Thursday, May 19, 2016

Goodbye Mensa




So... 2 years ago, I took and passed Mensa's test and I joined the association. With my membership, I accessed the almost unused PHPBB forum of Mensa France, the loud Facebook page of Mensa France, and a handful of other online resources which I found little engaging. I also joined the weekly meetings at the pub, which I quickly became an organizer of, and 1 year down the line, I took a position as a member of the regional board of Mensa. I participated (lazily) to the organization of a conference for which I animated a 2 hours round-table in front of 200 people. And then, nothing for 6 months. I was away, stayed away, etc.

So what happened?

Well, Mensa is not exactly what I thought. And maybe I went in with too high hopes. I expected many people there to be like me, interested in debates, interested in gaining knowledge through digging and separating the wheat from the chaff of ideas. I expected people with specialized knowledge of more than 1 subject who could analyze subjects and reason. But that's not the kind of people I found. Well... there are a handful of such people. But they're the minority.

On the upside, Mensa was an opportunity to dig into the subject of intelligence. And it's overblown. Clearly. It's over-over-overblown. For children, intelligence makes a difference because their emotional development doesn't keep up with their cognitive development and this may lead to some real problems if they start wondering about subjects (eg. death) which they're not emotionally ready for. Because they might realize that everything even their parents and themselves is doomed to die someday and that awareness is not easily managed by all 4 year old kids. But for adults, intelligence is, except in rare cases, just a matter of being able to learn more or less quickly... and the fact is that people who are not skeptical of what they read will have MUCH less efficiency in learning than people who are.

Then there's all nonsense of political ideology, religions, supernatural beliefs, and other forms of activism or endeavor that is founded on feelings instead of reality.

So I didn't find what I expected... though it's true that my expectations were fuzzy. And that's why I'll leave. Well, the 60€ yearly fee is a reason too... I would have stayed if it had cost only a quarter of that. But I'm not saying I'm leaving forever. As I said above, there are a handful of people I like in Mensa and considering the 15% growth in the member base, there is a potential of finding a lot more such people when/if I come back in a few years. In the meantime, I'll try and find other interests better suited to me.

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