On 8/10/99, at 7:03 PM, Spike Jones wrote:
>- that altho nearly every person there could easily qualify for Mensa,
> I suspect not one single extropian there is an active Mensan (right?)
I put off having anything to do with Mensa for years because the threshold was too low, and I didn't see what the point was. A few months ago I went to a Mensa convention (or "regional gathering", as they call it) to finally check it out.
The crowd is very similar in interests and appearance to science fiction fandom or the Libertarian Party. Lots of facial hair and pot bellies. A strong gaming streak. A significant minority who want to impress you with how smart they are. Fewer computer people than fandom or the LP. Fairly welcoming to newcomers. I suspect that a majority vote Democrat. No smarter than the typical person I meet at software companies but more diverse interests, and more open to talking about something they'd never considered before. (Over breakfast we discussed why humans have less body hair than other primates and whether QE II would skip over Prince Charles. A lively conversation, populated by people with more opinions than facts. (Just like extropians...? :-) )
All in all, I like extropians a lot better than Mensans. But it is a way to meet fairly intelligent and interesting people you wouldn't otherwise run into. And I appreciate that, should I ever want to go again, there's something Mensan to do in my vicinity almost every night.
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