The curse of high intelligence

The curse of high intelligence

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This is a discussion on The curse of high intelligence within the Critical Thinking & Philosophy forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; ...

  1. #1

    The curse of high intelligence

    The curse of high intelligence


    I wrote this tonight, it's been a rough night...

    Iím 6í2Ē. People sometimes remark to me and almost everyone seems to just naturally assume that being tall is somehow a good thing. After all, I can reach things on the top shelf. What they donít realize is how cramped everything else in life is, table space, chairs, airplanes, cars. Being tall is not always a great thing.

    People also seem to think that intelligence is a good thing. It both is and it isnít. While itís true that high intelligence corresponds to more complex jobs and thus more income and more income generally raises things that most people who attribute as happiness (wealth, materials, power), this is a misnomer.

    The truth is, intelligence, being smart, really truly smart, is a horribly lonely affair. It is soul-crushingly lonely. For someone such as me with an IQ as a stupid, naive, child was last measured at 142. Thatís roughly .14% or 14 / 10,000. Now restrict that sample to a given location and there may be (if youíre lucky) a few hundred people in the area you live in (this depends of course on where you live, Iím speaking for my current situation). Now how many of those are roughly your age? How many are of the opposite sex, emotionally compatible, attractive, and single? In many to most cases the answer is nearly nil. What are the odds of meeting such a person? Imagine how lonely a situation that is, and itís just simply arrived at by simple analysis.

    Imagine my dismay tonight. On Wednesday I met a woman, the best woman Iíve met in my entire 28 year old life. Iíve met many, many people, and many women. I can say safely none held so much as a candle to this womanís intelligence, personality, beauty, accent, sweetness, and other assorted wonderful qualities.

    After much thought I quickly came to the following realizations:
    ē My odds of meeting someone this good in the area I live in are on par with me winning the lottery
    ē The odds of me meeting anyone else on the same scale is the same as the odds of meeting this woman (past results do not impact future rolls)
    Presented with those conclusions it then logically follows that:
    ē I should do anything in my power to make this woman happy. Knowing her rarity makes me want to do anything in my power to make her happy, love her, make her feel wonderful, cherish her, know that she would bear brilliant children, and know that there is a quality of conversation that only we can provide each other (without winning the lottery again)
    ē Since I am more motivated then the other millions then other people she would have to look through to find someone who would love her more
    ē In theory these are good qualities in a mate, someone who respects and puts you happiness at the forefront of their own goals
    ē So you have what is essentially a perfect and impossibly unlikely situation. For a person to throw away such a thing callously or without thinking the situation through is like handing someone a winning lottery ticket and then having them throw it away without a cursory glance and being unable to explain it to them as they have already made up their mind.

    Realizing conclusions like this in a few scant instances is not a blessing, itís an absolute curse. How do you not break down in despair when you comprehend how unhappy you are likely to be for your entire life? The best one can do is try to settle for something which is a vague substitute. But with a even small intelligence gap things can quickly become just as depressing.

    Try to conceive of the mind of a stupid dog, it understands perhaps how to eat and that it should defecate far from where it eats. Perhaps it realizes to use shelter when itís cold out, perhaps it simply chases its tail all day and sits passively waiting for food. It may very well be happy all the time. It can only conceive of the status quo and has no concept of death or any other consequences.

    Now conceive of the mind of a smart dog, one that can learn complex behaviors and predict with some small certainty how events will play out. Perhaps he knows a schedule, perhaps he knows how to do tricks, perhaps he understands that good behavior will result in a positive reward. The smart dog is almost incomprehensibly smarter than the regular dog.
    Unfortunately this section will probably offend people, however I feel it is necessary to talk about as facts should not be discarded simply because they are uncomfortable. Believe me, I didnít relish writing this part:
    Now imagine a mentally retarded individual (my own brother is autistic). He is likely in most measurable ways smarter than the smart dog but it is possible that the dog may learn a cause and effect faster than some humans. This simply does and can be shown to happen in some cases.

