Other: Relationship
Half-Mensa   (+5, -6)  [vote for, against]
Half as good as the real thing.

As you all know, Mensa (the society for those of a stratospheric IQ) has an entry point of an IQ of 150. Mensa must give some benefits to its members, otherwise why would they join.

My idea is to give a chance for the rest of us. Forming a half-Mensa, where the entry point is half that of Mensa (ie. an IQ of 75), would be inclusive yet still selective enough to weed out society's undesirables. Moreover, such a club, straddling society's norm (IQ of 100) would ensure that it is full of normal people talking about normal things.
-- PeterSilly, Sep 09 2002

Densa Quiz http://msclcenter.cjb.net/
Same sentiment as PeterSilly expresses. (There are many copies of this test online.) [jutta, Sep 10 2002]

How I joined Densa and found true happiness. http://people.man.a...xt_files/densa.html
Baked, it seems. [jutta, Sep 10 2002]

Densa Quiz (II) http://www.mwm.org/densa.html
"Who's buried in Grant's Tomb" type stuff. [jutta, Sep 10 2002]

Normal Distribution http://members.aol....nnord/ed/normal.htm
An IQ of 75 corresponds to fewer than 10% of the population. [jutta, Sep 10 2002]

The Spark http://www.thespark.com
Silly tests for all occasions. [Jinbish, Sep 10 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Mensa Squared http://www.halfbake...dea/Mensa_20Squared
The opposite idea, for a more-than-Mensa, in whose annotations I rant and jutta and others are informative. [pottedstu, Sep 10 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

-- thumbwax, Sep 09 2002


-- Guy Fox, Sep 09 2002

//normal people talking about normal things//
How dull would *that* be?
-- angel, Sep 09 2002

Where would they meet? A pub?
-- BinaryCookies, Sep 09 2002

The absent-minded professor?
-- FarmerJohn, Sep 09 2002

PeterSilly, it isn't lack of IQ that makes people 'undesirable' in a social sense. As for meeting in a pub.. I have noiced that when mensa members get drunk enough, they are as stupid as anyone, but can't seem to accept it. Ugly.
-- pfperry, Sep 09 2002

// Normal people talking about normal things. //

They wouldn't be found here, that's for sure. Blissy, what kind of car was it?
-- RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

I like the idea of Densa - but this could probably be for those with IQ between 37.5 and 75. How about Sensa for those in this target range? Common Sensa. Has a certain ring to it.

[pfp] - I know that drink can do awful things to people (viz my family at Christmas time) but it appears to me that Mensa is aimed at making high-IQ people feel good about themselves. The same should apply to "normal" people (like me!) - hence the idea.
-- PeterSilly, Sep 09 2002

What worries me is that half the population are of below-average intelligence. Someone should do something.

<Dilbert> "And do you realise that on average, forty percent of sick days are Mondays or Fridays ?!" </Dilbert>
-- 8th of 7, Sep 09 2002

Hey [8th] - I tried that one in one of my management meetings. One of the two directors went absolutely ballistic, complaining about sciving staff and lack of devotion, the other one (the accountant) thought for a bit and said "but that's what you'd expect to happen".
-- PeterSilly, Sep 09 2002

8th of 7, Did you know that Scott Adams, the originator of Dilbert, was a member of Mensa as of a couple of years ago? Saw that in an newspaper interview. I don't know if he still is in Mensa or not.
-- Lars, Sep 09 2002

There doesn't seem to be adequate scorn for mensa in this thread. Bloody tabletalk.
-- General Washington, Sep 09 2002

General Washington - Mensa is no different than others who use thinking skills as a criterion. Colleges do it (prior to 1994 the SAT was essentially an IQ test) and job decisions are made using it (the widely used business tool, the 'Wonderlic Personnel Test', IS an IQ test.) Why limit the "scorn" to Mensa?
-- Lars, Sep 09 2002

Well, Lars. Mensa is a profit-making organisation (what I like to call, a "company") that targets gullible people with low intellectual self-esteem and sells them Mensa merchandise, tickets to Mensa events, and validation as a person. Conversely, job and college interviews are there to weed out such saps.
-- General Washington, Sep 09 2002

I was hoping this would be a Mensa for the Halfbakery.
Suppose that'll come later, eh?

