Genius Club

October 1, 2009

This is a response to Sylvester, who left this comment on the Societal Norms post:

…but even more could be done if we brave forward and try to openly create a network of individuals like ourselves who can transcend the achievements of the average person on an (intellectual level) TOGETHER… each one of us may be capable of greatness but i am sure a room full of us could accomplish the near unthinkable, solve the almost irrational and design the unimaginable…. and that would be a truly great day for us all.

I was discussing this with my wife today, actually.

On this blog I’ve briefly explored the ways that “genius clubs” tend to implode under the weight of all our collective social dysfunction, but it’s still quite a tantalizing problem to solve.

I think there are two major issues that geniuses face:

  1. Freedom

    We are constrained by the structure of our society which rightly has optimized to support the average populace, at the expense of minorities. The systems aren’t equipped to readily support a genius in his work/play.

    My wife and I decided to solve the first problem four months ago. Our goal was to create a context in which we can think and behave exactly as we want to. “Freedom” is largely a state of mind, so much of that work has to be done internally; that’s work that we’ve largely completed. The main external factor that constrains us, however, is money. How much time and passion is wasted with jobs we hate and are unproductive in? Those same jobs tend to constrain us geographically, as well as confining us to just one discipline.

    We solved it that problem: in February we will have become independently wealthy. From there we can work on whatever we choose to and go where ever we want to without ever worrying about bills.

  2. Company

    By virtue of our rarity, geniuses are a lonely bunch, as evidenced by this blog and the continued attention it attracts.

    My wife and I also have an interim solution for the second problem: each other. We found each other online and moved across the country to live together. It was just a chance meeting. What happened to us is not a systematic solution, but I think a solution exists that would tend to bring geniuses together at a frequency greater than random chance would.

I propose that what we need isn’t a problem solving group. If we assemble with the explicit purpose of doing “something great,” I fear we’re doomed to the fate of all the other high G societies. The important point here is that that’s okay. “Doing great things” isn’t among the fundamental and unfulfilled needs I listed above. We simply need freedom and companionship.

I belong to a creative collective that operates mostly as a closed, online forum. It’s invite only, and when someone is sponsored that new person has to be voted on by the existing members to be let in.

We are mostly graphic designers, with illustrators, photographers, and handful of programmers and musicians. The talent pool here is unbelievable. We have talented students, as well as creative directors for major Ad agencies, programmers for companies like Yahoo, top fashion photographers, and others equally talented.

One issue that has been discussed at length in that community is what we “should” be. The idea originally was that the collective is a place to share professional knowledge, contacts, and critiques. And in fact, we are all those things. The controversy surrounded the rest of the interaction: indeed, most of the material on the forum is not professional at all, but actually just chatting and socializing.

We were came to realize over the course of our 10+ year existence is that we not a community about creative professions, but instead a community for creative professionals.

Creatives, like geniuses, think and interact in fundamentally different ways than the average person. Only part of the value of this collective is in the [wildly valuable] professional resources it provides. The lion’s share can be found in simply sharing the company of unusual people who, as it turns out, are very similar to each other.

My Proposal

I think we need a genius collective. Just like the creative collective, we could share our projects and lives with each other, and receive meaningful feedback. A side effect of the creative collective has been the formation of strong, real life friendships. We have a conference every year, and this year we had two.

I think we should use that model to form a genius collective. It’s closed, invite-only. It’s anonymous from outsiders, but internally it’s not, which is perfect for us because among each other, we have nothing to be ashamed of in owning our abilities. It has no explicit goal, but resources grow from it by virtue of the people in it, so in our case, we have a repository of creative material like all the major software packages, 1000s of fonts, templates, instructions, member discounts, you name it. I’m sure similar resources would develop in our collective, perhaps with brain teasers, directories of worthwhile organizations and people around the world.

Through this online, social collective I could then teach members what I did to achieve independent wealth. It’s not difficult for a person of high intelligence to achieve, and with the support of a whole group of us, each of us in turn could achieve the freedom we need, precisely because of gaining the companionship we crave.

The one part that I’m not so sure about is something I also addressed in another post, which how to recognize a genius when you see one. The method in the creative collective is to rely on the inviting member for the first level of screening. Then, the candidate shows their work and accomplishments for others to vote on. This seems to work.

For us, I foresee one of the primary sources of new candidates, as Sylvester said, being lost travelers who stumble upon us from a keyword search. Perhaps what we need is a sort of entrance exam in which the landing page is the first question, and each subsequent page is a difficult question from a different field of study. If the candidate makes it through, he is in.

I see the test as being less like a usual IQ test, and more like a scavenger hunt, but I’d really like feedback on this idea.

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177 Responses to “Genius Club”

  1. sylvester Says:

    quite an interesting proposal , and one i agree with. however the entrance exam of sorts has a major flaw. each one of us has their own rather large skill and experience set, which may or may not be mutually inclusive of other “geniuses”. sort of a cultural bias. I myself am not even a citizen of a first world nation , and only a first year undergraduate in the field of engineering. Certain knowledge you may think a genius should know may be based on our own cultural bias. after all a genius is a person with amazing thinking and learning capabilities, an exam of this sort would easily be demolished by well read savants.

    i propose a slight adjustment to your said method, i propose we challenge the said individual to his or her limit in the areas in which he or she is versed in, then see how well they adapt, and more importantly how quickly they adapt.possibly this can be done via some sort of interview process. As you’ve said “jack of all trades”.

    Geographic separation can become a problem , but then again it hasn’t stopped this idea thus far. Also at what age would we start recruiting? Do we recruit the child prodigies and help mold their abilities to its maximum potential?If we do decide to do so how would we identify those said prodigies ? Do we recruit the high school genius who is to busy trying to contend with his social situation and may not want, to or care to join our collective?

    these are just some of my initial thoughts , but for now i think its best to let more feedback enter into the discussion before we even attempt to create such a collective in earnest.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      sylvester: We all need friends locally, but I can still enjoy online collaboration.

    • Grant S Says:

      I’ll keep my note anonymous, since I don’t see myself being able to stay in touch. I’d like to say that your original idea of acceptance is pretty limited, because proving by evidence of past work can be difficult. For example: I’ve been a web developer in Cold Fusion. I actually contributed to a lot of projects and support between the years 1999 and about 2004. However, PHP hass all but eclipsed Cold Fusion since then, and all of my work was essentially lost. However, I actually created a fully online concept of “Active Directory” at about the same time Microsoft created this for their server technologies. Little did I know I also was on the path of creating a content management system, as well. Only years later, did I see others creating these (CMSs) primarily in PHP. So, I feel like I’m at least gifted in forward thinking. But, as your site suggests, I’m VERY MUCH a slave to money and endlessly adapting to the failure which we call Capitolism. Capitolism has been proven to be unsustainable. It will ALWAYS collapse, because of the concept of profit, thereby forcing society to expand, and rely almost entirely on natural resources, which are running out all over.

      Ok, there’s my contribution for your analysis. I do like the idea of working together. That’s how I happened onto your site. I want to discuss ideas about how small groups of coordinated people can adapt to the much larger troubles of humanity, of which we have little influence, especially as introverts, almost exclusively.

  2. Aaron Agassi Says:

    Might we be thinking along similar lines? Know more at: http://www.FoolQuest.com Indeed, as for your own endeavor, of course there do exist all manner of professional associations of reciprocal consultancy and expertise, or sometimes even referral and other appreciable mutual assistance. But I am actually hoping to go further into more substantive collaboration. Indeed, you may find me more focused upon the nature of interactivity in meeting stimulus needs, than in exclusivity of membership or participation. I prefer to think of sustained interest as primary valid self selection or screening criteria. Indeed, regarding your gracious offer of sharing your secrets of financial success, haven’t we all heard that one before? You must be aware how that sounds. But seriously, putting aside cranks and scams outright, there are still many serious problems of suitability to the sensitive and intelligent individual, indeed whereof I treat at some length on FoolQuest.com I look forward to comparing notes and further strategizing.

    • Ken Says:

      I would agree with you that interest constitutes a great selection criterion, but it’s unfortunately not sufficient in this case. The concept of genius is polarizing: people either view it with disdain for being elitist and pompous, or they see it as an avenue of self aggrandizement.

      So, in a creative collective, the main selection criterion is self fulfilling: interest in a creative field. There is no (strong) secondary social motivation to be considered “creative.”

      The issue then is to sort out the people who don’t actually qualify, but are also sufficiently motivated to participate just because of the story such participation allows them to tell themselves about themselves.

      But I wonder, in what ways would those motivated but unqualified people harm the group? Would they be harmful at all?

      • Aaron Agassi Says:

        Could it be that the true great divide is actually between autonomy and heteronomy? It’s amazing how when gifted students among their true peers, other gifted individuals, they mysteriously no longer require all that much vaunted indoctrination, er um, I meant: socialization. Indeed, I suspect that the functional intelligence of the most average person would jump several points, if only socialized to uplifting gifted interaction instead of constantly being dumbed down simply for the institutional convenience of arbitrary compliance. Now, I enjoy intelligent conversation as much as the next bright fellow. But I have always somehow suspected that true and utter lack of talent requires a certain sullen determination, and that plug stupidity is a lifestyle choice. So good will should never be undervalued. Or else, if test scores are so all fired important, then why and to what end? Is there something I’m missing here? Perhaps the important thing indeed, is that rabid anti-intellectualism should definitely be a disqualification criteria. Of course, there are also so many other multi-splendored forms of utter pigheadedness to be wary of, especially in pursuit of congenial and effective collaboration.

      • James Says:

        Hmm about how people who lack the ability to bring something new or don’t qualify would affect your future views. The fact is unqualified people as i’ll refer to them throughout my answer can understand the concepts we think about if we explain it. The problem lies in the fact they can’t imagine such concepts or more complex concepts since they lack the ability to do so. The big difference between one who qualifes and one who doesn’t would be this: The one who qualifies can understand and “create” new concepts unlike the unqualified one which can only understand to a certain point. I do not say they cannot create concepts but depending on the complexity coupled with their relatively slow thinking process makes it near impossible for them to follow such evolution of concepts/thoughts. I’ll give a small example about what I do in common life with unqualified people. I spark their curiosity in a subject which is rather simple(it may be complicated). It means i’ll have a one hour discussion with the person at least and point them towards thinking about this so called concept. While I think about more complex concepts which they cannot think of, they think about the lower concepts which I can easily think of and come up with an explanation/solution but since I “don’t have time” because of the fact i focus on more complex concepts i won’t think about the easy concepts. That way when the unqualified person reaches the solution they will want to share it with their so called “benificiery” which would be me. Since i give them some important thought patterns and analysis in the one hour conversation, they will be pushed to seek more knowledge or more advanced concepts from me. Naturally after they find the solution to the simple concept they will come talk to me. It’s like planting a seed in a person****. Do it on many and the end result will be much greater than 1 person.

        I hope my thoughts weren’t too vaguely explained in words.Looking forward to your answer.

    • Ken Says:

      I want to specifically address the money thing — I understand what you’re saying. It’s not my intention to sound scammy, and it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, it’s just a strategy for generating passive income that’s straight forward, and only requires a little knowledge, a little talent, and a bit of patience.

      It’s not really meant to be the primary draw of the community, but one of the perks.

      • sylvester Says:

        ahh the money thing rears its ugly head again, maybe we should clarify for future readers? its not a get rich quick scheme, its just a couple of facts about the finical world that u need to understand to prosper. which includes things like what to invest your money in ( not stocks but things like properties etc) and how to market our skill set to the maximum potential. In essence throwing everything you have into obtaining your goal. As ken has stated , its not going to be a reason to join the collective , its just that freedom which we desire comes at a cost which we must be able to afford. A bit of research into the past showed that a good deal of minds that greatly changed the world for the better had this in common ( Newton, Darwin and others). The persons we would like to recruit so to speak are those said types of persons, but for the primary purpose of sharing each others company, any resulting collaboration would purely emerge as a result of the social interactions the collaborative would have facilitated. After all this blog was created to address the problem of lonely “geniuses”, and not how to get rich.

      • Aaron Agassi Says:

        I’ll try to keep an open mind. Nevertheless, let’s also bear in mind that the suitability of any financial advice must vary from person to person and with circumstances. -what are called: Lifestyle choices, making a life not just a livelihood. Another reason why I am also hoping to discuss to discuss my own variant proposal at http://www.FoolQuest.com and why others should likewise also weigh in with their own ideas as well.

  3. Ken Says:

    I think age won’t be a problem — whoever seeks us out and gains entry is qualified to have it.

    I do agree that cultural bias and ability discrimination are big issues.

    The problem with your suggestion is that it depends on having someone available who is able to test the candidate adequately in their field.

    Maybe the most plausible method is a combination of a written application — just a description of what they hope to gain, and what they can offer, to the group–and the test.

    Maybe we would vote on the person based on the written application, then if they passed, they would be directed to “the test,” which they could take and pass at their leisure.

    Maybe instead of an “application,” we could have an interview format that let them post their app, and let us ask them questions anonymously. That process would end once enough votes had been collected. Then they’d be forwarded to the test, which would pose a series of questions or challenges that would need to be completed to move on. The questions would be logic problems, puzzles, or meta puzzles like figuring out what the puzzle even is. Nothing that could easily be googled, all creative problem solving sorts of questions.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      Not to harp on it, but my own suggested approach might focus upon what they can contribute to already proposed projects, and / or reciprocally, what new engaging new project proposals they can pitch and how anyone else can pitch in. Indeed, for that matter, must it be presumed that WE are the object of desire, and THEY are all supplicant? Shouldn’t it really be, first of all, about what we each have to offer new prospects in order to become and to remain in demand? At http://www.FoolQuest.com in my aforementioned proposed project oriented approach to vetting, the willingness to put best foot forward with applicants is to be crucial, not to mention, reciprocal support thereafter in foreseeable task interdependency. Thus far, then, if my ideas are also open to consideration here, we have two approaches to consider. And if we are really all so insufferably brilliant here, then there should be more surprising suggestions to come, before any rush to judgment and action.

  4. sylvester Says:

    I think that is an excellent idea once the group gets started , but the tricky part isn’t expanding a group like that , its founding it. who would be the core members? how would we even establish the basis for selection of core members? how large should the core be relative to the group? therefore i think we would have to have the founders ( thus far you), select core members on an individual basis so that we can create the foundation for our collective. questions such as these will have to be addressed as well as an ability to address intermittent issues be created( such as setting up a convention annually perhaps? or quite simply if our collective spans continents and languages, to the point where fracturing may occur, perhaps setting up methods to deal with this as such.

    also would this be an ultra secret society? or simply an isolated society? i think secrecy may be best as exposure on a wide scale may lead to our recruitment efforts either being over burdened by persons looking for an elitist status , or by groups looking to scrutinize our existence ( as you may have noticed tends to happen). essentially no matter what happens , if we successfully establish this collective , most members would be unable to face intense social negative pressure ( especially when considering the collective is supposed to be a haven of sorts). Also this is perhaps a more important point than all the others I’ve made, one of our objectives will be to make sure our members are financially independent, this may attract unwanted attention and membership for the wrong reasons…. members wanting to join to become rich , not for fulfillment , and would only cause the group to become weakened , fractured and dysfunctional.

    feedback is welcome

  5. Ken Says:

    I think there are a few people who comment here who could form the very small core. Maybe 4 or 5 total, and we’d be an exceptionally small group at the beginning. I’m okay with that.

    The voting could be something simple like 50% of the active member count. That way small numbers of people could make the group function and expand.

    As for language barriers and the like, the creative collective has members in pretty much every major city across the Americas and Europe, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and some Asian countries. English is generally the language we speak, and people come from all over for the meet ups. I don’t foresee this being a problem — in fact, it could be an opportunity to learn a language you’ve never heard of from a native speaker!

    In terms of secrecy, the creative collective is a whisper in the design community. People know about it, and know kind of what it is, but nothing more. They don’t know any members, they don’t know what it’s like, or what we do. They certainly don’t know about our giant music repository, or the like. We have shirts that we wear, and when asked what they mean, everyone has a different answer. Sometimes we tell the truth, other times we don’t.

