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November 26, 2008


Quick comparison- what can Obama actually do other than make a speech?

Name anything.

Probably cant do law anymore. Hasnt authored any legislation. Never knew math. Or science.

He can use a Blackberry, but can't do CSS or Java or any programming.

Everyone else on that list can *do* a load of stuff. The Palins probably the most.

HS, just wondering, has your IQ been professionally tested?

150 is too high for Obama. 140 sounds about right. McCain probably scored 133, but IQ tests were a lot easier in his day (the Flynn Effect).

OK, Sigma, you've lured me in: How on God's green Earth did you arrive at a 150 for the critical race theory teacher? No honors from Columbia (a poli-sci major)? No peer-reviewed articles as a law lecturer? A bumbler when responding to g-loaded questions (unlike Biden)? The husband to Michelle? The fan of Jeremiah? The author of the silly "Audacity of Hope"? The gut-loving Harvard student (see his mentor there, Derrick Bell)? The no-author editor of Harvard Law Review? No original ideas?

This guy is a mediocrity and a cipher.

So, where's your evidence? How did a guy who graduated with no distinction from Columbia turn into a genius at Harvard?

Deus ex machina?

[Half Sigma: I didn't graduate with any distinction from Penn. I graduated in the top 10% at ASU law school. The Triple Nine Society psychometrician verified my IQ as being in the top 0.1% of the population based on graduate admissions test scores. Obama also graduated in the top 10% from law school, but at a much better law school, so he's probably somewhat smarter than me.]

Bear in mind that at the Naval Academy, your ranking is comprised not just by your grades but also by your demerits. So you could get the best grades but not be #1 if you were a discipline problem. McCain evidently had a temper.

Now, you might say that higher IQ people might know not to have a temper. But high rank might not be the motivation for these guys. I mean, they've all got a guaranteed job when they graduate...

Next, is graduating top 10% of ASU Law School good for specifying your IQ versus any top 14 law school? Is ASU that competitive? Does it consist of a bunch of people who aren't that smart and a few who are fairly smart but for some reason really wanted to be in Arizona (like their spouse worked in Arizona).

We need leadership. Not necessarily an IQ thing.

Who was the better leader: Spock or Kirk?

I rest my case.

[Half Sigma: Kirk was smart enough to beat Spock at 3D chess. But that was just a stupid TV show. Real military officers aren't that bright. I worked for the Army, I should know.]

"Who was the better leader: Spock or Kirk?"

Who put out the fucking Dork Bait!? Nice work, asshole!

For what its worth, I am not sure you can always estimate IQ from school performance or life chices.

I scored 148 on the Stanford Binet scale as a child but due to behavioral problems--and probably character defects--I was kicked out of private school, a school in which I was purposely failing several classes, including Hebrew classes--when I spoke Hebrew fluently. I have never tried, never had any ambition and never wanted anything, I floated through state school undergrad without doing a lick of work and then went to a state law school, where I also didn't try because I hated it and was getting a free ride from my grandparents. I proceeded to skate by with the most mediocre of grades, even failing a class for attendance in 3rd year. I then was Night Manager at a trendy video store for several years. I didn't take the PA bar until 8 years after law school and passed it based almost entirely on Bar/Bri at that point and STILL never practiced. I am currently a Realtor of all things.

I guess my point is this, there are probably a lot of very screwed up people with high IQs who end up not achieving a thing, there was more likelihood I was going to end up a female Unabomber during my weird reclusive phase before I took the Bar than that I was ever going to end up a successful attorney. If you judged me based on school performance and career choices you would never guess my IQ right.

"Todd Palin: 97. College dropout. But promoted to high-paying foreman position at blue collar oil field job. But then, subtract points for having a pregnant unmarried high school dropout daughter. "

Only about 30% of Americans have a college degree and he makes about a hundred grand a year. He's likely to be in the top teir of college dropouts, which is over 100. In fact, making 100 grand a year is a lot more impressive than most college degrees. You're making way too much of the pregnant teenage daughter.

I'm in college and amazed at the stupidity of my classmates and friends. This website has got me guessing their IQs. I keep reminding myself that only 30% of people ever get degrees so a slightly above average fellow college student on his way to graduating probably has at least 115, even if I wouldn't guess that high for most people that I talk to on campus.

All your estimates are probably too low, except for Obama's, which may be too high.

Just for fun

Obama 140
Half Sigma 140
John McCain 130
Joe Biden 125
Michelle Obama 125
Sarah Palin 115
Todd Palin 110

Posted by: dana | November 26, 2008 at 02:03 PM

Hey Dana, you single?

I think you could be way off on Todd Palin. [Half Sigma: this is possible because I know the least about him.] Maybe he just likes being outside more than sitting in class...doesn't mean he's stupid, since he's managed to do quite well for himself. I bet winning all those snow machine races takes some intelligence as well.

Average person who reads this post: 75

What would your estimate of Obama's IQ be if it turned out that his memoir was ghostwritten?

You may not believe Jack Cashill's theory that Bill Ayers wrote the memoir, but Cashill really does have a strong argument that either Obama or the publisher had a professional re-write the memoir. If so, then the book is not really an indication of Obama having a 150 IQ.


"For what its worth, I am not sure you can always estimate IQ from school performance or life chices.

I scored 148 on the Stanford Binet scale as a child but due to behavioral problems--and probably character defects--I was kicked out of private school, a school in which I was purposely failing several classes, including Hebrew classes--when I spoke Hebrew fluently.

I'm very similar. School was always easy for me but because of depression and behavioral problems I dropped out sophmore year of high school and got my GED. The only thing I can use to give myself a ballpark IQ estimate is a few years later when I wanted to apply to college, took the ACT and got a 28, which according to Wikipedia corresponds to a 1280-1310 on the old SAT, which in turn matches to about a 130 IQ. But that's a really low end estimate, since I never prepared for the test or got much schooling that I paid any attention to.

I ended up going to community college and just worked and drank daily for a few years. I've now transferred to a real school which I'll finally graduate from this year with a close to 4.0 GPA and in six years. My GPA would probably be a perfect 4.0 if I didn't have a habit of interupting all my humanities professors and telling them that HBD has proven all their theories to be bullshit and almost refusing to answer their questions that I think are based on premises which are false or I don't agree with. ("What more do you think that South Africa should do to eliminate inequality between white and black populations?")

If Half Sigma was looking at my record, he'd see a high school drop out, someone who went to community college and took 6 years to graduate. He's probably judge me dumber than Sarah Palin. [Half Sigma: an interest in an egg-headed topic like HBD indicates above average IQ. Sarah Palin, otoh, has no interests which show any intellect. You also don't have a high school dropout pregnant unmarried teenage daughter.]

So grades/test scores/life choices aren't everything and Sigma's discounting the real life success of the Palins is wrong.

