Tuesday: Hili dialogue (with Leon and Fitness lagniappe)

September 1, 2015 • 6:30 am

Good morning to all from Chicago, where it’s predicted to be a steamy 90°F today, with summer reminding us it’s not yet given up. Let us hope that no crayfish dessicte today. It’s also been high in Dobrzyn: 34°C yesterday. But that didn’t prevent Hili and Cyrus from going on a walk, apparently joining the Peripatetic School of philosophy. Malgorzata’s explanation is below:

Hili: Don’t you think that an excess of emotional intelligence kills common sense?
Cyrus: Oh yes. I have often had the urge to bite such an emotional intellectual.
Hili: What prevented you?
Cyrus: Only my common sense.

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Malgorzata’s explanation:

 There is a theory that there are different kinds of intelligence, and one of them is “emotional intelligence”, considered just as important as IQ. The originator of this concept, called EI, is Daniel Goleman. We always giggled a bit about how enormously attractive this theory was to psychologists and even the public in Poland and in Sweden. Suddenly, intellectual achievements were of no consequence if you had high emotional intelligence. Andrzej even wrote somewhere that he fell in love with my very low score on the Emotional Intelligence scale. So our animals, of course, are following in our footsteps, showing a disparaging attitude toward EI. This perhaps explains the term “emotional intellectual” which Cyrus used. For it’s possible that an idiot could score very high on EI scale.

In Polish:
Hili: Czy nie uważasz, że nadmiar inteligencji emocjonalnej zabija zdrowy rozsądek?
Cyrus: O tak, niejeden raz miałem ochotę zagryźć takiego emocjonalnego inteligenta.
Hili: I co cię powstrzymuje?
Cyrus: Tylko zdrowy rozsądek.

But Leon apparently enjoyed the heat:

Leon: I will warm myself here.


Finally, we have a lovely photo of Hili’s nemesis, Fitness—the black cat who lives upstairs. He is usually shy and easily spooked, but is getting friendlier, at least towards Hili’s staff. (Hili still hates him.) Malgorzata commented: “Just look at this gorgeous cat! Taken this morning. He now jumps on Andrzej’s lap and allows me to pat him. Progress. . . ”



19 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue (with Leon and Fitness lagniappe)

  1. Sometimes the female cat can be very territorial about any other cats coming around their area. We had one like that and would go after any cat that came by.

  2. The notion of emotional intelligence makes a lot of sense. It basically means the ability to navigate social situations and to be aware of emotions in others and the self. Seems like a handy skill to have. But it seems to me it would not be independent of IQ. Also, it doesn’t replace the Big Five personality traits used by psychologists to describe people.

    1. The obvious candidates for someone with high IQ and limited emotional intelligence would be Bobby Fischer and Steve Jobs.

      But Jobs is still beloved in the Bay Area in spite of widespread knowledge that his social behavior was less than ideal. Fischer gets quite denigrated though.

      Two of Poland’s finest had a LOT of both IQ AND emotional intelligence, Jacob Bronowski and Marie Curie.
      I suspect a high dose of both is necessary to be a successful and respected politician like FDR and JFK. On the flip side, GWBush had neither.

      The best candidate I can think of for someone with a fairly high emotional intelligence, but seriously deficient in critical thinking skills is Oprah Winfrey. I admire her book club choices a lot, but there’s that pesky business of her buying into many woomeisters.

      1. I agree. The various talents are scattered in the population. Perhaps that is a key to human success as the dominant primate species. Lots of variation.
        I often wonder whether the normal human brain has a standard level of functionality. Exceptional talent in one area steals neurons from another area giving those so gifted deficits in other areas of intelligence. Those with overall talent in every avenue of expression must then be rare.

  3. Just a thought – How much of that Emotional Intelligence does Trump have? Seems the other kind is in such short supply.

  4. I am positively thrilled to report that, for the first time in I’ve-no-clue, the temperature finally made it all the way down to the mid-70s (below 25°C). So, of course, the very first thing I did this morning was open the place up.

    It’s almost 80°F (27°C) and still only 7:30, so I won’t be able to keep it open much longer. But oh! what a relief!

    …and, if the forecast is to be believed…Friday’s high will be below 100°F, the first since the start of summer — and a mere 93°F to boot! And morning lows in the 70s…meaning Baihu and I will very soon be back out in the park and on the trails. I can’t wait!


    1. Our routine is, when the morning temp gets up above 70F, we close all the windows and cover them with aluminized bubble insulation panels. When the afternoon/evening temps go below 70F again, we open every window and turn on window fans to suck in cool air all night. AC is seldom used.

      1. A great strategy for climates like yours. Alas, here, we’ll go weeks, if not months, at a time with the overnight low somewhere around 90°F, give or take. And it’s not unusual for it to still be well north of 100°F as late as 10:00pm. Air conditioning here is neither optional nor a luxury.

        But, yes, I’m hoping it’s a matter of weeks at most before I similarly open everything up overnight, at which point the air conditioning will go largely unused until next summer. Before then, at some point, it’ll transition to the inverse: opening everything during the day to warm up and close everything at night to keep out the chill. And then mostly closed again, probably for a few weeks or so, during which time I might finally think about turning on the heater once or twice. Maybe.


