This is a great thread. Probably one of the more philosophically 'honest' of the threads that I come across here.
Let me start by saying that I have not purchased many of the products on this site. I purchased the photoreading book, but suspect that similar to many 'get smart' books it is better to use one of the guided programs.
Thus far, I have my doubts about the efficacy of 'photoreading' as I understand it or more specifically what I 'wish' it were.
The jury is still out on it and I will probably invest in the course because the potential benefits outweigh the cost of the program. If there were a 1.2.3. way to develop 'spontaneous activation(SA)' then the course would be a no-brainer to invest time effort and energy in. I would like to see some valid research to determine the rate at which (SA) occurs. Hell, I'd participate in a study.
I've looked at some of the memory optimizer descriptions and they are quick to bring out the fact that its main principal are different than 'association and pegging'. If the MO course is more effective than the MegaMemory style 'associations and pegging' then it would be highly impressive.
I've got perfect material to 'try' it out on. I'm doing an esperanto and GRE course using MegaMem techniques and SuperMemo. I'll give it a shot and give a very fair and honest report on the methodology.
To join the broader discussion, Genius is not a zero sum game. Everyone on the planet could be a genius. If they came up with a pill that raised your IQ, creativety, memory and tacit knowledge a thousand fold, we would all be geniuses. Some of us would still be smarter than others, but we would all exceed our current 'threshold' of mental ability defining genius.
That is one of the tough parts, defining genius. Some may define a long-term welfare person as a genius because they have found a way to 'beat the system' and avoid working. Your first instinct might be to say well no they are making a moral decision to take advantage of a flawed artificial system in order to avoid work. However, we wouldn't be as quick to deny the term 'genius' to someone who does essentially the same thing by investing money in the market or a business to avoid work. The only real differences are the approach and how the time 'not working' is spent.
How about the case that the welfare person has used the system to stay home and all they do is work on philosophy and math, they become extremely knowledgable but they never come up with any really orignal. Is this genius? Is it closer?
How about this case: The welfare person, uses their time to study science and genetics, then bam they figure out a way to just turn cancer off. Now are they a genius? More importantly does their going on welfare show an 'early' piece of genius?
Do we define genius by the means or the end? Is it something in between or is it hopelessly subjective?
The smartest guy in my high school (not just high grades), named Floyd, was a phenom in math, science, language etc. In my non professional opinion, I'm willing to bet Floyd was a 160-170 IQ range. He was reading, understanding and relating to Kant, Hiedegger and Ponte when we were in 7th and 8th Grade. Was/Is Floyd a genius? There is no doubt in my mind that he was/is. However,(you probably saw this coming), the last time I saw Floyd (about 5 years ago at the age of 26-27)he was bagging groceries at small local supermarket and had been doing so since he got kicked out of the local state university (where he was double majoring in Math and Chemical Engineering). He got kicked out because he would start these huge arguments in class and would start screaming at the professors.
I've always known I was a 'smart' person. I also knew from the time that I met Floyd that I was nowhere near being one of the smartest 'kinds' of people. I knew that there were people whos own mental abilities towered over mine. This realization was quite a relief for me. It was like finding my place in life by finding out where I wasn't. I wasn't pond scum and I wasn't troposhperic.
However, since my encounter with Floyd,I have always been fascinated by the concept of intelligence. I've always wondered what the difference between what Floyd had and what he didn't have.
Whenever, I think of Floyd when I see the part in Beautiful Mind when Dr. Nash is telling his hallucinations that "You're not real.", and the hallucinated 'G-Man' tells asks him "Is this what you've become, some useless Ghoul? The local Madman?"
Floyd is the 'Useless Ghoul' now. I still call him every year or so, he usually is cordial initially eventually slips into a hyper-intellectual rant about some obscure aspect of philosophy or mathematics or Popular music even. I truly feel for Floyd. I have joked with one of my brightest friends about the CIA initiating a "Geek Reclimation" program; where the CIA picks up types like Floyd and locks them in a basement at Langley and have them processing intelligence resources.
So the question remains, What is Genius? If this Genius Code program, helps us to access the quality that Floyd lacks then it addresses one side of the Genius equation but how about the other side. The pure mental ability side, understanding complex books (i.e. Process and Reality, Whitehead), understanding complex mathematics, physics and chemistry, remembering enough significant details to deal with big problems etc.
A true 'genius' program would have to deal at least with both sides of this issue. And as evidenced by Floyd they are not perfectly correlated items.
My own issues revolve around a few critical points. 'Stick to it', I've started more projects than most people even think about. My problem is that I'm a quitter. When things get to complicated and I feel like I could fail at it. I tend to back out of it and move on to something else that interest me rather than face failure.
This has gotten better over time. I have 'gone back' and completed many of my task: Half-read books, dropped college course, completing military schools etc.
I've done my current job longer than anything I've done before. I'm probably one of the best (top 100/20000) people in the field. I don't know why I've stuck with this so long...probably because it is commission based technical work and the pay system is almost a pure meritocracy.
But unfortunately, I feel like I have 'cheated' myself. My friend John gets on me all the time. He says, "You like doing your lock work because it is easy and profitable for you, plus it's unique; but you should be a doctor or a scientist of some kind. Of course you are one of the best at what you do...you should be doing something else."
So in a way I draw an analogy between myself and Floyd. What is it that John Nash, Watson and Crick or other nobel prize winners have that I don't?
I would feel a bit more confident about saying "This program is good or this methodogy is working for me." if I was some nobel physicist (which as you can see I generally consider the pinnacle of human development but for you it may be a pulitzer or some other grandiose recognition). But in actuality I'm just a Technician class. My angle has always been leadership. Not because I read the Prince and got some rank in the military. It's because I have a deep rooted desire to understand things and make them better (myself included).
To summarize, Genius is not a zero sum game, it is not limited by some certain Percentile definition. If more people got smarter...more people would be geni.
Genius is at least two sided. What Floyd had (and at that level)which is easier to measure progress on (see post Ultra High Ceiling IQ Test) and what Floyd did not have which seems impossible to measure potential for because it is defined as produced results. EQ? Common Sense? Restraint? Mental Stability? Very hard to say what this second aspect is but most of you reading this will know what aspect I'm talking about.
Anything that contributes 'significantly' to either of these two aspects is worth wrestling with.
I appreciate your attention to this and if you enjoy similar 'streams' let me know and I would love to correspond with similar 'searchers'.