Dana's post though makes me wonder if there's a correlation between the high IQ/behavioral problems combo and reading political blogs or having political interests. I'd say probably yes. My dentist strikes me as one of the most intelligent people I know, seems extremly happy and doesn't seem to have anything resembling a political thought in his head.

Reading Dana's post also made me wonder if the high IQ/behavioral problem combo is a Semetic thing, since she speaks Hebrew and I'm from Arab Christian & (I think) Jewish descent. Or maybe it's a function of the high IQ being concentrated in verbal skills whereas races with high IQs most stemming from visual/spatial skills (like the Orientals) are less likely to go off the deep end.

Posted by: Peter | November 26, 2008 at 02:26 PM

Way to drag it down, you drooling imbecile.

I've never taken an IQ test, but those SAT and GRE conversion charts put me a little over 150. Anyway, my feeling is that I could kick BO's ass on any standardized test (LSAT, GMAT, whatever) he would care to choose.

I guess I'm a bit cocky because I've never met a black person who was even close to being as smart as me. Every black professor I've had was completely out of his or her league.

But if IQ's really follow a normal distribution, then there ought to be about 200 black people in the world who are smarter than me. So intellectually I have to concede the possibility that BO is smarter than me.

OK, I'll play:

B. Obama: 120 (heavy case of AA, sounds smarter than he really is)
Half Sigma: 125 (more on the verbal)
McCain: 130 (thirty years ago, now most likely 120)
Biden: 115 (nondescript politico)
M. Obama: 105 (AA queen with a bad temper)
S. Palin: 115 (smart enough to be successful but not bright)
Todd Palin: 110 (smart working class fellow)

Count me as another skeptic of Obama's 150 IQ. He's smart for sure, but doesn't seem like he's a genius. In addition, as other comments point out, his achievements up until getting elected to the Senate were relatively modest if indeed he had such a high score. I'm guessing that he's maybe in the 125 to 135 range. Biden, in contrast, strikes me as the sort of person who comes across (quite likely deliberately) as less intelligent than he really is. Mediocre academic background or not, my suspicion is that he's about as smart as Obama.

Barack Obama - 140

Half Sigma - 135

John McCain - 130

Joe Biden - 120

Sarah Palin - 110

Todd Palin - 105

Half Sigma: 120.

Not dumb, but not brilliant either. Mildly obsessive. Decidedly left-brained. Achieved moderate success in college and law school mostly due to pedestrian intelligence aided by diligent work habits and lack of distractions thanks to his asocial personality. [Half Sigma: actually, I was a bad student in college who got by on my high IQ. There were one or two classes I never even attended except to take the midterms and finals.]

Nothing sounds better right now than a beer with Todd Palin.

My guesses (using ranges):

Barack Obama 125 - 135
Michelle Obama 115 - 125
John McCain 115 - 125 (may be diminished by age)
Siggy: 130 - 140
Biden 125 - 135
Sarah Palin 110 - 120
Todd Palin 105 - 115
me 25 - 30


You underestimate yourself: you are much more intelligent than Obama, as you've offered original thinking on complex issues, whereas Obama--not!

[Half Sigma: original thinking isn't rewarded by society. Obama has much greater wisdom, which he has demonstrated by making safe choices such as Biden for VP, and former Clinton people for his cabinet.]

"Half Sigma: 120.
Not dumb, but not brilliant either."

I don't believe he could have gotten into Penn unless his IQ were somewhat higher than that.

"You also don't have a high school dropout pregnant unmarried teenage daughter."

This is really your worst argument. I think the average IQ between siblings is about 10 points, who are as close genetically as parents are to children.

The average IQ for criminals is about 90. Let's say it's about the same for pregnant teens. Bristol could be slightly above average for a pregnant teen and have an IQ of 95. Her having at least one parent that is 15-20 points higher than that is not unreasonable at all.

Todd Palin's IQ is vitally important folks, just like the IQ of Lynn Cheney or Bush's wife, whateverthefuckhernameis.................

Sigma, you are ruining your blog with posts about Palin's innate intelligence. The vice presidential candidate lost.........along with Juan McCain (who is probably about to lead the charge for the Republicans in the Senate for Amnesty during a recession if Harry Reid is right). Palin will likely never be heard of nationally again unless she runs for the Senate in Alaska. She will not be able to raise enough money to run for president, and I think even she knows that.

If your IQ is 145, and has actually been tested by a legitimate IQ test (online Tickle IQ tests that everybody scores 130 on don't count Sigma), you should be able to figure this out.

We all know you want a MAN of intellect leading the GOP. I dont think your fear of Palin taking the reigns of the GOP is -really- justified. She was merely popular because Juan McCain is such a dreadful point man for this party. It will likely be a Romney or someone of that stature next time round'.

This was once a good blog.............until you got too interested in Sarah Palin. Nobody cares about her now. Barack Hussein Obama is about to be our new president with Harry Reid and Nancy Peolosi leading the congresscritters. Judges that Michelle (flunked the Illinois bar exam) Obama approves of are about to be nominated for Patrick Leahey to review with his buddy Arlen Spector, the biggest RINO on earth. Joe Biden and his mouth are about to be sent all over the earth not to make gaffes at foreign funerals and Hillary Clinton is about to be the new Madelaine Albright......................

There is much to be concerned about, but Sarah Palin, cute as she is, isn't it. Let it go

Here is a much more accurate set of IQ estimates that I'm willing to back up with cold hard cash (see offer below)!

Mercy Vetsel 142
Half Sigma 141
John McCain 133
Obama 130
Sarah Palin 120
Joe Biden 118
Michelle Obama 115

I docked HS for probably taking a score from the higher end of his score distribution! Mercy qualifies for the Triple Nine Society as well but recognizes that due to the fact most people have multiple chances to get a high score, I estimate the average IQ of a TNS-qualified person at 140.

Palin was one of 10% of her class who was in the honor society in her high school class. 10% of the population has an IQ of 119 or higher, but I gave her an extra point for point for being a "bookworm". That's a very trait that's very particular to high IQ people regardless of whether they grow up in the boonies or Manhattan.

HS is completely off his rocker on Palin's IQ. Mercy's SAT score was in the top 10% of the freshman class at Harvard and he got also got accepted at U of Penn, but instead went to a state school where the average SAT score is about 400 points lower.

Big deal. Status-obsessed Manhattanites think attending an Ivy League school is the most important thing in the world. In flyover country, money and status are less important.

Rather than have endless speculative debates over whose subjective impression is correct, I hereby offer HS a bet. $100 says that if hard evidence (SAT, WAIS, etc.) of Palin's IQ surfaces in the next 4 years, that her score is closer to my estimate (120) than it is to HS's absurd estimate (103).


