Let's roll some dice, watch some movies, or generally just geek out. New posts at 6:30 pm ET but only if I have something to say. Menu at the top. email@example.com on Mastodon and @gsllc on Twitter.
I had a random memory pop in my head last week. During the early part of its run, my favorite show was the Six Million Dollar Man (1973-1978). Lee Majors played the titular Steve Austin. I also loved its spinoff, The Bionic Woman (1976-1978). The origin of the latter was a sad and frustrating one. The bionics screwed with Jaime Sommers’s body and seemingly killed her. The premise of the show was that she was somehow saved but lost all memory of her romantic relationship with Steve Austin.
Like most of society, I lost interest in the shows as I grew up, but when they announced an upcoming made-for-TV movie bringing back the characters, I was moderately intrigued. It was a huge part of my childhood that wasn’t that far removed from (what was then) the present day. I don’t remember watching the first one, The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987), but I do remember seeing the second one, Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989) with an unknown Sandra Bullock playing the next generation of bionic human.
What stood out in my memory of that show was that Jaime Sommers’s memories had returned, and at the end of the second movie, she interrupted his proposal of marriage to propose to him. Even though I remember not liking the movie, I remember being happy with the resolution. Why? I don’t know. They’re make-believe characters, and they’re not part of a series I was currently watching, so their relationship meant nothing the second the final credits rolled. But humans are weird like that, and their failure to connect even upon her resurrection for the Bionic Woman was disappointing.
There was a third movie, Bionic Ever After?, but I’m sure I never saw it. By 1994, I had more important things to do.
As of this writing, Lee Majors and Lindsay Wagner are still going strong at 83 and 73 years old respectively.
An internet rabbit hole led me to an article on the nine types of intelligence: naturalistic, musical, logical/mathematical, existential, interpersonal, linguistic, bodily/kinaesthetic, intrapersonal, and spatial. Some other articles claim only eight, leaving out existential intelligence, while another claimed there are twelve, adding emotional, creative, and collaborative intelligence. I bet if I search long enough, I could find articles claiming anywhere between eight and twenty forms of intelligence – I seem to remember hearing a claim of 27 once – but I don’t want to work too hard at this. It doesn’t matter which model I use because I’m not addressing all forms in this post.
This will be nowhere near as important as an evaluation of me by others, but it seems like an appropriate post to follow the debacle that was Inktober. Here it goes.
“An understanding of oneself and the human condition as a whole.”
“Sensitivity to one’s own feelings, goals and anxieties, and the capacity to plan and act in light of one’s own traits.”
I think I have exceptionally high intrapersonal intelligence. This should surprise no one considering the existence of this post. I’m brutally honest with myself about my strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly. Anyone involved in competition develops skills in this area regardless of whether their intrapersonal IQ is high. Part (not all) of winning a fight is evaluating your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, comparing them to your own, and then making the fight a contest relying on the things you do better than that opponent. Over my life, competition has taken the form of martial arts and lawyering, both of which involve “fights.”
This is an intelligence I use often, as it can span areas that we’d generally associate with other forms of intellect. For example, I’ve trained in martial arts since I was 14, but I wouldn’t say my bodily/kinaesthetic IQ is particularly high. And then there’s . . .
“People with musical intelligence are generally more sensitive to sound and often pick up on noises that others would not normally be aware of. They have an excellent sense of rhythm and the ability to recognize tone and pitch.”
“Sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, melody and timbre.”
If I could have a higher intelligence in any of these forms, it would be musical intelligence. I played alto saxophone from 4th to 11th grade, moving onto guitar and (electric) base immediately after that. I dabbled on the keyboard every now and then since my undergraduate days and the University of Maryland (Go Terps!!!), and the keyboard my current focus. Beyond the saxophone, however, I’m entirely self-taught, and it shows in the terrible habits I developed on guitar and keyboard.
Despite my bad habits, I’m still “musical.” My musicianship is an example of how practice, persistence, and knowledge can overcome raw intellect. My knowledge of music theory is far above average, though there’s still a lot more to understand.
I’ve used that knowledge to make myself better, but obviously Eddie Van Halen, who couldn’t read sheet music, was a better musician in his sleep than I was on my best day. Raw musical intellect served him far better than my study of music theory served me. I, on the other hand, can’t learn by ear; I need that sheet music. But that’s okay. Music has never been more than a hobby to me, so I can live with that. I just think anyone in earshot, as well as I, would appreciate me having a higher musical IQ, and not being high on that scale would always have held me back from a career. A career would otherwise have still been in play in my retirement.
“People with this type of intelligence are excellent at maths and working with numbers. They can recognise patterns easily and work out processes in a logical manner. They have excellent reasoning skills and can often talk themselves out of trouble. People with high logical–mathematical intelligence are often drawn to games involving strategy and the solving of puzzles.”
