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What’s the point of MENSA?
As a bunch of UAE candidates go looking for membership of the high IQ club, Kipp asks an obvious question: What’s the point?
October 17, 2010 3:54 by Samuel Potter
Kipp is immune from thinking we’re smarter than everyone else. We may act like it, we may often write like it, but when it comes down to it we know that whatever we write, some clever-clogs can hit the “comment” button and cut us down to size. It’s painful, but often deserved. And it’s important – the smarter you think you are, the worse you tend to treat people, in our experience. So keep those humbling comments coming.
This came to mind when we read about the efforts to establish more UAE-based members of MENSA. The National reports that, over the weekend, five individuals attended Dubai’s Emarat Atrium to sit an exam that could get them into the prestigious high-intelligence organization. With inevitable irony, a number of them had trouble finding the room they were supposed to be in.
Let’s leave aside the fact that intelligence takes many forms, and the traditional IQ tests used by MENSA only really test very specific aspects of intelligence. Let’s assume that these people may very well be smarter than the average Joe. Here’s Kipp’s question: so what? In this highly developed day and age, where computers work as fast as the human brain, does it matter much? What do these people gain from membership of MENSA?
Well fortunately, the article clears that up. The five candidates are seeking to join around 40 registered members of MENSA currently in the Emirates “who are eligible to join regular social activities arranged by a volunteer organising committee,” it says.
As a member of the UAE branch, these boffins will enjoy cultural evenings, games nights, and trips to the bowling alley. Yep, that’s right. Intellectually elitist bowling, sounds like great fun. But if these people are so smart, wouldn’t it be more useful if they were off changing the world or something instead?
Incidentally, there is actually another organization for people who don’t make it into MENSA. Brilliantly, they’re called DENSA. They sound much more fun.