TJ as you know is a colleague of mine and he asked if I would post his thoughts, inspired in part by my book "Curse of the High IQ" (and no doubt inspired in part by his intellect). I have not read it yet so don't come complaining to me if you don't like it. I'm just assuming the guy's smart enough that I can rely on him to write a good piece.
The Case for IQ-Based Segregation
In the dystopian short story Harrison Bergeron, one of the ways the tyrannical government maintains equality is by interfering with the brains of those more intelligent. They continually receive shocks to the brain that prevent extended train of thought. The reason: if intelligent people could think for long enough, they could achieve more than those less intelligent, and that would make society “unequal.”
In effect, equality meant dumbing down the smart to the lowest common denominator.
It’s a notion I’ve thought about ever since I put down Aaron Clarey’s Curse of the High IQ, which I finally got around to read. There are a lot of things that could be said about the book, but I’d like to focus specifically on the role intelligence plays in social relations.
Simply put, significant IQ differences amounts to an impenetrable barrier between the high IQ and ordinary people. Things that an intelligent person takes for granted and assumes everyone else recognizes is beyond the comprehension of most.
However, rather than recognize this and structure society accordingly, we subscribe to the idiotic notion that everyone is the same, that everyone is tabula rasa – a blank slate with equal potential for achievement. Thus, intelligence is not accounted for, at least honestly, in how we arrange institutions.
A high IQ boy does not belong in the same classroom as ordinary kids. He does not belong in the same higher education system as ordinary young adults. He does not belong in the same groups in which he is treated as a peer to someone a standard deviation below his IQ. He does not belong in the same workplace environment as people less capable as he. He does not belong in the same dating pool as those who can’t process the notion of long-term thinking and low time preference, as he is looking for a woman almost a separate breed compared to those sought out by men who, like in Harrison Bergeron, can’t hold a thought for more than a few seconds.
Trying to force the smart to integrate with the dumb is cruel for all parties involved. The high IQ person is frustrated and emotionally drained trying to interact with someone unable to comprehend seemingly basic concepts, while the midwits are humiliated and embarrassed by having someone actively having to dumb themselves down just to communicate with them. It’s on par with forcing special Olympic athletes to join the regular Olympics and getting angry when the normal sprinter outruns the special needs man in the 100-meter dash by 15 seconds and insists he go slower to not humiliate a mentally retarded competitor.
In a saner world, people with high IQs would be identified as early as possible and separated from others in environments where intelligence is an important factor. Like an intellectual aristocracy, they would be raised with the understanding that they are different, that these differences do not confer moral judgement either way, and that the best solution is for them to associate with others of similar intelligence in most settings.
The problem, as Clarey points out, is that our society is not tailored for the intelligent, but the midwit. Virtually all mainstream spaces cater to the median intelligence or low IQ individuals. To be sure, there are opportunities to mingle with people of similar IQs, but the events and venues are often expensive or more exclusive in nature. In a world that sees discrimination of any kind as evil, the only way to maintain boundaries is through prices or secrecy, i.e. an invite-only cigar lounge.
The challenge with this is that while intelligence and wealth have some correlation, they’re not intertwined. A high IQ boy from a poor family will not have access to these amenities in the same way a midwit from a trust fund family will. This is in part how so many institutions lose their prestige by admitting people based on wealth, rather than ability. They get dominated by arrogant midwits who think they’re entitled to things by virtue of merely existing.
In a sane world, the solution to the problem is segregation by intelligence, with spaces reserved only for the high IQ so that they can have meaningful, fulfilling social lives around those like them, just as median IQ people are more capable today of forming relationships because they have opportunities to meet like-minded people.
But, we don’t live in a sane world and that’s not likely to change. In an age when people suffering online censorship have been told to “build your own platforms,” it would do well for the high IQ to accept that if they want a space to belong in, they’ll have to create it themselves. I’m thinking not only in terms of what is practical, but in an actual sense, rather than formal manner.
For example, if you wanted to create a male-only gym, you don’t put up a sign that says so and make it official. You simply make the aesthetics appealing to masculine men and unfriendly to the yoga pants wearers. You play 1980s heavy metal, have darker, greyer color paint on the walls, lots of bodybuilding equipment, and posters of related stuff that appeals to gym rats. You’re not explicitly denying women entry, but they will naturally go elsewhere since they can’t change these things because they don’t control it. If there are women there, they will be few in number and intuitively grasp that they have to adhere to masculine norms, because the gym isn’t there for them.
In contrast, setting up a “men only” sign and actively trying to kick women out will accomplish nothing but a lawsuit and negative media publicity.
The same applies to IQ-based segregation. A high IQ space needs the aesthetics, décor, and environment that caters to people with greater capacity for thought, sophistication, and finer preferences. It filters out by intelligence, not income or purchasing power. It’s a space that feels inviting for the smart, not those who think they’re smart.
While it doesn’t have to be hostile toward the average person, they should instinctively and unconsciously sense that it’s not an appropriate place for them or does not appeal to their tastes. And because they have no say and there are no actual rules discriminating against lower IQ people like themselves, there’s nothing they can do but leave.
How high IQ spaces are created and what that space looks like precisely is an aside. The gist is that smart people need to have their own places and experience a sense of belonging by being in close proximity with others who speak the same language, i.e. intelligence. Further, these spaces adhere to the standards and norms of the highly intelligent, rather than placating those with a 90 IQ. Most importantly, they need to be able to keep out people whose presence there is inappropriate by nature of their IQ, someone who if allowed to remain will undermine the standards and norms for that space to accommodate them.
We need to abandon the notion of egalitarianism and equality by recognizing the harm it’s caused to pretty much everyone and the unnecessary conflicts that result from it. Among the worst aspects of it, is that it creates unrealistic expectations for the dumb and conceals from the intelligent the options at their disposal. The other issue is that the mere presence of high IQ people provokes insecurity and envy among malicious halfwits and midwits, who then seek to sabotage the lives of the high IQ. By separating them, these feuds are avoided.
Critics will say this is elitist, and all I can say is that they’re right. We’re not pretending that halfwits are equal to that of someone with a 130 IQ or should be treated the same any more than we treat those who can run a 4:15 minute mile the same as a 300 lbs. defensive lineman. The difference between segregation and what we have now is that currently the halfwits and midwits get to project and impose their standards and preferences onto people more intelligent than they and whose only desire is to fully realize their own potential.
This won’t cure the curse of a high IQ, but it will alleviate some of the worst aspects.