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(December 2000) [Printed in "Reality Module No.19."]

Why I Am Not in Mensa

It is the IQ Test firstly which keeps me away. Not that I am afraid of 'failing' for I've met people stupider than I am who are in Mensa, and in times-past I have done such little tests & scored well enough - in both Maths and Language skills - to show if nothing else a 'balanced' mind.

But now I find such 'challenges' bore me quickly - I tackle only the obvious questions, not pondering, taking a fraction of the time suggested, and still managing a score on the threshold of genius.

I like the adage that "IQ tests only measure your ability to do IQ tests." (Intelligence is more complex than doing sums & recognising patterns & sequences & relationships.)

What I dislike most is the concept of being defined, quantified - told by a test score that my potential is so much and no more. As I stand now unquantified I can imagine my mind captured by some wondrous thought, and soaring high above the mundane world into new realms of enlightenment.

An IQ test can be a weight as well as a measure. As it is - I imagine having a keen mind with hyperdrive.

I had contemplated, in times past, listing a Mensa membership on my Resumé as a way of saying to my would-be employers: "I'm clever, I am. Really clever!" - with only a thimbleful of subtlety. But elitism is a bubble-game for me & I soon grow sick of it. Bored & intensely dissatisfied - like having only rich fare when I want simple food. (I much prefer the notion of having nothing to prove! Genius should be like 'coolness' - those trying too hard to show they're clever, only show a lack of confidence in their abilities. An intellectual Fonzarelli doesn't show off - everyone knows all his lights are on upstairs.)

And intellectual snobs, I do declare, are the third worst kind.

Purely intellectual games don't amuse me much anymore. I dislike the trivial such as playing mental chess when I feel mental powers would be better served in finding creative solutions to real problems. (So I sometimes wonder what became of John Rogers and the 'New Foundation.')

I talk from outside the fold. Intelligent conversations are surely held inside the Mensa citadel. [Some of you can tell me this, I'm sure.] But I am acutely aware from conversations with brainy people, that high intelligence is quite common, but wisdom is as rare as rain in the Sahara.

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Last Updated: 21 June 2020