If everybody on the blog is so much smarter than Mrs. Obama, how come she is so much richer, more popular and more powerful? Her last job paid $300,000 ... I'll have to work a long, long time in Academia, stretching my brain to the limit, to get a sixth of that. I probably wouldn't want to be less dumber just to get a high paying job but it's a close call. (Not that I am saying she is dumber. I have no idea.)

"less dumber" [sic]

Vim, I do not maintain that I am more intelligent than Michelle Obama as that implies that the nitwit is nevertheless somewhat intelligent.

Vim, there are a lot of rich nitwits, including sports stars and game show hosts. So what's your point?

"If everybody on the blog is so much smarter than Mrs. Obama, how come she is so much richer, more popular and more powerful?"

I have read that being rich, popular, and powerful are most often the domain of the averagely-endowed (IQ-wise, of course. Not commenting on other areas of endowment.)

I thought I was the most IQ-obsessed person in the world, but H.S. has taken the cake.

Many average-IQ people do great things and many high-IQ people do a lot of sitting around typing non-productively and saying dumb stuff all day (witness me - good estimate from similar tests and record of past actual tests: 130s range - OK, low 130s to possibly 136 - I could reach but I'm not going to) and H.S. (probably about the same, by my guess. If higher, then whoop-de-do, H.S. - you get the prize - enjoy it... it's not worth much more than being handsome or having good teeth, but it seems to mean a great deal to you, along with quality of schools, colleges, housing, etc.)

I like being a "lucky-me" snob just as much as the next heavily-brain-endowed person, (as well as I also like being analytical and observant just for the joy and pleasure of those, with no snobbery intended, just curiosity and a desire to learn, and only the similarly mentally appointed can really undersatnd that) but I've come to realize that brains ain't nuthin' without some other things that are crucially necessary for being a decent human being.

-anon-y-mouse (same person who took polite and civil offense over the "retarded baby" comment - noticed there was no reply unless I missed it, so I'm unfortunately starting to lean toward snob, bigot, etc. when it comes to H.S.)


Refusing to read your blog again! Goodbye, HS... You will hardly be missed.

Brutus: I vacillated between 'dumber' and 'less dumb' ...in the end, I seem to have taken the best of both! ;)

"Vim, there are a lot of rich nitwits, including sports stars and game show hosts. So what's your point?"

Her and her husband are clearly earning their money/power through their cognitive skills: writing, talking, relating, persuading, arguing etc ... you can't really chalk this up to getting a few million from daddy.

If you could chalk it up to where they graduated or their color then ever black Ivy League graduate would be president.

Palin will now have to compete for the Republican nomination. She will still be hunted by the liberal press without the protection of the conservative movement, where there will be lots of people after her (Romney, Jindal, ...)

She will have to demonstrate her IQ. ANd HS absurd estimate will fall apart.

Vim, what really irritates me is that brilliant people no longer enter politics, so we are left with mediocrities named John, W and Barack.

What irks me about Obama is the fact that he's arrogant and has very little talent (his principal "talent" is giving vacuous speeches that nitwits love).

Judging from his recent picks, one can guess that Obama's administration will be a typically Democratic one with no change on the bill of fare.

richard h, i think the correlation you seek is between boredom in school, high iq and autodidacticism in the computer age.

i didn't get a personal computer until i was 30. i proceeded to devour the back issue archives of 100 magazines and websites and teach myself econ, HBD, IQ studies and a host of other subjects that i now believe were either deliberately or maliciously withheld from me in "school". i have now ended up lurking around in the HBD blog orbit to which so many other likeminded individuals seem to gravitate.

Half Sigma -- the Army is different than the Marines or Navy or Air Force.

The Navy and Air Forces require high IQ people all the time, as smart as they can get, so the planes do not fall out of the sky or subs or ships do not sink. The Marines require combat assaults in a moments notice, with various air and ground support, so they focus on combat infantry stuff first, MOS afterwards. It's the reverse for the Army.

That's always been the case, the operational demands shape the structure of the forces.

Michelle Obama is pretty stupid, even more stupid than Obama. Both were Affirmative Action admits who have done little that was difficult. Palin as a White woman with no connections rose to Governor by ousting the establishment of both parties in a notoriously corrupt state. That's something.

Your problem is credentialism. You think that being admitted to Harvard actually MEANS something. [Half Sigama: this is incorrect. I think high IQ means something (and Arthur Jensen and Charles Muarray would agree), and I think that the credential of Harvard means a lot on the job market, and that a high IQ is required to get into Harvard, but this is lowered for various reasons, such as being black, having a dad who's a Senator, having a dad who donated millions of dollars to the school, being a great athlete, etc.] Bush was admitted, and graduated from the MBA program. Clinton went to Yale. All that meant was a ticket was punched. No actual demonstration of anything requiring High IQ. Given the power of Affirmative Action, with neither Obama having to actually meet challenges [Half Sigma: it's very difficult to be in the top 10% of the class at Harvard Law School. Obama met the challenge.], it's pretty hard to call either "smart." Obama is likely to be on the par with Dick Nixon, deviously stupid. Michelle Obama reminds me of Margaret Mitchell. And not in a good way.

"But then, subtract points for having a pregnant unmarried high school dropout daughter"

I'm still mystified by this one. Do you mean subtract points because mom and dad didn't make her abort? A lot more unmarried teenage girls get pregnant than you think; the idea that none, or even relatively few of them are the children of high IQ parents is breathtakingly naive.

This goes back to your statement that "smart people have smart kids". You've got it backwards. Smart kids usually have smart parents, not the other way around.

Let's say for the sake of argument Todd Palin and Michelle Obama both had IQs of 115.

Todd Palin goes to white schools his entire life. He's smart,(1 SD above the mean) but nothing special. He finds school boring. He applies to a normal state college and gets accepted with little fanfare.

Michelle Obama goes to a black school and also has an IQ of 115 but is actually 2 SDs better than the average person she knows and smarter than most of her teachers. She enjoys school because she's the best at it in her community. She's recruited by the top colleges in the world and her head continues to grow.

Todd Palin gets to college and doesn't find it all that exciting. If he has any intellectual interests at all, he gets the vague impression that it is the consensus of all educated people that he, as a white male, is the cancer of the earth. If he joins any student clubs that attract white males his IQ is only about average for the group. There aren't many scholarships available for a white male with an IQ of only 115 so he has to work full time to pay for school. A degree from Alaska U (or wherever he ends up dropping out of) isn't worth the time or effort. He ends up quitting and going into the real world where he ends up making more money than most people who go to college.

Michelle gets to a top university and gets a full ride. The degree from an Ivy league university gives her motivation to keep working. She doesn't have to work either so can dedicate herself to her studies. If she joins any student clubs that attract black females she finds herself once again as consistently being the smartest person in the room. If she pays attention in class she finds out that she, as a black and a woman, overcame great odds to get where she is. She finds that all intelligent people have reached a consensus that her race can do no wrong and can blame all their problems on whites. She's encouraged by her college experience and stays to completion.

