Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘verbal intelligence

Benefits of a bilingual brain

How about mastering multiple-languages? Like Reading in original books?

The mastering of three languages is better, meaning you can easily read and write, in addition to understanding the spoken slang?

Just thinking we understand the spoken language does Not cut it. We have got to read the original authors and works.

Researchers now know that learning another language is actually an amazing way to keep your brain healthy.

Believe it or not, before the 1960s, researchers thought children learning other languages was a handicap.

People back in the day, reaction times on some language tests. made some hypotheses that must mean it’s a drawback for students to know more than their original language (biased tests?.

It won’t necessarily make you smarter, but Mia Nacamulli points out it’s now believed that being bilingual “exercises your brain and makes it stronger, more complex, and healthier.”

And if you’re young, you get an added bonus

What does being bilingual really achieve?

1. It changes the structure of your brain.

Researchers have observed being multilingual can visibly make the neurons and synapses in the brain’s gray matter denser and spur more activity in other regions of the brain when using another language.

Basically, it’s a brain workout!

And another neurological study notes the white matter in the brains of older lifelong bilinguals has a higher integrity compared to older monolinguals. (What integrity means in this context?)

2. It strengthens your brain’s abilities.

That gray matter up there contains all the neuronal cell bodies and stuff (that’s a technical term) that controls your muscles, senses, memory, and speech.

Newer studies show that those slow reaction times and errors on language tests really reflect that the effort of switching between languages is beefing up the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex — the part of your noggin’ that controls problem-solving, switching tasks, and focusing on important stuff while filtering out what’s irrelevant.

3. It can help delay Alzheimer and dementia disorders by as much as four or five years.

Yes. Sí. Oui. When bilinguals are compared to monolinguals, that is.

And although some cognitive research notes there’s still a similar rate of decline after onset, more years of a super-strong brain is always a good thing.

Now, this fourth one gets a little bit nuts.

Nacamulli says it’s believed there’s a key difference between a young bilingual person and someone who learns another language in adulthood.

4. There’s a theory that children who are bilingual get to be emotionally bilingual.

The parts of the brain that are being strengthened while speaking multiple languages include not just the analytical and logical side of the brain but the emotional and social side as well.

It’s called the critical period hypothesis.

The separation of the hemispheres increases as we grow up, and so when you’re a kid — the hypothesis holds — the two sides are a little more plastic and ready to work together while learning language.

Nacamulli says this could be why children seem to get the contextual social and emotional nuances of other languages better than grown-ups who became multilingual later and instead often think  like grown-ups.

Speaking more than one language turns our brains into powerhouses, and it makes our children more emotionally intelligent!

It’s definitely not a handicap. It’s a superpower.

For more on the magical bilingual brain, TED-Ed has some great info!

Note: Though I’m trilingual (speaks, reads and write), my verbal intelligence (rhetoric and clear vocalization of intentions) is pretty deficient. Verbal intelligence is a matter of nurturing while a kid (to be spoken to, asked your opinions, invited to mingle with grown up people, initiated to artistic courses…)

Degrees of consciousness? A way to Bypass the Free-Will philosophy

Unconscious under anaesthesia, dozing off, automatic activities, spinal consciousness, protoplasmic consciousness, deficient self-consciousness, sub-conscience…

Deficient attention span related to levels of habit formation…

For example:

Phonemes acquire a meaning at the level of morphemes. Words have to be related to the context. Sentences are linked to a larger reference plan.

Verbal activities take the inverse path: They change from the higher mental hierarchy to the mechanical movements of the vocal chords.

Having difficulties in verbal intelligence, or having problems verbalizing to clarify ideas and intentions, is necessarily representative of problems in the higher levels in the staircase of the mind: The mind gets in close loops and unable to find ready open doors to the lower levels for activating the automatic mechanisms.

An alert mind is constantly moving up and down the staircase of the hierarchy and acquire talents and skills quicker than a slower mind.

Are we confusing Degrees of consciousness with Degrees of freedom?

The more constraints and independent variables are included in a game or an experiment the more degree of freedom increase and the less free we are to navigate the game.

The less the number of constraints the more the latitudes to practices free will choices.

If mankind is totally dependent on his genes, mankind would be very homogeneous and monotonous.

The genetic factor define the level of our physical and mental stability.

