Genius or Gifted? IQ and Beyond (News Intervention Interview)

Uploaded 2/3/2022, approx. 8 minute read

Hello there, today's topic is IQ, intelligence, genius and giftedness.

But before we go there, I would like to clarify something in the video that I had posted yesterday.

People were writing to me, those of you who know how to write, and they were asking questions, those of you who anticipate answers.

So, to gratify you, I intend to respond.

The video yesterday was titled, How Narcissist Steals Your Unconscious, Lures YOU into His Nightmare World, a very, very academic title.

And in the video, there's the story of Ulysses, Ulysses and the Cyclops, and how Ulysses killed the Cyclops, and how he had deceived the Cyclops.

He told the Cyclops that his name is Nobody. And when he was gouging out the Cyclops' eye and taking his life, the Cyclops was screaming, Nobody is killing me, Nobody is killing me. And of course, no one came to help him because Nobody was killing him.

So, this is a parable, this is an allegory.

As a victim of a narcissist, as the target of a narcissist, as the so-called intimate partner of a narcissist or a psychopath, when you cry for help, no one gives it to you. No one comes to your aid. No one is there for you because the narcissist is a Nobody.

He's an emptiness. He's azelaic. Woody Allen's movie. He's shape-shifting.

And so, people never see the real narcissist. They definitely don't see the abuser.

And so, the narcissist is a Nobody. And Nobody is killing you, like in the story of Ulysses and the Cyclops.

So, Nobody is killing you. You don't need help. And no one understands why you scream foul, why you ask for help, why you try to describe a situation as abuse.

Because a narcissist puts on an act, a show, a facade. And that is very convincing.

And behind all this, there's nothing, there's emptiness, there's a Nobody, like Ulysses.

I'm talking too much.

Today's topic again is giftedness, IQ, genius and intelligence. And it's based on an interview that I granted to News Intervention. News Intervention is, as the name implies, a news website.

And the interview is one of a series of 10 that I'm conducting with Scott Douglas Jacobson. He's asking the questions and I attempt to give answers.

Scott Douglas Jacobson asks, you have been measured three times with a high IQ, an understatement, he says, an IQ between 180 and 190 between ages nine and 35.

You refer to this in some writings in passing. And he quotes various, various things I've written and an interview I did with Richard Grannon, and so on and so forth.

He also mentions external sources that mentioned this fact, including an article by Gavin Haynes, and so on.

So he's asking, with the IQ scores of 185 at age nine, 190 at the army at age 25, and 190 in prison at age 35, presumably on a standard division of 15, what was the reaction of family, friends, peers, community, even the psychometricians or psychologists administering the test each time.

Professor Shmuo Sam Vaknin answers.

First, let me clarify that any result above 160, and some say above 140, is not normatively validated. That's a term in statistics. It's not normatively validated. It is rather arbitrary and meaningless, because there are so few people to compare with the sample is way too small and badly selected.

Matrix IQ tests are better at validating higher results though.

As to me, everyone always loathed me. I'm a sadist.

So from a very early age, I've leveraged my IQ to taunt people, hold them in contempt and humiliate them. This did not endear obnoxious me to anyone.

My own teachers sought to undermine my academic career. Peers shunned or attempted to bully me. They failed. My mother detested me. My father pendulated between being awestruck and being repelled by me. Both my parents beat me to an inch of my life every single day for 12 years, which I guess gives you an inkling of how they felt about me.

Jacobson, to you, as a scientific person, what defines intelligence?

Vaknin, which is still me. Intelligence is anything that endows an individual with a comparative advantage at performing a complex task. Anything like that is intelligence.

And in this sense, viruses reify intelligence. They are intelligent.

Human intelligence though is different. It is versatile. The tasks are usually far more complex than anything a virus might need to tackle. With one exception, of course, politicians.

There was not in the interview. Ok, shoshanim, you missed that, no?

Jacobson, what defines IQ or intelligence quotient?

Vaknin, the ability to perform a set of mostly but not only analytical assignments. Analytical assignments corresponding to an age-appropriate average.

So if a 10-year-old copes well with the tasks that are the bread and butter of an 18 years old, that person scores 180 IQ. 18 divided by 10 multiplied by 100.

IQ measures an exceedingly narrow set of skills and mental functions. There are many types of intelligence, for example, musical intelligence, that are not captured by an IQ test.

Jacobson, what defines giftedness to you? Formal definitions of giftedness exist, but what do you think?

Well, here's what I think, Scott. Giftedness resembles autism very much. It is the ability to accomplish tasks inordinately well or fast by focusing on them to the exclusion of all else and by mobilizing all the mental resources at the disposal of the gifted person.

Obviously, people gravitate to what they do well. Gifted people have certain propensities and talents to start with, and these probably reflect brain abnormalities of one kind or another.

Having recovered, Jacobson continues. Interrelating the previous three questions, what separates intelligence from IQ from giftedness? What separates these three from each other?

Vaknin, IQ is a narrow measure of highly specific types of intelligence and is not necessarily related to giftedness. Gifted people invest themselves with a laser focus to effect change in their environment, conducive to the speedy completion of highly specific tasks.

Exasperated Jacobson, so what defines genius?

Vaknin to the rescue. Genius is the ability to discern two things. One, what is missing, lacunas. Number two, synoptic connections.

The genius surveys the world, looks around, observes, and completes the world by conjuring up novelty.

In other words, he's creative, he creates.

The genius also spots hidden relatedness between ostensibly disparate phenomena or data.

Jacobson, how does genius differentiate from intelligence, IQ, and giftedness? He's still very confused, it seems.

Vaknin, a genius can have an average IQ or even not be analytically very intelligent, not be an intellectual. Some craftsmen are geniuses, musicians, athletes, even politicians, believe it or not.

All right, Jacobson, what happens to most prodigies or adults with exceptionally profoundly or unmeasurably high IQ?

Well, I should know something about it. Vaknin, a majority of them end badly. Look at me.

IQ is a good predictor of academic accomplishments but not much else. Character, upbringing, mental illness, genetics, nurture, the environment, including the physical environment, sexual and romantic history, all these matter much more than IQ.

Many so-called geniuses with high IQ, mensa types, are dysfunctional and deficient when it comes to life, intimacy, relationships, and social skills.

Additionally, as Eysenck had correctly observed, creativity is often linked to psychoticism. There's a very thin line separating the genius from the madmen.

Vaknin, sorry, Jacobson of course. What are the optimal things for raising gifted children and prodigies and for resuscitating, drifting adults with exceptionally, profoundly or immeasurably high IQ, if at all possible, to productive and healthy lives?

Vaknin, all interventions are somewhat effective only during childhood and adolescence up to age 21. Afterwards, it's an uphill battle.

The most crucial thing is to never remove the gifted child from his peer group, as was done to me.

I'm also dead set against academic shortcuts. The gifted child should follow the same path as everybody else, but feed his voracious mind with extracurricular enrichment programs and materials.

Jacobson, who seemed like the greatest geniuses in history to you?

Vaknin, for the first time in his entire life, unable to be original.

The usual suspects, Einstein, Newton, Freud, da Vinci, other polymaths, who had ended every discipline or field that they had turned their scintillating minds to.

Jacobson, thank you for the opportunity in your time, Professor Vaknin.

Professor Vaknin, the opportunity is all mine, and now references follow.

The full interview can be read on News Intervention.

It's a website, so here's what you do. You go to Google, you type, you type, using your fingers, News Intervention Vaknin, and you get the avalanche of the four interviews hitherto conducted, Six more to come, and don't consider it as a promise, but as a threat.

It's been a pleasure to torture to you.

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