Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The Curse of Genius (1843magazine.com)
123 points by sohkamyung 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 101 comments

(disclaimer: not a genious, iq 125) grade 0, first day, found name of classmate interesting as it was the same name as a character in a tale I liked, I remarked this, was told that it was cruel to "call people names", class was encouraged to find a "bad name" for me.

grade 1, teacher used to enjoy holding me in front of the class, telling "this is [name], he thinks he's special, he likes attention" and have the other kids point and laugh at me before starting class.

Was evaluated by psychologist, I remember I was given stupid puzzles, the kind you played with in kindergarten, asking me to complete them, I was offended by this and refused, she pushed me and I did a few before breaking down from being treated like an imbecile. Test showed I was probably not.

grade 3, handed in assignment in basic, we were supposed to write a story, and I wrote a small program with arrays of words, and arrays of indexes to print the story.. Teacher told me it didn't count to "write some hieroglyphs", I told he it was a program, she explained to me "it's not possible to just make a program".

These set the tone of my further education. Still working to get past those (and so many more) events. I still feel like I'm worthless. Thanks school! I still got to be a software developer though.

A decade ago, my niece went in for pre-K testing, and the teacher showed her a list of animals, asking her to name them. Picture of a dog, spot. Picture of a cat, whiskers. Picture of a rabbit, hoppy, etc. The teacher tells her parents that she failed that section and needs to work on being able to identify animals. They point out to the teacher that she had asked her to name them, not identify them, and that's exactly what she did. Even now, she's a very smart, but very literal thinker, and it's fair to say it has caused her some conflict in school.

My brother was asked in kindergarten, "What do you put in the barn?" The expected answer was, of course, animals: cows, horses, et cetera. However, we grew up on a grain farm (no livestock). My brother answered, "trucks," as that was literally what was stored in our barn. He was told that was the wrong answer.

This reminds me of another math lesson failure of my own, we were asked to count "the dots in the boxes", our book used (as I learnt later) offset print, CMY (no K), and there were clusters of 4 dots.. One magenta, one yellow, and one cyan and one black.. I found this task difficult, because it was many dots and it was boring to count so many.. I did them all, 4 dots, 8 dots, 16 dots, 40 dots.. I failed them all. I was supposed to only count the black dots, how was I supposed to know that I was supposed to ignore the colored ones?

Anecdotes are fun.

In first grade my sister had to write the first letters of pictures. The teacher corrected her: "No, no. Fff.Fff... Flower starts with F."

My sister: "No, no. Tuh ..tuh .. tulip starts with T."

Teacher had the nerve to call my mom and tell her my sister had been disrespectful.

Reminds me of a joke I read once.

Teacher: OK, who can start a sentence with "I"?

Student: I is...

Teacher: No, no no, it's "I am..."

Student: I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.

> grade 3, handed in assignment in basic, we were supposed to write a story, and I wrote a small program with arrays of words, and arrays of indexes to print the story.. Teacher told me it didn't count to "write some hieroglyphs", I told he it was a program, she explained to me "it's not possible to just make a program".

yeah, i'm with the teacher on this one. you didn't complete the assignment. At grade 3, a lot of the value in homework is simply in learning how to do homework correctly. You didn't do the homework correctly, so it absolutley shouldn't have counted to "write some hieroglyphs".

The teacher was correct to reject the work. The teacher was horribly wrong to belittle and criticize the work from a position of ignorance.

> At grade 3, a lot of the value in homework is simply in learning how to do homework correctly.

In other words: turning the respective pupil into a virtuously working machine.

Well, she told us to write it down, not how, she could have asked me to run and print it instead. At that age, I still had a sense of wonder about the world, and I thought exploring it was why we were here. I didn't understand that conforming was more important that exploring, but I understand that now.

There’s a time and a place for both. If you’re going through security at the airport, conform. If you’re learning something in your free-time, explore.

School is very much the case of "the nail that sticks out gets hammered down", be thankful you didn't have nuns or christian brothers.

This echos my experience of school the only thing they ever tried to teach me was to conform. Like you I was no genius but I guess the nail that sticks out gets the hammer.