It is the Epigenetic transmission of Nurturing behaviors, in a broader sense, (such as family and community customs and traditions, peer pressures, climate, environment, food consumption, educational methods, varieties of opportunities…) that transfer attitudes, tendencies and characters to individuals that are different of how the genes would normally behave.

It is the epigenetic that defines your attitudes and characters on how your community perceives you.

Epigenetic acquisitions can last for many generations, even though they are considered of temporary nature compared to genes.

Arthur Koestler in “Janus, 1979) offered this maxim:

Comprehend everything and never forgive your emotional tantrums

The corollary to this principle is:

1. Demand a minimum of free-will from the others and

2. Demand a maximum level of free-will to yourself

This No danger maxim in dealing with others is very hard to practice and apply.

We prefer the easy way of “Don’t understand the others and forgive your emotional outburst 77 times a day”

You appreciate a civilization that initiate its communities to pay attention to their outburst when saying “This is inadmissible, you should control your emotion…”

Instilling the habits of discipline and order in your daily behaviour is tangibly administer through team sports activities and military service.

Habit formation is more than a second nature: It is who you are in your community.

When emotions get aroused, and they are frequent, control is relegated to the primitive levels of consciousness.

The saying: “Know yourself” is a cheater.

The total conscious of the self, the identity of the knower and the known will never be reached.

We are not looking through a single reflective glass but a multitude of glasses, reflecting ourselves to infinity

The “Complementarity principle” in physics state that an atom can behave as a solid and as a wave

It is important that, when we get conscious of an automatic reaction or behaviour, we stop our activity and analyse a little how we proceed in our action.

For example, as we hold the fork to eat, we could wonder how other civilizations eat without forks. Or how other civilizations hold a fork or a writing pen.

We have got to bring consciousness to our habits to keep our brain alert and alive.

The more we are conscious of our automatic behaviors and reactions the more the “free-will” activities will increase.

At least, so that you could claim your free-will actions are increasing in frequency.

Beyond the Platitude of Dad’s Eulogy by this Christian Maronite priest

My dad passed away this Dec. 24, 2014. He was to be 90 next month.

We focused on the details of what customs and tradition demand in a funeral ceremony. We missed the one most important detail: writing a speech, a tribute to George Antoun Bouhatab.

The highest ranked among the priests delivers the funeral speech and it was one of the typical general speech that ignored 90 years of toil, anxiety, distress, sadness, hardship and doubts. A century unlike any other centuries in violence, perpetual wars, massive immigration, and technological discoveries.

The priest mentioned only one name, the first name of my dad Geroge, as if this priest ever met or saw my father. To this priest, my dad was one of the typical character who provided and educated his children, was loyal to his wife Julia, and a steadfast father who made sure that his children turned out to be devoted Christians.

As if I care about religion or have any respect for this caste of clergy whose only purpose in life is to amass wealth and plunder the little people as a seesaw from birth to death.

Can you imagine that a clergy attending the funeral is expected to pocket $200 for a lousy 15 minutes religious ceremony? A minimum funeral cost about $4,000 and they have to come out from the pocket of the family. Even the monetary contributions (the wreath bucket) do not go to the bereaved family: 20% goes to the bishop and the rest to the church waqf.

Dad was practically the father of 3 extended families, covering the monthly financial shortcoming, providing living accommodations, extending loans for car purchase, aiding in the wedding ceremonies and funeral expenses, getting busy when someone was kidnapped or was in trouble, driving to universities to check on the posted grades of every one of my relatives…

And in his later years, dad became a de facto father of his grandchildren: driving them to school and events and picking them back like a clock.

In the Autobiography category, I have described in length the hardship that dad and mother went through in Africa in order to provide for their children. This post is of a different nature: Maybe an occasion to vent a few of my pent up resentments.

Three years ago, dad suffered acute pneumonia and the hospital discovered totally ruined lungs from a lifetime of smoking that started at the age of 16. He smoked indoors and the family room stank like hell, but he didn’t care.

After coming home from a week of intensive care, dad resumed smoking. After each smoke he would feel dizzy and fall down, and I had to pick him up.

Mother and I endured his idiosyncrasies for another 3 years since he dreaded death like the plaque. He got totally hooked to the oxygen machine and the frequency of public electricity being out added to our trauma: We had to frequently wake up in order to turn on the interrupter to the private provider.

