Every community has its downsides.
Don’t leave it out of an emotional response.
This is a rather … personal blog posting. In 2007, I was unsure whether a PhD was really right for me. I felt stupid. I should have known what I was doing — after all, I did study it for a couple of years — yet I had … difficulties. Looking back, it was (in part) due to bad mentorship (I wouldn’t even use the term for what … I … did … get). But okay, that’s looking at it now. (Hint: Schwartz, 2008, was really eye-opening.)
But seriously, it was a pretty dark time. I really thought I was not intelligent enough to do a PhD. And yeah, it might seem like humble-bragging, but it really isn’t.
It was … essentially, from today’s perspective … looking for a place to … see what was going on. And perhaps, even looking for a place to belong to.
And yeah, doing an IQ test seemed like the right idea, and having a (what I thought at the time) friend recommending Mensa (a so-called high-IQ society) seemed like the natural answer. These people do have a strong incentive to get the assessment of IQ right. And if I really am not bright enough, perhaps a test will tell me (and you, if you dare) so.
Only … I passed.
(There went the idea to develop a manual on how to train for these kinds of tests. Because, while IQ maybe really is fixed, the result for a test really isn’t.)
And yeah, at that time, I also had the impression that my view of the world was … just not right. Somewhat fractured. Like being naturally able to see different points of view, no matter whether I agreed to them or not.
But I also see … the problems of measurement. I mean, I remember once during my school days, someone coming to test our understanding of … causality? With movies? Showing us a movie about an old wizard and his apprentice. And said apprentice neglecting to put an amulet in some form of container? It was painfully obvious what would happen. Yet I did not voice that thought. Because I did value belonging to a … group I had to be in every … fucking day … as higher than valuing my own … insight?
So yeah, that was a fuckup.
Intelligence isn’t everything. It’s like … something really powerful … that is just not plugged in. (When it fails, that is.)
Looking back … don’t just join a so-called high-IQ society. Just take what you need. And then … ditch it. Don’t become invested in it. Those so-called societies are a lot of intellectual masturbation. It’s fun. Really fun — if you know how to pleasure yourself. Just also … somewhat … pointless. So just … take what you need, and then pursue greener pastures. And seriously, look for people who share your vision of the future. Fuck location (you don’t control where you are born). Fuck intelligence (if you are smart, you can find a reason for any atrocity). Just go with people who … can provide you with insights you did not see for yourself.
Meh, one more issue. After watching the general assemble online during the Covid lockdowns of 2021 (the Mensa in Germany General Assembly of 2021) … I realized, I do not belong in Mensa. They are just … more concerned with the group than with truth. And yeah, part of it is being … alone … aka with myself … no matter whether I am alone for hundreds of miles or alone in a crowd, and no matter how smart the crowd is. So yeah, I left Mensa in Germany, because while I find this … particular, at times really interesting (if you know how to deal with it) … biotope somewhat … comforting, it is just … another clique.
And … what I think is right should be above … any … group membership.
So, sapere aude.
(And I really mean it. Fuck the organization (not the members) of Mensa in Germany)
P.S.: Yeah, I did select that quotation for a reason. I don’t think it is wise to leave any society for a spurious reason. But damn, if that membership meeting didn’t blow away any self-deceit, I don’t know what will. Humans — no matter how smart they are — are better than this … so-called High-IQ society.
PPS.: I really mean it. For a while, that society was really helpful. I mean … in the actual sense of the word life saving. And I really like a lot of the people. Especially in the MHN. And don’t get me started on a few individuals who … literally did open worlds for me. No matter what I think of their overall world views. It’s just that in the end, it’s a club. With the usual power plays, the usual drama, thus the usual distractions. And … at least when you survive as long as I have, with the baggage I carry, life is rather … short. And way too short for the negative aspects of that society. So take what you need.
PPPS.: Hmm, so much for the emotional side of it. I’ll write a posting from a more rational perspective soon.