    We occasionally do public things — for example, someone recently asked via Twitter if we still existed. He found out in short order, to the effect of hundreds of twitter messages that we do, in fact, still exist.

    It’s generally considered elitist because it’s closed, but no one individual ever feels that pressure, because it’s essentially anonymous. We have a healthy number of applicants, and we let in some but not all of them.

    I think having too many applicants is a problem we can solve when it happens. I don’t foresee that being an issue.

    As for the money, I could see it being an issue if we were literally setting up new members with a trust fund, but the reality is that it’s nothing more than a how-to, and it takes considerable time and effort to achieve. You’re right that it would attract attention if every member, or almost every member, becomes independently wealthy, and that fact becomes widely known. Then again, that could add to the mystique.

    I think in the case that we find ourselves over run with under qualified applicants, we should simply make the test more difficult.

    Maybe we should create a small test for people that will require smarts but not genius, followed by the application, followed by the actual test?

    • sylvester Says:

      ive been thinking it over , in the past i have shown one or 2 persons close to me elements of this blog. The reaction was that they generally become to confused by the second paragraph and discontinue reading. That give me an idea of sorts , what if we made an introduction that in itself was a small test, by making it so intrinsically complex only a genius caliber mind should be able to understand it? a pre-screening of sorts. however most university graduates and undergraduates may be able to breeze past it.

      The test should come before the application though, as another method of screening.

      so now how shall we go about setting up a test as such? what sort of puzzles or tasks shall we set our applicants? and what sort of time frame do we give them? Also again how do we avoid cultural bias? i think avoiding biases is best done by sticking to more universal themes , but on a much more complicated level. 3 d spatial problems , advanced communication problems , math problems that cant rele be solved without the use of logical thinking, but simple enough so that someone who hasnt carried their math skill up past secondary school levels should be able to figure it out( this is to make room for persons who may be in non scientific backgrounds, eg artistic minds). also one of the things we should keep aware of is that because of how our educational structure is created , savants who may or may not posses a great deal of thinking skills will be considered the most gifted of all students, however i fear that these persons by definition can breeze past any knowledge base parts of the test ( or if we administer it via online persons can just google answer it). therefore we need to come up wit ha standard for measuring what constitutes a genius…..WITHOUT RESORTING TO THAT FAILED METHOD OF SCREENING, IQ TESTS!! Still i think we are the ones most capable of handling a task such as this dont u agree?

      • Ken Says:

        I do. That’s why my idea was to include an element of both subjective evaluation of applications by members, and more objective evaluation via a varied “test.”

        So, essentially, the landing page would be a variation or amalgamation of my original post here with some other material, that invites people to join us.

        Then the test starts. Maybe parts of the test are questions with “right” answers, but others could be open ended like “create something beautiful,” or “do something charitable,” then the answers to those open-ended questions could be part of the “application package” that we get and must vote on.

        If the applicant performed admirably, we let them in. If not, then not.

      • Aaron Agassi Says:

        Your opening remarks of your post above, return again to the notion of self selection. And key would be to make sure that the self excluding are indeed fnording out the grand concepts, not just more banally stumbling over the syntax. Indeed, perhaps barring the most repugnant obscurantism, the people that I’d prefer to deal with might respond, simply to request clarification as ever needed. But as I read on further, about an actual test. I must confess, I don’t often much care for tests and riddles and I am quite hopeless for math.

      • Aaron Agassi Says:

        This blog includes no facility for editing after posting. Therefore, in errata: for “banally” please read: “prosaically.”

  6. sylvester Says:

    i like your ideas of the questions with the “right answers” , by that i suppose u mean a question to which there is a specific answer which one must go through a complicated process to obtain. the open ended questions are the ones of utmost importance to us so i think we better figure out that first.

    open ended questions like” do something charitable or create something beautiful” sounds a bit like a line from a beauty contest, im sorry but its hilarious. It may sound like a good idea but things of that nature are strongly subject to viewer bias. i suppose we may try to overcome our biases and in doing so that may result in our own personal development. So yes its a great idea for an open ended question but such things will require a lot of effort depending on the cultural divide.

    we also need more questions though, deeply profound questions that we may have all asked ourselves at some points in time, or we can relate to. Questions that a normal person would simply shrug off because of its complexity and a philosopher may dwell over at length without much success,but we may easily come to conclusions( none come to mind at the present moment but i will keep it in mind when next one pops into my head, as they may yours). Most importantly we could simply ask what they think qualifies them entry into our collective?

    onto the issue of under qualified candidates and if they hurt the group. This would purely be a matter of speculation as the only way we would be able to prove or disprove this notion would be to encounter such circumstances. Also begs the question what about the gifted minds who may not qualify to be part of our collective but could benefit from its network, do we allow them access? Most of these questions would subject to the collective opinions of core members which is why i do not want to venture to deep into the matter myself ( also because i have a pretty nasty viral infection right now and can’ t think to clearly, when it clears up i should become more productive).

    The agendas for the collective should be quite simply to facilitate social interactions between “genius: caliber minds , in order to satisfy their tendency for companionship able to treat with them on various topics to the fullest extent of their abilities and to push and exceed their previous limitations , and thus each individual would become closer to achieving his or her full potential , while creating a supportive network so that individuals may assist one another in every aspect of their lives as they may desire or will allow. This last part its simply a way of saying it should facilitate friendships where 2 or more persons would have ordinarily never encountered one another or paid attention to one another if they had encountered each other.

    feedback is welcome

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      I submit that it is high time to consider the question, how anyone howsoever deemed unqualified would hurt the proposed group. First of all, the very notion of hurting a group, veritably smacks of Pathetic Fallacy, the metaphor of considering something that is not a person, as if it where a person. Just because a group is composed of individual people, doesn’t make the group anything more than a mechanism for interaction between individual members. So the question needs refinement by considering what function of the group is impacted, and how so, and in turn impact upon individuals and relationships. And that returns to the question: What really should be disqualification criteria, presumed dangerous to benefit of group interaction?

      • Ken Says:

        Yes, great point. I think the real treasure we’re digging for is a group that holds intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm as a high virtue, and that provides a stimulating context for our high functioning level.

        Those present in our community would self select for the first criterion. Those who persisted in the community would self select for the second criterion.

        However, to really foster an environment of trust and sharing, we have to erect at least token walls. The world doesn’t want us. You’ve probably read some the violent reactions that people have had here to the notion that anyone could have some innate ability that sets him apart. And those are the most civil messages that I actually approved! You can imagine the drivel that I have axed!

        Further, there is a known psychological effect that makes difficult or scarce things desirable. Fraternities that have harsh initiations also have more dedicated members than their lackadaisical counterparts. I think we should capitalize on that effect by keeping at least portions of the entry test.

    • James Says:

      I’ve got some kind of hmm test maybe. We have 2 people one is an idiot one is a smart person. They are alone in the their wordl meaning there’s no other external view(we are neutral only analysing). The only point of views are those of these 2 people. The idiot says the smart one is the idiot the smart one says the idiot is the stupid one. From here we ask: Can it be defined who’s the stupid one and who’s the smart one if we just have these 2 point of views. We could give some hints since it may be too vague or unclear. The answer is impossible since a point of view in society or anywhere is and will always be created from an exterior vision(even if the smart one knows hes smart he still isn’t labelled as such in that world since the only point of view is that of the idiot). You can arrive at the answer with logical steps. This may seem simple but i can guarantee you it was thought through.

  7. Aaron Agassi Says:

    With all this highfalutin talk of exclusivity, I wonder whether or not dare I post a link to this discussion from my own ever dormant forums. And with all this talk of vetting, why has no one responded to my website giving any idea of what I might have to offer? Indeed, perhaps applicants ought best to simply be encouraged each to put forward their own presentations for open discussion?

    • James Says:

      By the way I searched for a relatively long amount of time to find a forum or link such as this one. I got the access from google by typing keywords. From my view it might have been visited by more than 50 people at most. A mere approximation*

  8. Aaron Agassi Says:

    Damnit, I must confess my frustration already, in communication here on this blog. The larger problem, the entire point, is in how best to resolve the loneliness of intelligent people. And that is my own primary personal research at http://www.FoolQuest.com , the analysis of the unmet stimulus needs in question, and strategic implementation therefrom towards better fulfillment. This also includes hygiene needs, meaning definition of interactions we’d prefer to avoid. And, Ken, if dare may I presume, it’s not dumb people you want to filter as such, but simply people who fail to appreciate intelligence. And I’m syre that nothing could please me more than to help craft a community that would be completely repulsive to people who fail to appreciate intelligence! So, Ken, are you truly bent upon subjecting supplicants to batteries of IQ testing?

    • Ken Says:

      No, of course not. You’re right, we want to foster enthusiasm, not create a credential.

      • James Says:

        Well it’s nice to want to create enthousiasm but.. people who have limited power of thought wouldn’t be of much use. Let’s say they can access the information discussed in the forums, if it is explained well enough even an average person might get the grasp of our ideas or concepts.

  9. Aaron Agassi Says:

    How do you do: I am Aaron Agassi, and as I am sure that you can all relate, among other things, in terms of relationship, indeed I do yearn to be appreciated for my verbal analytic abilities, critical thinking and insights. Or in terms of any sort of collaborative project, I only hope that all that I bring to the table, my considered opinions and information, my assets of intelligence and character will all be of any value. Also, I will strive to reciprocate.

    • James Says:

      Sorry i didn’t introduce myself. Hi I’m James and i live in canada laval. I was interested in this link because the ideas are quality ideas meaning coming from a good thought pattern. I’d like to contribute as much as possible and share much of my life experience even though im 17. I’ve analysed a lot and came with a lot of solution concepts and knowledge about what surrounds us. I hope i can share my resources with a you all. By the way not all smart people are anti-social even though people around us are lacking.

  10. Jennifer Borden Says:

    When you talk about high G clubs do you mean the “seemingly bourgeois” high IQ clubs like Mensa and the triple nine? I was looking for a website that talks about the disadvantages of our school system for our American geniuses, and this is what I found. I’m not disappointed at all that I found this, it sounds like a group for cerebral people. But, in Mensa, they regularly have social events and things that you would call recreational. However, I’m not really a kid. I’m a 16 year old medical student. Even though this probably doesn’t connect very well to my preceding thought, believe me, it’s related in a different way. Anyway, I noticed that you don’t believe in IQ tests, at least in some factions. You’re partially right, because a Harvard professor discovered that there are multiple intelligences for everything. What I mean is that we have musical intelligences, interpersonal intelligence, etc. And yes, I would like to join your social group.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      Hello, Jenifer; I respectfully submit that any worthy community of intellect should celebrate and appreciate all that each individual member has to offer and to bring to the table, to pool our resources in support of each individuals underserved needs and lofty aspirations. Know more of mine at: http://www.FoolQuest.com What do you offer and/or seek here, Jenifer? How might anyone be of assistance?

    • Ken Says:

      Gardner is the researcher you’re talking about, yes. You might also consider reading The Mismeasure of Man by SJ Gould.

      Mensa is a good organization for some people who want to socialize at the 3 sigma level, but it’s a whole different thing for 5 or 6 sigma people. It’s almost more of the same, except that mensa people are more socially awkward than the general population 8)

  11. Aaron Agassi Says:

    “Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate to others the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible . . . If a man knows more than others, he becomes lonely.”

    — Carl Jung, 1989, p. 356.

    • sylvester Says:

      i think we all agree with that quote, because most person who eventually reach upon this blog found it through sheer desperation and lonlieness. I’m also sorry i havent had tome t go check out your website and read up on your ideas as yet, but i assure you i will.

  12. Sophie Says:

    I’d recommend open-ended questions on a topic of universal importance to you. For example, St. John’s College is a small liberal arts college with a single curriculum…Great Books. Because interest in Great Books is self-selecting, the application process revolves around a series of essay questions meaningful only to people with this interest (e.g. “what book had the greatest influence on your life?”). Anyone can answer these questions, but sophisticated answers and superficial responses are very easy to differentiate.

    On a related topic, I might argue that the community you’re discussing is actually less about raw genius than it is about the confluence of intelligence and loneliness. Your objective, if I understand correctly, is to connect with one another. Given this desire, assembling a room full of geniuses who pass a series of quantitative tests but lack the communication and interpersonal skills requisite for meaningful interaction will accomplish little. However, if you put together a room of highly intelligent people (some geniuses and some simply very bright) with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, then you’re more likely to find the connections you’re seeking.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      Indeed, open questions are crucial for distinguishing means from ends. For example, screening to begin with, let along testing more specifically. On http://www.FoolQuest.com I begin by addressing the questions: What are loneliness and boredom, especially for intelligent people, and only then how to address the unmet needs thereof in principle and only then strategically. -All of which inform my own concerns and suggestions regarding indeed crucial social interaction as well. Are we having a disagreement? Kindly elucidate. PS. You may find my pages on applied sociometry interesting, alas, nothing ready for implementation. That project has stalled. -due to incompatibility!

    • Ken Says:

      Very astute Sophie, you’re perfectly correct.

    • James Says:

      I used to read my share of books but I noticed at some point, information or knowledge won’t affect your natural efficiency. Knowledge is indeed a must but classifying a person by which book she or he read won’t prove if he’s smart genius normal stupid ect. In the end, your main or base level of mental power or intelligence won’t change or might not change by a lot if you read a book that is sophisticated. My pattern of thought didn’t come from books but from self-awareness and amassed information through daily life.

  13. Aaron Agassi Says:

    It shouldn’t be such a struggle for such as we to sustain intelligent conversation.

  14. Zontar Says:

    Glad to see this blog is still active.

    It seems Project Sifter already is for a large part what you are seeking: http://sifter.org/

    My question is: what is wrong with IQ tests and the (Super) High IQ Societies (TNS, Prometheus, etc.)?

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      There different ways to pursue the question: What is wrong with IQ tests: Perhaps what is wrong with any test, depends upon the definition of that which is to be tested for. -Or more simply what IS being tested for as opposed what WE need to test for? But what is more important, WHY? -to what end? If in order to assuage loneliness, enhance interaction and build more satisfying relationships, would I one test for intelligence or for also for other dimensions of compatibility? For that matter, why get hung up on any particular means such as screening in the first place, rather than concentrating on the problem of resolving loneliness and considering the entire range of possible solutions? For that matter, isn’t it important to begin with a problem statement (as I have)? Indeed, do we accept the assumption that the lonely genius club will be so in demand, that promotion will be unnecessary, indeed that there will be such a surplus of applicant as to require screening?

    • James Says:

      Just checked the website. They are smart but not what I am looking for.

  15. Zontar Says:

    You cursorily mentioned your wife in this post. For me personally, the greatest negative aspect of high-IQ isolation is the difficulty of finding a spouse. It is known that the higher the IQ above the mean, the later on average one loses one’s virginity, and the less number of sex partners one has in one’s life. Many famous minds, such as William James Sidis, Newton, Kant and others were notorious virgins. Now, the correlation between one own IQ and that of one’s spouse is very high, around +0.5, which implies significant assortative mating is occurring with respect to this attribute. Keep in mind that assortative mating also occurs with respect to personality attributes, music taste and other commonalities, and the difficulties of finding a life partner become large indeed. One needs to find someone mentally compatible or a marriage will probably fail.

    You write about finding intellectual peers all of the time, but for me this is useless. If I were married to a compatible person, I probably would not half mind having few friends, as I would have my books and the internet as my companions. Research has consistently shown marital status to be of significant influence on one’s happiness, moreso than one’s income or friendships for example.

    Therefore, I think High IQ Societies should focus mainly on relationships, as this is the most important deficiency in the lives of intelligent people. Attempts to get these societies to produce something of societal or scientific value have been and will be doomed to failure, as one must not only have a high IQ but also common interests, as well as motivation.

    Perhaps you could do a blog post with your thoughts on how to find a compatible spouse. It seems joining a High IQ society is the main strategy if one is not already surrounded by geniuses in one’s daily life.