Todd Palin, a white male with an IQ of 115, marries a hot wife and ends up making 100 grand a year. He does honest work that he's proud of but doesn't think he's anything special.

Michelle Obama, a black female with an IQ of 115, ends up getting a degree from an Ivy league school. Because of her interest in critical race post modern feminism she fancies herself a great intellectual and thinks she is saving the world as a diversity consultant.

This is how everybody ends up overestimating Michelle and underestimating Todd and how Michelle ends up overestimating herself.

I would love love love to sit in on one of you and your ultraliberal prof's classes, Richard H. I have had some of the same sorts of questions in my multicultural education class but the professor doesn't deliver them in live debate, only in homework assignments.

When I was 8 years old I took an IQ test and got the loppiest of all lopsides: Visuospatial 208, Verbal 95. At that age, math was fun and I wanted to learn as much as my older sister could squeeze into my little 8-year-old brain. Nowadays though I think my math ability has dropped to being just moderately above average. I tried to major in a math-heavy field and just couldn't make it.

Going back to something said earlier: community colleges may be cheaper, but I think that in general, the quality of education is lower and in a lot of ways they seem to be a lot more like high schools than like four-year universities. With scholarships and financial aid figured in, I think the difference in price between a community college and a four-year university wouldn't really be that much and if I were just getting out of high school now, I would want to go straight into the college I intended to graduate from.

Gannon's IQ is around 135. And the best way to avoid pregant teenage daughters is to marry them off to young men in their midd to late twenties who are ready to form families.

One of my classmates at college came from a poor, working-class, uneducated town where he was probably 1st or close to it in his high school graduating class. He was smart compared to where he came from, but compared to the other college students he was just average. It took a few years for his ego to shrink down to a normal size and for him to stop telling the professors they were wrong just because they got a different answer than he did.

He wasn't black, but I think that the same phenomenon occurs when blacks with middle/high IQ scores grow up around 85s and come to feel that they deserve to be on the top of the world.

This is patent nonsense.

Half-Sigma is intimating that he's a GENIUS.

I don't mean to be rude, Half-Sigma, but you certainly don't write like you're a genius.

Are you a member of Mensa, HS?

If you sat down and took the timed MENSA exam would you come out on top of everyone else? [Half Sigma: Mensa requires a score of the 95th percentile on the LSAT or the GMAT. I scored in the 99th percentile on both tests.]

Dude, you're life outcome is as much a consequence of your DILLIGENCE as your IQ.

It's possible that you merely have an IQ of 117 and have fully taken advantage of that little bit of cognitive advantage with hard work.

Now, if blogger Ezra Klein suggested that his IQ was 140+ I'd believe him, because he's only 24 and has made a name for himself in the blogosphere through his excellent writing and UNDERSTANDING of the complexities of Health Care legislation and policy.

Graduating from a mediocre law school and from a good university might indicate that you're somewhat bright, but there's nothing that suggests you're extraordinarlly intelligent. So, until your IQ is verified by another source (like Mensa membership) or by actual accomplishment, you'll have to excuse me for taking your claim about being a genius as blatant self-aggrandizement that is unmistakably is.

That should read: "as THE blatant self-aggrandizement that is unmistakably is"

"If everybody on the blog is so much smarter than Mrs. Obama, how come she is so much richer, more popular and more powerful? Her last job paid $300,000 ..."

Ahh....the old "if you're so smart, why aren't you rich argument?"

Two guys named Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus also made a lot of money in the late 80's/early 90's, got to sleep with a lot of women around the world, and also "earned" a Grammy award. You might know these guys - Milli Vanilli. Does anyone really wish to equate IQ with wealth and celebrity? Pilatus of course died of an alcohol and pill overdose.

Pick any rap "artist" at random - Curtis Jackson AKA 50 Cent. Anyone care to take a stab at his IQ score? Forbes estimated he earned $32 million in 2006, just behind Jay-Z at $34 million.

As an aside, but somewhat relevant, I read an interesting tidbit at Victor Niederhoffer's "Daily Speculations" blog recently. Someone posted about the MTV show "Cribs". Back in 2001, Moby posted on his blog that he was told by MTV that he's the ONLY person ever profiled on "Cribs" that actually owned any BOOKS! That's 7 years ago, but I'd be willing to wager $100 that nothing's changed since then.

Here's the entry from "Daily Speculations":


Here's Moby's thoughts, FWIW:


did you try ISPE ? i think it's the more vibrant high IQ community for those interested in it. I'm not anymore, but i used to read Télicom when i was an ISPE associate and it was interesting (never send an article though). Still have the March 31, 1994 membership roster as "souvenir". This community has got also a yahoo group.

I also object to Half-Sigma's suggestion that mere interest in HBD indicates high intelligence. A person of normal intelligence could perfectly understand the statistical arguments of Human-Bio Diversity. A lot of "race realists" (the blog readers, at least) are along these lines. They have an emotional attachment to the issue because they know that their mediocrity is a matter of genetics but they're glad that they're at least part of a group that's ahead of others on average.

"Back in 2001, Moby posted on his blog that he was told by MTV that he's the ONLY person ever profiled on "Cribs" that actually owned any BOOKS! That's 7 years ago, but I'd be willing to wager $100 that nothing's changed since then."

Hysterical. Readin' be fo' white people 'n sheet! Here is how Barack Obama has inspired the hip hop community


Nothing about books there!

"Hey Dana, you single?"

Yeah, nothing hotter than a smart chick who loves to argue, at least for us geeks. Especially if she's a conservative, what's the fun of agreeing all the time.

My IQ is 150. I haven't discovered cold fusion yet and only got laid in my late twenties (combination of shy and picky), so I think the value of the test is severely oversold. I mean, I think it has construct validity, it's just that being smart really isn't that useful past about 120 or so. Maybe 130 in certain careers. I don't know why you guys care so much. I mean, it's sort of like penis size. After a certain point it's counterproductive.

Roissy pegs the optimum IQ at 120-130, I think, so I should marry a chick with an IQ of 100. Sounds easy...

high IQ+behavioral problems=political junkie: of course! if you care a lot about making friends, you're going to ignore topics like politics where you make enemies easily and stick to stuff like sports, which is pretty safe unless you're a yankee fan in boston or something, or movies or tv. but why high iq? I think the abstract nature of ideology turns on a lot of bright people who enjoy trying to figure out if they're paleocons or paleolibertarians, and it is kind of fun to watch the contortions these guys twist themselves into to appeal to everyone. Watching Ken Mehlman avoid telling Jon Stewart anything, to me, was like watching a figure skater at work; the guy dodges every thrust and still stays friendly. What artistry!

The penis size comparison is apt since a lot of men lie about that as well.

Intelligence is like sex. Those who talk about it the most -- and are obsessed with it -- have the least.

145 my ass.

