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Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Concept of Giftedness

I thought I would hop out of the box tonight and just start typing. I started thinking and contrasting the idea of concepts verses buzzwords. Buzzwords are a favorite among the socially and politically inclined. What is contained in a buzzword? Well a buzzword is rather like typing a command on your computer, except that you are typing a command to a group of people's brains. That command results in an automatic response from the commanded brain to load a certain set of images and a certain emotional state. As with any computer command, what happens has nothing to do with any external stimulus. Really, you wouldn't want your computer to perform actions based on how the day's going, now would you? So the command shuts off outside influence and performs the action it was intended to perform.

I think the buzzword, "gifted", is a command. Depending on the programmer, typing the gifted command causes different groups of actions to be performed. Lately, gifted seems launch a lot of other commands like "elitist", "different" which launches "defective" if below a certain age or "cloak" if above a certain age. I think astute political programmers, who are not shy about getting into anyone's files, have tried to point the command at "shoot down the stars" oops I mean "shoot for the stars".

That's the trouble with a buzzword. When it's executed, people don't think about a concept. They become a computer readily executing the program. By speaking one word, the target person is literally reduced to a robot. Computers don't care who launches the command and neither do robots. So the response to the "gifted" command is the same no matter who launches it, whether it be a politician, a hateful person, a loving parent, or a teacher. And the worrisome thing is that the fastest programmers seem to be political or social agenda based people. Yet, as a gifted person, I have the right to express what the true concept of gifted is, to have my identity just as much as any person does. And anyone who has known a gifted person knows that there is nothing robotic about anything we do (though sometimes in our jobs we may feel like rented computers).

What is at the core of giftedness? Conceptualization is definitely one thing at the gifted core. We basically take a disordered world and with our expansive ability to correlate random and widely scattered facts, we build concepts that bring order. So rather than buzzwords, could I communicate giftedness through a concept? A concept is different than a buzzword. It is a framework of data and relationships. When you receive a concept, it is identified by that data and its relationships. So if you edit those components, you get a different concept. Once formed, a concept can't be edited. It's either correct or incorrect. It's all or nothing. So how do you express giftedness as a concept? Hmmmm.

Here is my try at that. You will notice on my new avatars that there is a blue computer display window with only two symbols in it. It contains an infinity symbol followed by an exclamation point. Simply: infinity factorial. Or metaphorically: Infinite possibilities. To me, that is a concise, immutable description of giftedness. Political/social agenda types can try to change the meaning of that symbol combination. But really, it just makes them look like ridiculous clowns. Mathematics, a language of conceptualization, tells you the only meaning those symbols can have.


  1. This is an interesting take on why the word "gifted" creates reactions in people. The struggle is that the term means different things to different people. We don't have a uniformly accepted definition of "gifted," and that makes the buzzword exponentially wonky.

    At least it's not factorially wonky...;-)

  2. The problem with the word "gifted" is that it is being used as one-two punch by politicians currently: One: A gifted person inherently already is better off than others and so: Two: Advocating resources for the gifted is a form of elitism. This view is being used to justify flat funding (no special programs) and a reversion back to the one size fits all education style. Selective definition of the word gives the user of the word the appearance of being authoritative. Otherwise the naked truth would show: we are prioritizing noneducational items over education, stealing from a nonvoting population: children.