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willmagicman
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Hi all,
During a recent telephone conversation with Phedon Bilek [mentalist & coin guy] I took the opportunity to ask him whether or not he had ever submitted himself to an IQ test. I was pretty certain that he would have done so at some point in his life. I had no intention of asking him what his result was, [that would have been rude] I was just interested to see if he was happy or not with how true a representation the test result was of his own perceived intelligence. I was surprised because he went on to tell me that 'yes' he had taken an IQ test, and then he told me what he had scored. He seemed happy enough with his score, which indeed I certainly would have been too. Of course I shall never reveal this information to anyone, just as I shall never reveal my own IQ score to anyone. Which brings me to the main point of this topic:

Just how intelligent do we as magicians think we are? It has become apparent to me since joining the Café and reading through a myriad of posts that I'm in the company of way above average intelligent minds. I'm impressed by the quality and content of most posts, and the command of the written language is of a pretty high standard. Some of you out there are 'geniuses' and I'm in awe of you. Others of you like to think that you're 'geniuses' but perhaps really aren't. [I've been guilty of that myself in the past] Anyhow peeps: I hope I get some good responses from you all .... What do you think of the MENSA IQ test .... did you ever take it? .... was your result justifiable to you? ... were you upset by the result? .... Feedback please!

Respect to all of you . Will. [willmagicman]
A Man's gotta know his limitations ... A Magician sets those limitations.
IAIN
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I did take it years ago, out of curiosity... The 'for fun' ones aren't the same accuracy wise though (I don't think)...

And though debunked, the myers-briggs ones are quite interesting too...
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Claudio
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Intelligence is a very fuzzy concept, and IQ tests measure the ability to pass IQ tests - nothing more.

For an in-depth discussion on intelligence and how it's been used to socially and racially discriminate, I suggest one reads Stephen Jay Gould's book The Mismeasure of Man, and of course its critics.
MichaelCGM
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I've taken the Mensa test. It was quite interesting. According to my sources, IQ tests measure one's "ability to learn." The idea that IQ tests only "measure the ability to pass IQ tests" is without merit.
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Mr. Woolery
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I am only slightly above average IQ. The fun tests usually score me within 2 points of the official one I had 25 or so years ago.

My totally unqualified opinion is that IQ measures one sort of "intelligence" but does not necessarily indicate problem solving "out of the box" thinking or what some people call emotional intelligence.

For what it's worth, I am back to school for engineering. Most of the students are half my age and used to being the smartest person in the room. I'm doing fine because I study harder than many of them, so there is something to be said there.

Patrick
willmagicman
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Quote:
On Aug 3, 2017, Claudio wrote:
For an in-depth discussion on intelligence and how it's been used to socially and racially discriminate, I suggest one reads Stephen Jay Gould's book The Mismeasure of Man, and of course its critics.


Hey Claudio, I looked that up and whew! That's some heavy reading! I'll have to spend a bit of time later with that. Thanks for posting the link, nice one. Will.

[quote]On Aug 3, 2017, MichaelCGM wrote:
I've taken the Mensa test. It was quite interesting. According to my sources, IQ tests measure one's "ability to learn."

Michael, I once had to take an IQ test for a job as a trainee software writer for a company called 'Computeach' I have no idea whether they exist or not at present, but the point is: They were scouring the country looking for people with certain abilities, with a particular kind of intelligence, and in this case they were looking for people with an ability to think in machine code, and hex etc. So you didn't have to score well across the board [so to speak] you just had to score well in certain areas. Of course in actuality, I imagine that most, if not all computer software writers, will have at least an above average IQ. I must add that this was in the late seventies, and so I can not speak of today. ..... oh dear! ........... I'm getting old.

Will.
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IAIN
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You can certainly be very smart within a particular context/expertise...but I wouldn't have thought that would make you above average overall...

I know mathematicians that are terrible with money, so certainly not economics, just maths Smile
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Amirá
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For sure IQ ratings are above the average, but referring someone as "intelligent" just by knowing IQ is meaningless nowadays.

Intelligence is multiple (Gardner) and EQ (Emotional) is far more important to perform in my opinion and sadly the less important in the state of the art.
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willmagicman
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Quote:
On Aug 3, 2017, Mr. Woolery wrote:
My totally unqualified opinion is that IQ measures one sort of "intelligence" but does not necessarily indicate problem solving "out of the box" thinking or what some people call emotional intelligence.
For what it's worth, I am back to school for engineering. Most of the students are half my age and used to being the smartest person in the room. I'm doing fine because I study harder than many of them, so there is something to be said there.
Patrick


Patrick, I value and agree with your opinion. And that's great that your back at school showing all those young uns the way to go! Sock it to em!


