dead people Mensa wishes had been members

Mensa must be the dumbest smart people on the face of this earth.

Case in point:

Since 1991, Mensa America has had the arrogance to induct defenceless dead people into its so called “Hall of Fame” (I’m sure these geniuses got this from baseball or something. America must be the only country in the world where artistic and intellectual pursuits imitate sports). According to wikipedia, they have thus far claimed the scalps of 14 famous intellectuals that have crossed over to the dead side:

· Nicolas Copernicus, Inducted 1991
· Marie Sklodowska Curie, Inducted 2005
· Charles Darwin, Inducted 1991
· Leonardo Da Vinci, Inducted 1990
· Thomas Edison, Inducted 2003
· Albert Einstein, Inducted 1990
· Euclid, Inducted 2005
· Benjamin Franklin, Inducted 1990
· Galileo Galilei, Inducted 1991
· Isaac Newton, Inducted 1990
· Louis Pasteur, Inducted 2005
· William Shakespeare, Inducted 2005
· Socrates, Inducted 2004
· Nikola Tesla, Inducted 2004

None of these people were actual members of Mensa, of course.

Notice how Shakespeare only cracked the nod in 2005. He must have been the subject of heated debate (“Yes his little stories are neat, but how did he contribute to the US bottom line and its quest for world dominance people? God Bless America.”)

How funny that the “High IQ Society” makes IQ tests look stupid.


arcadia said...

is that jealousy speaking, b?

do you lie awake at night wishing you could be one of the blessed mensans?

b said...

waita second, is this one of those trick questions?

If I say "yes", i'm saying i want to be associated with their moronic endeavours (see my post), in which case i must surely be an idiot.

if no, it seems like i wrote the test and failed, which i certainly did not.

so i'll abstain.

arcadia said...

no trick questions, b.

just wondering why the gentleman doth protest this much.

Rebecca said...

IQ and the method of testing it is meaningless isn't it? (if so it should make b feel better about the test).

That's not a rhetorical question. I want to know. I think I read something, somewhere, once, when I was nearly a teacher. Maybe I'll go and find out. Excuse me.

nico said...

I'm with b on this one.
It's very prententious of Mensa to have a list like that.

arcadia said...

of course it's bloody pretentious.

who said it wasn't?

nico said...

b was just bringing it to our attention using his customary writing style for this blog.

nico said...

BTW, here's an interesting article onthe flynn effect:


tinus said...

It's good to see that b has moved on from the days when he was obsessed with IQ tests even practising IQ tests prior to doing them online in order to claim he has a 200 IQ.

b said...

Arcadia, I just honestly believe this is one of the dumbest, most gimmicky things I’ve ever seen. Nico’s right, I just write about things and people I think are stupid in a certain hyperbolic way. If anything, I think my IQ would be flattering when compared to my “intelligence”.


I wouldn't go nearly as far as to say IQ tests are meaningless. They are a pretty good gage of an individual's intellectual capabilities, but are far from perfect for many reasons.

Firstly, there are many dimensions to intelligence, it's not a linear concept. This reminds me of the Donnie Darco scene about everything falling under either love or fear. How can you compare Shakespeare’s IQ to that of Gauss? In short, how can we measure something that we can’t really even define?

One shortcoming I’ve noticed is that IQ tests rarely requires the candidate to juggle lots of information in his head at the same time. The questions are focussed, crisp and clear, which rarely is the case in real life problems.

Even if they did reasonably measure some objective concept we can call intelligence, there are human factors to take into account. For example, some days you’ll do better than others on exactly the same IQ test. You might be ill, depressed, distracted etc. Most IQ tests are especially inaccurate at higher levels, such as 130 and up. The difference between an IQ of 140 and 135 can be as little as one question out of 100, or something like that.

There are also socioeconomic issues, for example, you cannot give a person that grew up in a squatter camp the same IQ test as someone who grew up in Constantia. If someone can’t read they will get about 20% of the answers correct. That doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential to become a great writer. Somebody that spends his free time solving logic puzzles is bound to have an unfair advantage.

I’m perfectly happy with my IQ by the way. According to 10 minute online test, my IQ is 156 and if I send them US$175 I can even get the certificate to prove it.

(tinus I can see you are still bitter that you got only 102 for that very same test. Sibling rivalry can make you nasty…)

Rebecca said...

b, to use a very english phrase, you just got done up like a kipper by tinus. ouch.

b said...

oh rebecca, i'm used to that. my whole life i've been putting up with my older sibling's insecurity.


i'm unfortunately forced into the position where i have to explicitly state, for the record, i have never practised for any IQ test.

(and yes, the aforementioned IQ test is obviously a money making scheme).

Rebecca said...

I can relate to you b. I too am the youngest of five. I ought to have stood up for you but instead I took the rare opportunity to enjoy someone else being the victim of an elder sibling's snidey remark. You made a mighty fine comeback though.

Re: IQ tests - there's nothing to be embarrassed about. Lots of people like to practise IQ tests. And yes, Mensa is a pretentious outfit even if we all secretly want to be members (that's just me isn't it?).

Also b, thanks for answering my question.

b said...

thanks rebecca...

i have done a few mini-IQ tests (maybe 4) on the net (with varied results), out of sheer curiosity, and it's actually quite fun, like doing a su doku or crossword puzzle. Practicing for an IQ test is another story altogether...

Anonymous said...

Mensa would never do that to the "defenceless" dead ...