    • Ken Says:

      I would love to write something useful about finding a partner, but the reality is that I have very little to contribute. We met by pure, dumb luck. We won the lottery.

      You’re completely correct that it’s impossibly difficult for a genius to find a spouse–that not only intelligence, but other demographic factors limit the pool.

      Finding a partner with nearly statistically identical g was unlikely, and finding one with a fundamentally compatible world view was even more bizarre, but it’s important to note that we are not a “normal” couple.

      We literally come from antipodean parts of the globe (and moved to be together), we are a generation apart in age, and although we find each other very attractive, neither of us is the other’s “type.”

      For example, while I’m average height, she is very tall, and prefers very tall men. These are things we’re quite happy to compromise on overall, but we make an odd couple.

      That’s just a statistical necessity. I calculated once that there are around 150 people in the world that I *might* be compatible with, without controlling for extreme age gaps, sexual preference, or world view. She may truly be the only person in the world to whom I could be happily married. The pool is quite small indeed.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      You might find my pages of Applied Sociometry speculations of interest, starting with http://www.FoolQuest.com/casa.htm

    • James Says:

      Hmm about what you just said… I’ll have to contradict you. The fact is I am foremost and maily in search of more knowledge and smarter people. Even if I have an easy social life it doesn’t satisfy me. Since the fact is they cannot think to a certain extent and assuming my I marry someone in the near future that girl should have a close level to my intellect or else it would be useless since I wouldn’t be comfortable with her. I have no defiency regarding relationships and that is why for me my goal is first and women are second.

  16. Simon Says:

    Odd. My logs showed hits to some web page of mine from here but don’t see what the links were. From the title alone I figured there would be a link to Project Sifter in here somewhere. 🙂 Anyway, as long as I’m here, check it out, you might be interested. It has no entrance exam, other than being able to describe yourself in not so few or so many words as to concern us, and of course being interested in the first place. Despite the lack of requirements, I was musing that the third New Scientist article in two years to mention a Sifter by name came out a couple of days ago. I guess an ad that encourages self-selection makes a decent first pass filter after all.

    -Simon Funk

  17. Simon Says:

    Oops, sorry, the link isn’t too obvious there, is it.

    See: http://sifter.org/

    • sylvester Says:

      i checked out the link, quite nice that you have got this set up and sorted out so to speak. ive only one problem, i live in the Caribbean so coming to one of your social gatherings is a bit out of the way. still i would love to have some insight on the workings of your group etc.

  18. Aaron Agassi Says:

    At first blush, Project Sifter could just as easilly be an online forum or a local Meetup group. But does it get the job done?

  19. Aaron Agassi Says:

    I am still hoping for some response to http://www.FoolQuest.com Allow me to begin with a few specific questions: Is my problem statement adequate? In other words: Are the explanations of loneliness and boredom on target? Are the underserved needs of loneliness and boredom, especially for intelligent people, adequately well defined? Does seeking for a solution via intentional interaction seem possibly fruitful? What about the specific modes of collaboration as suggested on FoolQuest.com? Or does anyone have other suggestions for possibly satisfying shared activities or interactivity best to assuage loneliness and boredom amongst intelligent people? Returning to the burning issue of screening: I respectfully submit that we seek out those we can relate to and then we screen for trust and reliability. And that the idea of shared tasks may help as a vehicle to discover how we relate to one another and also to better focus the otherwise possibly unmanageably broad problem of reliability.

  20. Aaron Agassi Says:

    I am experiencing problems with my webhost, but I hope to have FoolQuest.com back online as soon as possible. Accept my apology for any inconvenience.

  21. sylvester Says:

    im amazed and encouraged by the responses on this section. many thanks to Aaron for his continued support of this project.
    2 things i want to comment on at this point judging from what ive seen the comments leaned towards.
    firstly as ken said
    ” The world doesn’t want us. You’ve probably read some the violent reactions that people have had here to the notion that anyone could have some innate ability that sets him apart. And those are the most civil messages that I actually approved! You can imagine the drivel that I have axed!”
    this is what i am afraid of happening to the group and THAT IS THE ONLY REASON I SUPPORT TESTING. i would love to say we would be willing to openly accept anyone into our group but if there is a social hierarchy ( even appearance of such) then there would be strife in the group. as long as members that they are different to each other each with comparative strengths and weaknesses, that they all have equal privileges to being here. i do believe in earlier blogs Ken had pointed out that even highly gifted individuals can get glazed over at some point at where our conversations may lead us, indeed i am sure many of them can barely cope with the ideas being presented in this blog. ( as a bit of an unethical experiment i copied over bits and pieces of some of the comments and blog postings and sent it to a few persons i regularly talked to and asked them what they understood by it. the result was they were mentally overloaded by the end of the first paragraph and henceforth ignored it). the testing is for mutual comfort so to speak.

    On a second note, the issue of finding a mate ,life partner, soul mate ,the one ,spouse or however u may choose to call reference to the person you fall in love with and have a long term relation ship with seems to be of great importance. i cannot say for everyone else but most of my attempts at relationships crash and burn for various reasons. the only time they appeared to go well was when i had faked my personality and intelligence. perhaps another blog posting dedicated to the topic of “geniuses and love” can be made to address that, or simply provide an avenue for us to share experiences or vent as the case may be. who knows some good may come out of it. the 150 pool of eligible mates may be a lucky reader on the forum( i am being overly optimistic but why not right any chance worth creating is a chance worth taking). id be curious on what you base your choices for attempting to create a relationship on. Do you go for looks , personality types , spatial closeness and availability, sexual preferences, relative intelligence?id also like to hear about your success and failures if you wish. i believe once the group is created this may become a major component of its undertakings so may as well start laying out the ground work right?

    as usual feedback is welcome.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      I am heartened that you can accept some fairly strong criticism as friendly support on my part. Indeed, it strikes me that your concern is only for the preservation of civility. And that is a struggle as long as history and a voluminous study besides. But are you oblivious to the irony of exclusivity as preventative of hierarchy and thereby strife? Remember that hierarchy is a feature even of democracy, but accompanied by checks upon power and abuse. And the goal is never perfection, but more modestly of harm reduction, damage control. Besides, all that glazing over whereof you speak must exert some selection process. Of course, there are always also perfectly literate douche bags as well, but again, nothing is perfect. I am sure that we all agree that it is the preservation and encouragement of unpopular opinion into transparent controversy that actually curbs real strife, and that healthy egotism underlies any sort of unity worth having, including relationships.

      • sylvester Says:

        without criticism how can one not see the strong and weak points in ones arguments? i am sure by now that u realize i am trying to deal with this subject as sensitively as i can, blunt force statements have no merit for a matter like this.

        now this hierarchy, quite simply what i was trying to get at is this , if everyone is on the same level then we shouldn’t have strife in the group ( in certain contexts). this of course stems from my personal beliefs and experiences where an appearance of anything superior can inadvertently cause someone to feel belittled . as a response the belittled individual acts out of character and becomes defensive and often it becomes counter productive. its just group dynamics as i understand it.

        again i see the issue arising, exclusivity versus an open arm approach. i think maybe ken should tell us some more details on what was in some of that hate mail responses he did not approve or deleted. the quantity and severity. as of now all of this is speculation , we need something more specific to work with.would make no sense for this group to be formed under false assumptions ie if outside influences may attempt to disrupt the group or otherwise make it difficult? if persons who may not necessarily be on par with us should be allowed to join? and should we pre-screen individuals who may attempt to join? honestly im waiting on more responses before i can come to some conclusions.

        on a side note, your last statement tends to be my philosophy on dealing with most matters , and it usually breeds healthy relationships, however it creates a sharp divide soo i choose not to use it here as yet.

        as usual feedback is welcome

        goodnight all

    • James Says:

      Sylvester I must agree with you. The same things happened with me… I felt like an hypocrite when faking my personality because in a way that wasn’t me but the accomodation made to satisfy the standards of society which are the standards of girls in a way since everyone who doesn’t see outside of society will be shaped in it’s ways. The thing is I had decided on either 2 choices if I was to marry. It would either be someone close to my intellect or a pure type of person. Pure in what way, it would be innocent and not polluted by many of today’s thoughts. A pure and simple mind as long as she isn’t stupid I’d marry her. As for the looks and personality I consider a girl who’s got at least average looks and a good personality.

  22. Aaron Agassi Says:

    I only hope that anything blocked from being posted here was truly nothing but utter flame, hostility sans content, bullying. In other words: not any means, actual censorship. So long as the former and never the latter, there is hope at all in building any sort of decent intentional community. I’ll post my links on those topics as soon as I can finally restore my site. But if I am to be protected from superiority in others, what will I have to look up to? What shall I ever hope for? Unless one is truly accomplished in all things, for any purpose or interest at all, there will always be need of others with strengths precisely where one is weak. And we really need to discuss the fear you express above, of divisiveness out of free speech, sylvester.

  23. Aaron Agassi Says:

    If we really must have screening, then what better test than not only the willingness to take criticism in whatever spirit as intended, but the disposition to address howsoever ones very superiors nevertheless as equals, likewise sans intimidation or acrimony.

  24. Sophie Says:

    I understand the desire to institutionalize exclusivity via some test…either of inclusion or of exclusion. I imagine that this is somewhat a product of a shared psychology insofar as it’s likely that most of you, at least in part, self-define by your exceptional intelligence. Given this, it makes sense that you’d want to define the group vis a vis some test that filters on this trait.

    So I understand why you’re attracted to the test. What I find intriguing is that you’re starting with the test. Without any real debate you’ve all settled on a somewhat conventional approach to group formation (starting with the entrance test) and sort of tacitly rejected an organic approach. You’re focusing your energy on building the treehouse (entrance tests, membership requirements, bylaws, etc) and glossing over the reality that you’ve already found a subset of the people that you want to hang out with. A few of you post regularly. I would assume that you do so because you’ve found, in the pages of this blog, exactly the connections you’re seeking. You’re getting to know each other. When you log in, there are certain participants whose posts you immediately seek out. Let’s be honest…there are people that you, collectively, disregard…people who don’t quite get it….whose comments are just slightly off-topic or a little too pedestrian.

    So I’d use the blog as the test. It’s an exceptional filter if you think about it. It’s self-selecting, it requires the careful articulation of complex ideas in the context of an intelligent discussion, it’s organic, it demands active participation, and it’s sufficiently general that it doesn’t unfairly filter by subject knowledge (or race, nationality, age, etc). In a sense, it’s exactly what you’re looking for. Starting from the blog you can establish a core, and with time and the slow, patient, careful introduction of additional members the community will grow.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      Yes, as I have observed previously, there does indeed seem some fixation on a specific means rather than upon the general ends. Nor might everyone take said ends as already and completely accomplished by merely blogging together. But that does again raise the neglected question of why and how so for each of us to articulate: To clearly state underserved needs.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      Could it simply be revenge? -The need to subject others to tests, the way that we have all been traumatized be being coerced into taking endless tests all our lives in school?

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      Our school system indoctrinates the knee jerk authoritarian assumption that the solution to life’s problems are addressable only by administration and compliance to the right tests from the right experts on very latest cutting edge. This is scientism, not science. Instead, I respectfully submit that perhaps the most informative tests are those of life itself that no one intends and no one is aware of giving or taking. Case in point, a competent sociologist or anthropologist would simply watch to see who relates or not, how and why so, on this very blog. And if blogging together does not resolve our Existential conundrums, then catch up with me. I’ll be the one standing around grumbling and staring at my shoes back at the the old drawing board.

    • James Says:

      Great idea Sophie. By answering in a certain manner to this blog people can be classified rapidly and simply.

  25. Aaron Agassi Says:

    If we really do want to accomplish anything, then might it be time to begin proposing and compiling items for an agenda?

  26. Zontar Says:

    I wrote up my rambling and disjointed thoughts in a little “white paper”.

    THE PROBLEM OF THE LONELY GENIUS

    As Ken observes, due to their rarity, highly intelligent people have difficulties finding romantic relationships and friendships. There are also problems of finding intellectually stimulating employment and of how one can get intelligent people to solve complex social and scientific problems. As I already stated, I will ignore these problems, as they are not the topic of this blog and, I believe, a less pressing emotional problem for this segment of the population. Instead, I want to focus mostly on romantic relationships and, to a lesser extent, friendships.

    CURRENT SOLUTIONS AND THEIR DISADVANTAGES

    1. High IQ societies (such as Mensa, Triple Nine Society, Prometheus Society, Mega Society).
    The main problem with Mensa is that the IQ cut-off at the 98th percentile is too low, hardly genius level. Any highly intelligent university-educated person would likely be able to join, even more likely if they have a PhD. But then you would find enough peers in a university environment not to need Mensa in the first place (as long as the government does not further debase the value of a university education through degree inflation). The main purpose for Mensa (aside from bragging rights) therefore seems to be to function as a dating club for those who are highly intelligent, but who either through chance or laziness were unable to complete a university degree.

    The main problem of the other societies, those for the highly or profoundly intelligent, is that they are very bothersome to join, with little return on investement. They do not perform testing themselves, one must submit proof of IQ test oneself, so one must visit a registered psychologist to receive an IQ test. This typically costs a lot of money. Alternatively, tests like the SAT are supervised by someone other than a psychologist, but are typically only done in the USA and cost money as well. The untimed, or “power-tests”, take a very long time to solve; intelligent people may have more important things to do. In addition, there is the matter of membership fees. Furthermore, instead of one society with differenet sublevels, there is a plethora of these societies, each with their own admission criteria and different allowed tests. Each of these attracts only a few members, but due to “network externalities” the desire to join a society diminishes if there are few other members. So one must join multiple societies to get the most benefit. Thus the membership fees add up. Even so, the number of members is quite small compared to the number of people in the world that could potentially be a member. Lastly, grouping people in some arbitrary percentile range is a very crude way of matching. For finding a personal match a more fine-grained approach would be better suited.

    2. Invite-only communities (Such as the one Ken mentioned)
    Allowing people to join based on invitations from existing (genius) members will indeed at first create a community of people that has a lot in common and to which one can relate well. But it has several shortcomings. First it promotes clique-formation and is too much focused on the idiosyncrasies of the starting group: there may be other geniuses with different interests, but they will not be able or interested to join. Second, invitations are insufficient to contain the group in reasonable bounds. For example, the social networking site Orkut started as an invite-only community, which was nice at first for those involved, but quickly grew outside the bounds of commonality. Third, an invite-only membership criterion is also just a very crude way of measuring IQ: the collective judgment of a group of people that is themselves intelligent regarding another person is itself just a very crude intelligence test. The other admission criterion Ken mentioned, an “entrance exam” (“in which the landing page is the first question, and each subsequent page is a difficult question from a different field of study”) is also just a crude IQ test. Why reinvent the wheel? Scientist have already studies how to measure intelligence much better that us, so why not makes use of there efforts and just use existing well-established methods of measuring intelligence.

    3. Self-selecting communities (Such as Project Sifter.org)
    This is also a poor man’s way of measuring IQ without an IQ test, even cruder than the previous solution. Here the admission criterion is self-described affinity with some “mission statement” that intelligent (or at least curious) people are more likely to agree with than unintelligent people (Sifter’s criterion is “the desire to know the truth above all other considerations”). Again, why reinvent the wheel? This is not a reliable method of selecting for genius.

    4. IQ Dating Sites (such as iQcuties.com)
    Now this is much better solution. But like Mensa, the IQ test they use has a too low cut-off percentile (the 95th if I am not mistaken), hardly genius level.

    5. Dating sites with psychological-matching tests (such as OKCupid.com, see okcupid.com/match)
    OKCupid calculates a “match percentage” between people based on their answers to a growing list of personal questions. This is also a much better solution, and free of charge to boot. But OKCupid mostly measures personality attributes, not intelligence. This is also important as a study also showed assoratitive matching with respect to the Big-5 personality variables Openness, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness (I cannot find the reference for this at this moment). But still the effect of assortative mating effect is much higher for general intelligence (g). OKCupid also has an IQ test, but it is not sufficient. Firstly, it appears mostly for fun: I do not know if it contributes to the matching algorithm. Second it appears to have a too low cut-off and ceiling.