I alluded to that and I'm not even male.

I didn't lie about my own endowments, though. I know that plenty of people do. On an internet forum, what's the point? It's pathetic to lie about such a measurement on the interwebs.

what makes you think that Obama earned any of his distinctions at HLS (editor of LR or Magna) based on his intellect and not his charisma and ethnicity?

"Hysterical. Readin' be fo' white people 'n sheet! Here is how Barack Obama has inspired the hip hop community"

Good God! That was the most inspiring work of art I've ever seen and heard! And those white people think Mozart is a genius?

God help us when the space aliens in a galaxy 50 light years away finally hear all this crap! I hope they launch a pre-emptive attack on the Earth and save us all from ourselves!

It's interesting that Half-Sigma believes someone can be a foreman for a reasonably complicated job like an oil well field worker, and have an IQ BELOW-AVERAGE. So do all the AVERAGE workers have an IQ of 80?

This post is more interesting about what it says about Half-Sigma than anything else.

I'd like to say that, however, Sigma and Blue State Buddies, you have finally gotten through to the Red-Staters how much you hate them.


Something being pathetical means people will be drawn to it ten-fold on the intrawebs.

"I didn't lie about my own endowments, though"

So you have a really big rack, right?

If you scored at the 99th percentile on the LSAT, then that corresponds to roughly a 172 score, which isn't close to a 145 IQ. Mensa accepts scores at the 95th LSAT percentile or higher, which means roughly a 166-167 LSAT score or higher, which further means an 130 or higher IQ (assuming SD 15). Let's say that a 166 LSAT score is about 130 IQ. I'm sure that someone here could calculate a comparison chart for LSAT to IQ (someone should actually do that), but assume a 1 IQ point increase with a 1 LSAT point increase, and you will find that 172 LSAT is roughly 136 IQ. A 172 LSAT score is the average for Harvard Law students, which means that their average IQ is roughly 136 (I venture to say that it could be higher, but no higher than 139—the top 1% of the general public).

By the way, I just checked the Triple Nine Society website, and they don't accept any LSAT score of any form for admission, but they do accept the GMAT.

[Half Sigma: I scored 750 on the GMAT the first time I took it at the age of 22. The minimum score required by TNS--I barely made it in. My GMAT score dropped to 740 when I took it again at the age of 29, demonstrating declining mental abilities as we grow older.]


Funny that you would say that because actually, my "rack" is rather modest. Always has been and seems to be getting more so as time goes by.

But hey, what's wrong with a modest rack?! It does what it needs (needed - past tense, and in the present tense, is asked not so much as is needed - to do - functionality in the past, entertainment more or less in the present) to do!

Now, lets get this conversation out of the gutter. Wait! Was it ever out of the gutter in the first place?

On topic... Don't very few people have measured IQs in the 140s and above? Was H.S. kidding about B.O. having a 150? I don't think the man is dumb by any stretch, but 150... nah uh... I doubt it.

"When I was 8 years old I took an IQ test and got the loppiest of all lopsides: Visuospatial 208, Verbal 95."

On what test did you get a visuospatial IQ of 208? I assume this must have been a ratio IQ. In other words at the age of 8 you had the spatial skills of a 16.64 year old. Since 16.64/8 = IQ 2.08

We have to be careful comparing these ratio IQ's to IQ tests on modern scales. Modern scales are forced to fit a Gaussian curve and the standard deviation is set at 15, so the highest IQ in the U.S. (300 million people) would be about 185.

Your spatial IQ of 208 suggests that the standard deviation for spatial ratio scores at age 8 must have been much larger than 15; either that or non-Gaussian distribution...or maybe you're just the most spatially gifted person on the planet.

Is there really anything substantive to back up the claim that Palin got good grades in at Hawaii Pacific? I read that article posted in the other thread where her friend says she and Palin were getting straight A's, but then they go from that to the both of them attending at community college in Idaho?

I don't why you doubt the McCain score, it comes from an IQ test conducted for a study of POWs, what more can you ask for than an actual, direct IQ test score?

It was a ratio system, meaning that I had the math knowledge of an average high school student when I was in third grade. It was still labeled as an IQ test though. I haven't taken any official IQ tests since then, though Internet tests tend to place me around 130.

"Vim, there are a lot of rich nitwits"

Not really. Every rich person I have ever met has been fabulously intelligent. And let's not forget that the richest person of all time (Bill Gates) has an absolutely breathtaking IQ. His score is 170, which would make nearly 20 IQ points higher than the smartest U.S. president in American history and far higher than most Nobel prize winners. Ultimately life is an IQ test, and money is the most universal way of keeping score. Of course there are lots of geniuses who are poor, and some rich people who are dumb (particularly those who inherited wealth). But as a general rule, IQ and money go together. Just look at all the Ashkanazi Jewish billionaires.

I'm going to move away from IQ and speculate as to whether I'd be friends with any of the aforementioned people. We'll assume that everything about them is the same, except that their careers stopped short of what brought them to prominence - Barack Obama is a community organizer and sometime author, Biden is a politically connected Wilmington lawyer, Sarah Palin is mayor of Wasilla, and so on.

Todd Palin: we could easily be friends. He sounds like a terrific drinking and sports buddy.

Sarah Palin: good friendship material here too, she seems like a fun person to know. I have the impression that she's one of those women who makes friends more easily with men than with other women.

Biden: leaving aside the age difference, I don't get the feeling that we'd be close friends, just something about him. Acquaintances, drinking buddies, maybe so, but not really friends.

Barack Obama: he's too self-righteous and obsessed with politics and race for me to be friends with him. We could be workout partners at the gym, maybe catch a game together on occasion, but that's about it.

McCain: not in a million years. Even without the age difference, I don't associate with testy, easy-to-anger people.

Michelle Obama: you have to be joking. I cannot even begin to imagine any circumstances under which we would have any social contact at all.

"only got laid in my late twenties (combination of shy and picky)"

Nobody's that picky.

"Michelle Obama: you have to be joking. I cannot even begin to imagine any circumstances under which we would have any social contact at all."

Indeed. You're outclassed there, my friend.

Truth, Michelle Obama stepped out of her place when she dared ask for more challenging (not less or easier) work.

Vim, I do not maintain that I am more intelligent than Michelle Obama as that implies that the nitwit is nevertheless somewhat intelligent.
Vim, there are a lot of rich nitwits, including sports stars and game show hosts. So what's your point?
Posted by: Brutus
Are comparing the IQs of sports stars and game show hosts to attorneys now. You couldn’t come up with a better analogy or counter argument Brutus.
Brutus I am curious to read your opinion on Richard Parsons, Cornell West, and Henry Louis Gates.

G declines with age, IQ does not if it is compared to other people of the same age group. Also, the same IQ scores for people of different ages are not comparable. IQ is a measurement of how smart you are compared to other people in your age group, not absolutely.

