Poor Barbie. I Don’t Want To Be Smart, Jackie.

I am not smart. My maid is.

A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and...A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and sizes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She does not know what a can-opener is but she does not need the new fancy mop I bought. After going through 4 different mops, I found the best way to clean the slate flooring is still the old fashioned method – USING A RAG.

This brings to mind the famous NASA story of the 60’s when Man first went to space and the American astronauts could not find a pen that worked in space (because of the absence of gravity for ink flow). Spending several million dollars in developing a pen that defied gravity, they went up to the space station to find the Russians using pencils, something they did not think of ?

I encountered a truly gifted little 4 year old boy 2 days ago. His name is Victor. To distract him from a sulky spell, I asked him what was 13,225 plus 1, knowing that he liked numbers and thinking it would stump him to silence for a while as he worked it out. He cheered up and said 13,226 without a pause. Got happy and started telling me his method for his 22 times table and how he manages to remember long numbers like 1 billion and 500 because he visualises it as 4 numbers instead of 9, i.e. 1 B and 500.

My son could not even get back the 2nd syllable of 13,225 when he was 4.

Then one of 3 best friends, Jackie, sends me an interesting study that finds that Spatial Skill Is An Early Sign Of Creativity (NY Times). Oh boy. Giving the new egoistical Millenial parents another reason to believe they all have baby Einsteins in their hands.

I have heard of parents who send their children for IQ certifications to insist that Nanyang Primary take them in on their intelligence.


No wonder Barbie is going bust (Huffington Post) despite trying hard to keep up with times and their latest Drag Queen Barbie and Fat Barbie ! Lego Rules !

Taken from the article above.

“(Note to parents: Legos and chemistry sets are considered good gifts for the spatial relations set.)”

Now people will rush out to buy the most complicated Legos for the poor 4 year olds to fix just to prove a point. It is time to buy Lego shares. But alas, Lego is a private company, like all the companies we hold quite dear as such Whatsapp. The hedge funds have them tightly bound.

But we are not getting smarter.

“Our technology may be getting smarter, but a provocative new study suggests human intelligence is on the decline. In fact, it indicates that Westerners have lost 14 I.Q. points on average since the Victorian Era.”


Too many things have been sorted for us these days. Specific wipes for leather, glass, stone and my latest, toilet seat wipes. Brains do not really have to work to find practical solutions and as knowledge continues to amass, it is not possible these days to be anything be specifically good in 1 field of knowledge, or work or sport or play. There is simply not enough time.

Gone are the old days of my attempts to master a bit of everything. No more all star sportsman or woman like I recall my late mother was in the netball team, softball team, athletics squad doing the 100m, 200m, long jump and works. The kids now choose either swimming or tennis, not both. Because training for each is 4-5 days a week.

Intelligence does not bring in the dough too. Jackie knows. Her husband, a gifted scientist, gave up research to work in the corporate sector because the money is better there.

Why do parents want their kids to be smart ?

The smartest man alive, Christopher Michael Langan, with an IQ higher than Einstein’s chose farming in the end. He had a perfect score in his SATs and every other IQ test.


I am not despairing that my son has lost the mathematical streak of the family that my late grandfather had genetically bequeathed to us, as diluted as it might have been with me.

His favourite programme on TV is Pawn Stars and Diggers (or something). He is obsessed with valuations, by that I mean plain vanilla things that we can see and touch, like game cards. I wouldn’t trust him anywhere near a derivative.

I hope he makes it out there, in the real world where Singaporeans have been scoffed at as being too soft and honest despite their obviously superior education which gives them a head start in life. (I picked this up in a conversation yesterday with an old friend who is a dealer of sorts with Chinese and Middle Eastern money)

Retired Trader concluded it for me. That the superior education and brains is best breeding for middle management and workers.

So there is yet hope for my son. I have been showing him how candlestick charts work and patterns in them when he rolled his eyeballs after a few months and said, “Isn’t this gambling, Mommy ?”

My grandfather, who had worked out the odds of each game in the casino and explained it to me at length when I was a child, would be so proud of the boy.