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are you smart?

Sorry, I got bored, so I turned to online tests to occupy my time. Evil, I know. Anyway, I first went to http://www.humanforsale.com/ and learned that I was worth $1,579,910.00. As part of the test, they asked what my IQ was, and I had no idea, so I put down 110. I mean, I'm smart, right? Above average. I think average is like 90, retarded is like 70, 140 is for the freaking geniuses who solve quantum physics problems in their spare time.

Not so, apparently, because then I got bored and took an IQ test online and they said I should basically be solving quantum physics problems in my spare time. D'oh! They also said I could purchase my "IQ certificate", framed, for $9.95 plus shipping and handling to prove to all my friends that I'm a freaking genius.

I hate IQ tests.

So anyway, today's rant is about being smart.

There's this woman in the paper my mom always reads who has an advice column where she just answers random questions people send in about life. Apparently she's in the Guinness Book Of World Records for having the "highest IQ". Yeah, okay, I'm sure some hippy writing an advice column would run circles are Stephen Hawkings, Linus Torvalds and more. UHG! What pains me as that some people, mum included, really believe she's the smartest person in the world, even though she's never don't anything! It pains me to think about it.

I think that to claim intelligence is a big deal in this world, bigger than it should be. Everyone seems to think they're above average but then they've always got some excuse as to why they haven't accomplished anything... "I'm smart but I don't care to apply myself" (you're not smart then, moron!) "I'm smart but I have a bad learning curve, so I never learned to add but I'm a helluva poet." (what?!) I know, I'm sounding really cynical, but I feel like I'm surrounded by people who say these things, especially at a college where a good portion of the population is trying to flunk out.

I rate intelligence based on...
1) Accomplishments (what you've done in the world compared to what you were given to start with)
2) Common sense (you should just know if your country's civil war was from 1860-1864)
3) People skills (this might go along with #1, but I think getting along with people is really important. It's usually what keeps me down)
4) Whether or not you were ever a star trek fan (extra points for TNG 'cause it's my favorite!)
5) Confidence (are you gutsy enough to take apart your computer?)
6) Passion (you should know a little about everything, but knowing a lot about one thing adds a lot to your value)

So there, I'm showing that list to anybody who ever gives me that "I'm really smart, but..." thing again. I'm not saying they have to be smart to be my friend. I just want them to realize how I think of them. Oh, and I'm never putting some retarded test on my list, gawd that was a waste of my time.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
skorobeus
Jan. 25th, 2002 08:29 am (UTC)
Now, I find myself to be of slightly above average intelligence, though I have a very difficult time focusing on things that don't really interest me, thus making school somewhat difficult at times. However, I perform extremely well at my work. I go above and beyond what is expected of me on a daily basis, I'm always learning new things, and then turning around and applying that new knowledge. And on top of all of that I have pretty decent leadership skills when I feel I've actually been given leadership of something. Taking the initiative to take control of something can be difficult for me, cuz I don't like stepping on people's toes.

Anyway, were I to rate myself based on your listing, 1-10 in each category...

1) I was given a lot in the arena I am strongest in, my father has worked for IBM for 36 years, so computers were always around. However, I would like to think that I've accomplished a decent amount both on a personal a professional level so I'm going to say 6
2) My common sense is pretty good, but I do NOT categorize memorization of dates under common sense. I disagree with your definition, but nonetheless I think myself an 8
3) My leadership and my broad understanding of people leads me to have decent people skills. I don't hate anyone, and I do my best to forgive and forget. 9
4) Always a Star Trek fan, excluding of course the original series. (I like to pretend it was actually a different guy named Gene Roddenberry who wrote it) 10
5) I take apart my computer on a daily basis, but does this show confidence, or knowledge of a subject matter. Confidence, in my mind would be walking up to some total stranger and saying hi, which I've done, so I guess... 8
6) My father's greatest words of advice to me were passed down to him by his family doctor when he was young. He said "Kevin, make sure to learn a little bit about everything, so you can always tell when someone is trying to bullshit you." 8