Dad was his own physician: He insisted to have two pills of Panadole at night, and then increased the dose to three. If we were reluctant, he would keep shouting until we satisfy his wishes, like a baby.

In the last 2 years, dad was practically bed-ridden: He would gather some energy in the morning and use his walker and very slowly reach his preferred lavatory to shave.  His shaving was totally uneven, but he had this habit of shaving every morning. The days he refused to shave meant that he was not feeling well.

And then he would get in bed and barely get up. He had a “small bladder” as we say and needed to visit the WC very frequently, tasks that exhausted him. So after lunch, dad would insist on being “wrapped up” so that he won’t have to get up for the day.

Unfortunately, dad needed to get up and walk a few yards at night, as far as the oxygen tube permitted, and to take a close look at his watch (a totally useless mania) and a situation that kept mother mostly awake at night.

Dad dreaded hospitals. Actually his heart and his blood tests showed that he was younger than adolescent kids. He never took any medicines for anything, except aspirin or something generic of mild pain killer.

Every time we had the Red Cross visit with us, the members had to convince dad that it is urgent for him to pay this visit to the hospital, just a general check up. Invariably, dad had to stay in the hospital for extended periods and even be wheeled to the intensive care unit.

A week ago, dad was unable to even sit down and we took him to the hospital on account that he won’t stay more than the morning. Dad had to be hospitalized after the physician suspected a mild brain stroke that affected his speech.

Dad was furious and he made so much trouble and raucous activities in his bed that the nurses had to tie him up in bed. We had to bring dad home prematurely: He wanted to die at home and in his bed. He had asked me to remove his wedding ring in the hospital as if he had a premonition that his days are counted.

The first day at home went on pretty smoothly and mother mouth fed him and he ate well enough, though he was completely bed ridden. He didn’t feel well at night. In the morning, dad was pretty quiet and barely responded to his grandchildren who came to visit him and try to coax him to stand up and walk a few steps.

Around 2 pm, dad was sleeping as usual with his mouth open. It took me and my nephew Cedric a while to realize that dad had passed away silently and in his sleep (or in coma). We were so uncertain that I brought in a glass to check on his breathing.

Dad had his habits and addictions. He kept smoking until he could no longer. He kept having his big glass of whisky every day before lunch until he started falling down and I had to pick him up. He kept driving way after he was 85 until he had no energy to drive with failing eyesight and hard of hearing conditions: The car had fallen completely apart and was beyond any repair.

I wish I had dad’s memory: He was still able to the last second to remember everyone who lived and died in Beit-Chabab, and enumerate the tree branches of each family. He could have been an excellent Moukhtar, but he refused my suggestion to present himself for election since he was entitled to represent his larger family by inheritance and by age.

Dad was consistent, stubborn and predictable. He never asked for our opinions since only his decision was valid and of any currency. Actually, I never recall we ever sat down to discuss anything or asked to proffer any opinion in all my life. I can voucher that neither my younger brother or sister ever had any discussion with dad.

This silent stubborn attitude might be the cause of a lingering sense of inferiority complex. I guess his eldest son didn’t show signs of high intelligence and entrepreneurship to sustain any illusion that George will be recognized as an illustrious personality.

And dad didn’t say anything bad about anybody: He kept his silence.

I think George had a sense of humor from the laughing crowd sitting with him, but he never demonstrated this talent among us.

My sense is that dad gave up raising his children and relegated this job to mother: all he had to do is provide.

Maybe the decision of having children was my mother’s wish and she spaced them to suit her workload and lengthy breast feeding period, extending beyond two years: since Africa was not a healthy place to try other kinds of milk taking. My brother used to go play soccer and then come to get his ration of breast milk till the age of 3.

I never  married and never felt mentally strong and ready to offer quality responsibility for my children: I plainly was not exposed and trained to care for offspring.

Dad was more literate than mother and more interested in world political conditions, but he lacked artistic talents. Mother was the artistic person in sewing and selecting the best garments from fashion catalogues. No one in the family was expose to artistic talent such as singing, dancing, painting, playing musical instrument… And the schools we attended were not geared toward any artistic classes. My sister found out her talent in interior decoration and became the main artistic decorator for her house, even though her husband retired Gen. Victor graduated as interior decorator.

