Thursday, February 16, 2012

Intelligence Quotient?

Seems kinda weird to brag about your IQ. Because someone smart enough to have a sufficiently high IQ to brag about, should know that bragging is only the most hollow form of social achievement.

"...the abstraction of intelligence as a single entity, its location within the brain, its quantification as one number for each individual, and the use of these numbers to rank people in a single series of worthiness, invariably to find that oppressed and disadvantaged groups—races, classes, or sexes—are innately inferior and deserve their status." -Stephen Jay Gould

If one wishes to ice that unhappiness cake: "The ceiling of most standardized (validated and normed) intelligence tests is at around the 99.9th percentile."

So, congratulations, you've distanced yourself from nine-hundred and ninety-nine people out of a thousand who could be your friends, allies, supporters. But in a chaotic world of 7 billion people, that's a pretty lousy measure of individuality, considering how narrow in scope an IQ test is to begin with. If you're one-in-a-million, there's eight of you in New York. If you're bragging about your IQ, there's too many to count. (I wanted to include links here to how people and corvids can both only count to about seven (not 7 million or 8 thousand), and it's our ability to use language that lets us count any higher, but I can't find the links and have to get to work!)

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