I took an online IQ test thingy and got 153. But online IQ tests normally get it too low, so I heard.
-- NickTheGreat, Sep 09 2002

General Washington-

First - Mensa is non-profit. Where did you get the information that Mensa is a "profit making organization?"

Second - Your statements that Mensa "targets gullible people" and the other stuff are examples of the other unfounded assumptions in your post. All 100,000 Mensa members are gullible, etc.? Most but not others are? Do you even know any?

Third - You didn't address my statement that other institutions use IQ, either directly or indirectly, as one of their criterion and my question that comes from that. Instead, you shifted your response to the interview process adding that these interviews "weed out such saps." I suppose you've shown that they're "saps" by first asserting that they're "gullible" and have "low intellectual self-esteem." Very Nice.

ANYWAY- I can only assume you intended to address the issue raised my me since you addressed your response to me. Yet, you didn't address anything in my post.
-- Lars, Sep 09 2002

I *know* a girl in Mensa.
Isn't that a lovely story.
-- NickTheGreat, Sep 09 2002

The halfbakery *is* my replacement for Mensa. Scary, huh?

I was thinking about joining up but then I realized that I could never actually mention it anywhere outside the Mensa group without sounding like an arrogant twit. So I never did. Still have the short pre-test (not the real exam, just a little pre-qualifier thing) filed away somewhere. I might squeak in, 'as one escaping the flames.' But I didn't like the odds of being seen as a. an elitist pig, or b. an underconfident geek.

Questions for the general œb public: If you were a closet Mensa member, what would be considered a non-rude way to disclose it, if any? Would you put it on a resume under memberships / interests, or would you just not tell at all?

The one thing I do appreciate about the Mensa concept though, is the ability to chat with a more focused peer group, and learn a few things. People like me get bored easily with the ordinary.
-- RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

IQ is widely discredited as a measure of intelligence. Tests are culturally biased. Private schools coach pupils on how to do well in IQ-type selection tests, and easily achieve 30 point increases. These kids are no more intelligent than before- they are just better at IQ tests.

I think of Mensa as a club for people who are good at IQ tests and want to meet similar people.
-- shameless_self_reference, Sep 09 2002

"Densa" as the opposite of Mensa is an old joke I know from Mensa's own logic games.
An IQ of 75 as "half of 150" must sound very strange to anyone actually aware of how IQs are calculated.
Mensa IQs - 1/50th of the population - aren't all that stratospheric. Chances are that if you've heard of them, and you're using computers gracefully, and you're at all interested in puzzles and such, you're already that smart. (There are other societies that it's harder to get into.)

I don't think there's a way of saying "hey, I'm a mensa member" without sounding like you're showing off. The only mensa member I know accidentally let slip that something happened "during a mensa party", and was a little embarassed afterwards. I thought it was sweet. Anyone joining a club of any sort is a bit vulnerable. (What are you, lonely or something?)
-- jutta, Sep 10 2002

Think of the benefits. 173: "I'm in Mensa, you know" - 136: "Really, I joined Sensa a couple of weeks ago" - 68: "uh, whats sensa?". It enables Mensa members to "come out" into the open. And societies must perform some function - not everybody is as well adjusted to modern life as us.

I do know about the normal distribution - I studied stats for 2 years at Uni, and gave up when they started proving the area underneath each graph was always 1. It should be mentioned that there are different mechanisms for calculating IQ which do yield different distributions - and different countries use slightly different tests. Also apparently your IQ will vary slightly according to your age.

Personally I'm of the opinion that an IQ result gives you an accurate reading of how well that person coped with the IQ test - nothing to do with how great they really are.