    VOCABULARY TESTS

    In this page (http://www.geocities.com/rnseitz/The_Role_of_Vocabulary_in_IQ_Testing.html), Bob Seitz, who, if I am not mistaken, is a member of the Mega Society, observes the well-known fact that the total size of one’s vocabulary correlates very highly with general intelligence factor (g). The correlation coefficent of vocabulary size and g ranges between +0.8 and +0.9, which is almost as high as it gets regarding the g loadings of IQ tests.

    He mentions several advantages of using vocabulary size to test intelligence:
    1. No “time limits” (“Vocabulary [are] “power tests” rather than mental efficiency tests.”)
    2. No “ceiling effects” (“We can present vocabulary items that can probably exceed the capabilities of even the most brilliant mentalities.”) “Ceiling effects” normally occur because the precision of measuring IQ decreases as the number of correctly answered questions approximates the total number of questions in the test.
    3. High “robustness” (see http://www.paulcooijmans.com/intelligence/validity.html) (“If a sufficiently large selection of words can be normed […], we may be able to generate cheat-proof tests that will never have to be retired.”)
    4. Vocabulary tests can be computer-administered-and-graded.

    To these I would like to add the following advantages:
    5. These tests can be done incrementally. That is, one can always answer more vocabulary questions at a later date to narrow down further the precision of one’s “score”.
    6. Answering a single question takes little time (it can be done in “nibbles” in between other activities for example) and can be fun.

    (As an aside, a common myth of vocabulary tests is that they have a cultural bias, that is, that they only measure one’s cultural and educational background. This a misunderstanding; rather, vocabulary tests measure the general mental ability to infer the meaning of a word from the context (which is how people normally learn the meaning of words, not by memorizing dictionaries) and the ability to recall the meaning when appropriate. In fact, as Herrnstein and Murray point out in “The Bell Curve”, the discrepancy between the IQ scores of blacks and whites, is higher on tests of fluid intelligence than on tests of crystallized intelligence; vocabulary tests load more highly on crystallized intellgence than on fluid intelligence.)

    SOLUTION: VOCABULARY TEST DATING SITE

    What is needed is to design a dating site (or social networking site) very similar to OKCupid or iQcuties, whose main premise is matching people based on vocabulary (size and compatiblity). The site would feature a test of the meaning of difficult words (like http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/schmies.html or http://www.geocities.com/rnseitz/Vocabulary_Tests.html).

    Let’s call such a site “IQCupid” as working name.

    For each pair of persons A and B, the “compatibility score” CS could be calculated using the following formula:
    CS = (Intersection of vocabularies of A and B) divided by (Union of vocabularies of A and B).
    (Alternatively, and more generally but more complicatedly, one could also estimate a person’s total vocabulary set (including unanswered words) based on the answered questions.) The site would then present all matching people in descending order of compatibility score. Having sufficiently restricted the set of all people in this way, the remaining task of selecting a partner using personal criteria should be doable manually.

    In addition, matching on personality attributes, like OKCupid does, is something that can always be added later on to improve the matching algorithm.

    Ideally such a dating site would not require a membership fee, just as OKCupid is free of charge as well.

    HOW DOES THIS SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

    1. The communication problems of high IQ persons mentioned by Leta Hollingworth are probably most due to discrepancies in vocabulary. If one person’s vocabulary is much larger than another’s, the former suffers from boredom or irritation and the latter from incomprehension. A similar problem also arises when two vocabularies are the same size, but much different from one another.

    2. Measuring vocabulary solves the problems of measuring intelligence in a very good way, considering the advantages mentioned previously. This solves Ken’s question of how to “signal genius”.

    3. This is a much more fine-grained apporach than first computing a g score, then defining an arbitrary percentile range, then grouping those within a similar range in one high IQ society. Instead one can get a “personalized” matching score between any two pair of persons.

    4. Using vocabulary test conveniently side-steps the difficulties of how to measure g in the super high range due to “Spearman’s Law of Diminishing Returns”. “Spearman’s Law of Diminishing Returns” states that as the IQ score increases, the percentage of the IQ score accounted for by g decreases, because a larger percentage of the IQ score is explained by specialized knowledge. In other words, IQ tests become less reliable measures of g as the IQ becomes higher. While scientists are busy trying to figure out how to measure g in the super high range, this does not matter for our purposes. “Spearman’s Law of Diminishing Returns” does not matter, what matters for matching two people is commonality (not absolute size) of vocabulary. And this is something this can be precisely measured or calculated at any level of vocabulary size.

    5. Rather than being a hindrance, “Spearman’s Law of Diminishing Returns” becames a boon: Commonalities in vocabulary not only imply a similar intelligence range, but also commonalities in real life. For example, if two people both know the meaning of “anisotropy” they are likely both interested in physics, and if two people both know the meaning of “rotundifolia” they are likely both interested in botany. Thus the occurence of overlapping vocabularies in the high IQ range seamlessly transitions between measuring compatibility in g to measuring compatibility in common interests. (This is speculative, but perhaps people also get along better if they have the same tilt in verbal / numerical direction).

    6. Vocabulary is a form of crystallized intelligence and crystallized intelligence rises slightly with age (contra Bob Seitz’s claims). While this forms a difficulty for using vocabulary as a measure of innate intelligence, this is not a problem for the matching algorithm under discussion. On the contrary, if the size of one’s vocabulary is (very slightly) correlated with one’s age, matching by vocabulary will (very slightly) match by age, which is precisely what you want for a dating site.

    7. The site would be free of charge (as opposed to taking an ‘official’ IQ test), either as a not-for-profit or paid for by advertisements.

    8. It is easy to create such a test, one does not have to be a psychometrician or genius test-creator to program ang grade such a test.

    DISADVANTAGES

    The main problems of this approach:

    1. On an unsupervised vocabulary test, the subject could easily use Google to look-up the meaning of unknown words. The problem is thus how to prevent cheating. Having someone proctor the taking of test is not a viable solution.

    One might assume that people would not cheat because they want someone they truly match with. OKcupid is also based on this assumption: that site is useless for matching if one does not answer the personal questions truthfully.

    One other solution would be to discourage IQ narcissism by not disclosing the IQ score, but rather only disclosing the compatibility score with other members, like OKcupid does. If one wants do determine one’s IQ, one should go elsewehere, this site would only be for solving the loneliness problem.

    2. People from different countries speak different languages. It is possible that two people would be a good match even though at first they do not have a word in common. There is no reason to restrict the site to English speaking countries; smart people are rare enough as it is. One might use some sort of automated translation to compute commonalities between two international vocabularies. However, I have not thought this through, and do not currently know a good solution for this.

    • Ken Says:

      I read your thoughts with interest, Zontar. Such a system could be set up without much difficulty, and with some finesse one could form a partnership with OKCupid to obviate the need to rewrite any of the code.

      I do have some concerns:

      1) Even if vocabulary is highly correlated with g as measured by IQ tests, we face the issue of how useful g is in the first place. I think the consensus here (and in general, among intelligence researchers) is that IQ is a flimsy measure that more or less assigns an index according to one’s ability to answer questions on an IQ test — a tautology made physical! So even if vocabulary is the ideal way to measure g because it’s incremental, ceilingless, etc, is it really the best way to capture the breadth of the human mind?

      2) I’m not one to argue with well formed studies, but intuitively I have my doubts that one measure–normally just one portion of an IQ test–can capture even as much as an IQ test captures. Can you find more supporting evidence for that?

      3) You stated that communication difficulties are a problem for genius-level minds, which I agree with. You went on to state this was a problem of vocabulary, which I do not agree with. I concede that it’s a part of the problem, especially as the intelligence gap becomes wider, but I would argue the main issues are really fundamental concept complexity, and and poor social skills (eye contact, body language, conversation flow, perhaps even hygiene).

      4) Cheating could be a problem with this, as you’ve stated. I like the idea of not showing the score, or not treating it as a score per se. I wonder how motivated users would be to cheat anyway? With OKCupid, the questions are subjective, so there’s no right or wrong answer to game. Just a curiosity, I don’t think it’s a major drawback to your idea.

      • Zontar Says:

        “1) Even if vocabulary is highly correlated with g as measured by IQ tests, we face the issue of how useful g is in the first place. I think the consensus here (and in general, among intelligence researchers) is that IQ is a flimsy measure that more or less assigns an index according to one’s ability to answer questions on an IQ test — a tautology made physical!”

        I don’t know where you got that idea, and I find it strange that you of all people would deny the usefulness of intelligence testing. (Using the same reasoning, one might also claim that a university degree proves nothing more than the ability to acquire a university degree — which is probably true, now that I think about it 😉 Unfortunately employers tend to disagree…)

        On the contrary, among intelligence researchers there is a consensus that the notion of general intelligence is both real and useful. The fact is that tests of general intelligence have predicitive ability for a wide range of real life variables better than any other discovered psychometric measurements. Here is an excellent summary of the academic mainstream consensus on intelligence: (Gottfredson, L. S. (1997). Mainstream science on intelligence: An editorial with 52 signatories, history, and bibliography. Intelligence, 24(1), 13-23. http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997mainstream.pdf). I am afraid researchers know a lot more about intelligence than most egalitarian ideologues and adherents of political correctness would want to admit. Expert consensus is at odds with the ideas of those who simply do not want to face the fact of innate human differences.

        Stephen Gould and Howard Gardner are not mainstream opinions. Gardner, for example, does not provide any evidence for his claims of “multiple intelligences”. Four of Gardners putative “intelligences” (verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, and musical) all highly intercorrelate and a single factor accounts for the majority of their variance (that’s the whole point of g!). Gardner’s other “intelligences” (bodily-kinesthetic, etc.), may be useful and important, but one should not dilute the meaning of “intelligence” to apply to all possible talents and skills, but reserve it for those that involve mentation, otherwise the word “intelligence” becomes worthless. Robert Sternberg has also yet failed to show a test of his “practical intelligence” which both has predicitive ability for real life success and which is not for the most part already accounted for by g.

        In general, I recommend all of Gottfredson’s papers (they are easily available online):
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/
        In particular:
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2005suppressingintelligence.pdf
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2005g-jobs-life.pdf
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2003PIentry.pdf
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2002ghighlygeneral.pdf
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997whygmatters.pdf
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1996whatdoweknow.pdf
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1994egalitarianfiction.pdf
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1986JVBforeword.pdf
        http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1986validityutility.pdf

        I also recommend the following blogs:
        http://carrefoursagesse.wordpress.com/category/iq/
        http://inductivist.blogspot.com/
        http://www.gnxp.com/
        http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/
        http://infoproc.blogspot.com/search/label/iq

        “So even if vocabulary is the ideal way to measure g because it’s incremental, ceilingless, etc, is it really the best way to capture the breadth of the human mind?”

        Well, I never claimed that even vocabulary is the “ideal way to measure g” or “the best way to capture the breadth of the human mind”. Vocabulary tends to measure crystallized intelligence, which while not the same as g, but nevertheless correlates very highly with g. It’s just that vocabulary has a number of advantages (above other form of testing) for creating an automated personalized pairwise matching system that in addition captures non-g-related commonalities between people.

        An “IQ score” of a person can be calculated using the “compatabity score” (described previously) with an imaginary “omniscient person” (who knows all words). A still vague idea in my mind is that if one defines “distance” as the reciprocal of the “compatability score”, then comparing two different people by comparing their IQ is thus inherently less accurate than measuring their overlap directly, due to the triangle inequality.

        “2) I’m not one to argue with well formed studies, but intuitively I have my doubts that one measure–normally just one portion of an IQ test–can capture even as much as an IQ test captures. Can you find more supporting evidence for that?”

        Vocabulary is crystallized intelligence, which itself correlates very highly with g. Like I wrote, it is an established fact that it highly correlates with g (between +0.8 and +0.9); there is plenty of literature on this: for example, according to Jensen’s magnum opus, the Verbal part of the WISC correlates 0.8 with the general factor.

        As I wrote, a popular misconception about g is that it depends on the particular “form” (in this case, vocabulary items) of an IQ test. Rather, the g-loading of a test depends on the item *complexity* of the test items, the form of the test items are themselves irrelevant. It is for example possible that certain highly seemingly culturally biased tests items load highly on g, whereas certain seemingly culturally-neutral test items have a low g-loading.

        “3) You stated that communication difficulties are a problem for genius-level minds, which I agree with. You went on to state this was a problem of vocabulary, which I do not agree with. I concede that it’s a part of the problem, especially as the intelligence gap becomes wider, but I would argue the main issues are really fundamental concept complexity, and and poor social skills (eye contact, body language, conversation flow, perhaps even hygiene).”

        People do not communicate using concepts; they communicate using words. To understand what someone means is thus highly related to understanding all his words. The meaning of a word is just the interrelationship between a lot of other (typically simpler) words. To understand the meaning of a word is to understand the underlying (complex) concept. Furthermore, learning the meaning of word requires understand the context in which it is used and and recalling the meaning of a word under appropriate circumstances requires an efficient organization of concepts in the brain. Thus understanding words and understanding complex concepts tend to go hand in hand.

        I suspect most of your friends and colleagues are university-educated. If so, try, as I did, to spend some time with the average person and you will be amazed at how dull people are and how you have to explain what you mean. Here is a table from (Gottfredson, L. S. (2002). Where and why g matters: Not a mystery. Human Performance, 15(1/2), 25-46. http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997whygmatters.pdf):
        ========================================
        Adults 16-65 Passing* WAIS Vocabulary Items (%)
        1. Bed 100
        2. Ship 100
        3. Penny 100
        4. Winter 99
        5. Repair 98
        6. Breakfast 99
        7. Fabric 92
        8. Slice 94
        9. Assemble 90
        10. Conceal 87
        11. Enormous 89
        12. Hasten 87
        13. Sentence 83
        14. Regulate 80
        15. Commence 79
        16. Ponder 64
        17. Cavern 68
        18. Designate 63
        19. Domestic 65
        20. Consume 61
        21. Terminate 55
        22. Obstruct 58
        23. Remorse 51
        24. Sanctuary 49
        25. Matchless 47
        26. Reluctant 50
        27. Calamity 50
        28. Fortitude 36
        29. Tranquil 36
        30. Edifice 22
        31. Compassion 29
        32. Tangible 30
        33. Perimeter 26
        34. Audacious 20
        35. Ominous 20
        36. Tirade 17
        37. Encumber 19
        38. Plagiarize 13
        39. Impale 14
        40. Travesty 5
        *Passing includes getting at least partial credit.
        =============================================
        It is really amazing that at least half the people do not know the meaning of “sanctuary”, “matchless”, “fortitude”, etc.

        Second, when you write “poor social skills (eye contact, body language, conversation flow, perhaps even hygiene), I think you have a very peculiar conception of how high intelligence manifests. What you are describing is not “gifted” but somewhere between Asperger Syndrome and being a dork. There is no relationship between IQ per se and Asperger Syndrome. (That does not mean of course that these cannot possible both occur in certain persons.) I recommended the book “Misdiagnosis and dual diagnosis of gifted children” to clear up this misconception.

        “4) Cheating could be a problem with this, as you’ve stated. I like the idea of not showing the score, or not treating it as a score per se. I wonder how motivated users would be to cheat anyway? With OKCupid, the questions are subjective, so there’s no right or wrong answer to game. Just a curiosity, I don’t think it’s a major drawback to your idea.”

        The main motivation for cheating would be bragging rights and megalomania.

        • James Says:

          Yes the words can verify intelligence to a certain level but the fact is knowledge of words or of a language shouldn’t correlate with a person’s brightness. Lack of information is different from lack of potential or capabilites.

          As for the fact that people communicate with words and not complex thought so. I say I agree with Ken on that since words are only a mean to express what we thought through. Meaning everyone can use the words but the end idea will be much more complex and that is where the problem lies.

