Stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream. (lost_angel) wrote,
Stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream.
lost_angel

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IQ's, Test-Scores, and the General Fuck-You

On a sour note, I was reminded of one of my persistent pet peeves, if you will, my general distastes, if you won't. There aren't many things that can immediately drive me to anger and frustration. I usually try to examine the entire situation before I allow myself to emotionally respond. However, there is one thing for certain that can push me into a near frenzy.

I positively despise when people speak of their own IQ's or standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, pSAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, Rubik's Cube), as if the number itself as if the number itself provided a legitimate claim for their intellectual superiority. I hate bragging out of general principle in most circumstances, but I hate bragging about something so petty as an IQ or test score even more.

IQ's mean nothing. Test scores mean nothing. They don't make you a better person, a smarter person, or a cooler person. Scores on a paper test have no intrinsic worth of their own. They are simply pieces of paper with numbers on them that serve a socially-engineered function of selecting or de-selecting children for specialized educational programs. People can either far outperform or under-perform the estimations of these sometimes seemingly arbitrary numbers. Tests are a necessary evil in a world of limited resources.

However, it is very common to see people, especially those who do find merit in their own achievements, to brag about their IQ's, go so far as to use their IQ as a basis for getting people to trust their judgment, or even more despicable, use their high IQ as a basis to ridicule others whom they think to be possessing of lesser intelligence. It's illogical, unbecoming, and rude. I have lost respect for even some of my friends, despite how much I like or love them or how much they've intelligence they've shown beforehand.

I don't give your opinions any more weight if you have, or think you have, a 180 IQ. Nor does the fact that you were a National Merit Finalist in high school and made a 1575 on the SAT1 vindicate your claim to superiority over the rest of the average joe-schmoes in the world.

Your IQ does not make you special. It doesn't not make you important. Your life, your intelligence, your opinions, your test scores, and your IQ are nothing until you've done something with it, given those meaningless numbers some value by putting action with the proposed intelligence claim. If you want to make me believe you or respect your opinions, you have to support your opinions with reason, logic, or even charisma. Don't just give me a triple-digit number and tell me that that qualifies you as smaaaaaarrt.

Hey, you should be proud of your accomplishments. Be proud of your good grades, the fact that you've done well in the past, and that you have great hopes of achievement for the future. If someone asks you what your IQ is or what you made on the ACT, tell them truthfully. Perhaps the impressive number will even make them sorry that they asked. Confidence is both flattering and attractive. Nobody likes a self-deprecating fool with their self-esteem at their ankles, constantly wallowing in self-pity.

But at the same time, I respect even less the pretentious snob who speaks so highly of their nose-bleed high IQ and who has the urge to qualify every statement with their supposed intelligence. If you were really as smart as you say you are, then you wouldn't have to tell everyone about your IQ to convince them. I suppose it's all similar to being cool. If you have to tell people that you're cool, then you're not cool at all. If you actually are smart, then your intelligence should be able to stand on its own feet.

My solution and request is this: Tell me how wonderful you are. I really do want to hear it. Talk to me of your opinions, of your past, of your dreams, of your future. Tell me what you think is wrong with the world, what you think of people you like and don't like. However, support those ideas and opinions with something that matters like your experience, logic, something you've read, or something you're writing. Don't give me an empty, meaningless number and expect me to be impressed.


Notes:
1. As if high school really matters in the long term. If it did, half the U.S. population would be raging, babbling psychopaths, drooling on the corpses of all the people who used to pick on them in those...air quotes...sensitive years.../airquotes). What you did in high school can be remembered fondly or horribly, but it does not determine your overall success in life, much less your personal and professional self-worth. Take it from me. I was a grade-A, super-star badass in high school, but there are times when I've felt like my college career has been a complete bust. I'm still searching to find those same characteristics I used to have and find motivation again.

2. Because I know someone is going to ask or think this is written specifically for them, I'm going to explain what provoked my writing this now. On livejournal tonight, I read a friend of mine's journal. This friend didn't say anything to spark my anger, but it was a comment made by another person whom I don't even know that reminded me of my general outlook concerning IQ's and their most common use, shit-talking. I am not angry with anyone in particular. This is just a long-seated opinion that has been itching for me to write in my journal and commit to at least electronic paper.
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