For whoever made the mistake, smart people tend to have smart parents. Smart parents tend to have smart kids. They are BOTH true.

Wade nicohols said Pick any rap "artist" at random - Curtis Jackson AKA 50 Cent. Anyone care to take a stab at his IQ score? Forbes estimated he earned $32 million in 2006, just behind Jay-Z at $34 million

Wade do you know why 50cents makes so much??? He got vitamin water to sign a deal giving him a small percentage of the company instead of a fee based on appearance in commercials. When the vitamin water was sold to Coke Cola(?), 50 was paid 100million dollars. Jay Z is a partial of basketball team and he made a big deal with live aid to the tune of 150million(?).

I think the way Mensa converts LSAT scores to IQ is that 166 is at the 95%ile for the LSAT population. The 95%ile would equate to a 125 IQ in the general population, but since the LSAT population is university grads (who have IQ's 5 points above the general population) they added 5 points to IQ 125 to get IQ 130.

Since the average LSAT taker scores 149 and has an IQ of 105, we can conclude that LSAT 149 = IQ 105. Since we know that LSAT 166 = IQ 130, we now have two data points so we can make a linear extrapolation.

Hence the middle 50% of Harvard law students have LSAT scores of 170-176, so it can be deduced that they have IQ's from 137-146. Of course there are 557 students who enter Harvard law in a typical year so not all will have IQ's in the middle 50%. If we assume a bell curve, it looks like the entire Harvard law student body would range from about IQ 121 to IQ 161 in a typical year.

But of course the LSAT is geared towards the kinds of skills lawyers are good at so they would probably score lower on a more conventional IQ test. Similarly, Harvard students on the whole score about IQ 140 on the SAT conversion, but score only 130 on the WAIS. IQ testing is still not a perfect science. Different tests measure different cognitive skills & extreme scores regress to the mean.

Who says 50 cent has a low IQ?

Enough about IQ. Unless it translated into a successful career who cares. Let's hear about job titles and levels of income, then post your IQ. Then we can see how much the mensa geeks are really making. I suspect its much less that those with IQ's of 120-130 who usually have the best combination of intelligence and personality which lets them reach the corner office.

Agreed with Peter on the "friends" breakdown.

"only got laid in my late twenties (combination of shy and picky)"

Nobody's that picky.

Posted by: J1

*dead faint*

Since there is so much attorney hate here, guess what??? Outsourcing

"Then we can see how much the mensa geeks are really making."

Bill Gates is the biggest geek of all, and he's making a zillion times more money than guys with far better looks & personality. IQ is the single most important trait in life. Obviously personality, looks, education help too, but if you had to choose just one, ya better choose IQ.

I once asked my sister what she would rather be, smart or good looking. "smart" she replied "because I'd be smart enough to figure out how to make myself look good". The same can be said about personality. A high IQ mind can figure out how to be charismatic if they really set their mind to it, but most don't have the interest, or those like Bill Gates are brilliant enough to figure out how to make money without any personality.

****Barack Obama: 150. Magna cum laude, Harvard Law School. Author of well written memoir.****

Are you fuckin' high? Take his mulatto cock out of your mouth for a second and apply Occam's razor just for one sec.

He did totally average in college and then supposedly aced the LSAT to get into Harvard Law? Really? Funny. He was competing with people who killed undergrad AND killed the fuckin' LSAT too. Wonder if skin color had anything to do with his admission?

And then he graduated magna cum laude and became president of the law review.....

Allow me to apply a bit of skepticism.

1) Rampant grade inflation most likely played a role.

2) Harvard Law Review has affirmative action slots for blacks and selection is not grade-based.

This comment on Sailer's blog is instructive:

From http://isteve.blogspot.com/2008/10/whats-obamas-sat-score-secret.html?showComment=1225498980000#c5423940512966799657

********If Obama was Magna Cum Laude at HLS, this does not necessarily mean he was in the top 10% of his class. From 1999 onwards, the top 10% at HLS are magna cum laude (what Obama allegedly received, though his campaign won't release his transcripts) and the next 30% are cum laude (collectively, honors). Before that, the various classes of honors awarded were based on achieving a certain fixed GPA.

------>However, rampant grade inflation in the 80s and 90s made a joke out of the honors standards, with something 76% of the class receiving an honors degree.It is also noteworthy that Harvard, at the time Obama was there, as now, has affirmative action slots for blacks on Harvard Law Review, and that the presidency of HLR is an elective, not grade-based position.<------

Basically, there isn't enough data to know exactly how well Obama did academically at HLS and whether he received any special treatment because of his race.

It is also worth noting how rare exceptionally talented black law students are. Obama likely took the LSAT in 1987. I couldn't find data online for that year, but data presented by Herrnstein and Murray in the Bell Curve point out that in approximately that period only 3 blacks per year in the US scored 170 or better on the LSAT.

For 2002-3 (the year I took the LSAT data is available from the LSAC (and the results from year to year are similar)(http://www.lsacnet.org/research/LSAT-Performance-with-Regional-Gender-and-Racial-Ethnic-Breakdowns-1997–1998-Through-2003–2004-Testing-Years.pdf):

Blacks: avg.: 142.05, S.D.= 8.40, N= 12,641

Whites: avg.: 152.30, S.D. = 8.80, N = 78,648

A score of 166 represents the 95th percentile.

Plugging in the N, SD and means, we get 28 blacks vs. 4,672 whites scoring at this level or better.

169 represents the 98th percentile (and the bottom quartile at Harvard)

9 blacks vs. 2,257 whites scored at this level or better

172 represents the 99th percentile (and the median at Harvard)

2 to 3 blacks vs. 983 whites scored at this level or better

To get per capita numbers, simply divide the white numbers by 6.2. [Note that these numbers are derived by plugging the data into the normal curve. Scores are roughly normally distributed, but there can be some divergences from a perfect normal distribution at the tails of the curve. Therefore, the above results are only approximate (but seem to be corroborated by Herrnstein and Murray's earlier reported data.]


More here:

From http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=74877

For starters, Obama did not do nearly well enough at his previous stop, Columbia University, to justify admission to Harvard Law.

According to the New York Sun, university spokesman Brian Connolly confirmed that Obama graduated in 1983 with a major in political science but without honors.

In the age of affirmative action and grade inflation, a minority in a relatively easy major like political science had to under-perform dramatically to avoid minimal honors. Obama apparently did just that.
Harvard Law School is notoriously difficult to get into. Annually, some 7,000 applications apply for some 500 seats. Applicant LSAT scores generally chart in the 98 to 99 percentile range, and GPAs average between 3.80 and 3.95.

If Obama's LSAT scores merited admission, we would know about them. We don't. The Obama camp guards those scores, like his SAT scores, more tightly that Iran does its nuclear secrets.

