Flames and IQ

Scott Holmes (sholmes@NETCOM.COM)
Tue, 10 Jan 1995 13:14:46 -0800

"Newsletter Articles Stir Furor in High-IQ Group". Apparently, at
least one member of, our local Mensa group advocates elimination of
society's "defectives". The quote printed: "Those people who are so
mentally defective that they cannot live in society should, as soon
as they are identified as defective, be humanely dispatched."
Included in this group was the entire class known as "the homeless".

Now please, this does not represent my personal views. My point in
mentioning this is that quite often a statement like this will instigate
a flame fest (it apparently did with the Mensas). And, the flames often
start with disputing the intelligence of the source of the statement.
Mensa members are supposed to be the "most intelligent" members of our
society (at least in terms of IQs). Criteria for membership is said
to be an IQ of at least 132. This is said to represent the upper 2% of
our population.

I've had some private correspondence with a few members of this list
relating to Gregory Bateson's theory of learning. I've expressed the idea
that opinions/ideas, such as these, are not so much in the domain of the
intellect as they are emotional. Bateson describes "deutero-learning"
in Pavlovean terms - stimulous, response and reinforcement. It's my
feeling that such "inflammable" views are reinforced emotionally rather
than intellectually. Thus, intellectual argument will have little or no
effect in changing these views. Comments...

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