    Now imagine an average human, in all or almost all ways they seem intellectually quite superior to the mentally handicapped, however to an intelligent human being they may very well be seen as slow, dull, or unable to reason.
    An intelligent or even very intelligent individual may well be able to balance their checkbook, do their taxes, and hold down a job. But rarely do they bend their minds to the problems of philosophy. Social interactions will take the bulk of their time as there are still a multitude of people at or near their intelligence levels. Also the distinctions between average and intelligent are fairly small (as there are still many people in both groups).
    As you move up the scale, the distinguishing percentage narrows more and more. Yet the differences between people still do change. Imagine how it might feel for someone with a 180 IQ to interact with a GENIUS with a 140 IQ. If itís remotely the same as a 140 interacting with a 100 (and it should be worse as the concepts will by definition be more and more complex and insightful) then the 180 is going to feel incredibly lonely. Who can they talk to? Who will understand them?
    Mutatio NOmenis, OrangeAppled, Selene and 13 others thanked this post.



  2. #2

    Everyone who's dumber than you is an idiot. Everyone smarter is an elitist. I'm constantly amazed how "intelligent" people continue to boil down people's mentally capacity into such a useless number as one's IQ.

    The only thing more prevalent than my intelligence when compared to the rest of the world is my apathy toward it. Now I must return to my soul-crushing lonely affair.
    Selene, hornet, Galaris and 35 others thanked this post.

  3. #3

    Big capacities (in general),
    mean big difficulties
    saintless, gestalt and Glassland thanked this post.

  4. #4
  5. #5

    We all have our issues.

    Perhaps if you didn't see people as IQ scores, you would have fewer.

    I get what you are saying, but you are digging yourself an even lonelier hole if you think that that you can't have a meaningful relationship with somebody who has a lower IQ than yours. IQ measures but one type of intelligence that only a fraction of the world excels in. It doesn't make everybody else stupid.
    amanda32, Galaris, NinjaSwan and 22 others thanked this post.

  6. #6

    It's just a number. You're human, they're human. It sounds to me like you think everyone has to live in separate worlds and can have nothing in common with each if their IQs don't match.

    Sure, not everyone's going to 'get' you. But that's life. Even for 'average' people.
    Harley, amanda32, Selene and 6 others thanked this post.

  7. #7

    hey you guys.
    I'm one of those "gifted" kids (I test with an IQ in 140s) but I'm going crazy here because I the people I spend time with are way way less smart than me. I work minimum wage in Texas and I'm lucky because I live near a medical center... so I do meet some intelligent people. I chat with them. But I do get misunderstood a lot by the people who I work with, especially those who are closer to my age.

    It's not about being snobbish or looking down on others. It's just something that I've noticed that happens... when there's too great an intelligence gap eventually you can't relate to each other. Or it becomes very much harder. Over the last year I've gotten into the bad habit of starting sophistic debates with total strangers because I just can't stand the boredom....


    I'd encourage the OP to not overthink his woman. I certainly wouldn't want to be put on a pedestal like that and I'm sure she wouldn't either...
    snail, bluefaerie, Selene and 3 others thanked this post.

  8. #8

    I don't think he's focusing on IQ so much as interaction. The rift in communication is really there..so let's think on this instead of letting our feathers get ruffled because he reduced people into objects. It may be hard to relate, but I think learning to take pleasure in simple things will give you some joy.
    Selene, Scruffy, NinjaSwan and 11 others thanked this post.

  9. #9

    Supplying an excuse for a lack is revolutionary, I'd say it's more fear than a pinky & the brain.

    No one understands, statistically minority, it's really hard to be, I see dim lights, and people covered in wool. I wish there were more, to understand, I need to talk about things, not stuff. I want to bat our numbers around, this paper told me a capacity for something I've untapped.

    Low esteemed arrogance, you're in a loop brah. Being the one that has a permanent crutch, there's no reason to try, as nobody will ever get it.

    IQ is an archaic measure, without a real measure in fluid intelligence, applicable knowledge, spacial awareness, musical understanding, general creativity, and hell man my fingers hurt. Perhaps you're afraid of people being close, they can't get in if you are Data, if they get close they only get the door and a rubber stamp on their forehead.

    I don't know your pain, because you choose to live in a "Tiiiiiny bubble".

    It's communication.
    hornet, screamofconscious, alice144 and 4 others thanked this post.

  10. #10

    There's more to life than just intelligence, you know.

    You gotta laugh at yourself, and laugh at life. It's a good coping mechanism, and I can guarantee you'll find it easier in relationships too.


    I laugh at myself both when I'm being smart and when I'm being stupid.
    hornet, perennialurker, NinjaSwan and 4 others thanked this post.


 

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