I’ve decided to branch out a little and write about things that are only tenuously related to the topic of literature. This is a rant I wrote in a forum somewhere, but I think it applies to great writers as well as great people:

I don’t pay much attention to IQ any more — I’ve met so many highly intelligent people who have made so many incredibly stupid decisions, or who have a habit of being deliberately stupid. Or who are just plain obnoxious or arrogant, and therefore will never contemplate the possibility that they are ‘wrong’ about something.

Just because someone can figure out what number comes next in a sequence doesn’t mean they’re able to comprehend the emotional complexity of a human being. They’ll hurt someone’s feelings and blame it on that person’s intellectual inability rather than their own emotional drawbacks.

The problem with Mensa is that they’re too arrogant to consider that their tests don’t actually measure the most valuable characteristics of human beings — they’re too busy being self-satisfied about their reasoning abilities that they don’t want to know that they aren’t actually the highest rung of the human ladder, that being able to empathise with another human being is equal to or more important than their own abilities.

Which makes them a bunch of deluded idiots — and idiots, as we all know, are not geniuses.

IQ needs to be measured alongside EQ to mean anything substantial. People with high IQs aren’t necessarily capable of the genuine self-sacrifice, empathy, patience, understanding, altruism and humility that are the REAL virtues of a great human being.

The reason those great people don’t devise their own form of MENSA is that they realise the sheer hubris of forming your own exclusive society.