Average... 6,8,9,10,8,8 --> 49/6 --> 8.16

Hey, I guess I'm great friend material. ;)

/me thinks of starting a "Spacefem Friend Survey Site" so everyone can find out how well they measure up. ;)
pres589
Jan. 25th, 2002 09:33 am (UTC)
If Linus Torvalds is one of the smarter people around we're screwed.
thies
Jan. 25th, 2002 09:40 am (UTC)
1) Accomplishments - people often tend to accomplish things while not being intelligent, and frankly intelligent people can be screwed over easily by less intelligent people. some intelligent people might not even strife for big accomplishments at all.

2) Common sense - I don't know anything at all about the US civil war :-) sounds more like wisdom than intelligence to me.

3) People skills - I know some guy who is highly intelligent while being the most antisocial being I ever came across. Actually haven't heard from him at all since dropping out of Uni. Sounds more like you point to charisma than intelligence.

4) Whether or not you were ever a star trek fan - Babylon5!!

5) Confidence - again, you can be intelligent without being confident I think

6) Passion - or just use your intelligence to have a decent life without having to do too much ;)
spacefem
Jan. 25th, 2002 10:51 am (UTC)
well yeah, obviously I don't expect germans to know when our civil war was fought, that was just an example :) You'd be surprized how many people in the US don't even know what century we had a civil war, it's kinda scary.

As for people skills, I dunno, it seems to me like if you're intelligent, you can figure that stuff out. Intelligence for me isn't just the ability to think, it's wanting to think and use your skills to help yourself or your family or the world or whatever.
thies
Jan. 25th, 2002 10:56 am (UTC)
and for me skills are things that don't necessarily go alongside with intelligence or even don't need intelligence at all, like the 'people skill' which can work well by just charisma and empathy. ;-)
okoshun
Jan. 25th, 2002 04:01 pm (UTC)
Personally, I don't really care about when civil wars took place (and if they even did). I always hated history and the study of it. It seems pointless, if only to teach us what we *shouldn't* do in the future and to learn from it.

My grandparents were immigrants *after* most of any wars happened, so as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't have any relevance to me.
missniceness
Jan. 25th, 2002 02:09 pm (UTC)
?
Hey, I'm only worth $1,404,342.00. Hmmph...perhaps it's because I'm African-American or something. Like someone has a right to put a value on someone anyway. Ha!
spacefem
Jan. 25th, 2002 05:29 pm (UTC)
i figured you'd be worth more for being african-american, just because there are less of you. but what do i know?
aliki
Jan. 25th, 2002 04:12 pm (UTC)
spacefem,
i dont know if you've read this great book titled "The Mismeasure of Man" by Stephen Jay Gould. It's about intelligence tests and the quest of mankind to define the term "intelligence". The book came out of the 1927 Oliver Wndell Holmes, Jr. decision to uphold the Virginia sterilization law in Buck v. Bell. Buck, a young mother with a child of allegedly feeble mind, had been sterilized under the law.

On the back cover, it reads: "This book is about the abstraction of intelligence as a single netity, 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 statues. In short, this book is about the Mismeasure of Man".

Great book. Get your hands on it, luv.

Clare
spacefem
Jan. 25th, 2002 05:28 pm (UTC)
i've heard of it, my sister read it as part of, well, everything she reads (she's a debater and so much more). Thanks for the recommend :)
sporkopolis
Jan. 25th, 2002 05:49 pm (UTC)
am I smart
or just a smartass? sometimes its hard to tell... also, sometimes its hard to tell the difference.

What an evil, cruel world we live in.

Here's my summary: I'm smart enough to know a lot of stuff, I know lots of some stuff, and little of others, but enough of all of it to be either annoying or dangerous when it comes to whatever it is that I might think I'm trying to do.