“The ability to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations and investigate issues scientifically.”
This is easily my highest form or intellect – I’ve forgotten forms of math that many people don’t know exist – but one I don’t use to any appreciable degree. When I was 15, I knew what I wanted to do for a living: Combining science and math with the law through the practice of patent law. Unfortunately, my experiences at a large law firm soured me to the practice of patent law. There’s nothing wrong with it; there’s just something wrong with that firm and the people who ran it. I can’t help but stay sharp in these areas, but patent law specifically gives me the shakes. It’s a behavioral thing, similar to a phobia but not nearly that bad. I associate anything patent related with a feeling of dread springing from how terrible my experiences were. I have little patience for people stupidly putting me through hell for no reason other than, “That’s just how we’ve always done it.” I’ve worked with both copyrights and trademarks professionally since leaving that firm, so this is specific to patents. It’s a shame. There’s serious money to be had there, and I have the background for it (i.e., a physics degree).
“People with this type of intelligence are often good at reading verbal and non-verbal cues as well as determining temperament and mood.”
“The ability to interact effectively with others. Sensitivity to other people’s moods, feelings, temperaments, and motivations.”
This is by far my lowest form of intelligence. I fully understand that humans are just apes flinging pooh, but that doesn’t mean I can predict your behavior. This comes from the fact that my childhood was rough, and in particular I was discouraged, and sometimes denied, close relationships that threatened my nuclear family’s control over me. As a result, I never developed a lot of the basic relationship skills that most of you take for granted. Being an attorney taught me to deal with people in some sense, but more in a ritualistic than intuitive way. Combined with a lack of interpersonal IQ, and viola! I’m middle-aged and have never been married despite that always being important to me.
“People with high linguistic intelligence are very good at putting their feelings and thoughts into words in order to make others understand them.”
“[S]ensitivity to the meaning of words, the order among words, and the sound, rhythms, inflections and meter of words.”
As an attorney, this is the intelligence I use the most, but it’s exceptionally hard to evaluate myself in this regard. I have no sense of how high my linguistic IQ is. For example, I can write a mean legal brief, but I wouldn’t know how to start to write a work of fiction meant to entertain.
I think this fact reared its ugly head with my most viewed blog posts. Those posts were written for two different audiences, and I had a lot of trouble navigating between the two styles of writing. It negatively affected my clinical writing while doing little to grab people that don’t think that way. Perhaps my linguistic IQ is low, and I’m relying on other forms of intellect to compensate. Perhaps my linguistic IQ is high, and I would be an excellent creative writer if I put my mind to it and broke habits that make me a good technical writer. I certainly have an idea for characters that could be the basis of a series of novels, but I doubt I’ll ever even try to put that to paper. I may never know if I’m capable of it.
“[P]eople with high levels of existential intelligence often think more deeply about daily occurrences.”
While I’m not sure what my existential IQ is, this definition certainly applies to me. A high existential IQ could be what I’m relying on to be a good lawyer. I have a passion for constitutional law, and there’s nothing concrete about that. That’s all philosophical. The average person’s inability to understand why the Supreme Court does what it does is often grounded in a misunderstanding of the nature of constitutional law itself. I’ve read (or re-read) easily over 1,000 pages of Supreme Court text within the past couple months. Here’s just a few: Apodaca v. Oregon, Edwards v. Vannoy, Ramos v. Louisiana, Johnson v. Louisiana, Carson v. Macon, Espinoza v. Montana, Kennedy v. Bremerton, Dobbs v. Jackson, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Roe v. Wade, Citizen’s United v. FEC, Google v. Oracle, Craig v. Boren, Clark v. Jeter, United States v. Virginia (VMI case), Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, Reed v. Reed, Romer v. Evans, Fourth Estate v. WallStreet.com, Loving v. Virginia, Matal v. Tam, Miller v. California, Paris Adult Theater v. Slaton, Walker v. SCV, McDonald v. Chicago, and District of Columbia v. Heller. Of all these cases, I’m willing to discuss only Google v. Oracle with people, and even that could get me in trouble. I don’t need the headaches you give me, but I do love reading landmark cases and those tangentially associated with them.
“In the organizational and social media environment, has emerged a new type of intelligence that refers to the ability to work as a team to achieve a common goal.”
This is one of the additional 3 forms of intelligence, and I’m not sure what to make of it. First, collaboration precedes social media by millennia. Seriously, cave men collaborated to take down dinner. It’s who we are. This actually seems like a hybrid between interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. It combines your ability to work with others (interpersonal) with knowing where to place yourself within the team to maximize everyone’s strengths and minimize everyone’s weaknesses (intrapersonal). Oddly enough, despite my low interpersonal IQ, my high intrapersonal IQ always leads me to seek out a team to accomplish a goal. When I do so, I suggest placing people exactly where they belong without any consideration for how their placement insults them. 🙂 This is probably why I greatly prefer collaborative board games (e.g., Pandemic, Wizards of the Coast’s games based on the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons engine) to competitive ones).