Has anyone uncovered any EQ (measuring emotional intelligence) or SQ (measuring spiritual intelligence) tests?
-- PeterSilly, Sep 10 2002

Dunno about EQ or SQ... but the spark has some odd tests. (see link)
-- Jinbish, Sep 10 2002

They should have clubs with admission by MMPI scores only. Well, there's the NRA...
-- General Washington, Sep 10 2002

PeterSilly: Yes, there's an EQ test available. Try the Relate website.
-- 8th of 7, Sep 10 2002

//selective enough to weed out society's undesirables//

I thought that that was the whole purpose of Mensa. To weed out undesirables, shut them away in a draughty old church hall and force them to play Chess and Go! and suchlike rather than have them interfering with the rest of us.
-- DrBob, Sep 10 2002

To closet Mensans at halfbakery, you now see why 'coming out' and declaring that you're a Mensan is a soul searching decision. Each Mensan must make that decision for him or her self. I understand the consternation. While in the closet, you witness the Mensa bashers from a distance but once you're 'out' you become the target. There are many brave Mensa brothers and sisters who have been subjected to the abuse of these Mensaphobics all their lives. These Mensans are the venerated few who have made it somewhat easier for us. Yet, the majority of Mensans still suffer. Be brave fellow Mensans, for the bashers are cowards in disguise. Most Mensaphobics have a strong desire engage in mensa activity. Their latent mensa arousal is manifested in a desire to bash what they hate in themselves. To those bashers all I can say is "don't knock it till you try it."
-- Lars, Sep 10 2002

If only I had the IQ of more than a wombat - I'd gladly sign up! That's why Sensa is for me.
-- PeterSilly, Sep 10 2002

The real problem with Mensa is that it's an exclusive organization. Many intelligent people would just not enjoy a Mensa meeting, while I'm sure there are some 'less-than-Mensans' who would love to be involved in some of the Mensa conversations and activities with Mensans. But because of its exclusivity it obviously [Lars] breeds both insecurity and contempt. I'll take this exchange of ideas and lunacy over Mensa any day!
-- jfromm, Sep 10 2002

I kept reading that as 'martians'.
-- NickTheGreat, Sep 10 2002

[Nick] - I think you may have hit on something there!
-- jfromm, Sep 10 2002

[jfromm] - Life is not an either/or proposition.

As to the direction of the "contempt" you talk about, please read this thread from the beginning.

[UnaBubba] -Yes, there is a Special Interest Group in Mensa for gays.

Since it now appears to be little more than a rehash I'll leave this Half-Mensa thread to others.
-- Lars, Sep 10 2002

[NTG] - your age is showing

//Mensaphobics// - giggle

Now that Lars is gone... has anyone else noticed that whenever a Mensa thread begins, a random Mensan creates an account and starts going on the defensive. Have they got us staked out or something?
-- madradish, Sep 11 2002

Someone please fix jinbish's link: it needs an <admin - moved to the front of jinbish's link - thanks for the loan>
-- NickTheGreat, Sep 11 2002

Unabubba: IQ scores do not follow a 'normal' Gaussian distribution.

Sorry, but they do. IQ is by definition a quantity distributed normally with mean 100 and standard deviation 15 (Wechsler) or 16 (Stanford-Binet.) The raw test scores are remapped to fit the normal distribution.
-- td, Oct 04 2002

-- bungston, Jan 12 2003

-- Cedar Park, Jan 13 2003

While I'm not a member of Mensa, I don't see what’s wrong w/ it and why some people become irked by it. Is Mensa out there physically harassing you or your loved ones? It's just another organization/club that supposedly honors what they view as “high” intelligence. If your opinions on intelligence differ so be it. Why is there this need to lambaste a group or people who aren’t bothering you?

Mensa supposedly honors “Hi-Iq”. That annoys you? If so, what about say the Dean’s Honor list or being Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude, or Magna Cum Laude? Why do universities have dean’s honor lists? Don’t these honor high achievement in something called studying?

You speak of boasting, yet why do college grads make it a point to put these honors on their resumes? And why do employers LOOK for these awards? I mean you could say the same thing about someone who says he/she is “magna cum laude”. We could come up with some stupid idea like “half-magna cum laude” and people would attack whoever gets high grades. (In fact on a side note I would say such titles for high grades are MORE variable than IQ tests considering the varying degrees of difficulty at different institutions of learning. For example, a 4.0 at a crap-hole university is NOWHERE NEAR the same as a 4.0 at MIT or CalTech. In a way IQ-test/SAT tests etc standardize everything. Please don’t bring cultural bias up, b/c how do foreigners like Indians who study hard get high scores on the SATs, GMATs, etc?) So now we're not suppose to honor achievement in anything? Oh look the Red Sox won the world series..those elitist pigs. Oh that Straight A student and his cum laudieelitist stupid club....yawn