It was our loss that dad failed to shoulder his responsibilities in communicating with us and teaching us a few of his experiences. At least would have been exposed to some verbal intelligence.

The children were whisked to their rooms when we had company and had no exposure to people interactions. We never attended any funeral ceremony or any saddening events. The totally sheltered kids from outside upheavals.

Dad never gave us any allowance, at least not to me. I saved whatever I was given on Christmas time and Palm Sunday to suffice my misery spending all year long. I was too proud and angry to demand from dad any allowances. I survived not building any sense for luxury. Though I suspect that dad gave allowances to other kids in the larger family who had lost their father or the father was away in Africa.

At the age of 20, and when we lived in Beirut, I started going out in the morning and frequently returning after 9 pm. I don’t recall my father or mother asking me how I spent my day. Probably they figured out that with my scarce money in the pocket I couldn’t go far or act mischievously or get into physical trouble.

Until the civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975, dad was considered a well-off person and had constructed a 3-floor building with natural stones. As usual, when he decide on something he become too impatient to liquidate: Like the ridiculous price for his house and shop in Sikasso (Rep. of Mali) or when he sold his shop in Ain Rumani.

Even when he was completely broke, he managed to give large tips to people who did some repairs, especially those people from the public water crew who were to clean the public pipe, and took the habit to come in three so enjoy the lavish tips for no work done. The only income was the monthly rent of the ground floor.

And dad sold mother’s jewellery in order to pay off the various militia for security, just to give the illusion that he was not that broke. Though everyone in the town knew the facts.

He paid quickly what he owed and in cash and never asked for what the others owed him. Sort of all our money is his and he can spend it the way he likes, as long as what property he owned is made in mother’s name.

A decade before he was practically bed-ridden, dad barely received visitors: People knew that we were broke. A few paid dad a visit once a year by the force of tradition. The immigrants who arrived for short visits made sure to come the day before they are to go back and stayed just a couple minutes on account that they are too busy and have to tend to tight schedule. All these visitors were at walking distances and there were no reasons to ignore dad in such a harsh fashion.

Only Edward used to come on Mondays when the weather was fine: Dad would use his walker to the sunny balcony and they would shoot the breeze for half an hour.

My nephew Cedric made it a habit to check on dad on Saturday and Sunday morning and we would sit down in the balcony, drinking coffee and eating sweets and chocolates. Being hard of hearing was a handicap for visiting relatives and many kind of gave up even on formality.

In the last couple of months, dad waited every morning on Cedric’s fiancé for her morning visit. If the weather was warm and sunny, we would sit on the southern large balcony, and Marie would patiently learn a few Lebanese words.

I am a person of irrational and sudden decisions: I leave everything behind and move on as light as can be. No planning, no job waiting, not amassing addresses or reserving  rooms and accommodation… I just go.

I don’t think age affected this behaviour of mine. That is why I burned all my bridges and ships in order Not to be tempted to leave on a whim, or at least to be forced to give plenty of advance notice.

I sold my car and saved money from running a car, I didn’t try to renew my passport or my driving licence, I stopped sending stupid CV… Just the life of a recluse, observing and slowly taking in what’s going around me. And writing about what I observed.

Many close relatives should have ample reasons to weep dad’s death: I don’t.

Many close relatives are endowed with enough imagination and memory to weep dad’s death: I lack imagination and I am a lousy actor. Fuck it.

I never wept so far, not for dad or anyone else.

In the last 2 decades, dad had plenty of time to brood over his life and reflect on his experiences, though he never shared any. I had time to brood too, and a few nights I tried to weep on myself to sleep.

Dad was born naked and he quit this world naked. Not a dollar to split

In that matter, I’m following dad’s footsteps.

All George’s grandchildren and children were present for the vacation and mother had all the emotional and practical support she wanted. A very lucky Georges, finally.

As we say “Do the good deeds and wash them in the ocean“. E3mol al kheir wa keb bil ba7r

A tribute? Good or bad, it is still a tribute.

This is a tribute to George Antoun Bouhatab.

I Can’t recall: Did I ever said “I’m hungry, angry, want this, wished that, desired anything…”?

Quality of Life?

The first 19 years of my life are practically a blank.  I may recall very few events, but I certainly don’t remember having shared my emotions or what I felt or any kinds of opinions.

