High price paid

About 15 months ago I wrote a post in which I pointed out that, from the perspective of the highly intelligent, the reason why they are alone is not because of themselves - but because of other people. It is immensely taxing upon the patience and mental sharpness of people with IQs north of 130 to deal with the "average" human being.

That post got some rather thoughtful responses from a few readers, who remarked that it is indeed a giant pain in the ass for the highly intelligent to deal with the not-so-intelligent. As Supreme Dark Lord Vox Day (PBUH) has pointed out repeatedly in the months since then, any time someone is dealing with another person or group of people that is two standard deviations or more below him in terms of raw intelligence, he always feels as though he is talking to a crowd of barely-functional morons.

And the worst part is, it is not his fault, at all. He can no more help his massive natural and genetic advantages over his interlocutors than a shark can help the fact that it must swim to avoid suffocation and drowning. (Yes, sharks can drown.)

One of the comments from longtime reader Eduardo the Magnificent mentioned that there was an episode of House, M.D. in which a patient with an IQ north of 170 - so basically a super-duper epic genius for whom advanced quantum physics and string theory are as easy to understand as scrambling an egg is for you and me - was deliberately making himself more stupid through a cocktail of drugs that was slowly killing him.

Why was he doing it?

Because that was the only way that he could stand to be around his wife, who was 90 IQ points dumber than him.

Here is the clip, so that you know what Eduardo was talking about:

It is, indeed, a hard and lonely life for those possessed of unusually high intelligence. That is a fact. There is no getting around this.

From a personal perspective, I am sure that this resonates with a number of readers. It certainly does with me.

I am blessed to have unusually perceptive and smart readers - and, as I was quite shocked to discover just today, I apparently have quite a few more of those than I originally thought:

Huh. Wow.

Hey, don't ask me how the hell that happened. I have no clue. I just post random shit on the internet. Evidently some people find it interesting.

And that's just feedly. I genuinely have no clue how many people actually read my work regularly, but I always thought it was less than 10.

It so happens that most if not all of those readers are highly intelligent. Quite a few of them are considerably more intelligent than me.

Every single one of those readers can comment, at some length, on just how painful it can be to pass through life almost completely alone and isolated.

Why is this the case?

Because the highly intelligent cannot lower themselves down to the level of the rest of society, no matter how hard we try. It is simply not possible for us to do it without literally shutting off parts of our brains.

The highly intelligent think very differently from everyone else. What interests "the masses" is of absolutely no interest to us. That is why many of us simply do not bother with "mainstream" news, pop culture, trends, fashions, or ideas. By definition, what is "mainstream" is aimed squarely at the bulk of "average" people; in advanced Western societies, where the average IQ is around 100, that means that most such things are easily comprehensible to people with IQs between 85 and 115, or one standard deviation to either side of the mean. This encompasses about 68% of the total population on a normally distributed IQ spectrum.

The problem for the highly intelligent is that these things are automatically too juvenile and trivial for us to process. Our brains chew straight through that stuff because it is the brain's equivalent of gruel - bland, easily digested, and of almost no nutritional value whatsoever - and that leaves us with plenty of time for much more complex matters and ideas.

But because we automatically rule ourselves out from the mainstream - and we have no choice but to do so - we therefore have very little in common with other people. And that makes creating lasting relationships, and cementing lasting bonds of friendship and love, very, very difficult.

This problem affects men much more than it does women. Most of the good studies on the subject have shown repeatedly that men and women have pretty much the same mean IQ of about 100 - but the kurtosis, or "peakedness", of the male distribution of intelligence is lower, which means that the tails of the male distribution are fatter.

The natural consequence of this fact is that there are more males on the extremes of the IQ spectrum than females.

Therefore, there are far more male morons and retards - I use the word in its correct and literal context - than there are female ones.

And, of course, there are also far more male geniuses and polymaths than female ones. This goes a long way towards explaining why the list of the greatest innovators in human history is something like 98% male. It isn't embedded sexism or "MUH PATRIARKEE!!!" at work; it is simple genetics and mathematics.

These cold numerical and statistical realities translate into a very real human price for those of us blessed - and cursed - with unusually high IQs.

Life is lonely at the top - or, in this case, at the extremes. Those with extremely high IQs tend to like being around people who share their enthusiasm for ideas and innovations. But the reality is that vanishingly few such people exist once you get past about the 140 IQ level. For those people of IQ level 150 and above, finding friends and especially lovers is really hard work.

