How often have you heard this idiocy du jour? I’m getting really tired of it. I assume most people saying it aren’t very smart because I have a hard time believing anyone with an IQ above 140 would ever say something so idiotic.
Talented people are always interesting. There are plenty of fine athletes in high school and college who decided not to go into sports. They were still great athletes with excellent talent. There are people who can draw very well but don’t feel like using it. Likewise with music, writing, all sorts of things. All of this is interesting. I would love to hear about someone who had great artistic or musical talent who just decided they did not want to go that way and didn’t explore their talent.
There are many very good-looking people who never went into acting or modeling. Do we pummel them over the head with this for not using their good looks. Of course not. No one has to use their natural gifts in any particular way, and it’s no crime to be the handsomest man on Earth who never did anything with it but use to get women.
It is only when it comes to intelligence that a natural talent is scored and derided as being “worthless unless you use it.” We are singling out intelligence as a special case among talents to subject it to this sort of treatment. There can be only one reason for this.
Due to our hatred of intelligence and intellectuals, it is only intelligence that is attacked as “worthless unless you do something with it.” No other talent is attacked this way. People who do this are showing how much hate they feel towards intelligent people, especially highly intelligent ones.
High IQ people explore their talent every day by necessity. They never give it up like lapsed athletes, artists, writers, etc. These people are very interesting to meet. High IQ people are fascinating whether they are “using” their talent or not. And what does using it mean anyway? Making a pile of money off of it. Not everyone is so mercenary.
My mother has a 150 IQ, yet she never “did anything with it.” So what! Why did she have to? She’s one of the smartest women I’ve ever met. Are we that greedy and mercenary that all talents must be converted into sleazy dollar bills?
Christopher Langan is said the be the world’s smartest man with an IQ of 200. I’m sure it is probably that high or around there, having seen his videos.
Incidentally, he never “used it” and instead spent his life in working class occupations such as bar bouncer, logger, truck driver, etc. Believe it or not, this is a common trajectory for geniuses. In the first half of the 20th Century it was noted that some of the smartest men of all often took menial jobs such as custodian, trash collectors or factory worker. When asked why, they typically said, “This way I can think all the time.” In countries like Italy before 1950, it was quite common to find super-geniuses working as ditch-diggers and trash collectors.
Why must Langan “use” his IQ? What for? He’s a fascinating fellow simply by being so bright. And like the other men discussed, he probably took working class jobs so he could think all day.
Natural talents are interesting and praiseworthy no matter what use they are put to.