Re: "genius" vs. societal adpatation/happiness (was Re: Greetings..)

Scott Badger (
Sun, 13 Dec 1998 14:17:45 -0600

Randy wrote:

>>I agree with Anders and Gene. Just look at how psychologically
>>fit and socially adept the members of this list are . . . right? Just
>>want to add that the logical downward extension of this argument
>>is that "ignorance is bliss". Uh, I don't think so.

>So, you're a psychologist, Scott: In general, how well-adapted to
>society are we extropian/transhumanist/cryonicist types?

It's hard to say since all I have to go on are the postings to this list, but I suspect that Extropians, as a group, possess many attributes commonly observed among those who are considered to be "well-adapted". First, they appear to place a high premium on rationality. Second, they appear to have a healthy "tolerance for ambiguity". I believe these two attributes form the foundation for what I call "psychological resilience". I'm actually not so sure that this group is highly adaptive in the social domain. Partly due to the fringe nature of the ideas promulgated herein, and partly due to the strongly individualistic philosophies espoused. I could be and often am wrong though.

>I'm a "genius" as defined by my >=98th percentile scores on certain
>standardized "guessing" tests, and I'm sure that most of the others on
>this email list are as well. All it means, in some respects, is that,
>as a child, I preferred the company of books and ideas to that of my
>fellow humans, at least to a certain degree.

I just barely qualified for Mensa based on my GRE scores and I think my Full Scale WAIS IQ score was around 128. I have clearly under-utilized my alleged abilities.

>Am I happier/more stable/more well-adapted in general than most
>people? I wouldn't say so.

Don't be so sure about that.

> But that doesn't go for all geniuses: My cousin Scott seems a happy
>On the other hand, the prisons are full of maladjusted sorts, who, to
>all appearances, are just about as far as possible from being
>Cryonics: Gateway to the Future?

I subscribe to this list precisely because I was in school for so long that I became very accustomed to stimulating discourse. My work environment fails to satisfy my cravings and this list goes a long way toward keeping the "dulls" away so . . . thanks to all.