Sincere apologies for the lack of updates these past few weeks – things have been… not well, in my life. Things have been bad enough that I haven’t been able to find the motivation to write (at least not to my satisfaction), and I can’t really focus on anything for a long period of time. I hope that this state is only temporary, and while I’ll try to at least update once a week, I can’t promise anything regular until my real-life issues ease up a bit.
On a more happier note, I have been able to focus on what I’ve adopted as my new pet project: intellectual giftedness. Is it just me, or have there been a lot of articles about talent lately? Most recently, I think, was an article in the New York Times about athletic talent (which does have a lot to do with intellectual giftedness), followed by an article by Po Bronson in the New York Times Magazine about praising children that specifically mentions its implications to gifted children, and the creation of a blog dedicated to the research of talent by David Shenk. Further back, there was an article by the authors of Freakonomics on expertise and practice, an article in the NYT about the draining of gifted education resources, and another (more empirical and scientific) article about expertise and practice in Scientific American.
So, I’m certainly not the first.
Despite the recent surge in talent/expertise-related stories in the news, it’s been impossible to find print resources locally. The three libraries in my immediate area had only a few books in the gifted call numbers (155.455 and 371.95 for psychology and education of, respectively), mostly just “What Do I Do?” guides for the parents of gifted children. (One of those libraries did have half a dozen or so books about giftedness on order, but they hadn’t arrived yet.) To get anything beyond the basics, I had to make a weekend trip to the seven-story central library downtown, and even that one had less than twenty books in both call numbers – only three or four of which would be useful for any serious research. Even then, the copyrights were mostly late 80s/early 90s, precluding any recent developments.
What I’d really like to work from is The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance. Written by the leading expertise psychologists of today with a 2006 first-edition copyright and 900 pages, it’s the ideal resource for my research. However, at an Amazon price of $152.95 CDN ($130 USD) and with no copies in any of my local libraries, it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll have one in my possession any time soon. Meanwhile, the Freakonomics authors have provided a PDF of its table of contents on their website as a teaser. What I wouldn’t give for the full version…
Anyway – I mention all of this because my research into giftedness and intelligence will probably spill over into my blog in the next few weeks. As always, I’ll be keeping my subject matter varied (wandering?), but my posts may circle the idea of intelligence for a while.
And that’s what I’ve been up to.