Re: META: IQ distributions

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Tue Nov 22 2005 - 17:57:23 MST

I googled about a bit, and:
Watson: 122 IQ
Crick: 115
Feynman: 124
"Winning a Nobel Prize is no big deal, but
winning it with an IQ of 124 is really
--Richard Feynman
The earlier post about Einstein and his
blackboard hit the nail on the head: he achieved
relativity theory by obsessing about it "like a
dog worrying a bone." It's what you do with what
you have.
By comparison, former NH governor and White House
chief of staff John Sununu reputedly has a 180 IQ
and eidetic memory (both of which I would kill
for) but somehow managed to be an utter fool in
my estimation (among other follies, circa 1990 he
ran a climate sim on his home computer, which
couldn't have been much better than a 386 with a
couple megs of ram, and decided global warming
wasn't for real! When real climatologists running
supercomputers weren't willing to place total
faith in their sims.) If there's a better parable
illustrating that IQ-isn't-everything, I'd like
to hear it.

Furthermore, a number tells you nothing about
what sort of mental skills a person might have:
there's a guy I work with at the post office;
once I was telling him about lucid dreaming,
which Stephen LaBerge had recently proved in the
sleep lab to be a real phenomenon. Very few
people can do it regularly (I only managed it
briefly, once or twice; it was astounding! Like
the best virtual reality you could have. In lucid
dreams, you really can fly.) Tad, my co-worker,
said "Oh, you mean awake dreams? I have those all
the time! You have to be careful, if you get too
excited you wake up." I told him that was like
being able to throw a baseball at 100 miles an
hour, and not realizing that's special.

Tom Buckner

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