Did that even make any sense?

btw, spacefem, I am not really you, just in case you were wondering.
karazorel
Jan. 25th, 2002 07:51 pm (UTC)
Sweet of you :)
Because I know you love math and I can't separate 10 from 20.
Ok, somewhat exaggerated.

Anyways, I took the test too:
You are worth exactly: $1,374,664.00

I thought it was commonly accepted now that your interest as a person was more fairly judged based on a combination of EQ and IQ, because a person with a high IQ isn't necessarily able to utilize the knowledge s/he has for any interesting purpose. Also, I read about a british woman with 160 in IQ who'd spent nearly £1 million on plastic surgery and what not to "get the perfect look" according to what a bunch of scientists had defined it as, yet she probably also could hold the guiness book of record for beeing dumped the most times, because while people acknowledged that she was as "perfect" as can be, that really wasn't what they wanted.

I know that a lot of people tend to confide things to my best friend, me included. So I asked her how she came up with the answers. She told me she did it based on what she knew about the person from the letter, from what she knew about the person in general, the situation and stuff, then she came up with common sense, and people were happy because they didn't come to get a solution, only to have someone to write to, and in most cases they knew the answer to their own question but they wanted "someone else to have said it" sort of. If this person is boasting her IQ I'd say she haven't understood what her role in this is, because her intelligence got nothing whatsoever to do with what she's doing, and she might be in need of writing a letter of her own. :)

1) I think this one is really difficult to measure. Someone I know has done something very important to me that I treasure a lot, but that wouldn't be too important to anyone else. If you're talking on a large get-attention-in-media scale then that's unfair for all the individuals who never do it to get in the media focus. These people seldom tells anyone what they're doing either, so they might seem to not be doing much when in fact they've done a lot.
2) I think your example was poor. Common sense is more like closing the door when there's a draft. Leaving your seat for a person who's elderly or has trouble standing in the bus/tram/train, showing some respect to others.
3) I try! :)
4) I have no knowledge of that show. Does X-Files or Buffy the Vampire slayer count?
5) While I don't really mind running after crooks or thieves or ask a drunk guy to leave the premises at work, I'm deathly afraid to open a computer and do something wrong inside it.
6) Agree
fuxx0r
Jan. 26th, 2002 06:19 am (UTC)
Intelligence is not the same as being "smart" or a "genius." Intelligence, as tested in an IQ test, is more of a general indication of how adaptive you are and how fast/well you are capable of learning. You could have an IQ of 150 (mine) and be a complete idiot. Unfortunately, the word "intelligence" has a rather dynamic pool of conflicting definitions, and I can't say that it truly is any one of those.
I know from personal experience that a "smart cookie" has always been someone who knew the right answers to the right questions at the right time. Most of the people I am friends with here in NC don't know more than a couple of specific fields of study, and then some some general knowledge. Those with general knowledge tend to be able to answer more of the right questions at those times I mentioned. I suppose that makes me smart. And I'll admit in a non-boasting manner, YES, I AM smart. That doesn't mean I don't do some really dumb things. All I can do is try and learn from those mistakes and move on. I think that one core element of being smart is being able to find ways to learn from mistakes. After all, how smart can you be if you don't improve yourself at least a little?
dham
Jan. 28th, 2002 08:29 am (UTC)
Explanation of IQ
IQ is short for "Intelligence Quotient". It is your mental age divided by your physical age, multiplied by 100. Average is, therefore, 100. 84 is mental retardation. 130 is "entry-level" genius. 140 is genius. 150 is high genius. 200+ is reserved for people that we can't even measure.

Intelligence, however, isn't really something that can be measured with a number. Einstein's IQ was once measured at (or around) 87 - just points above mental retardation. I know people with high IQ's that are less than impressive intellectually.
dham
Jan. 28th, 2002 08:41 am (UTC)
Civil War
For reference, the Civil War was from 1861 - 1865. Just so you know.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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