It is hard work because of the aforementioned 2SD "communication gap". A man with a nosebleed IQ of over 150, is going to find it next to impossible to communicate with a woman of IQ 120 - and such a woman is already quite intelligent relative to most people, and very likely pretty accomplished as well.

For him, it would be like communicating with a functionally retarded child in far too many ways.

And for her, it would be terrifyingly intimidating to discover that virtually every word, every idea, every thought coming from her mouth will be ruthlessly dissected, analysed, absorbed, and digested at extreme speed - and, all too often, the highly intelligent are so focused on analysis and computation that we fail to take into account emotions in any significant way.

As a result, the words that come out of our mouths are often deeply hurtful to others - even though, from our own perspective, we are not trying to hurt anyone. We are simply stating what seems blindingly obvious to us. Our conclusions are formed based on the evidence and data that we see. We can no more help coming to these conclusions than a grizzly bear can help chowing down on salmon.

The result is an often lonely and difficult life.

I know of people with IQs in the 150 range who have not had a significant relationship with a woman for literal decades. I myself have had tremendous challenges, mostly self-inflicted, with women that I have only recently been able to even start to overcome. There are readers of this blog who find talking to ordinary people to be a form of low-grade torture for their own minds.

Being highly intelligent is, I repeat, a hard life.

But there are ways to get around this and deal with it.

For men, at least, the fact is that life does get better as we age. This is partly because IQ peaks in our early 20s and then starts a slow decline over time; chances are that if you are really, really smart, most of your greatest work and significant discoveries will happen in your 20s and early 30s, and not later in life.

And as men pick up experience, skills, and wisdom, we gain in value to the opposite sex and to society as a whole. Men mature slowly, like fine wine, and the most intelligent among us can and often do have rich and fulfilling lives later on.

Sadly, though, the first 30 years or so of those lives can be, and often are, Hell.

For women, unfortunately, the fact is that their high intelligence is a huge curse. There is no getting past this fact.

Men do not value high intelligence and credentials in their mates. This is one of the biggest lies and mistakes of the modern world - to pretend that men are attracted to women who have a long list of credentials and qualifications behind their names. It is all nonsense.

The reality is that men are attracted to women who are young, beautiful, and fertile. Period goddamn dot, full bloody stop.

This is true across age groups, income distributions, nationalities, races, skin colours, and - of course - intelligence rankings. Men simply do not care about how intelligent a woman is; what matters is how good she makes us feel.

The sole caveat lies with highly intelligent men, who like to be able to at least talk with their significant others on a reasonably high level. So for such men, with IQs of 130 and above, there is value to be had in being around a girl with an IQ of 110 to 120.

But beyond that level, higher intelligence does not help a woman in the dating and mating markets. Men just aren't interested in her.

While it seems as though I am having a bit of a downer on highly intelligent people, the reality is that highly intelligent folks - especially men - are a great gift to their societies.

It has been written that "to whom much is given, from him much is expected" - I'm paraphrasing, obviously, but you get the idea.

Yes, such men often lead lonely and challenging lives. But it is because we are freed from the demands - some would call them "trappings" - of relationships and social lives, that we can focus our energies and time on other things that are of interest to us. And those things tend to require a very great deal of skill, knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence.

Let's put it this way: whoever cracks the secret of sustainable nuclear fusion is not going to be a midwit normie. He's going to be a nosebleed-IQ Poindexter who wears pocket protectors to work and either is still a virgin or hasn't had a girlfriend in many years.

But he will transform the world.

(It is also possible, by the way, for such "dorks" to be exceptionally good at picking up women. Just ask world-renowned physicist, ladies' man, and all-round cool dude Richard Feynman. Or, y'know, his ghost, at this point. Part of his appeal to women lay in understanding that taking them overly seriously or putting them on pedestals is very, very stupid. Hey, he was a genius, after all.)

Always remember, if you are struggling with the weight and burden imposed by a high IQ: life gets better for you over time. Focus your energies on other things. Lift weights. Travel. Read books. Start your own business. Fail, repeatedly and brutally if you must. Eventually, I promise you, things will improve - because you have put your gifts to work, instead of letting them moulder and cursing the world and its Creator for giving them to you.

As always - you were given much, so you are expected to give much in return.


  1. Nah. It really depends on common goals and interests and the valuation you place on character. In the Army, commanding various units (rifle company, headquarters company, requiting company, training battalion), it was never a chore and rarely if ever felt like I had to talk down to anybody, and this at approximately four standard deviations difference.