Conversation in the family was nil: Nothing. Not around the dinner table, in front of the television, in the car…

No conversation. Not even “What did you do in school today”, “what do like to eat tomorrow”. where do you guys want to go this week end…

Nothing. I Can’t recall that I ever said “I’m hungry, angry, want this, wish that, desire…”?

Nothing. I never asked for money. for stipend, to buy a disk, go to a movie…

I don’t recall going to a mourning ceremony or being asked my opinion on any business transaction.

I had to change 3 times my main language. The first time when I returned to Lebanon from French Africa at age of 6 and I couldn’t speak or read Arabic : I was demoted one class lower, even though kids started schooling at age of 3 in Lebanon.

The second time when My parents definitely returned to Lebanon and I was taken out at age of 12 of the boarding school to another private French speaking school. I couldn’t speak or write French and was again demoted a class. The third time was using English as my main language for higher education in the USA.

Consequently, my verbal intelligence is of the lower level, as well as my social intelligence in connecting with people.  This never translated into higher levels in other kinds of intelligence.

One of my close relative spent 9 months in our house in order to finish his last year of high school. He was 4 years younger than me, but just 2 classes lower  in school.   All that I remember was that he locked himself in his small room to study.  He surely must have had dinner with us. I don’t recall.  I cannot remember we had any conversation, sat in front of the TV, went out to see a movie… anything.  I can’t recall.

A blank youth.

Quality of Life?

My younger brother is 3 years younger, and my sister 8 years younger.

I slept with my brother in the same bed a few summers, and in the same room otherwise, but my brother is a stranger. We never talked or had any serious conversation. We lived a world apart: we never shared our worries or our occasional happiness.

I bet my brother too feels that his youth was a Blank

That goes for my sister.  Blank youth: Otherwise, we would have recalled the moments we felt hungry, angry, wished passionately anything, demanded a few rights…

Nothing. Is that any kind of quality of life?

And yet, my parents were well off, meek and law abiding and would have not refused us anything considered “safe behavior”, if we simply asked.  We had no strong passion to ask or demand much of anything.

We were not trained to hold on any strong passion.

Note: I suspected that another close relative lived with us in order to attend the last year of high school. He is one year older than me and 3 years ahead in school classes. Even my mother forgot that he lived with us for 9 months. But cousin confirmed my suspicion, as well as my elderly father.  What a blank page was my life til the age of 19.


What are your Top 5 Regrets if you are dying?
Why stop to 5 regrets? Why hurt yourself with so many regrets?
Did you know what are the top five regrets of the dying?
Are the following top 5 regrets a matter of collecting data from the dying persons?
1- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
2- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
3- I wish I had let myself be happier.
4- I wish I’d had the courage to express my true self.
5- I wish I’d lived a life true to my dreams, instead of what others expected of me.
My opinion is that only regret #2 make sense from the 5 regrets mentioned above.
The other 4 regrets are just abstract notions that are regurgitated while still among the living and do not express “my true self” as in #4.
Working hard is not a regret, unless you mean that you didn’t care to share more time with real people
Feeling happier entales the understanding that you experienced moments of happiness and you can still remember these instances vividly, moments that apparently you don’t recall…
Expressing yourself needs knowledge, training and practice in verbal intelligence, and a huge amount of determination… Characteristics that you lacked the courage to undertake, particularly since you don’t write, read…
If you sincerely had a single “true dream“, you wouldn’t be mentioning this regret: You should have been living this dream in your mind and had applied it one way or another…
And what about these major regrets:
6. Failed to tell my love partner that I love her, that she is the most beautiful, that you want to live by her side…
7. Failed to connect and communicate with my children and close relatives…
8. Failed to carry on an adventure that would have tested my metal
9. Been sold as a slave girl and used as a sex slave and resumed my life as if this is my destiny
10. Been sentenced to be stoned to death for eloping with someone I love…
11. Failed to “weave” long lasting friendships because I was too busy with minor tasks…
12. Regret for experiencing famine in childhood
It is said: “Better be ruled by someone who never felt hunger and experienced famine: The stomach remembers having been filled once…than the reverse alternative

Mark these 10,000 hours of practice-sessions: And become a top expert in anything you wish to be

Apparently, up till late 1990’s, mankind brain required about 10,000 hours of practice-sessions in any skills or field of work before the person become top in his passion.

There are million upon million of geniuses, but a few of them are known to the general public.