We know enough about Obama's Columbia grades to know how far they fall below the Harvard norm, likely even below the affirmative action-adjusted black norm at Harvard.

From http://reason.com/news/show/128461.html

Root: No, no I'm not, because here's the moral to the story.... I had a B-plus, A-minus average at Columbia University, in four years. When I graduated, I took the LSATs and I did well. I didn't do great, I did well; B-plus, A-minus average. My counselor at Columbia said don't even bother applying to Harvard Law School, because you can get into any law school in the country with your record, except Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton [Editor's Note: Princeton doesn't have a law school]. Except for the very top, you can get in anywhere, but don't even try those, because your grades don't cut it.

Due to a combination of things that were my fault and things that weren't, I've been unemployed for four months. I'd like to get a college degree and find an office job of some sort, but I don't think I'll ever be rich. My dream job would be to be a political columnist since I'd be getting paid to do the things I already do now.

"If Obama's LSAT scores merited admission, we would know about them. We don't."

How many politicians VOLUNTARILY reveal their test scores? Very few. The only situation where it would be advantageous to do so is if the media had been stereotyping you as dumb and you wanted to negate the stereotype. Right now everyone thinks Obama's a genius, so nothing short of a perfect score could satisfy expectations; so he has nothing to gain from releasing them, even if they are above the Harvard mean.

You could just as easily argue that if his scores were low, we would know about them. Some Hillary/McCain supporter would have leaked them by now.

I'm not saying that Obama is as smart as Half sigma claims, but I don't buy this "they must be unimpressive because he hasn't released them" argument. That's like saying he must have a small penis because he never appeared in a porno movie. Releasing your test scores is a form of intellectual exhibitionism.

Guessing people's IQs with little reliable information is fun but why limit ourselves to the those ruining our country?

Bigfoot 85: Never really got "fire" but has managed to elude capture for 14,000 years.

Brittany Spears 75: More when properly medicated but does not test as well as Bigfoot.

Wiley E. Coyote 185: Super genius.

Road Runner 0: Can't stand still for the Ravens Progressive Matrix test.

Hitler 97: Could not even get into art school. Come on...

I agree with Peter's ranking but too much negative superlatives for McCain. I could see him being grumpy and quick to anger, but "never in a million years" is putting too fine a point on it. I kind of think Biden has the same snap temper characteristic, which is how is original IQ speech came up when someone questioned him at a town hall.

I'd swap Biden and Obama. I'm assuming that he can turn off his sanctimonious speechifying. He seems a genial, reasonably intelligent beta. I dont know if he has much conversation since I have no interest in basketball or rap, but it would probably go ok.

For fairness Cindy McCain ought to be in the list. As the daughter of a beer distributor she is probably a good host used to talking to people and making them feel comfortable. She'd be in the middle of the pack. Someone you had a good time talking to but wouldnt go out of your way to engage.

"Truth, Michelle Obama stepped out of her place when she dared ask for more challenging (not less or easier) work."

Not more challenging. She whined for high profile, plum assignments instead of paying her dues as an associate. How challenging is the beer account? She had to guard the scores for Bud Bowl?

"Hitler 97: Could not even get into art school. Come on..."

Yeah, but plenty of intellectual interests. And a believer in HBD. I give him 130. Stalin 135, Lenin 140 and Trotsky 150.

I have a feeling it takes more brains to become a dictator then attain high office in a democracy. You need to get people to relate to you to get elected and people don't usually relate to those much smarter than themselves, as we saw with Mitt Romney's loss. Becoming a dictator means outsmarting other high IQ people on the way to the top.

Qadafi- 110 comes across as an idiot, so gets the minimum of what I think it takes to take over a country
Saddam Hussein- 130 made a lot of dumb mistakes, but held on to power for three decades in a country with a decent average IQ and had a law degree
Mugambe- 120 In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. Educated in the West without AA
Martin Luther King, Jr. - 110 got his doctorate in theology and even that was plagerized
Christopher Hitchens- 135 you can tell his verbal IQ is off the charts, too bad personaly defects makes him so incredibly wrong in so many different ways (neo-con, trotskyite, race denier)
Whoever the president of China is - 140 leader of a billion people with one of the highest average IQs in the world, didn't rise to the top through a democratic process

I thought you didn't believe in IQ.

"Hitler 97: Could not even get into art school. Come on..."

Yeah, but plenty of intellectual interests. And a believer in HBD."

He was also interested in Germanic paganism and might have been influenced by the occult racial ideology of Ariosophy, or ideas similar to Ariosophy.

I've known some people who were interested - but not necessarily pracititioners - in the occult and occult literature. They seemed to have above average intelligence. They were also highly knowledgeable of history and science.

The Undiscovered Jew, Richard H:

It's sad that you feel the need to defend f*cking Hilter against what was obviously a joke anyway.

"Wiley E. Coyote 185: Super genius."

Yes, yes...and when he had speaking roles his voice, diction and topics of conversation revealed a sublime level of cultured taste and discrimination. A gourmand and appreciator of the finer things in life. HS would approve no doubt.

It's sad that you feel the need to defend f*cking Hilter against what was obviously a joke anyway.

Posted by: Vim | November 26, 2008 at 10:30 PM

We were not defending Hitler, you dummy.

In my case, I was simply drawing a connection pointing to how high IQ men can have very exotic intellectual interests, such as interest in the occult.

"He was also interested in Germanic paganism and might have been influenced by the occult racial ideology of Ariosophy, or ideas similar to Ariosophy.

I've known some people who were interested - but not necessarily pracititioners - in the occult and occult literature. They seemed to have above average intelligence. They were also highly knowledgeable of history and science."

From the Wikipedia article about Hitler's religous beliefs


"Albert Speer reports a similar statement: “You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"[18][19]...

In contrast to other Nazi leaders, Hitler did not adhere to esoteric ideas, occultism, or Nazi mysticism, and even ridiculed such beliefs in private and possibly in public.[22] "

He seems to have had no religious beliefs, but considered it a completly natural phenomenon and judged it by its usefulness to the cause. Signs of a high IQ.

I'm inclined to think Hitler had an above average IQ. Obviously he had enormous charisma and this was far more crucial, but he had a good deal of cunning and understanding of human nature.

"Nobody's that picky."
No, I wasted long stretches of my fertile years lusting after tiny amounts of geek booty and ignoring occasional chicks who were after me. Only a smart person could be so stupid. :)

Half Sigma - 145 or above. I know he's in TNS because I'm in TNS myself. By the way, every commenter here who honestly claimed an IQ above 145 should apply. There's a very active mailing list. You get to meet interesting people.

Barack Obama - about 130. Most of the people in the 150-and-above category seem to be quite eccentric. Unusual interests, bizarre takes on the world, difficult personalities. Obama has not shown any evidence of any of that. He's a very conventional, but articulate fellow. If he were far below 130, he wouldn't be so articulate. If he were far above 130, he wouldn't be so boring.