          About the shyness Ken attributed to geniuses i disagree and therefore agree with you Zontar. Their comportment is only due to lack of self confidence or some emotional points or social points. Either ways, a genius can be highly social or poor socially there is no link with the concept of low social efficiency. It depends mostly on the personality of the person but yes geniuses are more inclined to social isolation but not to social inability*.

      • sylvester Says:

        “YES I AM A MEMBER OF THE LONELY GENIUS CLUB!!!” does that rele sound like motivation for cheaters ? just a thought that occured to me.

        as for zontar unfortunately i have the displeasure of dealing with average people on a day to day basis. In part i think its what drives me into new depths of loneliness. there isnt a time where u feel more lonely then when your surrounded by people who know each other.

        and travesty , i beleive anyone who reads alot of litterature will knw the meaning of that word, but i tried out a few of my average friends, they didnt have a clue as to what it meant. guess that study holds true for my nation as well.

        ps forgive the grammatical and spelling errors im a bit late for class, but i wanted to get this piece out

        • James Says:

          You know when I got the feeling of being alone in the world due to the difference in thoughts i analysed every member of my family. In other words, from where did my intelligence come since there’s a huge possibility it was hereditary. After much pondering I found out I had acquired most of my mental capacity from my father. I talked with him and yes he was indeed the one who allowed me to have this amount of awareness. I suggest you look closely into your family(every member of the past 2-3 generations) before looking into your social circle. Maybe you already did look through all your relatives. By the way i went in as follow, if I was let’s say my father and I used my pattern of thought these decisions should have been made and since they were made i deduced my father had the same logic as me.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      It occurs to me that you completely fail to consider broader rather than more selective social interaction and networking as a means to individual attachments! -let alone shared activities and projects…

  27. sylvester Says:

    hmmmm judging from what i see thus far, because of everyones narrow range of experiences dealing with like minded individually we are introducing alot of subjective bias. such asthe social interactions how they are structured and so forth.i suggest that since we have a pool of persons here that maybe we get each persons veiw points on various topics related to this discussion. that way we can better grasp at whats going on.

    on a side note i think that the idea of testing may be void now. there is quite substantial arguments behind not having them in the first place , and so much variety in how we can proceed with them , im lead to the new conclusion that we do not need them to begin with. the persons that will find our group will do so through the same means this blog was found. perhaps that in itself is a good enough need. If a member of the group becomes a nuisance or otherwise harm the group , we can simply disbar him from the group. Its not like we will ever attract tens of thousands of members. the group will simply just exists to provide us with the comfort of companionship which we seek.

    also can some members please post up stories on how they managed to create a successful romantic relationship ( if you have done it), and for comparison reasons you believe that past attempts at romance have failed.

    to Kens third point, i dont not believe we have problems with social interactions so much as they tend to bore us to some degree , or our range of interests thoughts experiences and ideas are vastly different to theirs , thus making regular communication on their level easy ( if you are both aware of the same topic on which is being discussed) or strained if one member isnt aware. regular examples would be us with advanced topics in the our various fields of study or specialty versus our associates knowledge of popular culture. I will concede that there exists a vocabulary divide. but as to range of vocabulary being associated with intelligence , i may disagree. In my stay in university thus far ive experienced a broader range of vocabulary than ever before .. much of which is not in the standard English dictionary , but the words used are vastly more effective.The vocabulary chosen by a person tends to be associated to thier range of experiances. therefore we must concede that we in general do not share the same set of experiances with the general population. a personal example would be my dislike to go to parties,( and by that i mean college type drunk and disorderly type parties). friends of mines who do enjoy partying have evolved a rather unique set of phrases that to me seem almost foreign. this works both ways. therefore i do believe that what we are looking for is simply a group of individuals with the same experience set as ourselves so that we will feel comfortable with them and form friendships( and hopefully for some members more).

    ps ken the hygiene bit was hilarious , you would that a genius would know a shower would definitely be good for him/ her, thus far ive never rele run across any very intelligent person without good hygiene. Then again where i live without good hygiene your would quickly become ill and possibly die.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      I agree regarding any kind of preliminary assortive function simply from any draw from a successful online forum. My question is where, if anywhere, from there? Or is to be all talk? Can we at least raise the quality of discourse, and even focus upon real matters of concern? And yes, let’s bring back the old cocktail parties where people actually talk! Nothing alienates me quite like the brain dead rituals which pass for social recreation nowadays.

      • sylvester Says:

        cocktail parties lol, ive never been to one. Dont think id care to go to one either…. to many pretentious bastards in those things. apparently from my view point its entire social function is to create and support a hierarchy. then again what defines a party? and what defines what type of enjoyment is better than the rest. and if enjoyment is the primary concern , by that measure shudnt we all be supporters of swingers?

        or maybe its just the social gatherings these days carry with them by far to much baggage

      • Aaron Agassi Says:

        sylvester, technically, I haven’t been to a cocktail party either. My point, of course, was, let alone an orgy! that it’s been a while since I’ve had the simple pleasure of attending a party or function at all where people openly converse instead of using noise to drown out talk and booze to drown out thought. Indeed, to Hell with all cliquishness. Is it time for an agenda?

      • sylvester Says:

        what is it are you proposing?

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      I am proposing many things. But what I propose now specifically is to call for an agenda. Although, some may argue that there is no need for an agenda, because the goals have been accomplished by the success of this very blog, or are on their way to be achieved thereby, organically. But if anyone is interested in the pursuit of an agenda, then the first item that I would like to introduce for inclusion on the agenda, is to call for problem statements. And if anyone agrees that problem statements are fruitful, then I would enter my own problem statement on http://www.FoolQuest.com Just click any instance of the highlighted terms: ‘loneliness’ & ‘boredom’ to access my definitions thereof, and also exposition on the underserved needs at their root, especially for intelligent people. That will do for now. There are already several points to assess and to discuss.

    • Aaron Agassi Says:

      Come to think of it, there is an even more fundamental and open ended question begged, that I propose for inclusion on an agenda: Are we taking up cause in the interests of howsoever intelligent people, or instead or as well, might we take up the advocacy of critical thinking as a recommendation beneficial to everyone?

      • sylvester Says:

        to do the latter we would have to gain substantial influence. we can branch out to that afterwards. i was just thinking of something today. today is the hindu festival of lights divali. one of the things its supposed to represent is knowledge over ignorance, ironically it doesn’t rele get shown that way , instead most ppl go with the ole worn out ‘good overcomes evil light overcomes darkness”.it just goes to show how society can undermine the efforts of individuals and small groups to create whatever it desires. the reverse is also true, that small groups with substantial enough influence can cause drastic change. which is it should we aspire to become? if we focus on our own causes more than likely we will end up pushing overall agendas , but not very effectively? btw i do believe this blog has begun to function as the group collective, just take a look at the number of postings it has in relation to the overal number of posts in kens entire bloggings. im a bit busy and will say more when i get the opportunity. as well as check out your website in detail aaron

      • Aaron Agassi Says:

        I was unclear: Such a principle as Critical Thinking can, first of all, can also be endorsed most modestly within the culture of a group of hetrogenious participants. And even that little may be deemed of value. I await your fuller response with interest.

  28. Ken Says:

    Interesting, Zontar. My wife’s PhD studies were related to education, so most of what I know about this subject comes via the research she was exposed to. My understanding is that the state of the art shies away from a single intelligence index as useful or meaningful. I don’t have time at the moment to dive into it as I’d like to, but I will say that given the current state of high education, a university degree is exactly what you said: proof that one can obtain a university degree, and nothing more. I’ve graded graduate student papers that are terrifyingly bad, from students who went on to be educators themselves. I think more employers are seeing it that way as time progresses too.

    I would like to point out that 1997 was 13 years ago as of this posting, so while there was support for your position then, I’m not sure how it’s changed since.

  29. Aaron Agassi Says:

    Regarding the travesty of going through the motions in society, lonely, alienated and bored silly: Intelligence often may put a strain on such travesty, for the intelligent individual. And yet, it would be unintelligent simply to jump to the conclusion that low mean intelligence as such is the direct cause of travesty, heteronomy and anti-intellectualism. I suggest that perhaps a fulfilling social circle might be one practicing some effective methodology in undermining travesty. And such affords a broad field of study and endeavor.

  30. JohnSublime Says:

    As someone who would consider themself a potential member of such a society, I support any idea along those lines.
    It seems that perhaps you already have the basis for the kind of community being proposed (although the comments have trailed off…). Perhaps a core group, founding and developing the society?

    Regardless I hope we hear from you again soon Ken, a year between posts is far too long!

  31. Micah Says:

    I support your idea of a group. I’m also interested in your creatives group.

    I do however, find fault with the entrance exam. As you have proposed it, must you get all questions right in order to pass? Because some people’s genius rests in certain areas. Some of these areas may be sub-atomic physics or calculus, excluding writing or music or something else. I don’t think that just because they don’t have a high knowledge of ALL areas, they are not therefore a genius.

    I’m not sure what solution I would propose in its place, though. I will have to think on it.


  32. Why do people with multi-sigma exceptional analytic intelligence end up alienating themselves? Do they really think that much differently, and is analytic intelligence really that central to human flourishing, or is there a cognitive tradeoff of some sort? The reason I ask this is because it seems to be relevant to whether it makes sense for ultra high IQ folks to deliberately distinguish themselves for the purpose of collaboration rather than integrating themselves in more inclusive way with others based on interests and goals. Sorry if this seems a naive question, I just discovered this blog and haven’t had a chance to read much of it yet. Thanks very much for the interesting posts and comments here.

    • Ken Says:

      I think they have a drastically different focus than other people, so there mutual disinterest in the values between a very intelligent person and someone who is more average. Since the interests tend to diverge so widely, and since highly intelligent people tend not to have the social skills or patience to put up with what they perceive to be incompetence, any cross disciplinary group would be difficult to form and maintain. It’s a good question though, I think you’re onto something.


  33. Thanks very much, Ken. I’m interested in the details of this divergence of interests. In some areas, differences in interests can be leveraged successfully. I’ve worked in groups that I would say probably combined people with very different degrees and kinds of cognitive ability, and where we still found ways to focus on common objectives and processes. I guess I’m just a little skeptical that extremes of analytic intelligence make people so different in that regard. I greedily welcome all different kinds or levels of genius when I want to accomplish something, although I realize that it will often be a huge challenge to facilitate between them when dealing with very exceptional people. It would be unfortunate if the folks whose genius is recognized mostly in extreme IQ alienated themselves from common efforts just because we didn’t work hard enough to appreciate what makes them different.

    • sylvester Says:

      Todd i quite like how you phrase these comments quite interesting indeed. I just want to say that in my personal experiences working towards a common goal with a group of radically different people is usually not an issue. however put those same people together in a room with no objective and you get the anti – social nature of persons like ourselves , who much rather prefer to stand back and observe many times , or who may strike up a conversation about which the other person has no interest what so ever. this is generally speaking the normal social context in which we fail miserably at. Sure we can come up with amazing ideas inventions innovations and so on but ask us to come up with a pickup line? i believe the proper internet slang for this would be “EPIC FAIL!” .

      its not that we want to be appreciated for our differences , but at the same time we do not want to have to act as though it does not exist.

      let us know your thoughts about this.


  34. Sylvester, I’m finding a lot of empathy with your comments, in a way I feel like it’s the story of my life.

    But I want to be clear that I don’t think it’s because of anything even weakly related to IQ, I think it’s because of the niche I’ve carved for myself over time by burying myself in books and thinking about things that interested me to the exclusion of social interaction. I think book geek describes me, although “serious reader” seems kinder. I’m not sorry for that path, it has brought me a lot of satisfaction and sometimes appreciation from others, but it certainly has its tradeoffs. I suspect I would have had a very different life if I had just tried harder to fit in socially, and I’m not that confident I would have succeeded very far.

    Exceptional genius of the sort that multi sigma tail IQ folks possess seems to me similar to my reading niche, a difference that gets played into weird trajectories when people (ourselves and others as well) make so much of it.

    The social dynamic becomes negative to a degree that I think hurts all of us and becomes so ubiquitous that we take it for granted. For example the fact that Pete felt he had to start this blog anonymously, and even more … the snarky reactions I’m sure he got when he started it.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    Well maybe it was Pete who started this blog anonymously, but how do we know that Marky Mark with the snarky remarks wasn’t in fact none other than lonely Pete himself ? Maybe he started a fake public conversation with his other selves waiting for people
    to jump in and spice things up a notch.

    I don’t know, is this negative ? I hope I’m not schizophrenic, I’m definitely bi-polar sometimes whenever. But I love the snarkasm, I must be sick !

    By the way I keep maxing out online IQ tests at 164,
    anybody else experience this ? Is this the ongoing limit ? I made one error on the entrance test to mensa. I felt like a weetad so I did not go any further. Plus I’m afraid that being part of any social dynamic would cut too much into my alone time.

  36. Ken Says:

    Cute. If I had the time to stir up trouble in the comments of my own semi anonymous blog, I wouldn’t spend it doing that 8)

  37. Anonymous Says:

    Not saying you did, just that there’s some really lonely people out there. Although aloneness should not be confused with loneliness. Trouble isn’t necessarily bad: it forces you to concentrate. However you make a good point indirectly: some irresponsible people have a bad habit of wasting time kicking over the traces, and should be tolerated with a mixture of pity and scorn, and dealt with severely in their transgressions. Ironically, I’ve been treated like this my whole life. But if I enjoy wasting time, is it also a waste of joy ? I’ve enjoyed this blog, I think it’s a great idea, and some of the comments have been very interesting.

    But coming back to the IQ test result thingy,
    does anybody know what I’m talking about ?

  38. Anonymous Says:

    To be useless and unprofitable is one of the characteristics of genius; it is their patent of nobility. -Schopenhauer

    Some people are way too concerned about firmly establishing their place in society,
    to be recognized for their prominence by their peers. Genius doesn’t care for all that.
    He has all the recognition he’s ever gonna get and need from the source that gave it to him at birth.
    Old school never dies…
    There is a difference between intellectuals and Geniuses.

    Society is for intellectuals…

    • James Says:

      Interesting choice of words and ideas in regards to it’s ingenious description of society and geniuses. Indeed it is true that society is for intellectuals as you say or as the quote says nonetheless shouldn’t it be accomodated to geniuses…. since they can bring much more to society than intellectuals will ever do? As for your IQ tests personally I don’t take much of them so I prefer to refrain from aboarding that subject with you due to my lack of information. Anyways it’s nice to read what you have in mind even if it is only a part of it.


  39. Absolutely agree. I think the iconoclast is essential to a productive, creative society. There are some things that only someone who thinks differently from the run of the mill intellectual can really develop fully. History is filled with oddball geniuses who made major contributions without ever quite fitting in.

    Ok, they do some weird stuff too, but that’s part of the package. The tricky part is for them to find a way to contribute while remaining on the outside. When they get too caught up in being different just for the sake of being different, that’s when it often gets weird.

    Thinking independently and with great originality but also productively, those are the hallmarks of genius from my perspective. I think the abilities of the traditional “intellectual elite” could probably be extended to *most* people with sufficient resources and training suited to their motivations.

    To be truly extraordinary, one has to stand a bit outside of that in some way as well. Academia is filled mostly with specialized knowledgeable dullards. Exceptional thinking in the form of productive original ideas requires something more I think. That’s why it so rarely happens from meetings or “collaboration” or “brainstorming sessions” of knowledgeable dullards, it happens when someone thinks differently about things and takes that different thinking to a useful conclusion.

  40. Anonymous Says:

    My friend, you have a way of expressing my thoughts in a very eloquent manner. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

    These dullards as you so kindly put it, seem to get stuck in specifics when I try to convey a concept, and they fail to see how it can be applied to a lot of different things seemingly unrelated. After all, everything in this world is connected at the quantum level.

