's diagnosis unless you insist on avoiding the company of psychologists, increasingly difficult in modern times. If you're gay, it was the same thing -- until the public demanded that psychologists stop handing out mental illness diagnoses to gay people.

The history of psychology is punctuated with examples in which obviously appropriate behavior was falsely labeled as evidence of disease, including the infamous example of "drapetomania" -- slaves who ran away from their masters were obviously mentally broken and in need of professional help to reunite them with their owners.

Psychologists don't wait for people to appear and ask for help -- they issue press releases announcing the discovery of yet another imaginary ailment from which many are claimed to be suffering in silence. Example:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201207/el...


> Of course the diagnosing psychiatrist could always fudge the facts

But there is no fudging. Someone not liking something about you that you are totally OK about does negatively impact you if that person is say your spouse.

There is no fudging. This is the usual modus operandi.


> The diagnosis criteria for most mental illnesses include that the patient is negatively affected by their specific symptoms.

This is a false claim. The only requirement is that a psychologist deem you mentally ill. For example, in the eyes of psychology, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Thomas Jefferson all are/were mentally ill -- that is, until the imagined malady they were supposed to be suffering from was abandoned because of public outrage.

In the same way and with the same effects, homosexuality was a lucrative mental illness until the public forced psychology to accept that it is not an illness and abandon it.

These are two among dozens of examples in which psychology invents illnesses, then offers bogus cures, all for a fee.

> Or regarding the specific quote, in the context of going to a normal school, "severely gifted" might be the right word for describing these children.

That's absurd. It stigmatizes a gift, an example of nature's occasional generosity. To an adult, the absurdity of this kind of writing and thinking is obvious. But to gifted children, most too inexperienced to understand psychology's real role in society, it constitutes yet another burden in their formative years -- years spent in therapy listening to an intellectually handicapped person exhorting them to try to be more "normal."

> If these children are given something meaningful to do in school instead, then the moniker would not be apt.

I agree with your point, but it's never apt -- it stigmatizes the gifted without recompense. You seem to be missing the point that (a) public schools are notorious for failing the gifted, and (b) this kind of talk only shifts the burden onto the children and away from where it belongs -- on our broken educational system, and on psychology.


> You have to be a psychologist.

Not really, you just have to learn to avoid them at an early age and to not answer any of their questions except through an attorney.


"Insists on having lawyer present - paranoid delusions"

An advanced directive would be more useful than having a lawyer there. A discussion with your nearest relative about what you want and what you want them to say would be more useful.


Even 'dull' and 'unimaginative' are outliers. You need to be... beige.

I'd say that's why diagnoses are typically a "perfect storm" of otherwise normal conditions. We can probably all say that we've experienced schizoid avoidance patterns. But at some point, for certain people, that condition becomes a part of a larger psychological pattern in which it's considered an illness. Usually because it begins to have an overtly negative impact on the ability to function in society.

The nature of human development just means that we all inherit some level of personality "defect". But psychologists don't view them all as candidates for a diagnosis of mental illness.


I think that idea that people who like to classify and name things are dull and unimaginative is a part of the discussed problem.

For example, Russian word for "nerd" is literally "botanist" ("ботаник").


It's more like a "unmanly" interest, I believe :)

A behavioral health diagnosis doesn't mean you're damaged or disabled or even that you're a special snowflake that needs special accommodations.

A behavioral health diagnosis, just like any health diagnosis, just recognizes that you have some thing that is negatively impacting you.

Just as the diagnosis of an ingrown toenail doesn't mean you need special treatment, neither does a mental health diagnosis.


> Just as the diagnosis of an ingrown toenail doesn't mean you need special treatment, neither does a mental health diagnosis.

Nonsense. Try getting a top security clearance if you have a mental illness diagnosis. Try getting certain kinds of insurance, or preferential treatment in many professions, or any number of other examples in modern society -- a mental illness diagnosis is a burden for a lifetime. The fact that the "illness" may have resulted from a fantasy like recovered memory therapy or be based on a make-believe ailment like Asperger's or homosexuality, doesn't matter -- same burden, same stigma.


Yeah, there's definitely a stigma. Often an unfair one. You are correct.

That does not conflict with anything I said. A mental health diagnosis does not generally mean that a person is dangerous, unemployable, or disabled.

A negative reaction of others to a diagnosis, based on fear and ignorance, is a big problem that we need to address. But those erroneous reactions don't change the intrinsic meaning of a diagnosis.


GCHQ have made a point of recruiting people with autism spectrum diagnoses.

There's plenty of people with severe mental illness who have security clearances.


> There's plenty of people with severe mental illness who have security clearances.

Yes, but only if they lie or waffle in their applications, because mental illness is specifically discussed as a reason to deny clearance.

http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/security-clearance-jobs...


It does seem eerily similar to Harrison Bergeron.

that last sentence :)

> That blew my mind! So now it turns out Einstein was wrong??

No, because the light speed limit only applies to things moving through space, not to space itself, which can and does expand faster than light speed.

