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Any other Mensans?

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Cato
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I just got my membership card today. It's given me a very superior attitude. I like it though; it's the ultimate "no girls allowed" sign (not in the sense of gender, but one imagines Mensa as an organizing proclaiming that "this is our club and you can't play with us").

Edited by Cato
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Oddly Mensa is how I came to discover Objectivism. I was a member for a little while (I found out I had nothing in common with these people other than IQ score), and someone wrote a letter to the editor of the main Mensa magazine that summarized Objectivism. Seemed either reasonable or "Hmm, I don't know what he means by that" on every point, so I went to the philosophy section of the bookstore and picked up "For the New Intellectual"

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  • 1 month later...

I was too smart to spend the time taking the test. I had other more interesting and productive things to do. I did find out from a version of the test in Reader's digest that I barely qualified and the test was fun but I'd rather build websites, play guitar and syntheiszer, read science fiction and do what I do. I even like to play chess as well as pinball. Besides when people find out that I am intelligent they bother me with questions like why is there air? You'll get my bill in the morning, Cosby.

Edited by Space Patroller
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I had a client several years ago that was in Mensa. She spent a lot of time memorizing "words" for Scrabble tournaments. She looked like a mess and dressed in odd, sloppy clothes. She confirmed my preference for having average to above-average intelligent with lots of "street smarts" over being highly intelligent with no common/practical sense. She was interesting to talk to though, when she wasn't droning on about Scrabble (and I like Scrabble.) :confused: I'm sure there are a variety of other types of people in Mensa (at least, I hope so), but she left quite an impression with me.

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Being in Mensa is nothing; I know a member of the Triple Nine Society who hangs out here. :dough:

High IQ societies can be fun, but they can also be awful; you get to see lots of wasted brain power, but you also get to see some that is well used.

Objectivism is a refreshing break from the egalitarian attitude that a lot of people have, that high IQ people shouldn't be praised for their achievements because the achievements were "easy" for them, that the existence or achievements of high IQ people aren't "fair" to "everyone else" and should be punished, etc.

But the seemingly opposite idea, that high IQ entitles you to automatic respect, is also not true. High IQ is a trait, like being tall. It can be a desirable trait in many contexts. Some people have it in abundance and others have to stand on the shoulders of giants. But agrippa1 is right; it's not what you got, it's what you do with it that counts.

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Being in Mensa is nothing; I know a member of the Triple Nine Society who hangs out here. :)

...

But the seemingly opposite idea, that high IQ entitles you to automatic respect, is also not true. High IQ is a trait, like being tall. It can be a desirable trait in many contexts. Some people have it in abundance and others have to stand on the shoulders of giants. But agrippa1 is right; it's not what you got, it's what you do with it that counts.

I think that the reduction of IQ into a single component out of two or three subtests is misleading. A few years ago I went through a rough patch in school and my parents paid for a 3-day battery of testing (we already knew my IQ was in the profoundly gifted range, but we wanted more clarity to that categorization) and my individual numbers are unlike any the psychometrist had heard of or that I've seen. With visuospatial, non-linear cognition, I roll in at around the 12th percentile. My ability to do mental calculation quickly and accurately is around the 3rd. But my faculties with mathematical reasoning (and I HATE math) were above the top tenth of the 99th, which shocked me, as did the revelation that I somehow test in that same tenth for understanding social situations, even though I tend to find socializing for its own sake soulnumbing. The whole verbal component of the test was not helpful because the subtest score was over 200, which is pretty meaningless. So on the Weschler scale my IQ, with these ridiculous chasms in internal ability, comes out to 145. On the Miller Analogy Test (MENSA-accepted), it'd be equivalent to a 190, but on a spatial test I'd come across as retarded. IQ is an imperfect image of intelligence, at the most.

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I think that the reduction of IQ into a single component out of two or three subtests is misleading.

IQ can be misleading, but it doesn't have to be. It would be fair to say that IQ measures how well you do on the types of problems that show up on IQ tests. The time limit on such tests is artificial, but these types of problems do show up in other places, especially in academic settings, though also in some business office settings.

IQ tests do not measure things like social skills, artistic ability, beauty, or physical dexterity, and yet all these things can be helpful to people who have them.

My SAT math score came out higher than my English score. For other people the opposite occurs. On some tests it is possible to get a high score just by doing especially well on some sections, even if you do poorly on others; IQ then is an average. The SAT also has a low ceiling, so it's very possible that somebody who gets an 800 on one section and does poorly on the other might have a higher IQ than the SAT gives him credit for.

When I was in elementary school, they gave an aptitude test, and I remember getting straight 99th percentiles, except in "listening comprehension," where I was consistently 30th percentile or so. This is due to my tendency to woolgather when people are lecturing and is, to this day, a major reason why I slightly dislike ARI lectures and prefer books and articles. :)

(I do better when I take notes, and, with practice, I should improve.)

[edit: added more about IQ as an average; split a paragraph]

Edited by necrovore
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I just got my membership card today. It's given me a very superior attitude. I like it though; it's the ultimate "no girls allowed" sign (not in the sense of gender, but one imagines Mensa as an organizing proclaiming that "this is our club and you can't play with us").

Congratulations. You'll find that "stupid is as stupid does" works on both ends of the spectrum. Another writer noted that Mensans have little in common but the number. Had an old friend who likened being a Mensan to being a woman who belongs to a 44D club. Nothing in common but the number and it's tacky to call attention to that. If you have a good local group you'll likely find some new friends who are fun and interesting to be with. There will also be the requisite number of assholes too. Enjoy it for what it is. Don't try to make it more than that. ES

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I'll echo Cato's remarks. In high school I took the WAIS and scored in the MENSA range. My performance IQ was so much lower than my verbal that I was qualified for both gifted and special needs programs at my high school. I am no idiot savant, and I certainly didn't need any special attention at school, so I had to conclude that IQ tests don't provide any especially important data about a person.

My mother is a MENSA member, and once in a while I read the newsletter. I was shocked to learn that people so smart could believe in things like ghosts, alien visitors and the efficacy of reiki.

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