Townspeople know the “geniuses” among them, but to be recognized worldwide, and acquire the standing and stature of a top genius in any field, like music, sport, computer programming, dancing, singing, architecture, fashion designer…you have got to accumulate around the 10,000 hours in practice sessions before you reach the age of 20 or so…

Thus, the main hurdle is to overcome 3 concurrent requirements, meaning if one is not satisfied then you will not reach the top in your field:

First requirement: you must have a great passion for something, and be willing to consistently practice for many years, the hard way.

Second, the community and family support must be available to allow you the necessary investment in time and money in practice sessions, such as acquiring additional intelligent social skills and negotiating abilities…

Third, you must be born within short-span particular years, and living in the proper environment:  The external factors are many and must converge to provide the extra nudge and facilities… For examples:

Example One.   What these people share: Bill Gates, Bill Joy (Sun Microsystem and creator of JAVA language), Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt (Novel and Google), Scott McNealy, Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolshein…?

These people are top in the computer and communication business and were extremely lucky to live in an environment and were born at the proper period to put in the 10,000 hours in practice, learning programming and the computer and communication technologies.

These people were born between 1954 and 1956, and as the Time-Sharing facility on main frame computers introduced the teletype in 1965,  they could bypass the time-consuming card-punching technology which would have been a major handicap into accumulating the 10,000 hours in practice.

These people enjoyed the facility of living at walking distance to major universities that could afford to purchase top of the art computer systems and powers and make it available 24 hours a day.  Many enjoyed the luck of attending private junior and high schools that acquired sophisticated computers for the period.

These people who were the best computer programmers and were urgently needed by the companies around the communities, happened to be around as personal computer hit the market in 1975 and they could use the instructions to building their own prototype and own computer language….These lucky geniuses didn’t have to finish university studies, and they could tap on ready technology investment money funds to start their own computer and communication companies…

Example two.  The Beatles have accumulated the 10,000 hours, for most its band members, before conquering the USA by storm in 1964.  They were very lucky to be invited to play and sing in Hamburg between 1960 till late 1962:  They played 8 hours a day, 7 days a week in Bruno’s strip joint that was opened 24 hours. Every time they returned to England from their extended gig in Hamburg, they put in just a couple of hours and had to make up for lost ground on their return to Hamburg and perfect their stage presence and their coordination as a group.

Example three.  Mozart was lucky to have a father musician who allowed his son to put in 10,000 hours of practice sessions, composing concertos piano and orchestra since the age of six.  As Mozart reached about 23 of age, he could produce the master-works N9, K291…Prior to this age, Mozart was composing mainly arrangement works, corrected by his father.

I don’t think that mother is “bright” (this assessment is not based on any IQ tests), but she learned to be a great seamster (cutting patrons and sewing dresses) when a child and kept doing this for many years and purchasing clothing magazine for her business, and she is an excellent cook.  Certainly she accumulated the 10,000 hours, but not before reaching 20.  A few people might consider mother as a case of “mild autism syndrome“?

I contend that those born in the late 1990’s, with the advent of Internet, fast audio-visual communication, and social platform available to kids to use and apply, the new kids will be enjoying an upgraded qualitative brain connectivity that will reduce the number of total practice sessions, in fields related to audio-visual, and also permit fast accumulation of training hours within less than 7 years.

In any case, pass the score of 130 in IQ test, your analytical abilities are good enough to going into graduate studies and getting a Nobel Prize, with consistent hard work and accumulating this 10,000 hours of practice.

It appears that doing well in Math is related to attitude:  The more persistent and resolved to solve a problem, the longer your engaged attitude, the better you are in math.  People used to work in rice fields that require constant and hard effort all year round do better in math than other people…

Note 1: I recall that I knew not a single word of French at the age of 12, before I joined a private French school.  My aunt, living with us, started to buy me exciting French books, and I started to read French books for at least 6 hours a day, seven days a week. Within a year, I wrote far better than any French-born students in my class, and the teachers would not believe that the essays were mine.

Mind you, I didn’t write anything beside my homework, or read aloud, or spoke fluently French: I just wrote better.

Another proof that it is not feasible to write well before you make the routine of reading a lot, and consistently.  Reading is necessary for sound verbal delivery, but it is not sufficient: Verbal intelligence is related to another part of the brain and requires other set of learning and practice.  I do lack verbal intelligence.

