Society, by statistical necessity, needs to focus on the majority. It needs to be built and designed for "the average". Society, by moral necessity, also needs to focus on the disadvantaged and disabled, helping those who cannot help themselves. But while the majority of society's resources, attention, and infrastructure is dedicated to average or below-average people, little-to-none of it is dedicated to the abnormally intelligent. And while having a high IQ is an overall net benefit in life, being a statistical intellectual freak is not without its drawbacks. Welcome to The Curse of the High IQ.
Whether you fall asleep during class, constantly ram heads with your boss, can't understand why people watch the Oscars, are an alcoholic, or are accused of having ADD, having a high IQ can be a maddening experience. What you see as the obvious solution is what the "normies" will fight against tooth and nail. Those Ds you keep getting in English? Your superior mind being held hostage by the boring and inferior mind of your teacher. And you'd like to start a family? Good luck finding an intellectual equal for a spouse. And so while the world obsesses on their own problems, no one is paying attention to the problems of the abnormally intelligent. However, that all changes now with Curse of the High IQ.
Curse of the High IQ is the first book specifically written for abnormally intelligent people. It identifies and addresses a litany of problems intelligent people face, analyzes them and provides solutions. But more importantly it aims to bring sanity to those who struggle with abnormal intelligence, especially those who are unaware they have it. So if you're constantly at odds with society, are suffering from depression or ennui, can't find any reason or agency in life, or just plain can't find any friends, consider purchasing this book.
©2016 Aaron Clarey (P)2016 Aaron Clarey
I enjoyed some of the caricaturing but was overall unimpressed by the absence of good data to back up very speculative arguments.
Bitter tone throughout. Being in the top 1% (the author by his own admission isn't) still means that 1 in 100 people are like you so you're not that rare.
"More like "The Curse of Being Autistic""
The author basically spends the entire time pessimistically pointing out the problems he sees in society while offering no solutions. Instead, he just hopes his readers will find solace in his explanation that society has these problems because we are forced to cater to the majority of people who have average IQs and we just have to accept that. It's literally just an endless list of complaints and the author comes off very whiney and arrogant. Very disappointing overall. This book should offer advice on how to relate better to people in order to fit in, have greater influence, and ultimately be happier. Instead, he just complains the whole time.
It is my opinion that the author has severe autism as it doesn't seem like he is able to relate to people he deems of average or low IQ. His endless rants also don't seem to serve any constructive purpose other than to show how awesome he thinks he is. It becomes painfully clear that he thinks he should be worshipped for his "high IQ," and doesn't understand why he can't get along with most "average IQ" people. He 100% attributes this to the fact that their lower IQ renders them incapable of comprehending what it's like to be him. This general lack of social awareness is a textbook autistic trait.
Don't waste your time with this book. I'm pretty sure he wrote it to try to get validation/prove that he has superior intelligence.
"Paranoia and the Dunning-Kruger Effect"
I've never taken the time to write a review on Audible, but I genuinely felt that I had to in this case. I wanted to like the book. I REALLY wanted to like this book. But I couldn't even finish it. After a couple of hours, I could no longer subject myself to the egotistical ranting that constitutes the bulk of its contents.
I was looking for realistic and thoughtful strategies on dealing with the unfortunate side effects of high IQ. I do not consider myself a genius by any stretch, but I am a card-carrying member of Mensa and my IQ has been measured to be 3-5 standard deviations from the mean, depending on the test and the day.
This book is basically every basement-dwelling rant about genius and high IQ that you've ever read on UseNet or an internet message board. It offers few solutions and promotes the worst possible strategies to deal with high intelligence. The author scoffs at the prospect of honing "soft skills" and promotes that any genius should just power-through and persevere. Unfortunately, geniuses are susceptible to being wrong, just as anyone else. The Dunning-Kruger effect is in full bore, and there is a lack of willingness to accept personal responsibility or the possibility that any negative situation may be the fault of the author, or the genius who finds themselves in a bad spot. A better strategy is to be self-aware. Know yourself, your biases, what you're good at, what you're not (believe me, it's almost a certainty that you're not great at absolutely everything) and how to respond to people. The author presents a paranoid view that if someone disagrees with you that they are out to get you. This is not a realistic view of the world. Does it happen? Sure, but not as often as you might believe.
By the author's standards, I'm abnormally intelligent, and because selection bias is a thing, I have worked with, worked for, managed, and am friends with many individuals whose IQs are in the 130 - 180 range. They're all human, and they all make mistakes. From tons of personal experience, the worst people to deal with are the inflexible Howard Roark types who believe that they are always right and incapable of being wrong. When they are wrong, they blame other people, and those they consider less intelligent for their own shortcomings. Those that are completely inflexible tend to believe that they are the most intelligent person in the room, building, state, continent, or whatever graduation it takes to justify their own unwavering confidence in the face of myriad evidence against. These people literally appear delusional, and often are. This is not the way to respond to criticism or disagreement.
One thing that I can say is that the narration perfectly captures the flights of grandiosity and ego-centric blindness presented in the book. This is one of the few audiobooks where I forgot that the narrator and author were not the same person.
I'm left to believe that the positive reviews this book has earned are likely due to the confirmation bias of the listener, as even abnormally intelligent people want to fit in somewhere. Having lived in the real world for the last twenty years, the difference between someone with an IQ of 115 and 145 isn't that big of a deal, unless you make it one.
"My life in a nutshell"
Fantastic. I have a 140 IQ and this book could've been based on my life with just the names changed.
The author's every word is spot on in accuracy. Certainly enjoyed this, and would recommend a thousand times over. Cheers!
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