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[personal profile] fable
An informative website on the psychology of online gaming. Found it interesting to draw parallels between MMORGs and lj-fandom, if only because I think that framework is much more applicable than that of, say, us being revolutionaries or counter-revolutionaries (though not nearly as romantic *woes*). Particularly liked this study on online relationships. (I think some of it's quite brilliant, really, as I'm likely to think of anything I agree with.)

Also, this article on gifted children, and the resulting discussion here.

I feel like I'm being particularly dense, because I just don't get the logic (or, I see how it could work, but it seems like the article is missing some steps in order to make it work that way). Some of the key arguments of the article seem to be:

(1) Very gifted children aren't necessarily better than other children. They're just different. And what makes them different is that they're smarter. And we're just going to ignore that one of the main criteria society uses to classify its members (if not the main) is intelligence, even though we specifically pointed that out in the first few paragraphs. (That was the first few paragraphs and since then we've moved on.) They're not better in an absolute sense, and that is what matters, and that is what makes them not better in a relative sense, too. Even though the main criteria our academic system uses to judge who is relatively better or worse, what it is set up to try and measure and promote, is. um. Intelligence. (buh?)

(2) People feel free to say that they're disabled. Why shouldn't they feel free to say that they're gifted? (To which my reaction is - you can't be that naive. Would you consider it just as acceptable to call someone retarded as it is to call them brilliant? Ugly as it is to call them beautiful?)

And, just to be clear. I do agree with what she's advocating? I just don't think that the best way to go about advocating it is to cast gifted children on the same scale as the sick or disabled. I thought her first few paragraphs were good, in that they illustrated the problem well. But lets not mince words here - gifted kids suffer not from being a fuzzy type of different, but from being too much better than everyone else at the thing that the academic system values the most, which results in (1) teachers/their peers resenting them, and (2) them being able to master things so quickly and easily that those achievements lose any real meaning. (which leads to them not being able to value achievements the way the rest of society does and therefore being unable/choosing not to succeed in the conventional sense of the word and etc etc etc)

Or, to put things in another way - I don't think you can persist in looking at things using an "everyone is equal but different" framework when it is the blatant inequality of certain valued abilities that is causing the problems. It might be pc to put things like she did, but it doesn't seem to make for a very coherent argument. (If that is the argument at all? It seems to be in the paper, but elsewhere she indicates that that's not what she thinks? Is it even worth trying to make sense of her arguments?) And I keep on thinking that I must be missing something, because everyone else seems to think that it makes perfect sense.

(Not to mention, I disagree pretty strongly with the idea that intelligence is something that can completely and effectively be judged by IQ tests and their ilk, which is the only criteria she seems to be interested in using, though that's a rant for another day. However, it might have unfairly prejudiced me against seeing the coherency that could be there in her arguments. *trying so hard to be fair here and not really succeeding*)
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