I need to stop reading these stories about gifted children from people who never were gifted children. If you're not gifted and/or close to someone who is--and I don't mean s/he's in your biology class, I mean you two are best friends and share everything--then stop it.
It's a different experience. Say you're talking about the top five percent of the population. Is five percent a good cross-section of the population? No. We can note patterns, maybe, but five percent of the water in a glass may be the five percent that's different. And if there's oil in the water, then it is certainly very different.
So say you think that children in Ender's Game are portrayed incorrectly because you didn't think that way when you were a kid, and neither did any of your friends. This is an inherently flawed position for two reasons. First of all, these kids are the cream of the crop pushed to their limits. They are supposed to be the extreme, so saying that they should fit what an average person thinks like is not going to work. And we are social animals, so the people we tend to run into are those similar to us. Opposites attract, but there has to be some similarity or else the only cause is strife.
And so we have a group of kids hand-picked for this purpose and pushed to their limits. The smartest of the smartest, and adults who will not only say but mean, "Show me what you can do." This is something that just doesn't happen much today. If I had a nickel for every time a teacher told me to slow down, that we'd get to that later, or that the question I was asking was not pertinent, I would be much richer. (Or if I just had a nickel for every time my sheet was used as an answer key.) These are teachers who will not stop you and hold you back, but push you on. It's like literacy. Go back in time, scribes are well-paid and a profession that takes a lifetime to learn. Today, if you can't read and write after four years in the American schooling system, something is seriously wrong.
[Later] Also: see child drug lords. It's not quite running a country, but wow is it close. [/Later]
Don't tell me we don't think like that. I thought like that. I think like that, with a little more advanced thought behind it. You couldn't say women or blacks or whites or men or Asians or anyone else can't be smart, so don't say kids can't be. Because, yes, we will get smarter. And we'll get even smarter when we're allowed to be. Kids are kids. But what we do have access to, we have more time to focus on.
See [addictive site]: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TVGenius
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BatDeduction for what happens when non-geniuses try to guess what these people would act like.
For the other side I'm referring to...
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