        1. I wonder what the energy use balance is between northern and southern households. I burn, maybe, 800 gal of fuel oil a year in NY. In the desert SW the main cost would be AC in summer, drawing from a coal fired utility. Which is cheaper? Which releases less CO2? Now add in your rooftop panels in both experimental homes. Now who is doing better on cost and green performance?

          1. I don’t have all those answers handy, but I do have at least some.

            We have relatively few coal-fired plants in the desert southwest. Most of the baseload generation comes from Palo Verde, a massive nuclear plant to the west of Phoenix. Peak demands are typically met with natural gas. Southern California, if I remember right, also relies significantly on nuclear generation and not so much on coal.

            I use roughly, on average, several megawatt-hours of electricity per year and generate about a dozen — with, of course, significant seasonal variation in both figures.

            I have no clue what the equivalency is between fuel oil and electricity. 800 gallons sounds like a big number…as much as a car would use if you went through a tank per week for an entire year.

            So, my personal carbon footprint is negligible, on the order of some random villager living in poverty in a non-industrialized third-world country. But overall, I suspect that my neighbors have a much lower carbon footprint than your neighbors.


            1. Well that’s encouraging for folks considering retiring in the South. Myself, I would find the high temps too oppressive. I really want to look into rooftop solar though.

              1. I really want to look into rooftop solar though.

                I can’t recommend it highly enough.

                Everywhere in the Continental US is at least as environmentally favorable for solar (in terms of hours of sunshine per year) as anywhere in Germany, and most places are better, many significantly so. And Germany is going absolutely bonkers with solar.

                The only places solar doesn’t make sense in the States are where utilities, typically ones with ties to the Koch Brothers, have re-jiggered their rates such that it doesn’t matter how many panels you put on your roof, you’re still going to pay them as much after solar as before. Even in those places, however…well, add in a bank of batteries and the financial picture is about like what it was a couple decades ago without batteries. Better long-term return on investment than a passbook savings account, most places, but maybe not by much.

                But that’s with today’s batteries. Fast forward five to ten years, and prices for not just batteries but panels and inverters and installation and the rest will be such that, at that point in the future, dropping off the grid entirely will make as much sense as grid-tied solar does today…and that’s the point where the utilities start to go tits up. They’ll lose customers and so will have fewer remaining customers to carry the burden of the fixed costs, and so have to jack rates, which will make it even more inviting to drop off the grid, resulting in a death spiral.

                The utilities could have avoided this by focussing on flexible distribution networks and getting into the rooftop solar installation business and the like, but they’re choosing instead to re-enact the death of Ma Bell. We’ll see if they even later go for the re-merger of Ma Bell, but that’s waaaay down the road.

                To continue that analogy, Solar City and Tesla are the equivalent of the first non-AT&T cellphone startups, whoever that was. In a decade, if somebody else doesn’t beat them to it, they’ll be the 800-pound gorillas of electricity generation…only everything will be distributed and local, rather than centralized and grid-tied. Know how weird and anachronistic so many people, especially kids, think corded landlines are? It won’t be that long before people think the same of the electric grid.


              2. As a species, we pretty much all are. We’re at the end of the limits of the current energy production paradigm, and only solar has even a theoretical on-paper chance of working for the long-term future.

                Brand-new utility-scale solar is cheaper than brand-new rooftop solar…but existing utility-scale anything is far cheaper than new utility-scale anything.

                However…utility-scale anything has to include all sorts of overhead and profit-making for the utilities before it makes it to the consumers, and that’s the achilles heel. With rooftop solar, you don’t have to pay for somebody else’s overhead and you don’t have to charge yourself profit.

                If the DeLorean hits the wire at 88 MPH at midnight, rooftop solar and electric vehicles will ease petroleum demands at about the same rate as production starts to taper off, in which case we’ll continue business as usual for quite some time — though with declining carbon emissions. And, if that happens, with luck, we’ll also hit an exponential growth rate in solar, which will not only allow us to transition that much faster away from fossil fuels…but have even more energy available to us than we do today.

                If that happens, we’ve won the jackpot; the Solar System is ours — and, perhaps, over geologic time scales, even the whole galaxy. And if it doesn’t happen…civilization collapses and we likely go extinct in short order.


              3. “civilization collapses and we likely go extinct in short order.”
                Now that I can live with. 😉

  5. When I read a book on Emotional Intelligence for one of my book clubs I was surprised to see that EQ was supposed to extend beyond the ability to handle social experiences and “play well with others.” It included a lot of things which might roughly come under the heading of character: the ability to rank goals, delay gratification, exercise restraint, be honest, etc. In fact, I suppose EQ might even include what we call good judgment or “common sense.”

    For example, imagine someone who was absolutely brilliant in something like science but poor at making choices: the night before the big biology final she decides to go to a party and is up till dawn drinking herself sick. Or perhaps she stays at home and binge watches all the episodes of Game of Thrones. Next morning she oversleeps and misses the exam she would have aced if only she hadn’t been so … stupid.

    If someone makes a habit of that sort of thing, I think it’s going to be hard to consider them “smart” regardless of how high their IQ is.

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