Ah yeah. In pre-school the teacher told a story about some nasty blue whale that was about to eat some poor castaway with "its big teeth" and I said "but Teacher, blue whales have no teeth, they have baleen hair". She became more and more hostile after that. After some more drama, I skipped a class directly to first grade.

Fortunately the teacher wasn't stupid, and as I could perfectly read and write and knew everything I was supposed to learn before Christmas, I spent the rest of the year reading books in the back of the classroom.

My main problem always was that I never, ever needed a single effort and never learned anything at school, up until University. So I never worked and just passed because it was all so easy and boring. So I never learned to work and every teacher (and parents) always enraged because I could have had so much better grades but why bother?

yes, i think most of the depression and anguish comes from experiences like this

Why do programmers have a hard time writing coherent complete sentences?

It might be because we were sent out of class so often? Also, while it is no excuse, English is my second language, and I did poor in school as explained before. I also admit that my focus was on sharing something I've not shared before, which I've found difficult to share before.

I = 1

I is 1

The variable I is storing the number 1.

They all mean the same thing. Programmers were taught that the first one is best. Because it is accurate and concise. What you call coherence introduces the risk of misunderstanding.

One thing that helps is the lightbulb moment: The most interesting thing you can know is other people. Not as objects, curiosities, but real, truly unfathomable beings. You'll never truly understand what's in someone else's head, but you can still spend your life striving to get to know them better, and to perhaps know them well enough to try and make their lives better.

There is the age-old cliche of intelligent people finding 'normal people' dull. That idea starts to fade when you really, truly embed yourself in another person's life, or they manage to embed themselves in yours before you realize that's what's happening.

Regardless, it's not all hopeless. It's a harder path, for sure, but it can be traveled.

> There is the age-old cliche of intelligent people finding 'normal people' dull.

I'm manifestly not a genius, not by a long stretch, but I am an outlier along several axes. Still, when I was younger I was certainly guilty of thinking along these lines and so, perhaps, it's just maturity that's changed me.

As time has gone on what strikes me again and again about the quality of an "average" life lived well (partner, children, family, home, job) more than anything else is its richness. I know it's not easy, but neither is it dull, and the joys and triumphs of it are real. I envy those who possess it and I'm glad for them in equal measure.

(You can of course argue that this is simply a "grass is always greener" mentality, but I believe that can often be a weak and lazy argument deployed when someone is unable to come up something better on their own. That said, what I've expressed above is my own point of view, and I acknowledge that it's by no means universal.)

> There is the age-old cliche of intelligent people finding 'normal people' dull. That idea starts to fade when you really, truly embed yourself in another person's life, or they manage to embed themselves in yours before you realize that's what's happening.

Does it, though? I mean, the part when you're discovering another human's story is interesting, but for me, that was always modulated by the feelings I had that made this person feel special. Beyond that, once the feelings fade or when there are none involved, I've always found the - to quote 'bartread - ""average" life lived well (partner, children, family, home, job)" to be very dull. Soap-opera level boring. IME, people get boring once they start living this average life. They forget their dreams, their own insights about the world, their own goals - everything that made them interesting and special - and engage in the age-old pattern of "partner, children, family, home, job, retirement, death".

Or maybe I'm saying it wrong. People do get interesting with enough effort. It takes a lot of effort to dig through these layers of "average life well lived", to find and remind them of their old-forgotten passions and thoughts, and only then you get to have interesting conversations about molecular biology, or anthropology, or that time they wanted to be an actor, or how can we improve our community - as opposed to talking about diapers, who married whom, who just had a kid, and how we all don't have money.

I'm probably an outlier here. I don't claim above-average intelligence, but I do find "normalcy" boring and sort-of pointless, in a recursive, self-propagating way.

"partner, children, family, home, job"

I found all of these "ordinary" things in life to be quite extraordinary when they happened to me!

That's rather the point though, isn't it? Your baby is fascinating because it's yours, but babies in the abstract aren't actually very interesting. They pass through the same developmental milestones at roughly the same rate and have the same (very limited) capacity for novelty. I've never met a baby with a unique perspective on the Israel-Palestine problem or a fabulous collection of golden age comic books. It's a bit like following someone else's baseball team - unless you're emotionally invested, it's really rather dull.