> We can't get particle to seriously travel faster than light and there is entire galaxy going faster??

The galaxy isn't traveling through space at faster than light speed, it's being conveyed along with the space that surrounds it at a speed that exceeds light-speed from the perspective of some distant location in space.


Your explanation is correct for individual stars, but it doesn't take universal expansion into account, which independently reduces the energy available from distant sources (apart from the 1/r^2 law). The reason? Same energy, more space, so a reduction in energy per unit of volume.

Also, setting aside the issue of expansion and redshift, if you imagine a sphere with a uniformly illuminated interior (imagine a surface composed of so many stars that counting them individually makes no sense) and an observation point at the center, if you increase the radius of the sphere, there's no change in the energy received at the center.

This idea works for an infinite plane as well, and is a bit easier to grasp. Imagine an infinite plane with a fixed optical brightness, and an observation point at some distance d. Now double the distance -- no change in received energy because the plane is infinite in extent.


We do know the age of the universe, to a reasonable certainty. The discussion above doesn't argue against our current estimate of the age of the universe -- it addresses other issues.

So ~43 billion years is the age of the universe? Or is that extra 30 billion years solely a result of the universe's expansion?

43 billion light years is a distance, not a time.

A star moving in the opposite direction of us that emitted light 15 billion years ago that we are just now seeing has moved a lot further away in that 15 billion years it took that initial light to reach us.


I know what a light year is. I just did the conversion to time given that we are receiving a EM wave.

It doesn't work like that. Yes, a photon travels at 299792458 m/s, but photons emitted 13 billion years ago (a redshift of about z=8.6) travel much further than (1310^9 years 3.1510^7 seconds/year 299792458 m/s) due to the metric expansion of space.

The correct calculation involves an integral, an example of which you can see here:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/widget/widgetPopup.jsp?p=v&id=45...


The latter.

Remember that a light-year is a measure of distance, not time.

I know. If we receive light that traveled a distance of X light years, then the event is occurring X years in the past.

Given that we already know that originating at point A and traveling to point B, such that the distance from A to B at the time you arrive is X, does not involve traveling a distance of X... I have trouble seeing your point.

> If we receive light that traveled a distance of X light years, then the event is occurring X years in the past.

Not necessarily. By the time the light arrives here, its point of departure (and parts of its path through space) may have receded because of cosmological expansion, so its total travel distance, and its velocity, are no longer synchronized as they would be in Newtonian physics.

Your remark would have been true for the static universe that Einstein believed to exist when he proposed the first version of the cosmological constant (before 1929).


Remember that space is expanding, so a photon which has traveled one billion light years originated less than one billion years ago.

As is often the case, this explanation fails to take cosmological expansion into account. An expanding universe is a cooling one. The explanation is correct as far as it goes, but failing to take expansion into account either dates the explanation or fails to evaluate a factor that's a bit more complex than relying on the finite age of the universe.

Well, define "run". The code can almost certainly compile to ARM object code, but whether that code could meaningfully interact with a router based on an ARM processor is an entirely different question, with no clear answer in the linked article.

Ok, trying to get Raspberry Pi work. Perhaps netbsd is better?

Creating an algorithm whose numerical result agrees with another algorithm isn't how "proof" is defined in mathematics.

> So, in the coming weeks, we will restrict access to articles on WIRED.com if you are using an ad blocker.

Suit yourself. Goodbye, Wired, and welcome to reality.


> This does nothing for people suffering from lack of fundamental necessities.

This is a basic philosophical question -- shall we give the poor a fish, or shall we teach them how to fish? The answer should seem obvious, and in the modern world, science is the fishing pole.

> I'd get it if we were all so smart we solved everything we needed to but we can't even solve our own planet.

The problem on Planet Earth is very simple -- there are far too many people. The problem is easy to state, but almost impossible to solve. How do you tell people to have fewer children without violating one of the most basic rights we have?

How do we know there are too many people? Science. How do we know that's a nearly impossible problem to solve? Science.

> Your casual philandering with space exploration doesn't put anything on anyone's table but your own ...

Christopher Columbus heard this argument too, as did every pioneer throughout human history. Your analysis overlooks the fact that space exploration is so valuable that it's in the verge of becoming a profitable enterprise and have no more need for public funding. How will you complain about it then?

> ... much like how lots of minds are wasted crunching pointless numbers for data startups.

A "data startup" succeeds or fails based on private funding by people who understand and accept the risks, so it can't be part of your argument about global poverty.


> People wasting time on things that have an extremely low probability is still a waste of time at the expense of everyone else currently living on the planet.

If your views were policy, we would have no modern medicine or agriculture, people would have an average lifetime of 30 years, and ignorance would be the norm In other words, we would live in the world that actually existed when your views were policy.

> ... that when he wins big we'll have all the bread in the world. He never won, then he died.

He didn't win because he didn't understand probability, like most lottery players today. He would have been better off spending his limited resources on feeding and educating his children.

I'm sure he loved his children and was a valuable person, but the story might have had a nicer outcome if he had had an education -- an education with roots in science.

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