Friday, February 15, 2008

Mollusks and Mensa

The British Mensa was founded in 1946 by a lawyer and a scientist. It isn’t surprising that this “high society” was initiated by affluent intellectuals. The main objectives were and are to “to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity, to encourage research in the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence, and to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.” Those who wish to join must take a Mensa IQ test and must be in the top 2% of the population. An example of a Mensa puzzle questions is:

What is the connection between the following words?


I won’t give the answer away, but in any case, it seems like an odd way to calculate and justify mental superiority. One of the original goals was to eliminate distinctions made from political, racial, or religious affiliation. Does one have more control over mental capability than race?

Much of the Mensa thinks that it is beneficial to society to kill off the shell-less mollusks or “sufficiently unhealthy or subnormal infants.” The parallel between the behavior of mollusks and the cost-benefit analysis of how society treats its most vulnerable members is interesting. The Mensa obviously does not share the Puritan view that a society is as strong as its weakest link. I haven’t quite figured out why the author mentions mollusks living in the shells of dead mollusks. Anyone?


Sterbenz said...

I wanna know what the answer to the Mensa question is. and in the test is it free response or multiple choice.

that is all besides the point. The mollusks stealing shells is probably just to point out natural instincts. By living in an extra shell or stealing one because it isn't graced with its own is just pure and simple instinct to survive. Our friends at Mensa seem to be using this same train of thought.

Have you ever watched those nature shows where they follow a large group of gazelles or wildebeests. In these large groups there is a social hierarchy, but no attachment to the others. When the lion comes and takes out the old and weak or disease strikes the young there is no morning. It is just survival of the fittest. A very basic instinct.

When it comes to humans though the we are our own enemies. We tend to weed out the leaders from the followers, those who get to live and those who die. Mensa's great idea for killing subnormal infants isn't really new. The Spartans used this technique to create "the best fighters."

All that is besides the point. What i really wanted to say is: don't you think that it is odd Mensa, our best and brightest, are using one of the oldest and most basic survival instincts to better us??

Ana said...

What is the answer? They all start with C's except for hibernate and then they all end in E's except for Czechoslovakians so I guess Czechoslovakians are cold... QED

Anyway... I really liked your post. You're right, it is really strange that they judge someone's capacity to problem solve and think (intelligence) based on weird word associations. But I guess they have to test it somehow. The whole concept of the Mensa society is bogus, ridiculous and ironic. I mean you have to be kind of stupid to begin with to want to join the society in the first place. Catch 22.

I took the mollusks living in the shell of dead mollusks to mean kill and conquer. Kind of how Native Americans used to eat the hearts of the enemy... it's a way to own those weaker than you. So they destroy them, and then steal their homes. That's what I took it to mean.

Thanks for the toilet paper... we were running out.

Love you!

Ellen M said...

All of the words have a capital city in them. Lima-puru, Rome-Italy, Bern-Switzerland and Oslo-Norway. Is that the answer to your Mensa question?

emma said...

this is what i took the mollusk thing as. a "normal" mollusk has a shell. then it dies. the "genetically defective" mollusk who has no shell sees this empty shell as its opportunity to finally have a home and be "normal." now you can't tell it apart from all the other mollusks and its defective genes might infiltrate the intact genes of the mollusks who occupy their own shells. it's like eugenics in the mollusk world.

Lucia said...

Congratulations Ellen! You can now become a highly esteemed member of the Mensa and kill the rest of us.