Maybe I'm just a cynical misanthrope, but I'm not very interested in the mundane minutiae of other people's lives, nor do I expect them to be very interested in the mundane minutiae of mine. It would be quite weird if all seven billion of us were innately fascinating.

An interesting question is how interestingness is distributed. A normal distribution seems plausible, but while I can think of people who are three-sigma interesting, I'm not sure I could think of someone who is three-sigma dull. Mass media would seem to suggest that a power-law distribution is more likely - most of us are really rather boring, but there's a long tail of exceptionally interesting people.

The fact that it's yours makes it interesting by necessity, but also puts you in a position to discover ways in which all babies are - at least to some extent - interesting. There are minds that are anything but mundane beyond the minutiae.

On the contrary, you seem to have restricted the category of interesting things so tightly that you're not noticing a whole treasure trove of things.

At the very least, any old baby is vastly more interesting than all the AI the world has ever produced. They aren’t simple - they are far beyond our understanding.

Yeah I think any random baby is more interesting than a comic book collection but maybe that’s just me.

Yeah, it's just you. A random baby below 2 y.o. is slightly less interesting (and less mentally developed) than a kitten. Unless you have an interest in medicine/psychology, there's not much to see there. It's also perceived a bit weird/creepy to be overly interested in other people's babies.

Seriously, were I to be given a chance to spent an hour with a random baby (!= my baby, that's a different thing) vs. an hour with a random comic book, I'd pick the comic book every time.

Can we admit that just because we're socially expected to consider something the cutest and most best thing in the world, doesn't mean it's actually all that interesting?

For a counterpoint, see Celia Green's 'Human Evasion' (available at http://www.theabsolute.net/minefield/humevas.html ), which argues that preoccupation with the social sphere is just a psychological defense mechanism against one's finiteness and limitations.

>The most interesting thing you can know is other people

You can know other people or anything for that matter only as a reflection in your own mind. The most interesting thing starts when you realize that you don't know pretty much anything.

I feel like this is a fault sometimes of how society views intelligence. If someone is 99.9 percentile at math (s)he will of course be recognized as “smart”. But someone who is 99.9 percentile at interacting with people and chooses to simply lead a normal, stable life might simply be viewed as normal and not exceptionally intelligent.

Someone who is 99.9 percentile at interacting with people will probably become extremely rich acting as a corporate executive or salesperson.

"Very complex behavior" does not always mean "very interesting to learn", though it does play a role.

Makes me think about the intro to Huxley's Doors of Perception[0] - genius is probably a pretty lonely place. Fortunately that's one problem I don't have to deal with.

> From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes. Most island universes are sufficiently like one another to permit of inferential understanding or even of mutual empathy or "feeling into" ... But in certain cases communication between universes is incomplete or even nonexistent. The mind is its own place, and the places inhabited by the insane and the exceptionally gifted are so different from the places where ordinary men and women live, that there is little or no common ground of memory to serve as a basis for understanding or fellow feeling.

[0] https://maps.org/images/pdf/books/HuxleyA1954TheDoorsOfPerce...

The 'curse' of genius is more the fact that society is designed to function for average people. The average person goes to school, gets training in something, works their job at an average pace, etc...

'Genius' goes one of two ways. Either they have a good support system around them (usually meaning money) and advance, then later have chance for entrepreneurship and a career they can advance at their own pace (meaning quicker than average). Or they are stuck in a system designed for average people and they get bored then act out, become depressed, etc...

I can relate somewhat. I could speak very young. Could read at 2. Could speak, read and write two languages and use computers (we're talking old IBM PCs pre-Windows, when hardly any normal people used computers) at 4. Was always in advanced classes through school. Built (somewhat crude) robots and did computer programming in elementary school.

Of course, none of this provided me with particularly great social skills, so eventually I gave up on intellectual pursuits and plied myself with drugs and alcohol. In adulthood wound up working several careers, playing poker professionally and travelling for awhile, did some day-trading, did a bunch of university, but I mostly enjoy eating, drinking, travelling, and hanging out with my girlfriend.

