We were talking on the weekend about which of the following attributes we would choose if we could choose only one while the other two were in the normal range: intelligence, good looks or wealth. Most of us chose intelligence, which shows the kind of people I typically hang out with. Nor do I think a review of this book on The Curse of High IQ would have made any of us change our minds.
The book makes the point that high IQ people have a harder time in the world since much of society is set up for the average. Those with a high IQ end up wasting a lot of time because the average person wants to buy lottery tickets with a check or doesn’t seem to mind standing in line or wasting time. Because of this, a high IQ person’s time is wasted since they spend much of it waiting or being annoyed by those who are average. Friends are hard to make because high IQ people have fewer people statistically to choose from. And marriage or partnership? Clarey says it is difficult. For example, abnormally intelligent men face two unique problems when it comes to dating:
1. Very few equally-intelligent women to choose from
2. Not caring because their hormones are rendering their massive IQs completely useless.
These men end up choosing a “hot, crazy matrix” until they are 30 and more experienced.
But this ends with a lot of pain and difficulty. Had the man been average, he might have had more choices and partners to choose from–and not suffered from as much angst and difficulty.
Not that, in my experience, most people of high intelligence are any the happier for it, whereas wealth and beauty can do many things that make for a very nice life. Yet each can also be a curse. But possibly the most intriguing part about having high intelligence is that unless you are recognised as such – you are an Einstein, say – most other people will think you’re an idiot, while no matter how smart you are or you aren’t, you will think your intelligence is superior to everyone else around you.