Here's my rant and rave on "IQ" - it does have a real purpose - and I
don't feel that it's at all self-serving but honest:
I refuse to take any more "IQ" tests. I was told in high school
(although it was supposed to be kept from me) that my score from the
4th grade testing was 133. Later, in high school and before leaving
the nest my parents built, I took another and it was 147. When I
finally did leave the nest, my father's domination, and the state of
North Carolina and went west to university, I took another one as part
of a study by the psychology department and it was 152. Then, in grad
school at a different university, I was given another one (the
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) as part of another study. I was not
told my score but only that it was "'something' more than four
standard deviations above the mean." Most sources establish a
standard deviation of 15 points for IQ scores so this put my scdore
(not me, only my score) at something above 160. Mensa, Intertel, and
Triple 9 took me on the documentation I sent from the psych
But I am also a professional flop. I couldn't keep up with S. J.
Gould or Richard Dawkins (both had lower scores than me - I know that
for a fact) and I had so much personal crap going on that I flopped
and came close to blowing my orals (note the clever pun) over a simple
question on Rassenkreissen and evolution. I did not publish anything
after my one and only paper a long time ago but went into medical
laboratory work because I needed the money and academia was not fit
for me, or vice versa. Who knows? Who cares?
The concept of IQ is a mismeasure, sorry for stealing the word,
Stephen Jay, and loaded with misconceptions held by psychologists,
neuroscientists, and especially the public. Nobody knows what "g" is
anyway and IQ is what IQ tests measure. It's meaningless for living.
And, IQ is not correlated with income (at least above about 110)- so
the old question of "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?" is
inane. That makes me feel a little better. But all in all, having a
lot of "g" does not make life and living with people easier. It makes
it harder - especially when it is combined with ADD or ADHD.
So, if you guys out there have kids that are classified as "gifted" or
"talented" on the basis of an IQ test, you can help them by teaching
them that their scores do not guarantee "success." You can help all
kids by teaching them the attributes and skills by which they may
Finis de fulmination. Ende des Schimpfe. Konetz rechii.
are intelligent. I never got a PhD and therefore occasionally would put
a professor on staff for a bit so he could sprinkle "academic holy
water" on the substance of some methodology or other. Depending upon
who you talk to, I was either blessed or cursed with a rather short
attention span. No, not ADD nor any of its current derivatives but I
could work on a problem until it was defined and either solved or a
method for its solution derived. Then it was off to something else.
I retired at 59 (everybody's choice). I was by then very tired of
working solutions for which there was no problem, simply because it was
politically expedient. Gave up booze, moved to the mountains, and turn
out the occasional bit of furniture, kid's toy, and church kitchen
remodel. Cookies, diet soda, books, and satellite TV. Doesn't get much
better. Oh, and my kids like me too. :-)
I never did well in an academic environment and couldn't wait to get
out of high school. But, I was born with the ability to look at a
piece of machinery and get it to do what I wanted. That ability
allowed me to do very well in an industrial setting. I taught more
than a few engineers more than what they learned in college. They
always seemed to come to me when they had a problem. I always
suspected that my IQ was higher than normal but never knew the results
of any tests that might have been taken. Never had the urge to join
Mensa or any other orgs for the intelligent.
I retired 5 years ago at the age of 55 and now spend my time at the
pool drinking margaritas with my wife, reading and making shavings and
saw dust in the shop. Oh, and mowing 5 acres too.
Life is good, not extravagant but good ! !
Charlie in Kentucky
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