Anyhow, the gist of it is that being on an 'advanced' path in my youth wasn't particularly great. Not sure if I'm was 'cursed' genius or a somewhat intelligent person with a mental disorder (ADHD, bipolar?). Building a business now so wouldn't say I'm unsuccessful, but certainly not what I imagined when I was younger. Then again, I'm also far happier today.

Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear that you're happier today.

I'd be interested in hearing what changes to society you think you would have made things better for you. Also, in the absence of any societal changes, do you think your parents should have done anything differently?

I'm not sure society would be better if everything was geared towards people who are outliers or more productive earlier. It might be worse for everyone else. Several Asian societies seem hyper concerned with academic achievement and work productivity, and have a fairly toxic work culture with poor work-life balance as a result.

There are some kids that are precocious, but not geniuses.

The do things way earlier than anybody else but then they stop developing at a normal adult level. Like the kid Terenci Moix that was deciphering adult Egypt hieroglyphs being six years old or so and doing other extraordinary things for his age, but then it stopped developing.

I believe when we talk about "social skills" what is just genuine interest for other people becomes a set of skills, like mathematics, or physics. It becomes in a way sociopathic by itself, as we are using others as tools for our own development without considering them.

It is more about being emotional and letting yourself go in freedom around others, instead of trying to control everything around you.

I have both sides, I could be highly analytical, but also deeply emotional. For me it is wrong trying to make anything analytical, a "skill" to master.

The curse of the genius is that when you are hyper recombinativeinventive every problem looks like a need for a new hammer and that your first success silences all opposition permanently. The other extrem is that cooperations beloved mediocrity, produced by systemic processes, risk avoidance and intrigant politics today prevent game changers from even reaching entry level.

So wait, do these cursed geniuses "silence all opposition permanently" or are they "prevented from even reaching entry level"?

The successful ones silence opposition until they fail big time. Then they become ammunition to prevent hiring their kind at entrance level?

I think that's a statement about identifiable early genius but not necessarily mature genius, unknown or otherwise.

Anyone can see the same patterns being applied to different problems in repetition with enough time.

That gets boring to those who find no value in tangential rewards. Escaping that with idealism for understanding solely demands more, and I think that's the biggest identifier for lasting genius versus that which is emphemeral / trendy.

It doesn't imply genius but it is indicative of genius recognized beyond youth. Wisdom, common sense - those are either attributed imprecisely or incorrectly.

For power to emerge there has to be fire. You can't make steam with refined poisonous dirt. 2000 year recorded wisdom told us this much.

Any straw to explain away that my attitude could be a problem for society. Only way to progress is shift the nay sayers out of gear in emergencies.

I went through a gifted program starting in 3rd grade but I don’t think I’m gifted.

Most of what I think seems obvious. For example, the ability to ask simple questions in the moment is a skill anyone can learn. For the highest level poker player, analytical thoughts are rather systemic but require emotional and intellectual control.

Had I focused on any one thing, I think I could had been a brilliant programmer, physicist, poker player etc. But I haven’t. I’ve been cursed by entrepreneurship, activism, esoteric ideas and other things that have had low utility.

While I’m ambivalent about most people’s intellect, for truly gifted people I’m somewhat intimidated by them. (Like many yc founders.) Like, oh I could never execute that life plan and business in the way they did because it’s perfect.

My point is I think it’s all about process. Asking questions, reasoning from first principles, obsessive focus, curiosity and resiliency will make any person gifted.

Gifted might just mean top 10% of society. Which means that if you're in the 10th percentile there are still very many people who are more intelligent than you. Further, for any given field of expertise, you'll still bump into people who can intellectually wipe the floor with you (in their topic of expertise) unless you stick around and learn enough to surpass them.

Additionally, a lot of people mistake learned knowledge or implicit social values for intelligence, and so it can take a long time in a new environment to be able to actually demonstrate to anyone that you're intelligent.

I know this isn't the primary point of your comment, but it can quite easy to not feel very intelligent in a lot circumstances.

