In Search of Connection A Letter from the Editor for Issue 10

Dear Readers,

Somewhat by chance, our assortment of articles this issue all managed to cohere around a theme that I know resonates with many of you: the search for connection.  In an age that is otherwise more opulent than any time in human history, even many of the wealthy struggle to meet the basic need for meaningful relationships with others.  In addition to certain forces in our modern society that push many of us toward isolation, those who are at all unusual face an additional challenge when it comes to finding a space where they feel like they fit.

The contributors to our January/February 2020 issue all speak to some part of this struggle. We kick off the issue with my interview with Dr. Sonja Falck, as promised in our last issue.  In Inhibited, Provoking, Despairing, or Thriving? we discuss her High IQ Relational Styles model and look at examples of gifted people seeking to optimize both their expressiveness of self and their acceptance by others.

Then we welcome a new contributor who tells, in essence, of his own effort to maximize both of these.  In Why a Novel? Long-Form Fiction as Catharsis for the Intellect, Maxwell Olin Massa, a published novelist, former Chinese TV star, and intellectually overexcitable person, tells of his quest to share his ideas in a way that would have some impact.  As he explains, novel writing wasn’t his first attempt, but he’s hopeful that it might be the right one.

We also welcome Foske de Kruijf, a psychologist and writer specializing in giftedness and parenthood.  In her memoir, Finding Belonging Through Self-Knowledge, she tells of her own struggle in adolesence and young adulthood to connect meaningfully with others.  When her family discovers the concept of giftedness, however, she finds a frame that helps her express what she had been keeping inside all her life.

If we want to connect meaningfully with people, of course, the most important thing we can give them is our time—face to face, without allowing a digital device to interrupt us.  In Remember How To Be (Without Your Phone), I sat down with Anya Pechko, a consultant and coach who is on a mission to counter the rising levels of ill mental health stemming from our modern uses of technology.

And what happens when you bring together a whole class full of intellectually intense questioners who know quite a lot, including how much more they have more to learn? What Goes Into Free Thought? is my conversation with Dr. Marta Lenartowicz, the founder and designer of the School of Thinking at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.  As she introduces us to this exciting new endeavor, we get a glimpse of how a community of thinkers can form when you bring these sorts of minds together in a shared purpose.

Help Third Factor Travel

We’ve also got some exciting proto-news, but to shed the prefix there, we’re going to need your help.

See, Third Factor is beginning to be noticed by some influential players in fields related to our areas of interest.  We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves—we’ve got opportunities, but they’re only potentialities at the moment—but the time has come where we need to invest in traveling in order to cement these connections.  They have to do with exploring what is actually known about gifted adults, thereby shining light more effectively on what is yet unknown.

This means we need to ask you for help.  Can you contribute to help send Third Factor‘s editorial team to connect and converse with experts in this field?  Being in the room for these conversations would empower us to contribute meaningfully to scientific journalism, both by bringing conversations from the grassroots to the experts and by bringing the latest expertise back to the grassroots.

GoFundMe: Help Third Factor Travel & Connect

Our initial goal is $600.  If we reach this milestone, we’ll split the funds between Jessie and Eunice to enable them both to attend a conference in April.  If we manage to exceed this, we’ll look at other opportunities to travel and connect.  If we raise at least $300, Jessie will go on her own to the conference.  We expect to get there through small donations.  If you have the means, would you be willing to chip in?

We’re grateful for your support, and we’ll do all we can to live up to your faith in us!

Other Updates

Browse Our Back Issues: To make it easier for you to leaf through our back issues in search of the content most relevant to you, we’ve just gotten a new navigation feature up and running.  See that teal stripe at the top of any page on our site?  If you hover over “Topics,” you’ll see a list of our major themes drop down, with sub-themes under many of those.  Click on any of these for all our articles on that topic, complete with blurbs.  We hope this opens up piles of new content, especially to those of you who are new to Third Factor!

Join the Conversation on Facebook: The Third Factor Discussion Group is up and running on Facebook!  If you use that platform and you’re not already a member, we invite you to join us for this round of new article discussions and more.  Please note that this is separate from the main Third Factor Magazine page on Facebook, which you already may follow without having joined the more active, participatory Discussion Group.

For those of you who are not on Facebook, I can only say that I hear you and that I can easily understand why someone wouldn’t want to be on Facebook.  We’re looking into other discussion fora options, including Twitter hashtag chats and video discussions, though it will be a little while before we get to those things.

Fiction Contest Delayed: Judging from a canvass of the Discussion Group, it looks like a lot of people who were interested in our fiction contest never got word of it.  Others were really interested in reading other people’s entries but didn’t have time to enter themselves.  The long and short of it is that we got a very small number of entries—not enough to justify our cash prize.  We intend to re-up the contest once we figure out how to more effectively get the word out there. (I suspect that perhaps Facebook and Twitter detected somehow that this was a special promotion and didn’t show our message to many people because we didn’t pay to get it out there.  Hmmm…. 🤔)

Inter-Issue Columns: We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a bit from Third Factor contributors between our regular bimonthly issues!  So far you’ve heard from me and from Benita, and we’ll reprise our columns in the coming weeks; new contributor Maxwell Olin Massa will also be joining us in the near future.  We hope that between these three regular voices contributing what will generally be personal reflections, you’ll actually get to know a few personalities in more depth.  You’ll also see definite differences in perspective highlighted in our personal takes, which we hope will serve to highlight that there are a range of takes on all the topics we discuss here.  Try them all on for size and see where you relate, as well as where your experience was actually quite different.  There will often be themes of positive disintegration in these stories, even when we don’t explicitly explain them.  See if you can tease them out!

That’s all the news for now.  Thank you for being part of our community, and we hope you enjoy the issue!

All the best,
Jessie Mannisto
Editor in Chief

 

Editor in Chief at Third Factor jessie@thirdfactor.org Web Posts

A divergent thinker who can't abide an echo chamber, Jessie has served as assistant to the Consul General of Japan, Google Policy Fellow, and CIA leadership analyst. She is now an independent writer and analyst.