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Engaging Your Genius
Why your genius is naturally so easy
to find and to bring on-line


by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

#
Humankind had rough beginnings.

Our emergence as a species took place during an epoch of global disasters.

Alternating ice ages with epochs of virtually unbearable heat, alternating rainswamp and epochs of searing drought.—And loss not only of our original forest habitat but of a succession of the subsequent habitats to which we had started to adapt in turn....

Forming under these extreme conditions, our species had to be able to survive in both old and new and further, unanticipated environments...

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Biological definition of intelligence
Relate to the above the biological definition of intelligence: the range of factors, internal and external, which one is able to take into account in pursuit of his wants and needs.

To this very day, necessarily, we are born with a far wider range of capabilities than we will ever get around to using.—So we can cope with whatever environment we happen to be born into.

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A consequence
We have spent a lifetime learning what awarenesses not to be conscious of.

Some of that is probably good. I don't think I would want to forever be consciously aware of and monitoring my own liver function, for example. (Though there are conditions, like cirrhosis or hepatitis, when one really would like to become consciously aware of that so he could act to guide it into preferred directions.)

But a large part of our conscious shut-down definitely is not good. Especially amidst modern conditions which separate and insulate us from the immediate consequences of our own choices and our own behavior. —Especially while we are young and rapidly forming.

Feedback—a/k/a "reinforcement"—is how we learn what works and what does not. Not only that, it is how nerve cells, nerve circuits, and the brain itself develop, more than by any other mechanism, including nutrition, heredity, stimulus, or schooling.

Every complex system, living or non-living, has to be responsive to changes in its environment—especially to those changes which result from its own behavior and choices. Any system which is not responsive to its feedbacks, which is not susceptible to its reinforcements, in this changing world of ours, does not get to be around for very long.

Small wonder that psychology's main natural law, just as gravity is a major natural law of physics, is the Law of Effect: "You get more of what you reinforce."

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Putting things together

1. Put this systems/feedback/reinforcement concept together with the opening of this brief: that we're necessarily born with nearly infinitely more capabilities than we ever get around to using, —
   
2. Together with the next point in this brief above:  Which awarenesses we learned to pay attention to and which we learned to not pay attention to, have been more or less randomly determined by chance in our shielded-from-consequences upbringing and modern existence, and so is far from optimum.

With #3 below, we will show you simply how to turn on any undeveloped sector of skills and/or intelligence. Before this amazingly simple prescription, though, please let me raise one more key point—

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Strategies and games
In the study of strategies, also known as the theory of games, the cardinal rule is to seek to maximize your desired options/access to your various desired options, so you are the one getting to make the choices.

In negative-sum or zero-sum game branches of strategy theory—those sectors where one necessarily has an opponent and someone has to lose— the form of that rule is to work to maximize your own desirable choices while limiting those of your enemy. Make your actions less predictable thereby, so they are harder to counter.—And, correspondingly, make your enemy's choices more limited and predictable. This is why, in chess, for example, the emphasis in the early moves is almost always on "developing your position."

In real life, most situations are mainly win-win games. Our outcomes are still affected by the moves of the other player(s), but most or all can win at the same time, often cooperatively. There, the form of the cardinal rule becomes to maximize desirable choices for everyone, including yourself.....

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Why this aside on game theory?
It's not an aside. In either type of (game) situation, your cardinal objective is to increase the range, number, and variety of your desired available choices. and:

—Remember the biological definition of intelligence?—the range of factors, internal and external, which you can take into account [your available choices, in other words!] in pursuit of your wants and goals...

Strategy analysis or game theory writ large, therefore, tells you that its cardinal rule is to increase your intelligence!—Aside from all the pleasure and rich reward of really informed awareness and experience....

Thus it makes sense to learn or re-learn how to turn on some of that 99.999999999% of your awarenesses and capabilities that you've spent a lifetime learning to turn off. Out of all that vast range of undeveloped awarenesses and capabilities, we move from pathologically non-optional towards optimal, by reinforcing into conscious focus those awarenesses and capabilities which better add to our online intelligence, our immediately available positive options. Those resources embody or access best our positive options.

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