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  1. I don’t think this debunks IQ so much as it debunks learning that your IQ is some number and then deciding to never try learning anything because you feel its worthless to try. I do think it’s wise to be honest about the realistic paths you can take in life given your capacities (IQ being one type of capacity). You just shouldn’t decide to never learn anything because you (incorrectly) assume its impossible for you to do so.
  2. Sorry, I meant you can practice the SAT to increase your score. That‘s all that really matters for the colleges :-).
  3. I think it is correct that SAT scores are fairly correlated with IQ. You can practice to increase your score, though. When Leo said that SAT scores dont affect how fulfilling your life is, I think he meant that this is independent of IQ. Meaning that you should refocus your goals to have the best/most fulfilling life you can and not stress over how low your IQ is. I doubt its below average anyway, if you made it through a high-school education and did decently. You might as well pick any other attribute you have that isn't in the top 1% of the population and stress about that.
  4. I have some advice, maybe. I spent high school playing video games and didn’t decide I wanted to go to college until I was 19 or so. I went to community college for math while working part time, saved a lot of money, then transferred into one of the best universities for pure mathematics in the US (probably top 15). So: all hope is not lost if you really want to go to a good college. This option is probably better, too. Now, this only worked out because I made a 4.0 in community college, and I am not sure this is possible for everyone, particularly in math. It does require some innate talent. You should be able to do well enough, though, even if you don’t get into a top university. Just do as well as you can and apply to transfer later. You shouldn’t have FOMO; the events will happen to you too, just later. Though, I still feel the way you do, sometimes. I think I want to go into academia, and there are insanely cracked people that learn an unreal amount of (say) modern algebraic geometry as a high schooler. One in particular I saw is teaching a course in K theory as an undergraduate, while also taking a ton of graduate classes every semester. There are always better people to compare yourself to. Each of us can only do the work we can do, though. I am sure you can continue on in community college, make friends, transfer into a university, and have a similar experience.
  5. I think it's really going to depend on how much time you want to put into learning math. I'm fairly confident that, with enough time, you could learn enough math such that the exam isn't very difficult for you. This may require relearning a lot of basic math from scratch. I say this as somebody with a publication in pure math. However, given that you hate math, this may not be the best path forward; Leo's path may be a better alternative. I think the cost of his approach is that any time you do encounter math in your degree, it's always going to be fairly confusing and painful. For a psych degree, you probably won't need to endure too much, so I think this is a valid tradeoff to make. I think my only remaining worry is that the "memorize and grind through" approach may end up being more work in the long run, but it's hard to say. Deeply learning a lot of math concepts takes a lot of time as well.
  6. Well, in some sense, getting a full-time job to do some math-related work for an arbitrary company already feels like selling my life. I will avoid working overtime, though, considering I already don't want to work full-time.
  7. This is probably what I'll end up doing. I do want to start some sort of business or independent venture of my own at some point, though. It's just hard to know 1) specifically what I should do, as well as 2) when to do it. I have an idea in my mind of creating youtube content. Perhaps I can do that on the side, even if I have a job. It probably makes the most sense at this point to work a job with good pay for awhile, and acquire a lot of capital/financial independence.
  8. I guess that's the thing. At one point, I did have a grand passion. I spent all of my time for several years doing pure math and became pretty good at it as a result. Good enough to publish as an undergrad, at least. Now that I realize how much of my life would be eaten up by struggling to comprehend increasingly meaningless complex abstractions if I go into academia, I am less interested in it. Thus, the passion has collapsed, but there is nothing left in its wake and so I feel sort of directionless. Of course, I am still going to college so it's not as if I am actually directionless, yet. I just don't know what comes next and I have no grander vision like I used to. Maybe you're right. I think it's reasonably expensive though. I've slowly depleted my savings over the years of going to college because math at university is so difficult that I can only work 15 hours a week—just enough to pay my bills. I'll keep this in mind for the future, though.
  9. You have a good point, I think. Especially if I can do a work-from-home type job, which are increasingly more common. However, I feel a strong internal sense to start something on my own as well. It’s just hard to know whether I should attempt to do it now, or whether I should work until I’m, say, near 30 first.