John McCain - 125. IQ really does go down by his age. If he scored 133 when young, he might score around 125 now.

Todd Palin - 120. At one of my previous jobs I dealt with blue collar guys who made $100k and above, and I was very impressed. It seems to be a pretty meritocratic world. You either can operate complex, dangerous machinery safely or you can't. Not much room for AA or social promotion. The difference between skilled and unskilled blue collar workers is an enormous chasm whose size I seriously underestimated until I met the people involved.

Joe Biden - 110. Too talkative to be smart. Talks for hours without saying much, loves every minute of it.

Sarah Palin - 110. As Steve Sailer correctly pointed out, she knows less about politics than Biden does because she's a woman, not because she's dumber than Biden. The average man is far more interested in politics than the average woman, yet the mean IQs of the sexes are about the same. I'm basing my 110 estimate mostly on the impression she gives on TV.

Michelle Obama - 105. I've seen a few interviews with her on TV too. She didn't seem that bright. I've seen that college paper where she spelled "thank you" as "thank-you". We all misspell on occasion, but the kind of misspellings one makes is important. The only confusing thing here is that she passed the bar exam in Illinois. Maybe it was a unusually easy bar exam?

The Undiscovered Jew:

"We were not defending Hitler, you dummy."

I would be dumb if I bought that one. You were clearly mitigating the statement but ... whatever ... sure. Please continue your discussion about Hitler and his diverse intellectual interests.

"He seems to have had no religious beliefs, but considered it a completly natural phenomenon and judged it by its usefulness to the cause. Signs of a high IQ."

It is hard to tell exactly what Hitler's religous beliefs were because he had to retain a certain amount of popularity among a largely Christian population. We know he disdained Christianity in private but for obvious political purposes, he had to hide his true feelings in public statements.

Most people who worked for him during the war were under the impression he had spiritual beliefs of one sort or another. He seems to have believed that providence and fate were on the side of the Aryan Master Race. These views could be viewed as a racially warped view of Christianity/spirtuality even if he didn't practice things like astrology.

"It's sad that you feel the need to defend f*cking Hilter against what was obviously a joke anyway."

I dont see how it's a defense. If they proved conclusively that Hilter had an IQ of 180, 190, 200 does that mitigate anything?

I read an biography of Stalin and obviously he was remarkably smart. That doesnt change the reality of his deeds.

If they are doing it for the accuracy and integrity of the discussion, thats not "sad".


"Most of the people in the 150-and-above category seem to be quite eccentric. Unusual interests, bizarre takes on the world, difficult personalities."

One theory is that mailing lists and IQ societies attract people who are not well-adjusted to their community: outcasts, social misfits, oddballs etc. Perhaps there are several orders of magnitude more high IQ people out there who are almost invisible living as doctors, lawyers, academics, translators etc with interests that they indulge (think Darwin), in ways which may or may not be socially beneficial but are rarely disruptive to their lives or the lives of those around them.

Although, my experience with the HiQ societies is that they are filled with a lot of crazies, losers, prima donnas and wackos (to put it politely) that have very limited ability to act collectively, complete longterm projects or communicate their ideas to others. They are good at learning things and taking tests but often not very good at the slow work of verification of hypotheses and implementation.

Again, the people on this website GROSSLY overestimate IQ (and some of the bigots here underestimate Obama's IQ).

Here it is: Obama has an IQ of maybe 130, not 150. If Obama's IQ is 150, then he has an IQ almost 20 points higher than the smartest 10% of doctors. John McCain and Joe Biden are about the same (maybe 115-120). Sarah Palin, I have no idea, since she has never really been tested intellectually, and doesn't come from a place where an Ivy-League education is worth that much. Again, we really don't know about IQ, since so many people don't really put in effort in school, and their IQs are, consequently, underestimated.

Vim, you seem to be more negative about these societies than I am. I have a feeling that the smart people who don't join high IQ societies are as difficult to get along with as the smart people who do. Academic controversies are notoriously acrimonious and always have been. I've followed a few in linguistics and they were pretty rough.

You brought up Darwin, I'll bring up Newton. Boy, did he have a difficult personality.

If you try to think for yourself about anything important, you'll rarely come up with answers that will make you popular. A smart person will have strong opinions about more topics than would an average person. Smart people are often labeled as weirdos because they actually are weirdos. High IQ is by definition unusual. I think that all of these factors lead to high IQ folks being excessively prone to conflict.

You're here reading HS's blog. There are zillions of more conventional, more politically correct and more polite places on the Internet where one can discuss politics. I hear CNN has a web site.

HS has on occasion surprised me with an unusual take on things. CNN probably never will. I just think that high IQ, independence of mind and vituperativeness often go together. They don't have to, but most of the time they do, so one just has to live with that.

I agree with Vim's take that high IQ societies are a bad way to judge what the typical high-IQ person is like. Only a small percentage join such societies.


"A smart person will have strong opinions about more topics than would an average person."

An intelligent person should know how to keep their mouth shut even if they think they are right. If they can't learn a simple lesson like that, how smart could they be?

"If you try to think for yourself about anything important, you'll rarely come up with answers that will make you popular."

Being different is unpopular. Whether you are right or not is mostly irrelevant. Being opinionated is by no means restricted to the brilliant. The question is: can one intelligently manipulate social structures to bring one's insights to fruition? If one never learns to do this and instead rants on one's blogs or in one's basement against the system for not recognizing one's brillance, well, that's loserdom.

"Vim, you seem to be more negative about these societies than I am."

I find more benefit in listening to an above average domain expert than a high IQ dilettante. A chess master with an IQ of 120 is probably going to have much more to teach me than a amateur with an IQ of 180.

HS is interesting but he spins off a million unproven hypotheses and not much evidence. I am a scientist (in training); I know enough to know that hypotheses are a dime a dozen (because hundreds of clever domain experts often spin off plenty) and an unproven one is worth almost nothing. You can have a lot of evidence and still be quite wrong which is why it's important to be careful about deductive steps. Moreover, a hypothesis that is proven but not entered into the scientific canon doesn't mean anything if it stays with the discoverer which is why it's important to communicate one's ideas in a convincing manner.

"John McCain - 125. IQ really does go down by his age. If he scored 133 when young, he might score around 125 now."

Professional IQ tests are normed for age. An IQ of 133 means you score in the top 1.5% of Americans of your age and your cohort. So if McCain's intelligence has gone down, so too have his chronological peers, so his IQ would probably stay the same.

And the main reason old people seem dumb is not because intelligence declines with age (this generally doesn't happen until after 55) but rather because of the Flynn Effect. Earlier cohorts had stunted intelligence, stunted brain size, and stunted height, mostly because of inferior nutrition, particularly during the prenatal and perinatal period (see Richard Lynn).

Linda, fluid intelligence starts declining in our late 20s.

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