The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The irrationality of motorcyclists.

It has always seemed to me that motorcyclists are an irrational bunch: the risks of their pursuit, far outweigh any pleasure they might feel. Yet, today, I have come to understand that Malaysian motorcyclists are even more irrational, than is typical of their kind.

According to the New Straits Times, today, Malaysian motorcyclists are not fond of wearing their helmets. However, what struck me was their pattern of helmet use. Motorcyclists inside cities, tend to use them, whereas motorcyclists on city outskirts or in rural areas, typically did not use them at all. Now, what could be the cause of this peculiar difference?

Rather bizarrely, I thought, it all comes down to "getting caught". The city motorcyclists wore their helmets, not because they feared hitting their heads on concrete at 60 miles per, it was because they feared getting caught by the police and fined for not wearing one. That is why the motorcyclists living in rural
and less central areas, did not wear them at all: there were very few police and so they were never likely to be caught and fined, for not wearing one. To me, however, this seemed rather mad. Malaysian motorcyclists fear being fined - that is, the loss of money - more than they fear death - the loss of life. This is something I cannot understand. They consider the minor matter of being fined vastly more important than the major matter of not being alive anymore. You see they take significant steps to prevent a fine (they wear their helmets), but, when the risk of a fine goes away, they don't take the same step to prevent their own deaths (they won't wear a helmet, to save their lives).

Thus, it can be said that Malaysian motorcyclists are eminently irrational, in that they give importance to the unimportant, and no value to the invaluable.

How strange.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:31 AM 


Blogger Christine said...

They are crazy to not care about dying from a head injury, or if they survive, having a permanent injury that won't heal. I do think people do worry about money too much, there needs to be better priorities.
I don't like how people can drive motorbikes on sidewalks here in Korea. I don't like walking around and having a motorcyclist right behind me and then I have to move out of his way.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Hi Christine,

I certainly haven't seen that kind of behaviour (motorbikes on pavements) there seems to be quite a lot of cultural variability on the issue. Clearly, motorbikes and pedestrians shouldn't be mixing (that's just inviting "accidents").

Yes. It is bizarre. People don't know what is important. They also have this false sense of "It won't happen to me..."

Best wishes.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous ainen said...

haha.. welcome to Malaysia .. (though you're Malaysian after all! ) you may see soon boys/girls same age like Ainan ride motorcycle though and dangerously! (sigh)

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Cawley,

You ain't seen nothin' yet!

I am referring to what the Malaysian public and media call the "Mat Rempits".

These are daredevil motorcyclists (usually young, Malay thrill-seekers) who not only "compete" at illegal races, but also perform stunts with their motorbikes. They also illegally modify their motorbikes, for more "vroom", of course. About a year or two ago, I read about some bikers who refused to stop at police road blocks (which were specifically set up with these bikers in mind) but chose to crash through the road blocks!

This is something you won't find in Singapore.

Singapore and Malaysia have many, many similarities and at the same time, many differences. You'll learn more as you stay longer - so enjoy your stay in Malaysia while you continue your journey of discovery. It will be interesting.

Best wishes

1:45 PM  
Anonymous ainen said...

Hi Mr Cawley,

I read about you and your family moved in Malaysia already! wow! is there any chance for me to meet world's cleverest child? and of course your family members too? :)

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's an interesting observation, Valentine. Thank you for sharing your impressions. Now I ask myself why people value money more than their lives. Is it because they actually care more about the money or because they haven't realised what is at stake?

7:33 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I think, Carina, they are under the delusion that it could never happen to them. They think their own mastery of the road too great...

12:21 PM  
Blogger afath de rossi said...

1. always turn your indicator light whenever to change lanes, turn into paths,streets,corner,etc..
2. make sure before u change vehicles stand in your way.. (malaysian is mad rush's driver kind of they tend "cilok" i dont know the exact vocabulary for this words..)
3. give a nice and low sound of your car's "honk" (i dont know this either) along with courteas gestures whenver u have to "cilok"/make mistakes, driving other drivers mad due various reasons why they mad at you...

12:20 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thanks for the advice, Afatha.

Best wishes.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Brian Groat said...

It is not only in Malyasia that such activity occurs, any rural area on Earth has similar situations. For example I live in the country in Canada, and none of my friends or I use seat belts outside of city limits

5:42 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you Brian for perspective from motorcyclists also not wear helmets though?

7:26 AM  

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