Quote:
On Aug 3, 2017, IAIN wrote:
You can certainly be very smart within a particular context/expertise...but I wouldn't have thought that would make you above average overall...
I know mathematicians that are terrible with money, so certainly not economics, just maths Smile


IAIN, Good points there sir. A good brick layer doesn't necessarily make a good designer of architecture, yet both require skills in symmetry. It's a case of horses for courses. A good magician can fool a room full of PHD's!

Will.
A Man's gotta know his limitations ... A Magician sets those limitations.
Mr. Mindbender
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If mentalists tend to have a high IQ, then why do we have multi page threads arguing about the odds of ACAAN! ;-)
ElliottB
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I scored a perfect 100 on my SAT!
Now, that's genius Smile
willmagicman
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Here's a thing, and please don't quote me on these figures because I haven't researched this yet. But I'm sure I remember the average IQ in 1960's UK was around the 120 mark [I'll be checking this out later] and I believe that today it is around the 100 mark. Of course different parts of the world will yield different numbers, but I think that in all, the average IQ has lowered. To be honest with you, when I look around me at some of the dross that populate my country, It justifies the 100 figure. Years ago, an IQ of 100 would have been considered as slightly retarded. How sad. I think it's because the government doesn't want you to be able to think for yourself too much. So they lower education standards so that they have a population that is obedient and submissive, or to put it another way ... a population that is easily brainwashed. They don't want any thinkers or loose cannons.

Anyone who scores say 125 should be really happy with that because guess what guys? ... your way over average!

One more thing: Without using your calculators or a pen/pencil and paper ... in fact ... just in your minds ... work out what a third plus a quarter is. [1/3 plus 1/4]. I'll give you a clue ..... and the clue is LCD You'd be amazed at the number of bank clerks that I've posed this simple bit of arithmetic to that failed to do the sum mentally and ended up resorting to pen and paper, and even then they struggled.. And anyone with an average IQ should be able to answer this easily.

Will.
A Man's gotta know his limitations ... A Magician sets those limitations.
FJR
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Quote:
On Aug 3, 2017, Claudio wrote:
Intelligence is a very fuzzy concept, and IQ tests measure the ability to pass IQ tests - nothing more.

For an in-depth discussion on intelligence and how it's been used to socially and racially discriminate, I suggest one reads Stephen Jay Gould's book The Mismeasure of Man, and of course its critics.


This.
The Gould book is fascinating (he was an evolutionary biologist) and will certainly leave you more sceptical about the notion of IQ - certainly the claim that it measures something 'natural' (wholly biological) and fixed/unchanging. It also makes very clear the way such tests have been used politically in the past (and currently, generally by the economically right-wing). For example, if one interprets IQ/intelligence to be something natural and fixed then one is disinclined to spend money on social policies aimed at improving education and so on. ("Well, those interventions are pointless because intelligence can't be changed so let's not spend money on improving the environment or education of those people. Blah blah.")

It can be a fun thing to dabble in but I don't think it's wise to place too much value on it. Though, of course, if one gets a flattering result, one is incentivised to make a bigger deal of them!

Very best,
Francis
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DocBenWiz
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I think we could also add that having a vast accumulation of knowledge is not that significant,and one's "potential"( as is so often touted) if one does not ACT on " knowledge guided by experience"...Otherwise, someone wise once noted that "Librarian's would rule the world"...!
"Pay no attention to that strange man behind the curtain" (it's only "Doc Benjamin from the Amazing Wizardelia Wagon")
Mr. Woolery
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Richard Feinman, the Nobel prizewinning physicist, said in one of his books that his IQ was 127. I would argue, however, that his success as compared to others of similar IQ is due more to his willingness to follow his curiosity to anywhere it took him. So, he translated a Mayan codex, learned to draw and drum, was a character witness for the owner of a topless bar when people tried to shut him down for public lewdness, and helped to build the atomic bomb. Not in that order.