Note 2: This post was inspired from a chapter of “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.

A Few Good Politicians (February 6, 2009)


Our problems with politicians stem from three factors:

First, most of the politicians inherit their jobs, one way or another.  They realize soon that they are not up to the requirements of the arduous job, and don’t want the hassle; and thus, they delegate their responsibilities to people who were not elected in the first place. 

Second, politicians don’t work for the long-term success because they “Don’t find the time to read, reflect, and grow their inner power“.  

Third, most politicians didn’t walk the streets, and reluctantly communicate with potential voters: they are not people oriented, which should be the main job description for a politician. 

Among the very few politicians who satisfy the 4 criteria of proven records of people oriented, capable providers, continuing education, and mastery of verbal intelligence, only those who realize the need to strengthen their inner power through reading and reflection, and actually taking short “sabbatical” away from the media have the potentials to become leaders of people.

 We all want to be “providers”, the Patriarch, or the Matriarch.

Only the minority of us can be providers and are willing to take on this responsibility and dedicate their time and nerves for that constantly demanding job.

Among this minority we have people with good “verbal intelligence” or orators who can be candidates for political career.

In “Hiroshima my love” Marguerite Dora says:

Human political intelligence is a hundred folds lower than scientific intelligence”  

On the face of it, many would be nodding their heads in consent.  We have got to analyze political intelligence from a different perspective to appreciate that the previous statement is not correct. 

When we deal with human behaviors that are extremely complex because:

First, characters are in the hundreds of varieties and ever-changing with time and conditions Second, the inability of human cognitive powers to assimilate the different interactions of even 4 factors or variables at the same time and t

Third, juggling these interactions in real-time and under pressure then, we can grasp the far complex intelligence requirements of doing and thinking politics. 


Democracy, without prior selection of politicians based on cognitive and emotional testing for mental capabilities, is tantamount to more of the same repeated errors and mistakes for the public good.  

Political intelligence would be vastly appreciated to its own merit when candidates satisfy cognitive and emotional criteria before submitting their applications to public political posts.


We all agree that doing politics is a serious profession.

And yet, candidate to “serving the public” are not taught and trained in schools like all the other professions.

Actually, most of the students in high schools and in universities, graduate with a terrible bad connotation for the term “politics”. 

People enroll in political science thinking that this field will train them for the political arena; wrong! 

The field of political science does not train people in the social and psychological behavior of people, which are the right tools for doing politics. 

Acquiring sketchy understanding of the macro politics by lumping whole nations as a single entity or entire regions as potential enemies is not the correct way for training politicians to thinking rationally and for the good of the people in the long-term.


The vote of the people would make much more sense when people are initiated and exposed to the complexities of serving the people and offering a higher value for the term “doing politics”. 

A professional politician is necessarily pragmatic because he works toward consensus as he communicates extensively with citizens and listen carefully and seriously to their demands.

Memory failures, (continue 27)


Note: I have published this section previously, but not within my formal auto-biography “introspection”.

I have been writing my diary since 2004: I sensed that my episodic memory might be failing and I have difficulty with the semantic memory in recalling names quickly enough, even the ones I am familiar with. I have a vast general knowledge, but lately I feel that I can benefit greatly in providing answers if the format is in multiple-choices format for recognition. 

Mother has good episodic memory at the age of 83 but her instant recall of names is very bad.  Many times mother is telling me a story or a current news and she fails to remember a name and shakes with frustration.  Often, I figure out whom she is talking about, but the irony is that I cannot retrieve the name too; a silence is broken until one of us recall the name or we simply just give up.  

Mother reminds me of many events that I had completely forgotten, even my personal accidents that I should have retained, like car accidents. Mother told me about Joseph Hayek who rammed my opened car door and almost injured me; I asked her to give me more details, until I had a feeling that the accident happened. I usually tell mother to continue her story with more details so that I might recover part of the situational episode.  

Dad has still excellent memory, episodic and semantic,and we can rely on his accurate recall, but his hearing is failing, so does mother though she would never concede.  Dad is ashamed of asking me to take him clean his ears, so is mother!  Thus, the writing process might be a good exercise for saving my remaining faulty memory connections and keeping them alive a bit longer.