>My point is I think it’s all about process. Asking questions, reasoning from first principles, obsessive focus, curiosity and resiliency will make any person gifted.

People that are smarter than average rarely think that what they do is particularly mind-blowing. And a lot of it is really not Rainman-esque transcendent intelligence. But the reality is that the baseline of what most people are capable of is so very low. A huge percentage of people are laboring with short-term memory deficits, learning disabilities, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and a whole host of things that make basic logic and planning very difficult for them.

When people say "gifted", "smart" or "genius" it's always in comparison to others, it's not absolute. From your point of view, it's normal to ask questions, while somebody else sees it as phenomenal.

> Like, oh I could never execute that life plan and business in the way they did because it’s perfect.

I wonder if this isn't survivorship bias.

I am somewhat of a mixed bag myself - certainly not to those extremes but above average. On the autistic spectrum and - withim normal developmental time tables but I had a habit of unthreading myself from infant car seats repeatedly and an unusually far back memory. I always remember being able to read but lacking much of an attention span for it.

I will refrain from the "G"-word and say I went to college at 16 and skipped trigonometry because I knew enough about SOH CAH TOA to work around the other details - it was just a subset of geometry so I didn't get why it was considered the more advanced class. B-average Computer Engineering student. Not the best luck with careers or self starting with side projects - late ADHD diagnosis which in retrospect made sense didn't come up too much because I found most of the stuff interesting.

Anyway my personal suspicion is that much of the curse comes from mismatch with society and its paradigms and the difficulty of finding kindred spirits.

It often feels like the masses are barking mad and yet you are the crazy one for pointing out it makes no goddamned sense.

Like charging a teen as an adult - especially for status offenses like sexting. Practically nobody questions the hypocrisy of "treated as a minor until we find it convenient otherwise" or takes the "insufficiently functioning brain argument" to give a cut off age to elder votes because we can't trust them to be fulky functioning mentally.

Or the interviewing process judging people on suits and posture is batshit insane, that they find people incapable of or not mimicking their tone less trustworthy for being insufficiently deceptive and more.

>Or the interviewing process judging people on suits and posture is batshit insane, that they find people incapable of or not mimicking their tone less trustworthy for being insufficiently deceptive and more.

If the G factor if intelligence is really "general," won't it also improve your ability to posture and choose suits?

> Even Albert Einstein, one of the most emblematic examples of genius, wrote in 1952: “It is strange to be known so universally and yet be so lonely.”

Really so strange. I'm just trying to see how lonely he must have felt having to keep to himself.

Feynman didn't have that problem, so it's not universal, but it does seem like most geniuses are afflicted with loneliness.

I don't agree with that given his lifestyle. He wanted to connect but rarely could, hence an abundance of mostly shallow affection beyond his first wife.

Here is a morbid thought, the loneliest thing is that we didn't get to hear his last words.

I suspect the sibling reply is correct, that it’s more about celebrity than genius.

But I also don’t think Feynman was a genius the way Einstein was. AFAIK, his math skills didn’t stand out and his main contributions seemed to be about making physics more accessible and teaching.

> his math skills didn’t stand out

I don't believe that is right. From WP:

When Feynman was 15, he taught himself trigonometry, advanced algebra, infinite series, analytic geometry, and both differential and integral calculus. Before entering college, he was experimenting with and deriving mathematical topics such as the half-derivative using his own notation. He created special symbols for logarithm, sine, cosine and tangent functions so they did not look like three variables multiplied together, and for the derivative, to remove the temptation of canceling out the d's. A member of the Arista Honor Society, in his last year in high school he won the New York University Math Championship.

Im not sure about his genius compared to Einstein, but Hus contributions to physics are much more than popularization (which I think came much later in his career). He played a leading role in developing the most successful scientific theory in history: quantum electrodynamics.

Einstein was not very good with math. He stood on the shoulders of Pointcaré, Lorentz, and Riemman. He saw more, he saw farther, he was brilliant, but I'm not sure he'd have done what he did without those shoulders to stand on. OTOH, once he had Special Relativity in the bag and saw an outline of General Relativity, he had the persistence to see it through.

