Re: IQ versus common sense

From: Robert Coyote (
Date: Tue Aug 07 2001 - 00:02:28 MDT

Thank you for your verbose reply!

My expectation for participating in this entropy list albeit rather
passively, is not at variance with the statement " If you go in expecting
unceasing, stimulating conversation with the world's best intellectuals..."


----- Original Message -----
From: "Adrian Tymes" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 8:42 PM
Subject: Re: IQ versus common sense

> Robert Coyote wrote:
> > Is it intelligent to join Mensa ?
> Speaking as a member of said organization, it's a cost/benefit decision
> that seems to have different weights for everyone. For me, the cost
> was practically zero - thanks to my parents, I was already in by the
> time I was old enough to decide if I wished to stay, and further
> membership was a negligible financial cost. Back during the 'Net
> bubble, I invested some of my excess earnings (which would probably
> have vanished into nothingness by now if I hadn't used them then) into
> a long membership period (either 5 year or life, I forget which). The
> benefits are minor - for instance, an excuse to host one of their
> events, and a slight authority status in any intellectual debate with
> someone extremely vulnerable to appeals to authority (like, say,
> weak-willed venture capitalists) - but larger than the cost, so I keep
> my membership.
> For most people I have heard from, the benefits are likely to be minor
> and social. If you go in expecting unceasing, stimulating conversation
> with the world's best intellectuals, prepare to be dissappointed -
> doubly so when (and if) you realize that this *is* their normal
> conversation, despite their intelligence. It's just a random sample of
> normal people, differentiated from most human beings only by their
> ability to score highly on a certain type of test (which may or may not
> have some correlation with ability to learn stuff quickly, and apply
> any such knowledge already possessed...though not necessarily the
> actual possession of said knowledge).
> It is partly from my observations of Mensa that comes my belief that
> intelligence, even what most people currently regard as "genius" level,
> can be learned by almost anyone (the sole exception being people with
> certain classes of brain trauma at a high enough degree that they are
> usually unable to function in modern society). Genetics, and thought
> patterns learned as a child, may give some people an edge when they
> reach adulthood, but any ultimate potential difference that invokes is
> far in excess of how good even most "geniuses" really become today.
> Which, in turn, gives hope that a properly written AI may well surpass
> actual human general intelligence levels, and even be able to upgrade
> any uploads...

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