    What still excites me about life is this ability to blend concepts which often creates a life all its own. It’s nothing new. For example Einstein didn’t invent relativity, but he did have to be creative in order to discover it. And it’s exciting to know that the possibilities are probably endless, that there are so many things yet to discover, and that they have been there all along. It can be frustrating though to know that we could have discovered these things with much less pain if it wasn’t for this imposing ant like, or as I like to call it, horses with blinders on mentality of the average member of society. But I suppose there’s a reason for that too. Adversity forces us to be weird. To separate ourselves as a different intellectual species.
    Different than those dull intellectual elites that are so prominent in society and give intelligence a bad name. Sadly they teach at our universities. They teach our young people to be closed minded just as they are. No wonder so many people are proud to be stupid.

    It’s odd to me that people can find anything normal in this world, when we are living on a rock that’s floating god knows where in space. Normal is strange to me, and strange is normal.

    As for being productive and finding a way to contribute, I don’t have a grand plan to change humanity, but I will continue to share with the people around me and try to open up their mind even just a little, one soul at a time, no matter how painful it is, for them or for me. I will try to stay strong and not give up, as so many of our brightest minds have done in hours of despair.
    (Otto Weininger)

    Ultimately the only way to really get our message out is thru our own creations…


  41. “you have a way of expressing my thoughts”

    The telepathic plagiarism was inadvertent. 😉

    I don’t want to come off as if I’m promoting some postmodern notion that knowledgeable but relatively uncreative people are unimportant. They play the same role as historian Kuhn emphasized for the purveyors of “normal science,” they constantly recreate and reinforce the stable knowledge base from which we create new connections.

    A population of idiots creating influential content would eventually kill the creativity of even the best minds by making it too difficult to accumulate effective expertise. Creativity without expertise is just weird art.

  42. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, similar minds think alike.

    Sometimes I tend to exaggerate to make a point, and I suppose that is part of the reason why average people think I’m strange. They have a hard time understanding my ironic twists. Over time I’m learning to simplify my irony, to sift out those more capable.

    Creative expert idiots (experts in idiocy) will always produce weird and distasteful art, if you can even call it art. But I think that no matter how stifled by mediocrity or lack of accumulative expertise, Genius will always find a way to create its own expertise no matter how subjectively effective it is considered to be by the majority at the time. Hundreds of years later, a person of talent might discover the work of an unrecognized
    Genius, adapt it to current trends and become famous.

    Also, if you look at some of Pablo Picasso’s early pieces, he was definitely an expert and master. But most of his original work looks weird and childish. (To me)

    Since everything is connected even if we don’t always understand how right away, there is a reason and a place for uncreative knowledgeable people as well as idiots. Although the reason for the latter baffles me, but it must be so because it is.

    Ah, I’ll figure it out later. Right now I’m hungry, Mac Donald’s anyone ?

    • Anonymous Says:

      Coming back to your point about the role that intellectual dullards play in academia, it makes sense that it is an important one. To remind and teach things that have already been discovered, to young persons interested in learning, but they can be so resistant to creative minds. It has been a painful experience for me. Albeit one that has allowed me to discover about my nature. So I am thankful for that. And I am also thankful for the feedback that I have received from you and Ken, Pete or whatever his true name is. It has been like a reality mirror, one that has shown me that I am, after all, just a human being like everyone else.


      • “Genius will always find a way to create its own expertise”

        Very intriguing turn of phrase, I like that.

        I think that’s a big part of the “seeds” of genius, motivation to carve out a unique trajectory and acquire one’s own resources in some sense, including deep expertise.

        But people aren’t recognized as a genius (I mean in the broad sense vs. the psychometric sense) by others unless that trajectory lands them on places valued at the time. Think about how we envision the genius of Einstein vs. that of Vos Savant, in spite of being better able to validate the latter’s genius in the traditional technical sense.

        We often see that kind of motivation produce oddly mixed results because their motivation by its nature doesn’t synch with what is valued in a given age. So we have geniuses who become masters of the intricasies of subway transfers as well as making profound observations. The seeds of genius tend to grow a mixed crop I think, by the nature of how it develops.

  43. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, nature likes variety.

    I will venture to say that most geniuses are never discovered by society, although definitely by few like minded individuals, to a certain degree. Because of their nature it can be overwhelming to deal with their sense perceptions which is magnified unimaginably compared to the average person. Every social experience is potentially straining even long after, as the memory rehashes old meanings in search of new ones and emotions are relived in grander scale. Hence they shy away from the chaos of society in search for peace. Recognition doesn’t always bring peace but often jealousy and hatred.

    Some of the brightest minds who were recognized, lost all their ambitions, to learn, to contribute, to communicate and eventually to live. Perhaps they felt too much was expected of them (from the invisible). Again, because they have a greater capacity to sense the invisible.

    It is part of their intrigue and of the mystery of life itself.

    • Anonymous Says:

      I should add that I feel those greater sense perceptions must however also be combined with Knowledge and the desire to create for a greater purpose in order to become a recognized Genius.

  44. Anonymous Says:

    Perhaps Vos Savant’s purpose was to prove that women too could be considered Geniuses, however silly that may seem to some, she did suckseed in the traditional sense. She does have great analytical power. However to me this psychometric evaluation, while not without its merits, is much like beginner drawing: “Genius by numbers.” Although connecting the dots seems to be a Genius ability, it proceeds at an illogical pace in certain individuals, aspects of which cannot be measured with numbers, as of yet, and may never be. It’s a strange and beautiful process like much of what we still haven’t yet been able to explain in the quantum realm.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Traditional sense is fine and dandy for proper folks and distinguished intellectuals, but Genius wipes his ass with tradition !

  45. Anonymous Says:

    I find myself starting a thought as a particle and finishing it as a wave (so to speak).
    Sometimes later, when I’m in a different state of mind, my written statement seems quite contradictory. Upon careful analysis and effort to regain my original thought, I find the duality is actually complimentary, much like opposing colors. Often a new meaning emerges that was not originally intended, and it is usually this meaning which people latch onto and react very defensively against before I am even aware of it. And I leave perplexed as I realize I’ve been completely misunderstood and treated harshly by people that I considered otherwise intelligent. By that time it is usually too late and involves a lot of work in order to correct perceptions. Damage has already been done. Most of the time my statements are viewed as either contradictory in nature, offensive, or just plain self evident. I can understand how an intelligent person would be misunderstood so easily when they see both sides of the coin at the same time and formulate their thoughts in such an inside out way. But add in the invisible factor and it feels as if God is using you to undermine people’s sense of security and to pay the price for it. Perhaps that’s what’s needed to open up minds, but most of the time I just feel like a conduit, a middleman caught in the crossfire, and I become the target.

    • sylvester Says:

      i believe we may share a similar problem , but i do have a somewhat effective solution. the paradoxical nature of our thoughts are rarely understood the way we desire , or as you say people we tend to regard as intelligent enough to understand the thought process misunderstand what we try to express. I think the problem most of the time stems from our point of reference where we begin our thoughts. Many time you will make the assumption that you are both starting at the same point of reference ( which may be a piece of information , an experience , a thought or idea) and begin to formulate your thoughts from there. the problem here lies within the fact that our forgone assumption tends to be wrong. If you truly wish to be properly understood you need to ensure that you are both starting at the same point of reference where u begin your thoughts and hope that others are able to follow your line of thought. Is it a pain in the ass to be this meticulous? Yes , but its a bigger pain to be misunderstood and be attacked for it.
      i suppose the problem is societies tendency to create norms and predispositions which people tend to stick strongly to , but us geniuses tend to as a previous author so eloquently stated “Traditional sense is fine and dandy for proper folks and distinguished intellectuals, but Genius wipes his ass with tradition !”.
      the full approach then? first step , destroy the predisposition in the other persons mind. create your point of reference. express your thoughts as clearly and unambiguously as you can . pause to double check if they are on the same line of thought as you . if you do this you tend to get 2 results , a) people understood what u said and are no angry , but instead may be amused or awe-stricken, or b) they have fallen asleep or are doing something else because they have gotten bored or simply cannot grasp what you are saying ( the greater the difference in your intelligence and the probability of this happening increases exponentially , also the more beautiful the person is probability increases, just an observation i made 🙂 )

      • James Says:

        I do the same lol. One thing I do when sharing with people is invite them to think only with pure logic by explaining how pure logic is defined to those that do not know. Then each time I ask a question to ascertain that she/he is following i emphasize the part where I tell them to think logically wihtout any limiters such as emotions or social standards. That way people 100% agree and at the end you could say the operation was a success. Except for those who are not open to anything meaning 0% open minded these types are harder to deal with. I just didn’t quite get the last part about also the more beautiful the person is probabilty increases. The probability of them not understanding/get bored or something else? I really recount so many memories about people acting according to A or B especially inside my family my mother and my bigger brother… Even some relatives.

  46. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you Sylvester for your beautiful words of hope. They really hit home. They make sense, not just because I understand them, but because I
    have experienced them. Hence my appreciation for the truth they contain. It is so good to be reminded once in a while. I guess I have gotten in the habit of not caring to be understood. On the outside, I’m a savage to the world, but inside my heart is very soft, still. I have become quite the pessimist over the last few years. I could add a couple of thoughts regarding the soothing and negative side effect of this eloquent dingle berry predisposition wiping but I fear it would only serve to infect the minds of my fellow creatives. It is not my wish to do so, as that would be truly idiotic. I appreciate this blog, as it allows me to open up little by little.

    On a side note, it was suggested indirectly to me by a professor in academia who noticed my abilities but did not have the testicular fortitude to be more direct, that I should expand my vocabulary. I respect directness much more, as long as it’s somewhat sensible of course. He was a young man with a remarkable vocabulary and would destroy me in public speaking, but I still considered him lower on the chimpanzee scale.

    Is there some interesting literature apart from the traditional English dictionary, (there’s that word again) that one could recommend to a person who grew up in a foreign country with lack of resources, so as to help them expand their vocabulary and mastery of the English language in an interesting and accelerated fashion ?

    • sylvester Says:

      i am afraid where expanding your vocabulary is concerned , i am quite useless . if you haven’t noticed yet i tend not to have a very wide array of words. however given that my perception of words is simply vessels to fill with the substance of our own choosing , i suspect that a larger vocabulary would not lead onto more well versed discussion. my focus is instead expressing my ideas in such a way that the target understands them. the largest difficulty is expressing that which we feel , because that part of the brain which feels controls decision making also cannot use language. the more abstract the terminology can usually be expressed in less ambiguous terms and so on. however if u wish to expand your vocabulary with respect to a particular area i highly suggest eavesdropping conversations between persons versed on the topic, as i have noticed their terminology varies between jargon among themselves and something indescribable to others(because they usually are unable to bridge the gap in knowledge effectively)..

      seems ive rambled on quite a bit here , perhaps a name would be quite nice , something for us to refer to you.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Once again you shine the light when my batteries get low. I’ve always felt that simplicity was much more effective. Any fool can make something more complicated. I know now what I must continue to do. The clarity with which you express your ideas is very refreshing, and it means more to me than words can say.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    Sorry I didn’t mean to ignore your last question, or more like request rather. You can refer to me as Claude.


  48. Great points. Vocabulary shouldn’t be about using more varied or impressive sounding terms for the same thing, it should be about using words more effectively to convey meaning. The paradox is that having more words with slight nuances of meaning in order to express subtleties of thought makes it more likely that your listener won’t know or won’t appreciate the nuances.

    If you purpose is to convey meaning, that’s obviously a FAIL.

    As a result, having a strong vocabulary often translates to creatively using simple terms in ways that lead the mind in new directions. I imagine writing and thinking as very similar processes. Think in terms of effective metaphor, analogy, and narrative, rather than adding more words.

    You get it the same way, by reading and writing challenging material. BUT with the emphasis off of simply adding new words, you don’t merely learn to alienate people and use more varied sentences, you also learn to express your thinking.

    I don’t know if this way of thinking about it is too trivial to help, but it helped me at one point.

    • James Says:

      Yes the lack of word will reduce the possibilities of expressing yourself in a more precise way. Having more vocabulary can help you adapt the conversation easily to any level of intellectual auditor which simplifies many things to you and your correspondent. While it permits to associate your level of thought to your words in an artistic way which may in a way give you more drive force when talking and expressing your understandings of the concepts. In short, a flow of ideas linked to a flow of words not necessarily poetic.

      If it resembles rubbish please excuse my lack of mastery of the english language…

  49. sylvester Says:

    this is rather interesting though, to see that we tend to have similar problems , but arrive at somewhat similarly effective solutions to communication. choice A)understand how they will understand what u say and formulate your ideas around that or
    B)if i tried to tell you you probably wouldn’t understand it anyways so meh fuckit. no communication no communication problem XD.

    i agree with todd in his last post , and i do not think it is trivial because so many people fail to understand that our language is essentially a fractal that was originally consisted of “urg ugh agh”( a dramatic oversimplification but you get the idea). we evolve our languages as time goes by but its apparent that this is a vastly divergent evolutionary paths , and our chief problem is how to communicate across the wide swath of linguistic developments if you will. therefore the only way to communicate across the entire path is essentially to start from basic and build from it.

    hope my little rant was useful to anyone 🙂

    also to ken and the others who are following perhaps we should create another posting dealing with specific issues that are generally encountered by persons like us. this problem of expressing yourself seems to be quite common.

    to cluade i hope i have helped you in some little way and made your life more tolerable , and perhaps even enjoyable.


  50. Having really interesting thoughts to express is actually the hard part, the part lots of us never manage to achieve.

    You guys who think well but can’t express yourselves as well should take heart that your challenge is largely believing in yourself and acquiring some literary mechanics.

    The folks who approach adulthood and still don’t think very deeply or clearly have a much bigger challenge to surmount. The fact that they aren’t concerned over it is all the more tragic I think.

    • sylvester Says:

      the problem with those adults is that they impose their dullness upon others stifling creativity and growth. they tend to manifest themselves in the manner as such , the world is only one way and it does not need to change , and even if it needs to change i dont know how to do it , lets try something that has previously failed anyways.

      or the other problem with persons such as yourselves who have such vast ideas that can quiet easily solve many problems with as little side effects as possible , usually tend to have our ideas cast aside because they are not expressed in a format which they understand our is able of comprehending . i have had this problem happen to me several times , and the worst part is if there is partial success with the failed method , they will regard it as a full success that did not have enough iteration or so forth , then they repeat the error on a grander scale . doing such until it become fashionable.

      think about full close bodied suits in summer or the tropics. these people generally tend to complain about the heat and therefore buy and use expensive AC to cool down their surrounding to wear its comfortable to wear on clothing designed to insulate . the simple solution would be to have a different wardrobe but fashion dictates suffering. i am sure we can find many other examples as such but the essential point is these people tend to create vast problems fro us to attempt to solve, because we have to work around their illogical behaviors and patterns, whats more they demand we do so in a way that pleases them. thus driving a vicious circle in which we are asked to do more and more , but have our ideas stifled more and more.

      at least there is hope though, due to the fact that persons like us are now beginning to emerge in greater numbers i suppose , or its perhaps that the 3 in 10 000 can find each other more frequently and meaningfully, either locally or virtually.

  51. Anonymous Says:

    Sylvester, you have helped in ways far beyond the particular subject matter we were discussing and I am very grateful. And Todd as well, thank you for the encouragement. It’s nice to know that we were born with the hard part under our belt even though the easy part can be so tricky sometimes. It’s like that mosquito that keeps biting us at night when we’re trying to sleep: he’s so small and insignificant, yet he can be so pesky and troublesome.

    I am happy today because I found some amazing people to communicate with. I don’t mean to sound presumptuous, but I consider any one my friend who
    reawakens my spirit and leaves me with faith and courage to face the world.

    As far as another posting dealing with specific issues, I have some ideas…
    Genius and alcohol, drugs and sex. Also R.E.M sleep, the zombie factor. And any issues experienced by
    depressed gifted individuals who have a hard time expressing themselves. It would be interesting to see how many people open up and partake in the
    discussion. It might help someone.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Well maybe that would be too heavy and focus too much on the symptoms rather than the cause. Although they can both influence each other. Like a vicious circle. They just need help finding better ways to express themselves so they can contribute.

    • sylvester Says:

      just one thing piqued my interest here , the bit that i didnt expect to see , which was hte problem of sex? i think the only problem we encounter with sex generally is hte lack thereoff , or perhaps that is only my limited experiance.. its rele late i should probly be aslp instead of posting here, but i thought id just mention this, does anyuone have anything they care to share?

  52. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, lack of sex can be a problem attributed to not being able to express yourself, your natural desires, for whatever individual reasons. And heavy masturbation can temporarily reduce one’s cognitive abilities and make them feel depressed, in my experience. Also when you do find an attractive mate and they go through the robotic motions of undressing etc, because of your higher consciousness you may even find their lower animal pleasure moaning just a disingenuous attempt to appease you. The next day, as they hold you so tightly, as if you were the next best thing since sliced bread, you look at them strange, and they look back at you with a pitiful, innocent look as if to say: “There has been a disconnect ?” These types of problems can spin into one’s mind without stop.

    Love can change a man forever.
    Love can be over, but not the man.
    No love, no hate.

  53. Ken Says:

    I can speak to the social and sexual issues you guys are talking about.

    People like us are almost obsessed with precision. It’s a blessing in certain analytical fields to be extremely nuanced in what you think and say, but it’s a curse–a malfunction really–in social situations.

    People like us have a tendency to want to explain everything all at once, and be perfectly precise, and preferably accurate as well, but the precision is what kills us.

    The malfunction is that we’re unable to switch contexts. In a social context precision and accuracy matter very little. Other things like affect matter much more.

    Here’s a silly example. You want a slushy, and you want it red. You’re a robot though, and so you can only specify “red” in a precise, numeric way. The human serving you doesn’t get what the numbers would even mean or how they relate to color or flavor at all, so he refers you to the robot employee who speaks Robotese. The robot serving you knows what you want but rejects you without explanation. Oh, you wanted him to explain why? Well, the shop doesn’t carry a slushy that’s the shade of red you specified, plus you didn’t specify other relevant parameters like the ambient lighting which will affect the color. So you ask if they have anything close to what you want, and the robot, if you’re lucky, can find something red in the search space given the lighting, and eventually you get your red slushy.

    On the other hand, you could have just asked for “red flavor” and the dude would have said “Sure, that’ll be $3.39.”

    Don’t be the robot. The shade of red doesn’t matter, just ask for red, and ignore the fact that red isn’t a flavor (I know you were thinking about that, stop it!).

    • sylvester Says:

      its kinda ironic in that sense with the robot example , we know exactly what we want , but we cant tell you. i agree that in social context we tend to be way to bothered about precision instead of the more important parameters such as the flirtatious gesture of the beautiful person next to you, how the fact that the drunk will still say his whiskey is the most potent alcohol on the planet, despite u telling him you can distill it better.

      as to Claude
      i haven t had sexual experiences yet however, i do believe that ive had a few intimate moments where that disconnect was not an issue but the precision factor was, major buzz kill. as for this issue i have nothing to offer much , but im all open to your suggestions , experiences and ideas as to why the way we are in regards to intimate relationships… hopefully quickly , because i may have an opportunity to put such knowledge to good use this weekend 🙂

  54. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, nailed it. There is a need to downgrade our precision abilities for the purpose of expressing our desires in a social context. Or, to put it in another way, to use our precise ability to find the common denominator which will facilitate our purpose.

    To Sylvester, I will try to find more examples and elaborate on the subject. At the moment though, I am working on a musical project on my other computers.
    I’ll be back.

  55. Anonymous Says:

    The precision factor precedes the disconnect. Or as you like to call it, the buzz kill. Either it is your precision that turns them off or their lack of sensitivity and appreciation that turns you off, the end result is the same. Coming back to my earlier example, if I hadn’t been so precisely focused on the way she moved, breathed and even sounded, I wouldn’t have had to disconnect and imagine a different more enjoyable scenario with a previous partner. Perhaps it was that time of the month. I don’t know which shade of red it was because the ambient lighting was too low. (He he…)
    But in all seriousness, none of my intimate experiences have ever been the same since my first love. And I think we are the way we are in regards to relationships because of our great ability to feel. It is that sensitivity that makes a magnified impression in our minds that we are unable to shake because of our great memory. At the moment I do not have other examples to share, but I’m sure they will come to the surface as others start to share theirs.

    • Anonymous Says:

      If you look at my icon, avatar, whatever you want to call it, there are four dots in the center. I am the fourth of five kids… And blue green was my favorite color as a child. Another revelation !

      • Anonymous Says:

        You may explain this as randomness. But there is nothing random about our paradoxical nature. Life is an illusion, and it makes its biggest impression on those who have highly developed senses.

  56. Anonymous Says:

    It would prolly be best to ignore some of my comments, for if you fixate on them too long, you might start to develop guano vision.

    To Sylvester, were you able to distill some of the knowledge I shared, further ? And make good use of it ? Sorry about the bloody example, that wouldn’t be a good thing to distill.

  57. sylvester Says:

    to say the least what i did learn here did come in handy this weekend, enabling me to enjoy much more female companionship than anticipated but not to the extent i had quiet hoped , but prospects are looking up quiet a bit. whoever thinks genius abilities are useless in social circumstances obviously never tried to learn how to dance in 10 minutes in order not to loose a prospective partner ( then again necessity is a cruel and horrible slaver driver ). somehow i managed to convince them that i was just a poor dancer and not a complete n00b . to say the least my companions were surprised when they learnt :)…

    btw i am from the Caribbean so our style of dancing has a few different elements to it , for example u cannot simple go through the motions , because all the dances are a rhythm established by you and your partner , sure there are a few basic moves but each move is done at different paces , and all are very short and thrown in randomly so you need to react quickly and learn to adapt to your partner very quickly. the other major difference is nearly all the dances are body to body contact all of them very intimate. basically its an acquired skill that takes quite some time to develop.

    what i am getting at is that yes we can use your intellect to be advantageous in social situations , but all we have to do is leave behind the vast knowledge base we tend to lug around. thus far ive managed a fair measure of social success via that method. Another thing is dont be afraid to act stupid sometimes , we dont always have to be right , sometimes its more fun to carry on being wrong.

    hmmmm i seem to have gone on another rant havent i? perhaps i should write these comments when i am in a reasonable state of well being.

  58. Anonymous Says:

    Ah yes, dancing ! The vertical interpretation of a horizontal desire. Females love to move and to be moved. The trick is to find a way to dance with them in a room alone without clothes on. Or at the very least with your pants down. (you can keep your shirt on, if you want).

    We do have to leave behind our vast knowledge base and only show short glimpses of it, if they inquire, so as to keep a sense of mystery about ourselves to keep them interested. An important thing when talking to a prospective partner I find, is not to seek to be understood as much as to understand. By listening to and repeating what they say, but in your own words, you give them psychological oxygen which enables them to feel more confident and trusting towards you. Then with a little gentle coaxing they can become like putty in your hands. However you must be careful not to squeeze the putty too hard, because in other words they have sensitive nipples. It must be genuine and mutual. Not tricked or forced.

    I am glad that you were able to derive something from what I shared. I think that sex and love should be experienced by everyone at least once in your life. So as to better understand one’s own nature. Experience can teach you things that words cannot do justice to. Some of the greatest things in life can only be felt.

  59. sylvester Says:

    thank you cluade for all you have done thus , far and to everyone else who posts here, your words have helped me improve my life to such a vast degree i am greatly disturbed to consider what life would have been like at present without your words of advise support and encouragement. i believe that i am currently on track to developing healthy social relationships on multiple levels.

    i do have a question to pose though, because of prior experience my nature was to hide the vast majority of my capabilities ( both mental and otherwise) however with recent events unfolding i have felt that compulsion dissipate rather abruptly. the resulting release to state mild was a euphoric experience. i believe it is this defining factor that has lead to my recent social successes. so the question is doe anyone else here primarily suppresses their abilities for the sake of not attracting unwanted attention?

    i know you have talked about this previously ken , but that was on a purely intellectual level. this time i am referring to intellectual , emotional and physical. thus far Ive noticed our learning curve makes us fairly adept at physical activities with little practice. the emotional turmoil each one of u experiences will probably be unique , but perhaps there are common underlying coping technique we utilize than we can refine. if nothing else this makes for a fine Saturday night rant over a pint! or wiskey if u prefer

  60. Anonymous Says:

    “your words have helped me improve my life to such a vast degree i am greatly disturbed to consider what life would have been like at present without your words”…
    Awe man ! Have you any idea how that sounds ? I mean I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m a bit naive and absent minded sometimes, but are you really serious ? If so how exactly have my words changed your life, and how do you think your life would be like at the present without them ? I hope you’re not exaggerating. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll gladly take the compliment…

    As far as whiskey, I’d prefer heroin, but unfortunately I’ve never tried it. However I do have my limits, I’m leaning more towards natural psychedelics that don’t hurt your body and only change your perceptions like mild shrooms or perhaps Dimethyltryptamine. Again I don’t have any experience but I’ve talked to somewhat intelligent people who tried it many times and seem just fine. I hear that it can change your life. It erases your emotional garbage and opens up your mind so that you feel more connected to your environment (people, animals, nature etc…) But I don’t know I’m still debating. Has anybody here tried natural psychedelics ?

    As far as drinking, beer and wine are the strongest alcohol I take. I never drink to get piss drunk anymore like when I was younger, just enough to maintain a little buzz. It makes me feel poetic. However one day I will probubbly stop that too.

    I guess I have gotten in the habit of suppressing my abilities for the sake of not attracting unwanted attention. For example when I turn my guitar amp full on with distortion, delay, reverb etc, a bunch of neighbor kids gather across the street on the sidewalk and hang out there until I’m done, smoking their nauseating cigarettes. So I’ve gotten in the habit of shutting my windows and putting on my headphones. I have no desire to socialize with a bunch of kids who should be spending time practicing an instrument or learning something interesting. Plus every time I cross paths with them, they all stare at me like they’ve just seen a holy ghost. It’s very awkward.

    As far as emotional turmoil, I find the best therapy is to channel those strong energies into creating a piece of music, art, literature or even gardening. Mother nature is very soothing. I think that some people are subjected to turmoil, especially early, because they were created strong enough to turn it around and make something much bigger out of it. Bigger than themselves.

    • sylvester Says:

      i was referring to everyone here over the course of a year or so since i discovered this blog(and not anyone in particular).

      natural highs? adrenaline rush is very refreshing. breathing in till u get light headed kinda fun. the biggest high for me though tends to be engaging in mischievous endeavor and succeeding undetected. I only ever bother to drink socially , and not to much because it takes vastly to much alcohol to get me drunk for not much of a benefit either.

      i am guessing you aren’t in your late teens or early 20s like i am, but the question is why should fun and creativity go away with youth? after all the come hand in hand and are one of our greatest assets.

  61. Anonymous Says:

    That’s funny, I received an e-mail not too long ago from a friend who suggested that I should breathe in until I get light headed, that it would give me
    an adrenaline rush and if that didn’t work, that I should go buy some whiskey. Those are the exact words he used. I was wondering why you kept bringing up the whiskey thing a couple of posts back.

    So you’re a hacker. Let me get this straight, you got my IP address which was logged at the time of my replys. You then proceeded to invade my privacy with your hack tools (doesn’t take a genius) because you are interested in people like me, whose IQ are above average geniuses. You even got the passwords to my
    e-mails with a key-logger?, hence the specific words you used, only to admit in the following sentence that you get a thrill in engaging in mischievous
    endeavor and succeeding undetected.

    You will not find anything interesting on this computer or in my e-mails. Fun and creativity does not go away with youth. I keep my creative digital work stored on my powerful non internet computer, and you will never profit from it.

    It is stupid people like you who drive people like me to become recluses. You have no respect or dignity. You are immature and childish. Invasion of privacy is pure monkey behavior, akin to lying and cheating. Those are not genius qualities. Genius is kind, respectful and despises anything associated with deceptive behavior. There is a difference in the shade of red. Just ask Bobby Fisher or William James Sidis. You will never know what it’s like. People like you should have both their knees blown off by shotgun and as you lay there bleeding to death, should be finished by cutting your head off slowly with rusty blade. I don’t care how many identities you hide under with your stupid fucking gay eye patch from the Caribbeans, I’ve been fighting your kind my whole life. You are nothing but a stupid intellectual, that’s all you are. I piss on your mother’s grave and I wipe my stinky asshole on your wife’s tongue.

    • sylvester Says:

      you have completely lost me here?? hacking is one of the skills i have never acquired 1 , 2 it is common knowledge you can get high from breathing in alot, 3 you read that wrong , cuz i said get an adrenaline rush if that doesn’t work try breathing in till you get light headed (CO2 deprivation rush), 4 if you read comments before you would have realized i was on a slight drinking spree ( in celebration of my sisters wedding among other things), 5 prankster by nature is fun im fairly sure im not the only one here who enjoys pulling random pranks on unsuspecting individuals. if you believe you have been hacked how cant you be sure its some random hacker on the internet or so forth. this is you being overly suspicious i believe.

      I realize you may believe that this is ken speaking , but i am a completely separate individual , Ken i believe is from somewhere in the USA i am from a Caribbean nation, which is why i can make the comparisons between first world and third world nations.

      as Ken stated please keep this civil as i honestly dont care about making a profit of your creativity. i have little to no interest in you arts , im training to be an engineer ( mechanical ) im gonna do physical machine designs , not digital arts.

      so if you think you have been hacked i do advise you seek the real source of your problems , else please keep your accusation civil.

    • James Says:

      Claude I haven’t spoken to you yet as i am new to this blog. I would like to know some of your past experiences with people trying to take advantage of your potential as I didn’t live through such ordeals or situations. Please if I may say… If you want proof of me being who I am/James I would gladly share my email adress with you as to have further communication. That is only if you are still reading this blog since I suppose after this incident or maybe misunderstanding I doubt you would enjoy still posting on this blog.

  62. Ken Says:

    That’s a mighty big leap you made there Mr. Zegwa. Did you forget to take your meds last night, or what?

    The really bad part is that you didn’t keep it civil. Keep it civil from now on, or you won’t be welcome to post here any longer.

  63. Allie Says:

    “to young persons interested in learning, but they can be so resistant to creative minds. It has been a painful experience for me. Albeit one that has allowed me to discover about my nature”

    I just came across this blog and I only got to reading some of the comments and blog posts, but I find it very inspirational.

    I just graduated from undergrad and I at this exact point in my life right now….I discovered my nature as a direct result of the last four years of my life (in a nut shell.)

    I’ve been thinking about creating a website for bona fide creative minds. Different pages for each topic. I.e., politics, philosophy, math, science. Everyone can post their ideas, opinions, thoughts…etc.

  64. Allie Says:

    “Worst case scenario, slog through your classes doing the minimum to keep a B average. Meanwhile, pursue your passions. Do something monumentally difficult — bonus points if it looks good on a college application.”

    Just came across this, and that’s exactly what I did. It’s like my mind is having an orgasm reading my thoughts written out so flawlessly by others.

    This brings me to one of my big ideas/projects I’ve been thinking about for a very long time…..

    How should we change the education system?

    I actually had a professor once tell me that the difference between an A paper and a B paper is that a B paper understands that matieral while the A paper adds to it. She told me she gave me a B becuase my paper was “all the A” but TOO CREATIVE! Do you believe that? It made her question whether or not I fully understood the material.

    • Ken Says:

      IF you want to change the education system, you need to understand the systemic forces keeping it the way it is. It’s broken if you think the goal of it is to educate people, but it very much works if you get what it’s really all about. Look at the vested interests, look at all the players (students, teachers, admins, employers, society as a whole). Make your goal for the “new” system clear, and figure out a way to make that viable, while also addressing the hidden needs of the constituents that are being served right now.

  65. Allie Says:

    I studied political science…I understand the systemic forces a little more than my liking.

    I’ve drafted so many proposals and threw them away. The unions are a huge issue as well.

    I think the bridge between math and english should be taught at an early age though. Also, attention should be paid to the different methods of learning: interpersonal, intrapersonal, bodily-kinesthetic, linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, naturalistic, and spatial-visual

    • sylvester Says:

      can u give us a bit more details on your draft? perhaps we can help u smoothen it out so we can all have something to work with…

      i think the main issues we would have to address with a reform is political correctness, in the american school system i can plainly see that it is set in such a way so that everyone can perform well, however to quote the impossibles , ” if everyone is special , then no one will be !”. the problem we would have to address is parents or peers putting pressure on children who are under performing in certain areas ( or seem to be that way).this way can create the full spectrum and allow children room for improvement. however it must not be done to such the extreme where only the extremely gifted talented and genius can succeed.

      im beginning to see your frustrations.. but mite i suggest shifting focus on bettering the system as a whole and just fix the broken parts. perhaps separate schools for extraordinarily gifted students , where the regular rules and guidelines for the most part do not apply, in that way children as such can be allowed to maximize their usage of their potential…

      i also hope u will elaborate on your different methods of learning a bit more i am intrigued..

  66. jamie hamilton Says:

    Hi

    So did this genius group come to fruition? I would be interested to learn more about it.

    Cheers

  67. somewhereovrtherainbow Says:

    Still doing a bunch research…I’ve been inspired by a few books I read, like More Than Just Race (William Wilson) and I’m reading Burroughs’ My Education now, as well as Sigmund Freud’s On Creativity and the Unconscious.

    I will definitely do some research into the Summer Hill and the existentialist education movement in general.

    I will keep you all posted with my progress, it would be nice to have some support 🙂

    I have a question though…

    A month or so ago I was at some party in the lower east side and at the after party I spoke with this girl who told me ‘about my nature’ if you will…and it was a completely new concept to me.

    Do you really think that it’s rare to be extremely curious about everything? extreme passionate, compassionate, and want to know the truth about everything? I don’t know if I can accept the fact that this is rare…

  68. David Says:

    Hi,

    I know this is an unusual place to reach out to but I’m hoping that someone reading the comments can help me.

    In the recent months that have passed over I have started becoming more detached from society and the people around me. It’s not that I don’t like people, infact I’m a fairly sociable person. It’s just that I’m finding it hard to connect with people and be on the same level. A few months ago I had an intuitive feel that ‘something wasn’t right’ about society so I started following my senses until I broke everything down and developed a cognition of what I believe is really happening.

    In the end I found that people were becoming more and more influenced away from they’re biological nature (the causality of this is enormous)

    and now that I am free from this way of being and thinking I have started to see the world differently. I have noticed that ALL of my relatives, friends and acquaintances have been influenced and I feel like I am alone in my thinking.

    I perceive and view the world pragmatically and factually (yet no one around me does) and now I feel as if I’m stuck in a world full of moronic and immature people. I guess what I am asking is how would someone like myself go about finding and connecting with other like minded people in real life like myself?

    • sylvester Says:

      reaching out is part of what this was created for and the fact that you found it , more than likely means ur genuine in your feelings..

      i cannot speak for the others but i can suggest that all of us here feel the same way in feeling alone in our thinking and being surrounded by persons who cannot comprehend what we do …

      To be direct and honest with you all of us here have had great difficulty in finding ppl we can connect with on such an intellectual level in real life thats half the reason you found this blog , because you probly typed in the keywords lonely genius or something of the sort… i suggest you read through the postings ( i know its quite a bit but you may be pleasently suprised by the thoughts you may share , ideas you discover and emotions you can relate to, its not much but its a palce to start..


    • You’re surely not alone in your sense of alienation. I ended up finding this forum because it came up in search results when I was looking for the essays of Grady Towers, which discuss his ruminations on the unique problems of the cognitively gifted. The still resonate.

      See: The Empty Promise

      http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/grady/emptypromise.html

      And: The Outsiders

      http://www.prometheussociety.org/articles/Outsiders.html

      Yes they are dated, but the theme persists and remains relevant. My own suspicion is that the problem is exacerbated by the politics around education and how individual differences tend to be either overly exaggerated or overly minimized. Simply understanding these differences in realistic perspective seems to still elude our grasp.

    • James Says:

      The fact that you see outside of society is great. How old are you im 17. I had the same scenario as you when i was 14 years old. I hope we can share our thoughts in a near future and I’d really like more details on when you started changing your view of the world around you. If you could please tell me I’d be much grateful.

    • em Says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your post, I can strongly relate with your situation. I too have recently, rather intuitively shut down many connections with people and networks that I now just find inhibit me. I don’t agree with the way society functions, I never have but it’s only more recently that I have been enabled to detach more so. Whilst I enjoy my own company more I do now have strong sense of isolation. Can I ask, where abouts are you based?


  69. I’m interested in knowing the requirements for membership (or consideration) of the ‘creative collective’ you mention. The idea of an open arena to discuss meaningful and mundane matters alike sounds like … home.

    • Ken Says:

      Right now it’s not really accepting new members, we’re going through a platform transition. But it is nice. Check back with me in a couple months!

  70. James Says:

    Hi! Your ideas are enticing. One thing I’d like to know is if the site is already available. Another thing I’d like to add is the fact im 17… Well i can think at your level to a certain extent and i’m really interested in what we can share. I haven’t read all the earlier posts since theres too many but.. I hope mine gets a notice from your part so you can answer my questions about how when and where concerning ur future plans.

    • James Says:

      Hmm as for the posts I’ve finished reading them. I feel like the people on this blog can understand me even better than my own family ever will and I am happy to have found out other people who share the same insecurites as to society and people in general. Plus, the ideas discussed in here are thrilling thanks to your abilities everyone. Just one thing… Anonymous or Claude I would really enjoy hearing more from you since you have a lot of life experience concerning the difficulties someone like us will have to face throughout life…. I would like to be filled though on the one you call pete since i haven’t seen any posts from his part, is he the founder of this website/blog? My last point would be to know if this blog is still active since it’s been 3 years or so since the start of the comments. I look forward to sharing and receiving from humans who think alike…

      • Ken Says:

        Hi James, thanks for reading. The blog is pretty much never updated anymore, but discussion still goes on here frequently.

        I’m a semi-anonymous, I go by either Ken or Pete.

        To answer your question, in the many years following my original post here, I have found that it’s fruitless to find a single person to fill every intellectual need. The fact is that almost any interest you have has a vibrant community out there that can challenge you with respect to that specific interest.

        The other fact is that you will never be happy if you focus on yourself. Instead, focus on what you can do to help other people. How can you help other people lead fuller, happier lives? When you answer that, and keep answering it, you will be satisfied.

        • James Says:

          Thank you for your reply. Yes about what you said my father told me exactly the same words. Though I try to help others in a non-arrogant way from their point of view but it’s quite hard since you somewhat refrain from using your natural abilities… For me having to act against people in a way gives me challenges to test out my abilities. Most of the time i do it in a friendly and slight way as to not affect the people around me. Even if the website or community won’t become I appreciated reading the posts and answering some of them throughout this blog. The thing is it’s rather interesting and that is what makes me want to share more with people in this blog.

          Could you give me some examples about how it worked out in your life. As for me I was mostly uncessful with my family to the fact i disagree with them and the fact they are the stubborn type with a big ego and a lot of pride.


  71. Ive found the most frustrating thing isnt so much finding good company, its dealing with people. Ive found the easiest thing is to not open myself up completely because letting everyone in on your “plans” and “ideas” before you “do” them just gets uncomfortable to say the least. It can create the feeling that one should doubt themselves because people dont readily believe. However, another characteristic that must be developed, and one that I hold dear, is the firm belief that Ive just got to do whatever it is Ive set myself to doing. Not just that, “I can do it,” ideal but the feeling of purpose for not for self gain, but for the universe to be balance.

  72. Leo Says:

    Ken, are you accepting new members at this time? I would also be very interested to hear your freedom strategy, if it is replicable. If so please let me know. Many thanks,

  73. rob stone Says:

    How do you cope being a genius?i hate it.ive been told on many occasions im on a different level.my mind is very unique.i had depression for yrs and yrs and then one day i erased the negativity and my mind is extremely powerful.its a curse.people see me as a threat,ie work colleagues friends.so i dont let knowone in coz i find it hard to be normal.everyone in my eyes are flawed. Cheerio

    • Sylvester Says:

      the only way ive found to cope , is to find other minds of similar caliber , OR apply yourself to a task which uses the full depth and capacity of your mind in the presence of another person who can at least acknowledged what you do for them. Its a bit egotistical , but i think feeling proud in yourself and your accomplishments is a much better state of mind than being lonely.

      people will always see us as a threat, to know that they cannot comprehend us no matter how hard we try , and the act of us trying to make them comprehend comes of as condescending , no matter how genuine the attempt. Just find your own purpose sometimes and move forward , look for companionship and love and try to enjoy the human experience.

  74. Sabrina Says:

    A collective group of genius individuals would only be functional if there truly was a goal, or some kind of statement of purpose. This is due to the fact that all geniuses, while sharing in common the ability to imagine and rationalize far beyond the potential of a normal human being, are all different people with different skill sets, experiences, and ambitions. Where my genius is most prominent in artwork, or the ability to communicate (which is important as a genius; the inability to communicate with the general public is the main reason geniuses get lonely so often.) someone else’s may be in the realm of math and sciences, and due to the fact that we geniuses are often narcissistic, we see others who are not like us as inferior. With a goal, the artistic genius would collaborate with the mathematical genius and the philosophical genius to fulfill a purpose. Still, I won’t attempt to disguise how wonderful it would be to have such a group. I connect far too well with Thomas Gray when he said that ignorance is bliss. Far too often, wisdom is torture, especially when you are alone in it. Nevertheless, we are cogs in a machine and we cannot stop working for it when we are often the most important pieces. I realize that this blog is rather stagnant nowadays, but there is no hurt in leaving a comment, so thank you for having this blog that allows me this comment box. Thank you, and breathe easy.

    • Sylvester Says:

      think of the group as a small group on facebook, their common interest is the only thing that may bind them, and if your common interest is simply to be able to speak freely , then you can either have the group falling apart , as you stated, or provided the level of interaction is sufficiently high , the group can coalesce. I dont think we need someone to explicitly state a goal , we find , impose and peruse or own so many so freely. From what ive understood though , is the greatest issue we have had is finding companionship, because while we may be able to find partners we can bond to emotional and physically , a mental bond is severely strained ( from my own limited experience, maybe im doing it wrong). So then the q is would the group be a dating site of sorts , the answer is i dont think so. I think the group should be considered more of a community, and in that regards i think a virtual community is all we require, a physical one would be vastly superior experience , but its highly unlikely to ever occur without substantial effort beforehand.

  75. herzfeuer Says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for this blog and for sharing your life! I have indeed been feeling the lonely genius increasingly. Thankfully, I was placed into a gifted education programme when I was 10 years old, so I’ve not been without intellectual companionship for too long. But since graduating from the programme, I’ve felt that I needed a longer term solution with an intellectual community that is committed specifically to building relationships. (I understand from the post that ‘genius’ generally referred to the creative-arty sort, but my genius manifests more as the creative-intellectual sort.)

    I think when it comes to an admission criterion or ‘test’, an IQ test probably shouldn’t be used. I think there were many people even in the gifted education programme that I was in who weren’t a good fit despite having passed the IQ test that the programme used for admission. Perhaps something more like a questionnaire and/or interview would be better. For instance, in the application form, the applicant would be asked to describe his/her area of genius and how it manifests, either through a series of questions and/or an essay/portfolio/sample that demonstrates it. For the follow-up interview, interviewers whose genius are in the same areas would be chosen, and they would interview the candidate according to what they are looking for. For instance, in looking for creative-arty genius, the interviewers might ask more about the candidate’s inspiration, ideas, passions and how he/she thinks. In looking for creative-intellectual genius, the interviewers might engage in a debate with the candidate (e.g. about some philosophical/political or other issue) and judge from his/her responses if he/she really demonstrates the intellectual courage and acumen that should be common among intellectual geniuses.

    The problems with this model would be 1) that categorisation of types of genius may be rather arbitrary and 2) that “inbreeding” in terms of ideas would occur, in that potentially insecure interviewers would select only those who’re similar to them, leading to an exclusive and very homogeneous group, which, in my opinion, would not be healthy. [However, with regard to the latter problem, my experience in the gifted education programme seems to indicate that intellectual geniuses tend to tolerate people who are very different from them much more easily. I feel that growing up in an environment where everyone was “odd” made us secure about being different and therefore more accepting of difference, and I think my friends and I are actually a LOT more accepting of people of average IQ who’re different/”odd” than others who also have average IQ. So I don’t think problem (2) will necessarily occur.]

    Just my 2 cents. Would appreciate it if you let me know what you think. I haven’t read through the other comments to the post yet, so I apologise if someone else might have suggested something similar… in which case, you could just copy and paste your reply here.

    Also, if you happen to know about a ‘genius collective’ like that mentioned in the post but tailored to the more intellectual type, could you let me know how I can get in touch with them?

    Thank you for reading my long post!

    • e Says:

      Hi Herzfeuer,

      Similarly to you, I am an intellectual-creative, however my education wasn’t as supportive for my individual needs, (I fell through the loop a bit!) and socially has left me at a bit of a loss(!) Although, as I’m sure you find too, I can happily make conversation and enjoy the company of many, I would love to find more like minded individuals, with whom I could bounce ideas and questions off of.. If you are looking to make connections with potentially like minded folk, or similarly know of other collectives, I would be interested to converse with you further.

      best,

      e

  76. Jason Says:

    pathofbalance.com/org (still in beta) prologue animation in production, and other aspects in differing stages of development, but the core foundation is in the diagrams at these two sites.

    I agree with the inherent dysfunctional of a genius club in the normal paradigm of a club. For most of the reasons already outlined, lack of common interests, and the sparsity of genius to reach the critical mass required to have the level interchange to make a club viable. I think the solution to what is being desired here is perhaps one that is not just a genius club but something much more universal in it’s meaning and purpose. A platform of understanding the universe and our existence that was accessible, understandable, and practical for all people could serve to be a nexus not just for genius but for all people. May I suggest it could be part of something that I have been working on for about 10 years now and still working. There is a working meaning to the universe, sets of bound universal patterns that apply to all things micro and macro. As such it also applies to all of human interchange. Part of my loneliness is coming from a view of inherently understanding these things as just part of my natural self without much effort and confronting a world that seems to be almost completely devoid of the smallest glimpse of what I see written blatantly everywhere. It’s been a challenge in my understanding why this is the case with humanity, only the great scientist, thinker, artist. and such had an understanding of the bigger picture. Most of these however did not put it into a work to generate a more broad and universal understanding among society. What is exceedingly frustrating for me is the truth of our universe is not complicated or hard to understand and has been written everywhere and before our species even came to be. So I’m in general annoyed by most all philosophers who try to invent shit and put their name on it. And as time prove me right most of these philosophies came and went as time judged them to be false or incomplete. I think humanity is at the brink of being forced to grow up and to be enlightened by many factors with technology leading the way. So what am I talking about, well that’s always the challenge, truth is like a fractal, all connected, but how hard to start to describe something that has so many facets of interconnectedness. I started by writing a book, hated telling a narrative which ultimately is my minds linear story that travels a vector that may not be how someone else travels to the same understanding. So I scrapped the book and came up with a novel idea of a mindless book of diagrams that can be freely arranged and compiled and studied in what ever order come intuitively. But that is just a part of a much bigger project. The card themselves will have an Open Source mechanism to where the work can travel through time in a dynamic fashion being improved by the collective and remain a current descriptive work of Humanities understanding of everything. I can’t wait to see the greatest minds of the world over decade work on what is now just the seeds and see it evolve, and into holograms and fully interactive “manual of being and the cosmos” But in the meantime there are countless challenges for this project and hindrances for the idea being discussed here for a genius club. Reality is is a genius is a deviation from the average. And my genius of today make me an average person centuries from now. The point being the real challenge is the collective desire of the center need to move away from pop culture and pointless bullshit of politics, etc. into a desire of creating and understanding the marvels of our cosmos and emulating that within our own lives. “Mediocrity is self inflicted, Genius is self bestowed” W. Russell


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