I was told I was intelligent (whatever it was they thought that meant, at that time, in that context).
I took tests, and more tests.
Not merely written tests either; there were computers, labs, electrodes all over my head. The labs were cold.
My sisters underwent none of this.
My mother did though. At the same time as me. I remember that much.
IQ was popular then. “Stable G”. I had one healthy dose of that, apparently, and people were very insistent that this was both meaningful and a good thing.
I had a small stack of results and charts of brainwaves.
Specialists insisted that I skip grades in primary school (?).
Can you imagine that conversation?:-
“Yes Mr & Mrs R., his finger painting skills are well above normal; I’m not sure what you are doing, but his colouring is somehow within the lines, yet his finger painting both on and off charts!”.
In high-school I was placed in the gifted program.
A vertical curriculum meant I could do senior work as a junior (or vice-versa).
By the end I was not really attending class at all, even though my timetable was only Monday and Friday, with a half day on Tuesday.
I achieved 2 senior academic medals, and failed with a “0” the other 5 of my 7 classes. I took Environmental Science and History at community college, but this left my parents dissatisfied.
Hence, my path to “a more amenable” institution, it was decided on my behalf, was to be expedited. A case was to be put to the Minister.
This was certainly not out of character for my mother. Indeed, both parents are “knights move” thinkers. But Minister of Education? A University Chancellor? These questions I, “in hindsight”, would have been justified in asking.
“Son, I want you to see the Attorney General. 9am”.
The Attorney General? So bizarre to write down. But my parents informed me I was to see the Attorney General, so I followed instruction.
Memories like this make me wonder as to my early social intelligence. Or perhaps, more correctly, wonder as to my early ontologic social construction, projected out from my particular internal architecture, derived from my specific childhood environmental models; much of which is very likely still in tact.
When I received the order to Gotham Tower, I was already living with my first serious girlfriend at the time.
My parents got bored with having kids quite quickly. This seems to me a completely reasonable position for someone to take as well, it best be said early on.
And we are, my parents and me, what I would consider very close. We don’t really celebrate birthdays or holidays with much fervor, another position which, frankly, I welcome. Those things far from define the merit of any relationship.
If I call them they are warm and practical. They, well, they solve problems. Whether I ask or not. They are problem solving machines.
As am I.
And why can’t they just be that, and have that be enough? I dare say they can.
Detachment versus social intelligence. Or is one contingent on the other? Especially in the applied sense, this still seems quite the question.
Growing up I had single “best” friends. These would last a period, to a social “changing of the guard”, then they would be replaced by another. This continued, when I was really young, for about 4 or 5 cycles.
Otherwise I would be alone.
Then later in adolescence I was paired off with girlfriends. Girlfriends, within groups of friends; and this pattern mostly continued following on from there.
Each group I entered as an outsider.
“They” went to school together, or were the “counterpart-pairing” all girls school that “went with” a certain all boys school (for high school functions and the like, I suppose).
People seemed to just “know” the correct school pairings.
And I knew how to copy key behaviour sets. Just enough. And copy basic dress, just enough; in order to facilitate construct bonding to a level sufficient to keep me out of the rain and socially involved.
Labeled the mildly eccentric of the groups, arguably. In some cases. Most cases. I think that is fair to say. But such a position affords a great freedom; a pass to by-pass certain redundant norms with some impunity.
I would arrive via a “girl”, and achieved my social citizenship in this way.
Then through subculture circles, as social tides required, I moved to a new group of a similar description; maintaining social currency via a similar mechanism.
I didn’t understand groups of friends for the longest time.
I didn’t understand group sports. Certainly not watching sports. Not daily weed or substance use: not even excess console game playing or medications at first. Those things were “shield generators” to tolerate specific necessitated social aspects, at specific locations, in specific ways, at specific times. Or so my analysis concluded at the time.
I’d put that down to a naivety of youth, but for fear of coming across as jaded.
Daily anything bothers me still. But there were some realities that I did not process at that time. These days I am, maybe not on pa on these points, but certainly more understanding. And that is from life experience alone.
And I readily concede that others may have been more acutely aware of certain social pressures from earlier on. Pressures that my frames did not allow me to comprehend, but that were not entirely fictitious. Either that, or I have inadvertently been drawn inside mass pathology, unawares.
In any event, groups were a noticeable shift from the “one on one” or “soloistic hermatige” of my earliest years. So many dynamics to map by comparison. Too many balls in the air.
Perhaps this is why as “besties” diffused into one group; I maintained girlfriends. The dynamic is similar to the best friend, in many respects, but more socially valuable and easier to apply normative control. This, in turn, goes to safety.
Also the sexual benefits of girlfriends, over those of “best friends”, were far superior at that time. However, in the past few years that too has certainly changed very rapidly, and apparently at all levels of society.
None the less, these conditions all formed component parts; ultimately bringing me to where I am at today. Social maintenance in this way did not seem anything but practical. And that does not at all equate with less subjective value.
Instead, rather indicating an instantiated process of algorithmic thinking, not often portrayed, but perhaps quite common (for all I knew). I was puzzled when I had to strain to actively mask certain idea progressions though. Correct progressions, that were socially mediated backwards by peer facial expression and generic reaction.
Correct though it seemed they were, at the time it was concluded rational to mirror these reactions, or at least operate with an awareness of their potential generation.
Just like my being in this Batman-esk building seemed completely logical. If less common then I appreciated at the time. A problem was identified. Problems are for solving; I understood the flow of order that was being laid out before me.
And of course I did. It very likely came from the agent’s enacting after all.
Macroscopically however, it was a peculiar situation. There was a processing difference, to be sure, yet all agents, writ large, would agree on conclusions if walked through the process. Though I call that “the walking if“: it is a pretty big “IF”.
I did not realise it, but looking back across the dots; I was already on a path. And if this premise is accepted, then the issue of “blame” or “gratitude” becomes one contingent on subjective ultimate outcome assessments. And time/place environmental interactions.
For example, I’d blame my parents – but that would mean giving too much of my own credit away. I’d go back further, by just one step, and blame their parents; but I do not even know who they are.
But in saying that, we do not know who anyone is. And each one of us are legion.
LSC J.J.R. for QCC-GSI Internal . Staff Focus Issue: “How Did You Come to Work for GSI”, Series #, Ed 9. [Sept 05].
Follows from:- “Alone in Gotham Tower”
Leads to:- “Is Bat-Man Bruce Wayne”
GSI is the investigative arm of the QCC. J.J.R. is a retained contributor and analyst for inquiries that fall within the forensic or military academic space [since 2005]. He is also a longtime participant in specific field work applications, that fall within his remit, as required by GSI [since 2008].