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720071.  Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:59 am Reply with quote

"Iq" is a backwards version of "Qi" broadcast in the Bizarro Universe. In the Bizarro "Iq", Stephen Fry is a curly haired Arsenal supporter who is married to Sandi Toksvik whilst Alan Davies is Professor of Classics at Cambridge. Regular QI panellists include Brian Dowling from Big Brother, Brian Belo from Big Brother and that really irritating woman from Big Brother whose name escapes me. The winner is the person who scores the least and the average score is usually around 300.

"IQ" is also a totally fictitious measurement of the indefinable concept "intelligence". The idea is...wait for this, you'll split your sides that the higher one's IQ score, the more intelligent one is. Ho ho ho. People with high IQ scores join an organisation called "Mensa" in which they sit around telling each other how clever they are, thus proving that there is actually no correlation or connection between their IQ score and their actual intelligence.

Spud McLaren
720101.  Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:49 am Reply with quote

I became interested in what happens at a Mensa meeting, and consulted Google. Here are a couple of the results (US experiences, but who cares?):

720124.  Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:29 am Reply with quote

Anyone thinking of joining Mensa should read about Viktor Serebriakoff first. There's books and stuff, but post 458043 is a starting point.

720279.  Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:33 pm Reply with quote

Mensa doesn't hold many meetings, as such, except at the administrative level.

Small get-togethers are the same as any sort of private party. Meet at somebody's house or else at a restaurant, in a park, etc. LOTS of alcohol consumed, plenty of food, rude jokes. There may be a special purpose (e.g. play board games, watch a movie) but usually it's just a mix-and-mingle party.

Nobody is the least bit interested in talking about intelligence or comparing IQs. People who join just for the ego-buzz tend not to be very active -- or, if they do try some activities, tend to drop out fairly soon. The main reason for joining among those that stay is that you can relax in a group where you don't always have to censor yourself.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) might also hold get-togethers. The level of seriousness would depend on the SIG -- I'd assume something like the Single Parents' Group would feature more discussion and slightly less silliness.

Larger get-togethers, called gatherings, are on a regional or national, or rarely international, scale. Essentially like a convention. Even more alcohol, food, rude jokes, amateur dramatics, lots of general silliness, and (rumour has it) as much sex as you care to go looking for. Guest speakers, game rooms, movie viewings, perhaps some excursions to local interest spots, all of which you can take part in or not, as you prefer.

Some fond memories from various American Mensa National Gatherings:
- playing a murder mystery game and winning an Agatha Christie paperback with the last chapter torn out (because if you're that good at solving mysteries you don't need it)
- a champagne tasting hosted by Moet & Chandon
- seeing how many people can cram into a hotel lift, saying things like "if we all jumped up and down we could probably jam it", and then having a baffled-looking little old lady struggle out from the mass on a floor not belonging to the gathering
- singing "Ave Maria" to the tune of "Hava Nagila"
- wandering down for the morning's entertainment wearing a chimpanzee mask, and having a chat with Victor Serebriakoff while thus adorned
- the longest submarine sandwich I've ever seen
- learning how to work a yo-yo, because they were in the goodie bags
- casino night!
- crawling around under tables to collect corks (with the help of Clive Sinclair) to make an Australian hat for an impromptu "Spam and champagne party" with the Monty Python SIG
- group hugs, individual hugs, lots and lots of hugs
- being told by hotel staff that we're definitely the noisiest group they've ever hosted, but also the cleanest and most considerate

EDIT: It's only fair to add that I'm no longer in Mensa, I think. I am, or was, a life member of American Mensa. Since this can't be transferred to a membership in British Mensa, I've been pretty well inactive since I moved in '87. I stopped receiving the American Mensa magazine 10 years ago because of an admin error, and only a couple of years ago bothered to contact them and have it reinstated. The magazine had changed, and not for the better -- and as an expat I get no other benefit -- so I recently asked HQ to just stop everything and count me as resigned. Whether I can officially resign a life membership I don't know; I might just be registered as inactive.

721074.  Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:12 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
"IQ" is also a totally fictitious measurement of the indefinable concept "intelligence". The idea is...wait for this, you'll split your sides that the higher one's IQ score, the more intelligent one is.

I have always understood that your IQ is more a measure of your ability to learn, rather than a measure of intelligence. Thus you could have a low IQ and still be intelligent, you would just have to work really hard at it. Conversely, you could have a massive IQ and be thick as the proverbial planks if you had never been taught anything.

This of course is based on one definition of intelligence, that is the command and control of a large number of facts. If you favour a different definition of the word, then your opinion of the value of IQ rating might be different.

721194.  Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:02 pm Reply with quote

Surely knowledge is the possession of facts? Intelligence is knowing what to do with those facts. And wisdom is what you end up with as a result ;).

721338.  Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:18 am Reply with quote

IQ tests attempt to measure "raw" intelligence, which shouldn't be affected by whether or not you know any particular facts. Hence the preponderance of questions such as "which pattern comes next in this sequence".

Of course, there's always going to be some basic level of knowledge that the test assumes. For typical IQ tests aimed at adults, it's assumed you have reasonable eyesight, a normal vocabulary, the ability to read and do basic arithmetic, and a general knowledge of how the world works.

"General knowledge of how the world works" can easily become cultural bias if the test is badly written.

I've found a pretty decent internet IQ test HERE. At the end of the test are several pages asking for personal information for various spam factories -- don't answer them, keep clicking "Pass", and you'll eventually get to your score.

The same people have also produced The Impossible Quiz HERE, for real masochists. Nobody has ever scored 100% on this beast, and if you try it you'll see why.

721363.  Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:32 am Reply with quote

RLDavies wrote:
The Impossible Quiz HERE

I got 17. Apparently I'm smarter than 96.04% of the population.

Well, that's a non sequitur. I know that much.

721389.  Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:01 pm Reply with quote

I got 14 right, so you're smarter than I am samivel.

721400.  Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:24 pm Reply with quote

I got 12, but (here come the excuses), I feel it was slightly angled at USA users, plus I thought I marked the correct answer for the last question but it came up saying I hadn't answered the question.

721586.  Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:12 am Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
I thought I marked the correct answer for the last question but it came up saying I hadn't answered the question.

Same thing happened to me. Glad I'm not the only one.

721700.  Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:29 am Reply with quote

Happened to me too.

721833.  Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:44 pm Reply with quote

13 here.
A bit Amercin based -- Rolling Rock? I know it's a drink, but who cares...

721851.  Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:24 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Happened to me too.

Maybe that's why it's the Impossible Quiz!

721869.  Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:02 pm Reply with quote

I admit to taking the MENSA test several years ago. Why? Because my ex-husband made a habit of telling people, including me, how stupid I was.

MENSA didn't think I was stupid.

I have never been to a gathering, however. I prefer to arrange gatherings of my own sort, with cool people like Jenny.


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