There are a multitude of clubs or organizations that respect some sort of achievement in a certain field or they exist for people of similar ilk to network/socialize. Why are there golf clubs? Football clubs? In business school why are there Finance clubs or Marketing clubs? Why do most business students join some sort of organization even if they have no interest in it (not that many students like golf lol)? They do this in order to NETWORK. Mensa probably serves a great function in this regard. If you’re in say Finance and want to start your own firm, instead of getting drunk on a Saturday night in some lame bar why not try checking out another organization where you might meet people with some semblance of intelligence and who’re interested in the same thing?

Finnally I'm baffled about the "weed out the saps" remark. If the whole point of universities is to attract people w/ the highest SATS (and most like High-Iqs) and the highest grades why would they weed them out? All of the Mensa members in my highschool got near perfect SATs and went on to Harvard, Princeton, etc.
-- bladerunner, Nov 11 2004

'stupid idea like “half-magna cum laude”'
Hey, whadda ya mean "stupid idea"? It could happen.
-- half, Nov 11 2004

//... has anyone else noticed that whenever a Mensa thread begins, a random Mensan creates an account and starts going on the defensive. Have they got us staked out or something?//

Sort of like that^ [madradish]?

PS> MIT doesn't use GPA's.
-- Shz, Nov 11 2004

Clarification: MIT doesn't use the common 4 point GPA's, alluded to in [bladerunner]’s anno.
-- Shz, Nov 11 2004

[Lars] said //Colleges do it (prior to 1994 the SAT was essentially an IQ test)//

Where did you hear that? I took the SAT just before they changed it, and it seemd to me to be almost completely a knowledge test. It was all about how well you know the english language and fairly basic math. Sure, high IQ could be useful to help reason out the right answer for someone who didn't know the definition of all the words in the analogies or something, but it would certainly be possible for someone with a low IQ but large vocabulary and good ability to remember math facts to get a high score. I thought the idea of an IQ test was to test problem solving and/or reasoning capability and was not dependent on previous knowledge.

I'm sure SAT and IQ scores correlate fairly well, just like credit ratings correlate with insurance premiums...
-- scad mientist, Nov 11 2004

What I'd like to know is why this popped up again after nearly two years of dormancy.

I -was- a mensan a few years back. I took the test and signed up because I knew it would look good on my resume. I scored high enough that I was invited to join several of the even more elitist groups, but I didn't feel like paying their retest and membership fees.

Outside of a couple job interviews and various gatherings where it was brought up by proud family members, I never talked about it, for exactly the reasons mentioned here. Unless someone asks about it, it's hard to bring it up without sounding like an elitist braggart.

Do I think I'm smarter than average? Yes. Do I think I'm better than average? No. I know plenty of people of more normal intelligence that are much better at certain things than I'll ever be. Being good at taking IQ tests doesn't make me a better person.
-- Freefall, Nov 11 2004

(rereading my post from 2002), Of course whether I'm a member or not, oftentimes I sound like an arrogant twit regardless.
-- RayfordSteele, Nov 11 2004

[I -was- a mensan] Is the plural of that menses ? [cautious attempt at full-moon humor]
-- normzone, Nov 12 2004

I stayed up till the wee hours one evening swilling beer and taking an on-line I.Q. test. It said that I had an I.Q. of 160 which tells me that it was a scam of some kind, but it got me to wondering if there is a Mensaholics anonymous.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 12 2004

<Groucho Marx>"I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member."</Groucho Marx>

Having once been besieged and persuaded to join, I happily and fairly swiftly resigned my membership of the Brit branch of the aforementioned Table Club back in the 70's - pretty much for Groucho's reasons.

A low-stress life as an assumed Half-Mensa member (Side-Table Club perhaps?) I find so much more satisfactory.
-- phlogiston, Nov 13 2004

That gives me an idea for Mensa's evil twin.
-- RayfordSteele, Nov 13 2004

random, halfbakery