Intelligence is an amazing gift. It allows those who have been bestowed it the ability to analyze and problem solve faster and more effectively than their peers. It is clearly linked with making more money in the long-run and more respect and admiration from peers. Though being bright is certainly advantageous, the costs of intelligence are rarely discussed.
In Curse of the High IQ Aaron Clarey lays out the notion that the world is often stacked against the brightest. Whether it’s the corporate world, the public school system, dating, or even just waiting in line at a store, those who are abnormally bright will become frustrated at the inability to cope with ‘average people’.
Finding Happiness in an Idiocracy
Every man wants to be happy. While ignorance is bliss for the masses, the intelligent man must dig deeper to achieve fulfillment. And though being intelligent will often lead to wealth, material goods will never bring true happiness in this world:
You can have the latest PS4 video game with a 60 inch screen TV, a Ferrari, and a small island in your name, but it does not change the fact that without family, friends, loved ones and a social life all the material items in the world mean nothing.
People need something deeper: Love, friendships, connection, good conversations, good books etc. For someone who has abnormally high intelligence, that can often be hard to find in this land of idiocracy.
For example, take the way your average Joe socializes:
Severely average men spend hours sitting at Applebee’s, eating wings, wearing some other man’s jersey, chugging away light beers as they set up fantasy sportsball teams based on real athletes who don’t even know (or care) that they exist….
The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with watching sports or enjoying a good game. But if it were only that. Sadly, millions of men (and women) pin their happiness and hopes, their actual mental state of mind, even their identity on whether or not “their” team wins.
It’s quite a sad state of affairs. As the years go by, I’m starting to watch sports less and less. I keep up with the big news to be able to make small talk, but I could care less how any passing yards so and so had and no, I did not see that “Totally amazing catch” last night—I was reading a book.
If you’re fascinated by intellectual pursuits like books, writing, chess, art, business, don’t expect to find talk of these things at the office. No, you’ll have to search far and wide, whereas walk into any bar on the weekend and you’ll find dozens of guys who would love nothing less than to talk about sports and about how “their” team is so good.
… if you’re average and wish to make friends and socialize you have a plethora of options available to you. You can go to a nightclub, you can go to the bars, you can “watch the game,” or join a fantasy football league. No doubt for some of you this sounds appetizing, but for the majority of high IQ people these are painful experiences as they lack the mental stimulation we need and thus, to us, are pointless.
They’ll Keep Ya Down
It would seem only natural to nurture the talent of our brightest minds, doing everything we can to develop the gifted and talented. Yet, leave it to politicians to fund ‘special education’ programs infinitely more than gifted and talented programs.
It’s the Marxist and egalitarian thought processes that keeps the brightest ones down:
Sadly, the same cannot be said of the real world because once society gets a hint, a mere whiff that you might have dreams and goals, that you might dare to become great, that you might dare to be better than average, out of every crack, corner, and alley people will come out and work against you and your dreams. And the sad pathetic reason they do this is because they can’t stand knowing there are people out there who are better than them.
The Failure of the Education System
Aaron makes some excellent points about the public school system in this country. For example, we all had that feeling of total and utter relief when we finally graduated high school, but why?
So tell me, what kind of system evokes such a visceral hatred and a desire to escape it?
It seems high school academics are universally hated, which means the brightest people in this country are being held back. Things don’t get much better in college. If guys make the right choice, they’ll get a good degree and manage to skip past the SJW’s in the college admin and get a good job after graduating.
How to Thrive
Much of the book focuses on the hindrances that uber-intelligent people will face, especially as they grow older. Yet, Aaron does make sure to include ways to thrive and ‘cope’ in this world for those with brilliant minds:
The purpose of this book was not just to highlight the drawbacks or “curses” in having a high IQ, but to also provide understanding, analysis, and ultimately solutions to these problems.
He suggests several career choices for those with high IQ’s to pursue so that they can escape the mundane nature and frustration of the corporate world. One of these ways is via entrepreneurship:
The point is the sooner you start down the path of entrepreneurship, the sooner you will be free of the bonds of traditional employers and the more time you’ll have in your life to enjoy it.
How Important is an IQ score?
Obviously it’s in the title of the book, but I think one problem with the book is that there is too much of an emphasis on IQ. Not only is the IQ test a bit finicky, but there are more factors that come into play in a person’s life than just intelligence.
For example, I think being high-IQ and ‘blue-pill’ is different than being someone who was accepted the ‘red-pill’ view of the world. The red-pill man will have a much harder time fitting in the real world, as even fewer people understand where he is coming from.
Another factor to take into consideration is location. In the book, Aaron talks about people in Wyoming are just, well—not smart. If people in a certain region can have a low-IQ across the board, then the opposite can be true as well. I’ve found that the DC area has an exceptional number of bright people (none of which have found their way to Capitol Hill…). The reason for this is that there is a high-concentration of white-collar jobs here which attracts intelligent people. Throw in an amazing public school system (as far as public school goes) and parents flock to DC.
This has allowed me to grow up with some very bright people, and oftentimes in high school I felt out of my league when it came to the classroom. I have a lot of brilliant friends who all manage to find other brilliant people to hang out with. That can’t be said for everywhere though.
How to Know if This Book is for You
There really isn’t a set standard for who can read this book. Although it is most geared towards people who are above a 130 IQ (2 SD’s above the norm), I don’t think you have to be at ‘Beautiful Mind’ levels to enjoy this book. After taking some online tests over the years, my IQ is in the 122-130 range (for what that’s worth) and I still found a lot of things really starting to make sense from this book. A lot of the points he hits on are something I’ve experienced personally.
Here’s how I look at it: If the very title of this book piques your interest, and you’ve struggled with average people throughout your life, then this book is for you.