  10. Hi. I'm typing this as a forum post because it would be nice to have some input or wisdom from other people. I'll try to keep it relatively concise, though I fear it might evolve into an oversharing blog post. Some background: I'm 23. I have one semester left in my university studies. My home life didn't exactly set me up for anything—my dad has a traumatic brain injury and my mom has autism. They both work low-level jobs like call centers or at Walmart. I was able to move out at 18, work a lot while going to community college for math, save up a lot of money, then somehow get accepted to the University of Texas (in mathematics); with a full ride, due to the fact that my parents are poor. Moreover, my two roommates and I bought a house together in Austin, immediately before Elon declared he was building his cybertruck factory here (it has since appreciated in value considerably, but the profit will be split between the three of us). Since I began community college at 19, I thought that I wanted to go to graduate school and do my PhD in math. I was able to get into an undergraduate research program (in geometric group theory) last summer, and our preprint has recently been accepted for publication. At this REU, I met a girl and we have since fallen in love. She is a double major in compsci and math and graduates at the same time as me, she has a 6-figures programming job lined up after graduation. We are currently in a long-distance relationship as the REU was deliberately comprised of people from all over the nation. The Uncertainty: As I did more math, it started to get substantially less meaningful to me. It very quickly gets so abstract that you can no longer talk about it with anybody in a meaningful way; during my last semester, in my graduate course, it began to feel highly contrived and disconnected from anything helpful to society. Moreover, during this time in university, I spontaneously developed insomnia for almost two years and got seriously burnt out (it has just recently improved a lot). I no longer want to go to graduate school—it would require 6 more years of my life dedicated to problems that feel ridiculously contrived, followed by a lengthy time trying to climb the academia ladder. From my time at the REU, I learned there are people much younger, smarter, and better than me at math. I would not be a luminary academic or anything. I have a strong internal sense that I could spend six years in a better way. Yet, I have no idea what to do in absence of this, other than planning to move in with my girlfriend as soon as I can (this is where I fully noticed the downside of buying a house with 2 other people: if you want to leave, they have to have an alternative living situation lined up. Regardless, I think it will work out fairly well, and I can be out around this time next year). I really hate the idea of working a desk job. I had a desk job as my first job when I was 18, and it was so miserably depressing that I quit after 6 weeks—it caused my back to constantly hurt from all the sitting and it was generally soulless. This makes all programming jobs very unappealing to me, despite the fact that with half a year of training, I could probably land a pretty good one. Though if I was going to go this route, I would get my masters in Data Science. My girlfriend has offered to simply be the sole breadwinner for us both, as she makes so much, but this idea is very unnerving to me. At the same time, she is an unreasonably good partner, and so it might not actually be so damaging to the relationship (I am highly confident that she means this when she says it). In any case, I could still work a small amount to pay rent, and not be completely dependent on her. This additionally has the advantage of being completely able to focus on my own pursuits (which are, as of yet, undetermined). Uncertainty tl;dr: Basically, I would like to do something that I have some passion for but that doesn't completely abandon my past accomplishments: I should have a BSc in Math with a 4.0 GPA after next semester, a publication, and probably $30k-50k in profit from selling my house. It feels like all industry pursuits for mathematicians are desk jobs in some way. Also, I would have to simply work for a company, which sounds very unappealing to me. Maybe the best option is just to get a high-paying programming job, work it for 5 years and save all of my money, then leave.
  11. Things can be social constructs and still reliant on biological makeup (and I would argue that gender does, though there are some very radical people that argue its SOLELY based on identity — this seems to just completely annihilate the categories of man and woman) For example, race is a social construct, and it is not completely devoid of a biological basis. Another example is “attractive people.” If a society deems high cheekbones, say, as attractive, this this provides some biological basis for the social construct. In general, you shouldn’t take “socially constructed” to mean “arbitrary.”
  12. I think that I would have agreed more with you when I first began. I don’t think many mathematicians get book deals. There are a lot of mathematicians in the world. Most of them prove highly niche results multiple levels removed from an original big question in a certain niche subfield of some field of math. Only very few people are creating huge broad theories that revolutionize (or even interest) others, the way Grothendieck revolutionized algebraic geometry. If you get through grad school, the process is still grueling. There is postdoc work you have to do for some additional years before you have the small chance of becoming a professor. If you do become a professor, you still have to spend an enormous amount of time doing research in math and teaching classes in order to continue to receive funding. Maybe you mean if you go into industry instead, but in that case, you are just doing math-related jobs for some random company. I think the only way you can “get the book deals and set your own schedule” is if you have an idea that is possible to convey to the general public and become sort of famous. This is difficult to do with math because basically anything you do beyond undergrad is going to be extremely hyperspecific and niche. If I were to go down this path, I would be in my 30s (I am 23 now) before I’ve finished postdoc work, and the vast majority of this time would be spent thinking about math. I can’t help but feel there is a better way to use all of this time.
  13. Well, yes, I do enjoy it. The question is whether I enjoy it enough to do it 40-50 hours per week for the next decade, while making ~$30k per year. There is an appealing alternative — that I keep doing it as a hobby, and find a job/career that allows me to actually afford to live on my own. Honestly, typing this out makes me realize that the low pay is a huge factor. If I were to make six figures, I would probably continue. Also, I sort of reject that it leaves ample time for awakening, as being even “pretty good” at math requires an extreme time commitment. Unless you are meaningfully smarter than I am, I guess.
  14. I am currently a math major in university right now, having very similar doubts as you. I am two semesters away from graduating (I am taking graduate real analysis next semester!). While I don’t regret my degree/major choice, I am starting to feel very strongly that graduate school would be a waste of my time, and I have strong doubts as to whether I feel like I am contributing value to the world through math. This could be the fact that almost all of the math courses I have taken are pure math. While the concepts remain cool and interesting to me, I’ve begun to feel like I am building of huge repository of random abstract bullshit in my mind. Abstract bullshit that others cannot appreciate without a great deal of mentally strenuous training. Perhaps this mental space could be better occupied by something more useful. I have a preprint on the geodesic growth series of right-angled Coxeter groups (and a generalization: graph products of cyclic groups) from an REU I just finished. It was fairly fun to create, but I feel like I have spent a great deal of my time creating something that almost nobody will care about. I feel like, “surely I can do something better with my time other than create something that would take months or years of training for the average person to understand.” Moreover, the impractical, almost useless nature of pure math is reflected in the pay. I am not sure I want to go at least another decade of my life, working extremely hard on a PhD and/or postdoc work, making $30k per year. This is sort of a vaguely related reply, where I talk about the issues I’m facing in math. I hope it’s useful to you, too :-).
  15. I guess I am not very surprised about this, but I thought it was interesting that they want to raise the age to starting HRT to 21. Not even 18 is good enough; I assume they want to slowly raise the age until trans people can't exist (or... exist in a worse state that makes conservatives even more uncomfortable?) I live in Texas and am 23 on HRT. Hopefully I can age faster than they can raise it.