    I would suggest that, if some very high IQ people cannot stand to be around, don't know to value, and lack the talent to make good and productive use of those not as intelligent, the flaw - the _deficiency_ - is in them.

    1. I do see your point, sir. I agree that in the military the communications gap is greatly reduced if not eliminated outright. One of my first bosses was a nuclear reactor officer on a nuclear attack sub, and I'll never forget how he told me about the ways in which the Navy has figured out how to translate the extreme complexities of reactor maintenance and safety into terms and procedures that can be understood by 18-year-old kids fresh off the farm from the Midwest. That shows great intelligence, skill, and discipline in communication, and that is all to the good.

      However - with great respect, sir, I must also agree with Dire Badger's point below about the lack of similar command-and-control structures in the civilian world. Without that structure and discipline, it is much, much harder to communicate downwards and outwards. I've seen this happen time and again, where extremely smart people simply could not get their point across no matter how hard they tried to warn others that what they were doing was very foolish - and ended up being proven right.

      They had a very hard time because they could not get past politics, siloed thinking, and of course the "Not Invented Here" syndrome so common to big bureaucratic organisations.

      There is also a distinct gender communications gap at play. It is far easier for a man of IQ 150 to communicate with other men 40 points less intelligent than him, than it is for a man to communicate with a less intelligent woman. The men tend to understand and obey social hierarchies established by rank and seniority; the women do not tend to understand it.

    2. That may revolve more around one's, shall we say, "finesse" with women. Me, personally, I lost count before I turned 21. And there, being 2-3 SDs above is rarely, if ever, a problem. You don't even have to speak the same language, which ought to put paid to notions about the importance of intelligence, one way or the other. The _real_ problem with women, and that mostly in modern society, comes in with the ones three or more SDs _above_ the average, and that is mostly because they're miserably unhappy to begin with.

      By the way, a man can be a lot brighter than any given good woman and the odds remain excellent that she'll still be _wiser_ that you.

  2. I can assure you, from experience, that even those of us in the low teens of extra intelligence find the dull, irrelevant maunderings of those plugged into 'pop culture' to be nearly unbearable.

    I was fortunate to find a woman who is, while not exactly brilliant, at least 1 SD above average in intelligence. Our 'social time' rather than being concerned with What Beyonce is wearing, is generally consumed by tabletop role-playing games.

    As Far as the comment of Colonel Kratman, above, I think there is a vast difference between the social networking required in commanding men, versus that required to entertain women. I was in the Navy for many years, and seldom found it a severe chore to explain, in depth occasionally, what was required of my less-gifted subordinates.

    The largest difference, I think, is that it is your subordinate's JOB to comprehend and follow your orders. Arguing with you is prohibited, in many cases. In addition, I have found it much easier to communicate with average IQ MEN than it is to communicate with the exact same IQ women, primarily because the WAY we communicate is so astonishingly different.

    Men communicate Ideas, solutions, and concepts relatively easily, while we communicate emotional information, empathy, and the idea behind the solution rather than the resolution itself.

    Pick a relatively common argument you might have with both a woman and a male friend, Tardiness for example.

    When you grump about your friend being tardy, he will make excuses or explanations, and will at the very least assure you he will not be late again.

    When you grump at your girl about her tardiness, It becomes about emotions. She gets mad at you for making her FEEL bad for being late, and attempts to excuse it by calling attention to all the times YOU have been late, or possibly even switching it over to something having nothing to do with tardiness whatsoever. "But you forgot our anniversary". In a very real way, it becomes conversational combat, and woe betide the male that attempts to stick to the point. She may promise to not be late next time, but as sure as shit smells, she will forget about the whole tardiness thing the moment the conversation is over and just think about how it FEELS.

    This gulf is so great, in fact, that she will remember later what she FELT like you said, even if you never used the words she claimed you did, and then crow about having a better memory because she 'remembers what you said when you forgot about it already." Of course we forgot it, because we never said it.

    These difference widen a possibly-navigable gulf between intelligence levels into an impassable quagmire. And if you DO somehow wind up with a girl that is as intelligent as you are, you might as well be at OPPOSITE ends of the intelligence spectrum.

  3. Eduardo the Magnificent19 August 2018 at 01:50

    I'm honored an humbled that one of my comments turned into a post. Like you, I don't think hardly anyone pays attention to anything I say.


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