My Week With America’s Smartest* People

The issue of IQ is important, a puzzle, a misleading ‘meme’, both a vital token of psychology for some, and a totally misleading measure for many. A standard IQ test, however, is clearly limited in many ways and is a temptation to oversimplification. The nature of ‘intelligence’ remains almost terra incognita. Too often it is confused with scientific and/or mathematical abilities but the concept of intelligence needs to be far broader than that. Verbal and Math dividing lines are probably important. Some can do physics in a snap, but are dumb in many areas, some can write sonnets in their head, but can’t handle social existence.
The range of ‘intelligence’ is extremely varied and more than that the field of intelligence has barely scratched the surface.

As an exercise, one might take a look at WHEE (World History and the Eonic Effect) to see the vast terra incognita of world history and evolution and the struggle with actually assessing the data. Reading the book is not a test: it may be badly written and not a candidate for anything, but it points to a vast universe of still untried and undeveloped forms of intelligence: homo sapiens is barely at the starting gate for the mysteries and varieties of intelligence. Consider reading a hundred books on world history (and not taking more than a year for that), balanced across history and multiple cultures, Chinese, Indian, Persain, Israelite, Greek/Roman, and before that the Neolithic, and then Sumerian/Egyptian cases. Suddenly a strange new challenge arises: how do we make sense of that? A science of history, a liberal arts field, an aesthetic something…? What is really going on in world history.
There no prior standard of what is the case, what’s what, so to speak. The first realization, is that a hundred books is ‘peanuts’, so read another hundred. But you see the limit: the histories listed above comprise millions of relevant books. We can’t do anything but flunk our own test(s). The first part of the task(test?) is to survive the Darwin propaganda machine. I will wager that many with high IQ’s go through life as Darwin dummies, a field subject to a statistical confusion, but one that has been used to brainwash millions in the power of natural selection. Richard Dawkins is a hyper intelligent man, but a hopeless Darwin dummy. So it goes.
In a way the above is still not a test: the data since 1800 (say, Champollion’s time) has been exploding in all directions and for the first time the above starts to become relevant because we have at least some data for the periods given (along with increasing data via evolution, as a close relative of history).
The above is a good exercise (with many variants) that process you are ‘dumb’ first step, but can rapidly developed a new ‘intelligence’ in a field of mysteries. There are many variants but the point is clear, intelligence in homo sapiens is still terra incognita

The strange but affirming experience that is Mensa’s Annual Gathering.

Source: My Week With America’s Smartest* People

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