Yes, we are.

That’s the answer.  Here’s the question: are smart people being inappropriately excluded?

Via Bryce Laliberte comes a compelling article which argues that high IQ people are being systematically discriminated against within corporate bureaucracies and other institutions:

 In other words, a significant percentage of people with IQs over 140 are being systematically and, most likely inappropriately, excluded from the population that addresses the biggest problems of our time or who are responsible for assuring the efficient operation of social, scientific, political and economic institutions.

Henry Dampier has the solution if you are one of these individuals:

People with high intelligence will often find greater success outside of bureaucracies, also. Instead of complaining that bureaucracy treats you poorly, find a way to secure a position without relying on conforming socially to a dysfunctional, egalitarian society.

You might even want to pretend to be an affable idiot, like an actor playing a part.

I can’t stand the office politics and other things that happen in a corporate setting.  It’s all I can do to not scream at people to shut the hell up and do their jobs when they begin prattling on about that guy/girl they met in the bar this weekend and how they’re “the one” (not bloody likely).

And the university setting wasn’t much better.  I can tell you that I have a higher IQ than all but one of my graduate professors.  And he did the affable idiot thing in order to fit in.  And the rest of the professors in the department knew it and resented it.

There’s one thing that my students never understood about my classroom persona: it was all an act.  Economic theory is boring and mechanical, so I came up with an entertaining way to present it in order to keep students from mentally drifting away during lectures.  Unfortunately for some students, that meant including them in the act.  One effect this had was that students who ran into me outside of the classroom were often surprised that I was more reserved than they were used to.  Another effect was twofold: the female participants either resented the attention or they enjoyed it immensely.  And that’s all I am going to say about that.

Growing up and in school , I was always pretending to be that affable idiot, because if you don’t do that the stupid kids will make your life a living hell.  It didn’t hurt that I also had some athletic ability and I was somewhat attractive.  This goes against the popular stereotype that smart people look like this:


Henry Dampier expands on the evolution of this image:

Since the late 1960s and 1970s, a cultural stereotype emerged — the ‘nerd’ — which didn’t really exist to the extent that it once did. The intelligent were trained, rather than instructed to embrace the Aristotelian mean, that the highly intelligent were physically weak, socially maladroit, obsessed with fantasies, and low status.

The fact is that high IQ people are being marginalized because ordinary people don’t want to admit that others are superior to them.  After all, it is easier to mock your superiors and call them names than it is to admit that you aren’t as good and then work to improve yourself.  Nah, let’s just shove the nerds’ heads into the toilet and flush.

Whoosh!  Problem solved!



Categories: Hmm, Liars, Nerds, Not Economics, Propaganda, Stupid People


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