I have nothing to say about the other forms of intelligence. Maybe I’d make the best gardener in the world, but I simply don’t care if I can grow tomatoes. And reading maps is far less important to me now that I have Google Maps to do it. I’m happy in my job, and if I weren’t, I’d probably go back to software engineering. I doubt I’ll ever “live with the chimps.”
Blog posts cannot substitute for legal advice. If the topics discussed in this post are relevant to a real case you have, please consult an attorney.
I’ve previously dispelled a common misconception between copyrights and trademarks. In summary, the “doctrine of laches” does not apply to copyrights. That is, if a copyright holder doesn’t enforce their copyright, they don’t lose the copyright. The doctrine of laches does apply to trademarks. Bayer’s Aspirin is an example of a trademark that fell prey to the doctrine of laches and was subsequently “genericized.” But there’s a legal twist to this story.
The German company, Bayer, held a patent in acetyl salicylic acid (“ASA”), and a trademark in Aspirin to identify it. The patent expired in 1917, but they continued to sell it under the brand name Aspirin, so the trademark lingered. Due to World War I, Bayer lost all its assets including its intellectual property. A new, company, bought those assets (including the trademarks “Bayer” and “Aspirin”) and continued selling ASA using the Aspirin trademark. Unfortunately, “considerably more than 220 tons” of counterfeit Aspirin flooded the U.S. market. This ASA was sold as “aspirin” throughout the general public, but with perhaps only an insignificant percentage of exceptions, manufacturing chemists, retail druggists, and physicians didn’t use or sell the infringing ASA.
In Bayer Co. v. United Drug Co., 272 F. 505 (S.D.N.Y. 1921), Bayer sued to enforce the trademark, and the result was, despite the Honorable Learned Hand’s claim, a first in the law. Here’s the relevant quote, which I’ll next explain.
The case, therefore, presents a situation in which, ignoring sporadic exceptions, the trade is divided into two classes, separated by vital differences. One, the manufacturing chemists, retail druggists, and physicians, has been educated to understand that “Aspirin” means the plaintiff’s manufacture, and has recourse to another and an intelligible name for it, actually in use among them. The other, the consumers, the plaintiff has, consciously I must assume, allowed to acquaint themselves with the drug only by the name “Aspirin,” and has not succeeded in advising that the word means the plaintiff at all. If the defendant is allowed to continue the use of the word of the first class, certainly without any condition, there is a chance that it may get customers away from the plaintiff by deception. On the other hand, if the plaintiff is allowed a monopoly of the word as against consumers, it will deprive the defendant, and the trade in general, of the right effectually to dispose of the drug by the only description which will be understood. It appears to me that the relief granted cannot in justice to either party disregard this division; each party has won, and each has lost.
Id. at 513-14.
What all of this means is that, to the general public, aspirin was no longer a trademark. Anyone could sell ASA to the general public and call it aspirin (with a small A), because to the general public, they were the same thing. However, Aspirin (with a capital A) was still a distinctive mark among manufacturing chemists, retail druggists, and physicians, because they never treated it as a generic term. As professionals in the industry, they weren’t burdened by having to call the generic drug acetyl salicylic acid (or monoaceticacidester of salicylicacid), so they continued to do so. Also, those professionals weren’t willing to trade in infringing goods, so they never did.
The net result was that the trademark was no longer applicable to the general public, but it was still valid when selling to manufacturing chemists, retail druggists, and physicians.
I saw a few of these online and didn’t agree with any of them. I took it upon myself to make my own. My explanations follow. Your bullshit complaints will follow that.
LG: Dogs. They follow rules without ever questioning them, and they’re annoyingly sweet. Lawful good is always annoying.
NG: Hamsters. They’re largely chaotic, but they like their hamster wheels and other routines. They’re also never mean.
CG: Weasels. These creatures cannot be contained, but they’re always cool. Unless you’re a rabbit.
LN: Cow. Cows also follow the rules without question, and that’s the extent of their entire philosophy of life.
N: Goldfish. Too stupid for anything else. If you want something smarter, I’ll stick a human in there. Be careful what you wish for, disphit.
CN: Cat. I’ve seen dog lovers characterize them as chaotic evil. That’s only because those low-ego fools can’t handle anything but unearned and unquestioned loyalty. Any independent thought on the part of the pet is considered “evil.” The truth is that cats randomly alternate between sweet and mean, but always have an air of IDGAF.
LE: Ants. The colony will eat you, but always by the book.
NE: Rat. You have a rat as a pet? WTF you thinking? I hope you get the plague.
CE: Honey badger. These guys are like cats, but are never sweet.