Re: IQ versus common sense

From: Robert Coyote (
Date: Mon Aug 06 2001 - 18:49:57 MDT

Is it intelligent to join Mensa ?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Samantha Atkins" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 5:12 PM
Subject: Re: IQ versus common sense

> Doug Skrecky wrote:
> >
> > Cryonet Message #17199 From: Ettinger
> > Subject: Free will and responsibility
> >
> > >It is a never-ending source of amazement that bright people can make
> > >simplest and grossest mistakes--and that, no matter what you say or how
> > >clearly you say it, someone will misunderstand it.
> > >
> > I used to be a member of Mensa, an organisation where even the village
> > idiot has to have an IQ in the top 2% to join. People on welfare showed
> > at meetings. People who were apparently mentally ill showed up. One even
> > boasted about how crazy "it" was. In short lots of people showed up who
> > could not add two plus two and reliably get an answer of four. I am no
> > longer a member of Mensa.
> I went to several meeting but declined to joint for somewhat
> different reasons. Here were all these big brains and they
> chose to spend their time on mostly silly games, meaningless
> hobbies and looking for someone smart enough to date them
> despite their (often) utter lack of social skills or too-deep
> self-centeredness. There were some really great people there.
> Don't get me wrong. But that didn't make the general atmosphere
> worth it.
> > This experience forced me to make a clear distinction between IQ and
> > common sense. If the entire population suddenly acquired ten extra IQ
> > points, nothing much would change. If the entire population suddenly was
> > gifted with 10 extra common sense points, our society would be
> > transformed overnight.
> Everyone going to around 140+ in IQ overnight would also
> transform the society pretty rapidly. What is "common sense"?
> It is certainly, as many have observed, not "common".
> > Bums in the street would vanish, because begging is a harder way to
> > acquire funds, than working a job. Crime would plummet, because in the
> > long run crime usually really doesn't pay. Strife at the office, at
> > and at school would be reduced because it is pointless. The economy
> > boom, everybody would be happy, there would be no more wars, etc, etc.
> This looks naive. Who says there are sufficient jobs for
> everyone to have one that pays a livable age even if everyone
> does have "common sense"? Who says that "common sense" would
> abolish plain greed and the type of self-interest that runs
> roughshod over others? Who says it is enough to remove scarcity
> thinking? People will always be in strife as long as they
> believe there fundamentally is not and never will be enough to
> go around.
> Real happiness is even less common than common sense. Removing
> the roots of war requires more than instilling common sense.
> Even if we had a good fix on what common sense is and the means
> to instill it.

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