Feynman had it easier in this sense: more shoulders to stand on, less radical theories to develop, and was less alone in terms of peers.

IMO Feynman and Einstein are comparable.

I didn't just mean popularization, but I know him best for Feynman diagrams and the path integral formulation. Basically making existing concepts easier to understand.

Tho, Einsteins feeling of loneliness might have to do with things that have nothing to do with being genius - like the way his marriage went down. Some of it had zero to do with being genius and more to do with other stuff.

Having to emigrate also makes one more lonely. You would need to compare other people in similar situation to see whether he is unusually lonely.

This could be more a statement of celebrity than genius.

The feeling of loneliness (as well as all others) comes from inside, not outside. If you are not experiencing yourself as a part of the universe but something separated - no amount of people and talking around will help.

Through the game of tennis, I quickly learned that in order to achieve a state of equilibrium or balance, everything must be in moderation. When you hit a tennis ball, it's always a trade off between power and precision. You cannot gain in one area without losing in the other. Same principles applied to most things in life.

The problem with current methodology is we mostly measure intelligence strictly through very few standard categories like mathematics. Sure, mathematics is a universal language for everything in life, but to thrive in a human society it requires many more skills than just math. It's almost a given that when you have a gifted child measured by one of those standard categories, this kid often would have some types of deficiency in other areas that have not been measured because they are unestablished.

10% of human population have the genetics that provide them with much higher capabilities than the rest in some certain areas. Though this would take enormous effort, but if we provide adequate support to compensate for the areas where they lack, this should help raising them to a level matching the areas where they really excel, and thus achieving a higher overall equilibrium state. However, because the rest of our society is still operating at a much lower baseline, so even then it's always going to be a challenge for these individuals to fit in. Maybe they are just ahead, or behind, of our time in terms of evolutionary development?

> in order to achieve a state of equilibrium or balance, everything must be in moderation. When you hit a tennis ball, it's always a trade off between power and precision. You cannot gain in one area without losing in the other. Same principles applied to most things in life.

You mention "higher equilibrium" further in the comment, but I think it needs to be said explicitly: the trade-off only exists if you're at 100% utilization. If all the aspects you're balancing add up to less than 100% of your capabilities, you can improve all of them simultaneously without having to trade anything off.

Having worked in Silicon Valley with some really really smart people. I wonder how many people think they are genius because their circle is limited?

When you work in the valley for any period of time you think you might have a shot, and you might. If you get a chance to meet one of the founders of a well known valley company and have a conversation the realization that luck had nothing to do with their success should happen. Its truly humbling to meet a genius and get a glimpse of how their brain works.

Geniuses are more likely to break systems than perpetuate them. With incredibly rare exceptions, being a founder/CEO is very much an exercise in a certain kind of conformism. So while you may have some very very smart people being founders, the outlier geniuses are going to be doing something else.

> the realization that luck had nothing to do with their success should happen

Convince me.

The strong version is trivially disproveable - if they had got eaten by a dingo as an infant you would never seen any success regardless of how smart said poor illfated baby would be.

That said talent, genius, and drive certainly are factors even with priviledged upbringing like needing money for education, seed capital and ability to dedicate their timr without side jobs. While self-made men, women and nonbinaries are rare and rarer still without posers - there are some who if they were born poorer would only have had their rise delayed by a decade at most.

In contrast others who are peak "idiot heir" prove that it isn't /just/ privilege that brings success as they find ruin no matter their connections, starting wealth, and a futile attempt by their parents to teach how to perpetuate their birthright.

Being eaten by a dingo is a strawman.

Given two people in the same place with the same opportunity you will see the difference. Yes chaos can happen and create challenges. Genius rises above it.

It was a point about survivorship bias in the most blunt and literal way. Not all challenges may be risen above. I agree that they can rise above but not always.

If you want to compare yourself to dead people... so be it ?

Sounds more like the Curse of /r/iamverysmart...

