Re: The ways of child prodigies

From: Tennessee Leeuwenburg (
Date: Tue Nov 08 2005 - 17:03:21 MST

Eliezer, what is your (self-estimated) IQ?

I am not familiar with the GPA, but I assume it's strongly correlated,
and you said it like your scores were good.

I am not a genius, but I am clever. (IQ 130ish, 98th percentile, which
makes me uncommon but not rare).

I know people who are cleverer by a further order of magnitude (member
of 999 club), but I still find I have more in common with them than
people relatively close in the downwards direction. Obviously, that's my
perception, not theirs, but so it is.

The supposition I have is that IQ is largely unrelated to passion or
motivation, especially moving towards adulthood where the natural
curiosity and drive of childhood wears off. The most successful people
(according to society's usual metrics) are not the most intelligent, but
the most obsessed, with IQ being a secondary correlate.

It's probably not right to see the reduction in motivation of a child
prodigy as a failure. In fact, it's probably not fair to push our own
beliefs about success onto others (argument from paternalism). However,
it is wonderful when someone of high intellect pursues the goals which I
find important.


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