Temperament and Self-Discipline vs. IQ

Shane Parrish cites Warren Buffett on temperament being more important than IQ in business:

The 160s won’t beat the 130s at all necessarily. They may, but they do not have a big edge. The ones that have the edge are the ones who really have the temperament to look at a business, look at an industry and not care what the person next to them thinks about it, not care what they read about it in the newspaper, not care what they hear about it on the television, not listen to people who say, “This is going to happen,” or, “That’s going to happen.”

You have to come to your own conclusions, and you have to do it based on facts that are available. If you don’t have enough facts to reach a conclusion, you forget it. You go on to the next one. You have to also have the willingness to walk away from things that other people think are very simple.

A lot of people don’t have that. I don’t know why it is. I’ve been asked a lot of times whether that was something that you’re born with or something you learn. I’m not sure I know the answer. Temperament’s important.

Similarly, Dave Munger reports on research with 8th grades that found

Both IQ and self-discipline are correlated with GPA, but self-discipline is a much more important contributor: those with low self-discipline have substantially lower grades than those with low IQs, and high-discipline students have much better grades than high-IQ students.

It seems that IQ is highly overrated.

Drinking Coffee at the Right Time

So many people a cup of tea or coffee as soon as they get up, and then on the way to work, they stop at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts and get another. But is this the best time to get one’s caffeine fix?

According to Rachel Gillett’s reading of the science literature, it’s not. That’s because

If we consume coffee, or any caffeine for that matter, during times of peak cortisol production, scientists say that the effect of the caffeine will not only be greatly diminished during that time, but our bodies will also build up a tolerance to the effects of caffeine. That means less buzz for you even when you’re drinking coffee at the right time.

Peak cortisol production occurs after waking up until around 9:30 am and around noon and 5:30 pm, which means we should drink coffee 9:30-11:30 am and 1:30-5:30 pm—although I wouldn’t drink any caffeine after 2:00-2:30 pm as it interferes with my sleep at night.

Learning Styles Challenge

Will Thalheimer updates his “Learning Styles Challenge” to $5000:

That is, if any person or group creates a real-world learning intervention that takes learning styles into account–and proves that such an intervention produces better learning results than a non-learning-styles intervention, they’ll be awarded $5,000!

No one has taken him up yet. Although I can imagine that researchers aren’t looking for such challenges, it still seems odd to me that people can keep repeating the mantra of teaching to students’ learning styles without having any evidence that such interventions work.


On my previous blog (Explorations in Learning), I didn’t allow comments for various reasons (see Why I don’t have comments). Yet, as I plan to interact with students and perhaps for others, for now, I’m enabling comments. Whether or not I keep them, we’ll see.

On a side note, although these posts are coming through to my Rapidweaver site, the sidebar information of “recent posts” and “categories” aren’t although if someone wants to make a comment, they’ll be taken to the WordPress site where they can see those items. Perhaps in the future, I may use WordPress alone.

First Post

As I’m considering writing a course called The Digital Writer, it seemed appropriate to install a WordPress blog, as my students will need to use this platform and I will need to have more than just the little familiarity I have with it now.  Rather hazily, I imagine the blog will focus on the theory and practice of maintaining a digital ecology to support one’s writing.

Update: Then, again, I don’t want to limit this blog to that single focus as then I would need to maintain two or more blogs to cover other topics. We’ll see.