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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A DARK CHAPTER OF MY PAST (PART 1)

I spent the best of this week sick with high fever. I barely had enough energy to write or do anything ‘constructive’ – perhaps may be doing an odd job or two on my other blog . However, since I launched this project, I cannot help but reflect on the past and how I’ve changed since. On the other hand, I have realised that some of the things that I believed then and liked to do then are still important to me. Of course, there are things (like my writing) that I’m proud of but others that I feel rather ashamed of.


For instance, in my attempt to feel part of ‘something’ bigger than myself, I joined societies that you might term ‘elitist’. In fact, as recent as 2001, I was part of the International High IQ Society – it was still known as the New York High IQ Society when I joined. I got in after successfully completing an IQ test and was formally accepted as a member. On their records, I'm still a member but, ironically, their site is inaccessible to visually impaired people!


Now that I think about this part of my past, I recognize that joining this society was a way by which I could feel better about myself – and yes, ‘superior’ than other people! More importantly, it was a sure move to embracing the view of science (or the medical model) – that ‘impairment was the cause of all my problems’. To compensate for my perceived lack, I resorted to clinging to a scientific test that validated me as a person. Then, it must be said, I had a lot of faith in 'scientific truth'..


Its hard for me to write about this dark chapter of my past. Today, I am aware of the history of IQ tests and how they were used to sterilise, or even exterminate, various groups of people, including disabled people (especially people with an intellectual impairment), racial/ethnic minorities and groups that didn’t score well on the test. In fact, IQ tests cannot be separated from the eugenic movement - which purportedly sought out to ‘purify the human stock’. Sadly, this subtle implication of an IQ test is still lost on schools and is generally held to be an ‘objective’ measure of intelligence (for a good background of IQ test’s origins read the article Rethinking Schools).

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