This damn Mensa survey again! The Mensa data which is the only empirical support for this claim of a 'curse' is doubly self-selected, the claimed effects absurdly strong, and contradicts pretty much all research on unbiased high-IQ samples: https://www.gwern.net/SMPY#fn1

>We don’t yet know why this is, or whether it’s down to nature, nurture or both. One study shows that among members of Mensa in America, the rate of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is almost twice that diagnosed in the general population.

>Among these individuals, the incidence of depression, anxiety and ADHD is higher than in the average population.

how is adhd linked to gifted children?, i find this fact interesting...

I'm no genius but people I've met in life have often remarked that I'm "intelligent" or "bright" or whatever and when I did the Mensa test out of curiosity I got the "top 1%" result (don't remember any more numbers than that).

But I've always lacked in social skills. Such skills, that to me seem innate in other people, I've had to work to acquire (or maybe learn to fake). As though other people have a dedicated coprocessor for these things and can do them more or less effortlessly whereas I have to use lots and lots of CPU cycles to figure out what other people expect from me. This means that social interactions cost quite a bit of energy and I often have to zone out to recuperate. Which in turn means that social interactions distract me from achieving some of what my supposedly very-much-above-average raw intellect should allow. Most other people seem to "feel" much more than I do, and I think I "think" more than most.

Still, I like it inside my head and I wouldn't want to have it any other way.

> how is adhd linked to gifted children?, i find this fact interesting...

They diagnose pretty much any child who can't sit still in class with ADHD. Lots of gifted children are bored by school, which the authorities see as a disorder since most teachers don't care (or don't have to time) to bother giving any students individual attention, and the system is ill equipped to provide gifted students with more learning opportunities.

That's such obvious selection bias. People who join Mensa have something to prove.

Is your alternative hypothesis that ADHD is twice as prevalent in people who feel they have "something to prove"?

Maybe they ended up taking MENSA entry tests when they were meant to be doing their taxes or something.

Now that sums of much of ADHD experience. More seriously, there are indications that aspects of ADHD affect information processing in potentially beneficial ways. I have a hunch that given the overall detriment ADHD has to many life skills that ADHD genes would be selected along with genes for higher IQ as a counterbalance, with both combined together conferring unique advantages.

People with adhd are more likely than not-adhd to feel that they could have achieved better academic results than they did. Mensa is popular among people who value external metrics of intelligence, like academic results. So it seems plausible that people with adhd are more likely to feel they have “something to prove” which can be gained by joining Mensa.

Exactly. If they're intelligent but have ADHD they could feel insistently valued by the academic system and required additional validation via Mensa. ADHD by itself, as far as I know, isn't positively correlated with IQ.

Correct, and it's why I'm a fan of David Mitchell's video on this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPMKqyaXtHI

A kindergarten screening question that was given to my child:

What is a pair?

Most kids say either “socks” or “a fruit” (because hearing pair in this sentence is indeed ambiguous...)

The answer they really wanted was “two of something”.

I wonder how many adults would give the desired answer, with no context. I don't think I would.

Interesting! Does sound like a spectrum.

Curse of the genius: "F*cking brilliant"

I remember understanding people talking but not knowing how to speak when I was very little. I guess I’m a genius

All babies understand language before they can speak. One of the reasons baby sign language works is because it doesn’t require the fine motor control that speaking does, so can be used earlier.

But also, permanent memory develops well after the kid speaks normally, so either he learned to speak later, or he formed that memory unusually soon or he is making things up. I bet three.

you forgot putting "/s" .

I thought it was obvious, but I forgot there are some real geniuses here who can’t tell the difference.

What's your IQ? Mine is 163. It would be tough to argue that I'm not a genius.

Mines 6,409 but one could still easily argue.
cm2012 8 days ago [flagged]

Considering your apparent lack of social awareness...
asdf21 8 days ago [flagged]

Yes, knowing your IQ score and saying it outloud is badthink.
collyw 8 days ago [flagged]

Everyone I have known who has bragged about their IQ has been a knob.

Well this guy who bragged to me one time that he had an IQ of 100 was definitely something.

This. Better not to ask, better not to know


Do you see things that no one else does? I'd be fascinated to hear more

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact