than he knew what to do with.” This is perfectly understandable, especially given hissoul issues.
Schools, fools and IQ tools
When it comes to the matter of Assange’s schooling, Suelette Dreyfus paints a picture of a frustrated genius, bored by his dull-witted peers and an education system which wasunable to accommodate his enormous intellect. She believes that his IQ was “off thecharts”, quoting a friend who says that it is 170 or more.The problem with IQ scores, regardless of how measured, is that they assume thatintelligence is a mostly verbal/linguistic and mathematical/logical process. This isimportant in understanding what Assange and WikiLeaks can and cannot do (and I won’t go into the many problems with the IQ concept here – see my book
for an overview). As an aside, we have to wonder how much Dreyfus’ depiction of Assange draws from thecomputer geek/genius mythology. Perhaps it is a case of hyperbole, given that Assangereceived bare passes for his math courses at the University of Melbourne, according to Wikipedia.Dreyfus reports that Assagne only attended public schools irregularly, and his teachers were at a loss as to how to instruct him. So Assange largely gave up on school, finding itmore efficient to educate himself by reading books. He learned to tune out if peopledidn't feed him information fast enough.Dreyfus writes:
I've watched Assange do this many times. It's not meant to be rude, though it canmake him seem aloof. It is, I suspect, a habit learned from these early years. It cangive him the air of an absent-minded professor.
This is not to be unexpected. A person who spends much of his time engaged in theintellect will tend to be absent minded. I can vouch for that myself. I have had to retrainmy own mind to be more engaged in the real world, having spent the first 30 years of my life almost entirely in the intellect. The essential point I wish to make here is that theintuitive realms are best accessed, acknowledged and understood when we are inpresence, and when the mind is still. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that Assangehas little understanding of the intuitive or spiritual ways of knowing. Indeed, I have yetto see any reference to it in his writings, or in accounts of him.
Assange’s Super-Machine Mind?
I have often commented about the machine metaphor dominating modern cognitivescience (and indeed much of science and society). I have also suggested that “money andmachines” societies, where the dash for cash and computer technology are dominant,(http://22cplus.blogspot.com/2010/03/deep-futures-beyond-machine_18.html) arecreating an increasingly dissociated, disembodied, robotic expression of mind whichcuts us off from the spiritual and intuitive. I call this the alienated mind. It isfascinating, then, to note the following way that Dreyfus describes Julian Assange: