Thursday, May 21, 2015

Going for MENSA

A Typical IQ Bell Curve
So, not too long ago, I was messing around on YouTube and I stumbled onto a video called 10 people with the Highest IQs in History. Nothing particularly surprising there, Einstein, Leonardo Di Vinci, etc.

Out of curiosity though, after finishing the video I decided to check out the entrance requirements for Mensa, an international organization for the people whose intelligence is in the top 2% on the planet. While I was thinking that that would be somewhere around Einstein's level, (around 160), I was surprised to find out that it is only around 130. This was surprising to me because I had scored into the 120s before myself, and I didn't know that that constituted such a high level of intelligence. 

A few years ago, while working at a friend's company to develop a better process for screening employees, I suggested EQ testing,  and then to get a feel for the test, I ran myself through an online IQ and EQ test. On the IQ test, I outscored 87% of everyone who had ever taken the test, and for EQ, I outscored 93%.  At time though, because it was just an online test and not officially administered, I didn't think much of it. 

After seeing what the IQ scale was though, I went back and asked my mother if I had ever scored over 115 as a kid (the top 14% of world average) and she said, "Oh no, Chuckie you were way higher than that. But I don't remember what the actual score was."

From there, I thought it best to take another round of tests online to see how I did. Sure enough, except for on one test, I could score into the 120's, and was generally ranked as having "Very Superior Intelligence". 

If that's the case, then it explains a lot. When I was younger, I often had a hard time relating to people because I was expecting them to make intellectual jumps and grasp concepts that they just couldn't. (Like for example when I would try to talk to people about books I was reading on Quantum Physics and how the concepts relate to psychology and philosophy).

 It also explains why I've always had at least 3-4 completely different jobs at once, why I've always studied multiple foreign languages at once, and why I can study for 12 hours straight, and love every second of it. That's simply what it takes to keep me from getting bored.

It also explains, why, for the life of me, I could never find satisfaction in doing a regular job. For the longest time, I thought I had ADD or something, because I just couldn't stay focused on it. What I realized however, was that the issue was that most jobs just didn't require enough brainpower for me to hold my attention. Doing regular jobs was like trying to stay focused watching paint dry. 

As I found out when producing Fists of Absinthe, what I am good at is being a leader, not a follower. In order to stay focused, I need to be at the healm of things that are extremely difficult to do, and/or that haven't been done at all. (Which also explains my career as Japan's first foreign action guy). Additionally, in general, I have a really hard time working in pre-fabricated systems, because I always feel as though I could make a better one myself. 

Anyway, looking at my last score, (121) I am still 3 points short of ranking into the top 5% globally, and 9 points away from being smart enough to pass Mensa's entrance exam. 

3 points isn't so insurmountable of a gap... But 9 is still fairly large. And that is exactly why I want to go for it. I want to see if it can be done.

If the human mind is as flexible and adaptable as the human body is (and I'm going to assume that it is - or even more so), than I see no reason why I can't simply raise my own intelligence. If the body can respond to a strength training regiment, why not the mind? If muscles can be stretched, shaped and densified for exacting purposes, why not the brain?

The prospect of the challenge of figuring out exactly how to do that is extremely exciting to say the least.

If nothing else, all the things I learn from the process I will be able to pass along to my son, Ty, in how I raise him and challenge him, so that by the time he reaches adulthood, his intelligence, aptitude, and reasoning skill will be far beyond my own. Particularly since he's got the same kind of genes from his mother- who is the same way I am. 

Thus far, it has taken me 5 tries on the Mensa practice exam to achieve a score of 86%. (Which I am assuming is passing). As such, I am giving myself 6 tries (once a month for half a year) to pass the exam. 4 tries to figure it out, and 2 to try and pass it. If I do get in, I'm certainly not expecting to be the smartest guy (or person, I should say) in the organization. Quite conversely, intellectually, I will be at "the bottom of the barrel". At least in terms of the particular range of intelligences that IQ scores on.

... But I am hoping to be one of the most likable :). 

Will post my mental training regiment as soon as I finish mapping it all out.


Stanley Workman said...

Imagine a city where every home had on it's front lawn a piece of sculpture or an art installation.

Imagine a city where each and every business invited artists to exhibit their work to the company's patrons.

Imagine a city where instead of gifting clothing, electronics, chocolate, or cash, a work of art was given, and appreciated.

Imagine a city where each and every home housed and preserved an art collection. Where insecurities over self-interests were dispensed with, and collections reflected those varied tastes.

Imagine a city where glass, pottery, painting, photography. fibers, basketry, and even graffiti were embraced. Where the artists themselves were looked upon as a treasured resource. No matter their perspective.

Imagine a city where any construction project involved multiple artists, in its' execution.

Imagine a city which preserved its' creative heritage and embraced it.

Imagine a city which understood, that capturing a slice of life had merit. But to alter a communities perspective to embrace all thought and belief, strengthened it, not weakened it.

Imagine a city which led the World in cultural munificence which would then reap the reward of becoming a global mecca.

Imagine a city which could step outside of what others were doing could walk the path of its' own making.

Imagine a city where meetings to enact such change, needn't take place. Rather a spontaneous change came from its' citizenry itself.

Imagine a city which artists flocked to; enabling them to create without fear of censorship or derision.

Imagine a city not dependent upon their museums or art schools for their lead in any discussions of artistic merit, but rather the career artists themselves.

I have imagined this city since childhood, as have most of my colleagues. Instead we've swum through muck, hoping such change would miraculously happen without distracting us from our labors. Or moved to the closest metropolis which appeared poised to take the plunge.

Cleveland, like most cities, while not a blank canvas; is one, where the image it sports has faded beyond restoration. The time to paint over it has come. Shiny new unaesthetic buildings, are simply masking the rot.

Marc Breed, Fine Artist

"In the distant future, when America is a mere shadow of itself, who historically, shall be remembered? In sports, an argument can be made for Ruth, Chamberlain, Gretzky, Ali, et al. In Art, there is but one name, Breed."

-Smithsonian Magazine

Bukunmi Adewumi said...

I personally used to think about IQ tests as overhyped these days. This does not mean IQ test is useless but we too much depend on it especially the citizens of the United States. There are so many things about intelligence, IQ is just a tiny fraction of intelligence. By the way, thanks for the article.