Out of all social media platforms, I like Quora the most. Unlike Facebook, it’s more than just a rather bland echo-chamber full of people within your own intellectual or political bubble and unlike Twitter, the focus is not on creating mass outrage.

Rather, it’s just full of interesting questions about a multitude of different fields, from analytical philosophy to behavioural economics, to psychology, to history, entrepreneurship, the arts, and any sort of constellations between different fields one could fathom. Basically, if you are an intellectually curious person and you have a question about anything that might be of some relevance in this universe, you can publish your question on Quora. After a while, people with a certain level of expertise in whatever area your question falls into will provide you with some answers, and the best ones will be upvoted.

I find this atmosphere of curiosity and openness for new insights more fruitful than what I often see on Twitter or Facebook, so I try to spend comparatively more time on Quora. People who score high in the Big 5 trait of openness should enjoy Quora for similar reasons, I believe.

Two days ago or so, I stumbled upon an interesting paper written by Francis Heylighen on giftedness. Heylighen is mostly known for his work in cybernetics: He focuses on the emergence and evolution of intelligent organisation and on related topics, such as the idea that the internet is a global brain. To a lesser extentt, he has also written about giftedness and some of the characteristics displayed by gifted people.

His paper, Gifted People and their Problems, piqued my interest because it seems to be a succinct summary of several research papers that point out the characteristics of giftedness. This included an above-average IQ, but also some other characteristics linked to this, such as vivid creativity and the ability to completely immerse and focus on something perceived as interesting. (This is probably linked to the psychological concept of flow developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.) The paper also discusses how giftedness in women might be perceived differently than giftedness in men.

I think it’s worth reading for anyone who is tangentially interested in the psychological concepts of intelligence, giftedness, and creativity. I’ve included the link within the paragraph above, but here it is again: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/Papers/GiftedProblems.pdf

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