I have two family members with more than 140 for their tested IQ. One had a full-ride scholarship to MIT in the 1960s. He dropped out after one semester. Seems that everyone else was just as smart as he was and he couldn't take being average. Today he lives on family charity and manages to make sure everyone in the room knows that he is smarter than they are. Yet, who owns a car and holds a job? The other is the closest I have ever met to a true polymath. But he has spent so much time stoned that he never really did much with his brainpower. Never learned to manage money well enough to pay child support, even when he was earning very good money. I have seen him throw temper tantrums that would embarrass a spoiled toddler. Screaming at a janitor because he thought the bathroom was in a particular hallway, storming away from a fast food place because they serve 2% milk instead of "real" milk. IQ didn't do much in these guys to make them better people for the world. If they had been willing to work with their brains instead of simply display them, I wonder what they could have done.

As magicians and mentalists, I suspect we all tend to be more in the Feinman camp, being curious about things, interested in processes, and willing to follow ideas to either success or failure. I think that makes more difference than the numbers on a test. Richard Osterlind, on one of his DVDs (might have been Live without a Net), made the offhand remark that "I know I'm not usually the smartest guy in the room." I bet he is still 2 steps ahead of the one who is the smartest in the room, though. That simple statement by one of our modern role models was highly instructive to me. You don't have to be the smartest guy to fool the room. You do have to be the one who has done the best job of thinking through the process of your performance, however.

I speculate that we are all used to developing skills that are a useful adjunct to our intelligence, whatever that may be. It ain't what you start with, but how you use it.

-Patrick
willmagicman
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[quote]On Aug 4, 2017, Mr. Woolery wrote:
Richard Feinman, the Nobel prizewinning physicist, said in one of his books that his IQ was 127. I would argue, however, that his success as compared to others of similar IQ is due more to his willingness to follow his curiosity to anywhere it took him. So, he translated a Mayan codex, learned to draw and drum, was a character witness for the owner of a topless bar when people tried to shut him down for public lewdness, and helped to build the atomic bomb. Not in that order.

Patrick, What a great post by you. Richard Feynman is one of my heroes! I've nothing but admiration for him. I've read lots of his work, and books about him. 'Surely you're joking Mr Feynman' is one of my all time favourite reads. He was truely a one off kind of guy. Loved by most, and disliked by some. Murray Gellman couldn't stand him! They both had adjoining offices, and Gellman was always complaining about how 'loud' Feynman was Lol. you hit the nail on the head with one word 'Curiosity' and the willingness to 'Find things out'. I must admit that I hadn't read anywhere about his statement regarding his IQ of 127. I must have skipped through that bit while reading about him. That fact has surprised me. Can you remember the name of his artist friend? .. an old guy with white hair and beard ... he was an interesting guy too.

I think Richard Feynman was a fantastic lecturer, and he was dearly loved by his students. One of his biggest advocates of today is 'Lawrence Krauss' Another great guy in this modern era.

Thanks for you quality input Patrick. Will.
A Man's gotta know his limitations ... A Magician sets those limitations.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Quote:
On Aug 3, 2017, willmagicman wrote:
Years ago, an IQ of 100 would have been considered as slightly retarded.


The average IQ is by definition always 100. Of course, there are three different ways to define "average;" either mean, median, or mode. However, the IQ test scores are distributed in such a way that all three are set at 100 with a standard deviation of 15 points. That means that 68% of the population will have a score between 85 and 115 on any particular test.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
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willmagicman
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Philemon, Thanks for that bit of info. I stand corrected. So the average is always set at 100 + or - a bit ... I see. That makes sense to me now that you've made it clear. So as I understand it now, the centre of the 'bell curve' is set at 100, and either side of it is pretty much an exponential fall, or rise.

I've got to stop making statements before I've checked my facts ........ sorry guys. In the meantime ... have a look at this guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJfeFe4CKEk

It's very funny, but be warned, there is profanity in use here .... so keep the children out of earshot when you watching it.


Will.
A Man's gotta know his limitations ... A Magician sets those limitations.
Yuan Moons
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In my experience magicians are no different to any other cross section of society and they range from the very intelligent to the Severely lacking. It’s not like brain surgery where a certain level of intelligence is needed to be able to qualify in that field. Anyone can be a magician. I imagine there are some fantastic performers with relatively low iq’s and vice versa.
Ben Blau
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Tangentially related to the OP, I think that those of us who practice mentalism should at least be able to create the illusion of above-average intelligence. I despise "derpy-ness" in mentalism performance.
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