I read in the daily Al Nahar that German scientists have located the gene AVPR1A number 334 responsible for the abstinence of 40% of the males to marry, or to sticking to their vow to marry.  It appears that this gene is also the cause for autism or the closing up of the mind to society and living inward.  I think that I strongly have this gene, and if I submit to DNA analysis then the result would be positive. 

I believe that my ranking in schools and university has declined sharply since I was 17 years old because my memory started to decline.  I guess my persistence in continuing my higher education and even earning a PhD might be due to my inner and stubborn anger to defying my memory faults.  For example, when I focus on any subject I can comprehend the mechanism; a few days later, I feel that I know the general process but I need pointers to recall the process and refresh my understanding of the subject. 

I have lost many friends because I failed to recollect their names, or worse calling them with the wrong names.  When I returned to the USA after five years of absence, I have this guy who calls me excitedly as being his long dearest friend, and I could not remember the name or even put a face on the caller; the guy was one of my roommates!  He was very frustrated when I met with him; the irony is that I still could not remember him, even with his face, but I had to take his accounts for real because his recollected accounts matched realities.

In gatherings, a bloke would turn towards me for some reason and say “you should know him; he was kind of intimate with you”. What can I say?  Names are more often than not a blank in my memory; a picture can certainly help as long as it is not updated!  Thus, when I salute people I do not try to name them! 

I guess that my inability of memorizing songs and poems and jokes has strong foundation; my asocial behavior might be due to my failing memory early on, which has corrupted my discourse and robbed me of quiet and convincing communication instead of irritated and truncated paragraphs. 

An excellent memory is necessary for mental effectiveness, for social gathering, of telling jokes, of recounting events in details.  It is fundamental for efficient communication and making friends.

I don’t like talking on the phone or any instant audio-visual medium: I lack verbal intelligence. I feel that my verbal memory is too slow to communicate any sense in a timely fashion.  My sort of communication is to listen and query what the other person is saying. 

In a gathering, I look stupid, redundant and ignorant of the substance or fundamentals of chatting and delivering small talks or maligning others or memorizing and delivering jokes. I know by experience that, when sometime I am dragged into heated conversation, I usually make a complete fool of myself and never finish sentences and alienate everyone in the audience.

            I don’t carry a cellular phone because I have no business to promote.  There are millions of cellular suckers who use their new gadgets just for answering calls, thinking that they are lording it over the callers by answering calls; worst, they think that they are saving money by not taking the initiatives of calling after all the initial and monthly expenses.

Note: One of my nieces commented: “I like this article. i always thought you had some sort of mild autism. I knew the technical word for it. I’ll try to find out for you. please do get teta and gedo’s ears cleaned. You have 50 members now. I like the article on your home page. keep updating. lots of love.”

Now, I have to deal with a new syndrome of mild autism that has a technical name.  Is failure to recalling name a kinds of autism? I trust frank outside observers.  Would my niece find out from internet or the American Psychiatry Association what can be done to to my case? 

I don’t like talking on the phone or in any instant audio-visual medium: I lack verbal intelligence. I feel that my verbal memory is too slow to communicate any sense in a timely fashion.  My sort of communication is to listen and query what the other person is saying. 

In a gathering, I look stupid, redundant, and give the impression that I am ignorant of the subject matter (if any):  Actually, I never learned to experiment  with the fundamentals of chatting and delivering small talks or maligning others or memorizing and delivering jokes. I know by experience that, when sometime I am dragged into heated conversation, I make a complete fool of myself and never finish sentences and alienate everyone in the audience.

I don’t carry a cellular phone because I have no business to promote.  I used cellular phones two decades ago before it was that popular and “indispensable” and I know how wretched your life can then be reduced.

There are millions of cellular suckers who use their new gadgets just for answering calls, thinking that they are lording it over the callers by answering calls; worst, they think that they are saving money by not taking the initiatives of calling after all the initial and monthly expenses.

I realize that cellular phones are mainly used to warn people of their imminent arrival to a meeting so that they don’t have any excuse to vacate the place before your majestic arrival; or to take the most current coodinates of your location since you have not been in touch for many years.

This short post is to tell my reader that I much prefer to communicate in writing so that I can take time to formulate my ideas and deliver emotions and feeling without the need for any one to look at my face and express signs of horror.  Yes, there is something called verbal intelligence and you find these geniuses among politicians, CEO, and crooked preachers.




June 2023

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