How Do You Recognize Someone Truly Intelligent?

There is only one characteristic that separates them from others.

Through the years, I’ve often seen articles on how one can tell whether someone is truly intelligent. All sorts of things come up. One of the latest is that Kim Kardashian has an IQ of 190. Um. Yes. Right. Kim is probably somewhere between 95 to 100. A bright spark, she is not!

These articles will mention things like their level of achievement, their excellent relationships with others, their willingness to take risks, and all sorts of things that have nothing to do with intelligence. Intelligence, by the way, is the ability to solve problems, and the degree to which one can solve problems is the degree to which one is truly intelligent or not.

So, for instance, one might certainly solve the problem of how to find an inexpensive hotel for the night, but can one solve the energy crises? Can one invent a new fuel? Is one able to see the kind of thing that other people cannot? Can one put into words what nobody else has been able to define?

Coming back to the piece of nonsense that Kim Kardashian has an IQ of 190, it’s surprising how many will believe that bit of bull. For the record, she failed two exams for Law 101 before passing on the third. Nobody with an IQ of 190 would fail such a minor exam. That information comes from a website that specializes in ‘testing’ people for a price. The bottom line is that unless someone does a recognized test with a recognized authority, it’s not possible to know their IQ.

A neuroscientist estimates Kim Kardashian’s IQ at between 95 and 100 Quora

Here’s something else to consider. Nobody knows what Einstein’s IQ was. At best, it’s a guess. Again, unless someone has actually sat an accepted IQ test, there is no way of knowing.

Here are two interesting bits of research. Finland wanted to know how smart business owners were. After testing a sufficient number to ensure that it was large enough to get a happy average, it turned out to be 115 — the high point of average.

It’s official: billionaires aren’t the brainboxes they like to believe | Arwa Mahdawi

The obscene wealth of many CEOs is less a result of intelligence and more down to luck, background and personality…

Sweden wanted to know the average IQ of billionaires. It turned out that they were a little less intelligent than average…

Researchers from Linköping University in Sweden, the European University Institute in Italy and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, analyzed data from 59,400 Swedish men who took a military conscription test when they were young adults. The results showed a strong relationship between intelligence and earning potential until the figure exceeded $64,000 a year. Beyond this point, the correlation became almost negligible. And at the highest pay scales, intelligence plateaued, suggesting that other factors, such as socioeconomic background, culture, personality traits and luck, became more significant. Source

Adams, Keloharju and Knüpfer (2018), also using Swedish register data, find that the median CEO of a large company ranks in the 83rd percentile of cognitive ability. Antonakis, House and Simonton (2017) find a mean IQ of 111 (less than a standard deviation above average) among mid-level executives from various Western countries. Source

So, if you ever thought your CEO was dumber than dishwater, you were probably right. Essentially, as various studies have shown, the wealth (and status) of one’s parents has more to do with great success than anything else.

Kim Kardashian was born into a high ranking family. Her father, born to Armenian immigrants, was the attorney to OJ Simpson. Robert Kardashian grew up in an L.A affluent area which meant that he naturally had a network of the rich around him (as did Kim). Kim’s father also owned a media publication named Radio & Records which added the entertainment crowd to his stable of friends. Thus, Kim Kardashian was born into this. Her success had nothing to do with intelligence.

This piece of garbage data comes from a site by the name of IQTest

Yet a multitude of people will insist that the super-rich must be vastly intelligent. Actually, the only common denominator are their circumstances of birth (well-off parents) and a profile that leans towards psychopathy. If one is willing to trample on people, one can go many places.

Strikingly, we find that the relationship between ability and wage is strong overall, yet above €60,000 per year ability plateaus at a modest level of +1 standard deviation. The top 1 per cent even score slightly worse on cognitive ability than those in the income strata right below them. We observe a similar but less pronounced plateauing of ability at high occupational prestige. Source

So how do you know whether someone is super-intelligent?

I’m afraid that unless you are super-intelligent yourself, you can’t. You see, the measurement of intelligence has a lot to do with the way one reasons. If one cannot recognize the reasoning in what someone says, there is no way that one can determine whether they are vastly intelligent or not.

Just as one can recognize when someone knows their topic because one knows the same thing, so one can recognize elevated reasoning because one possesses it oneself.

Often when people have been cheated, the real reason is that the person being cheated didn’t know enough to know that the person who was cheating them was being dishonest.

For instance, today I received a DM from an old school friend. I haven’t heard from him for ages so I was happy. Then the message read that he had found some old photographs of me with a link. STOP right there! I immediately wrote back to say that I suspected my friend’s account had been hacked. And so it had.

Yet, in January this year, yet another friend had his Facebook account hacked. Similar story! He didn’t know not to click on the link, and so his account was hijacked. Ignorance has a lot to do with whether one is cheated or not.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by someone calling himself Keanu Reeves. ‘Keanu’ promptly messaged me. I promptly messaged back asking for his real name — he wanted to know if I was a fan of his. I wrote back, “That would depend on who you are — you’re not Keanu Reeves, the actor.” I never heard from him again.

For me, it was a simple deduction. People like Keanu Reeves do not send messages to people that they have never heard of. Yet, there are people out there who would be immensely flattered, and who would immediately get caught, and in no time at all be handing over thousands. It happens all the time. Why? They don’t have adequate reasoning facility.

At base level, IQ tests determine one’s ability to reason in order to reach the correct answer. The more difficult the IQ test, and the more able one is to determine the correct answers, the more intelligent one is.

So, once more, we come back to the fact that it is impossible to recognise a greater intelligence to one’s own if one doesn’t have the same level of intelligence. Also, if one doesn’t have the same (or greater) level of knowledge that someone else has, then one will never know if what they are writing or telling us is fact or fiction.

So what’s the best way forward?

It’s not intelligence that is important — not in everyday life, anyway. What’s important is strength of character, and, fortunately, that’s a lot easier to recognize.

Is someone honest? Did what they said turn out to be true? Does it always turn out to be true? Do they provide evidence that what they say is fact?

Does someone have integrity? Did they let you down? Do they continually let you down, and they always have an excuse? Do they gossip about other people? Do they do what they say they are going to do?

Is someone able to stand by you when the chips are down? Do they support you when they are able to determine that you were innocent?

While the level of intellect is vital for the leadership of a country, for city planning, for scientists, and for those who are in places of leadership, for the rest of us, it’s not the most important thing in the world.

It doesn’t take a mighty brain to run a business. It takes capital (lots of it) and connections (very influential ones). It doesn’t take a mighty brain to be a therapist or a sportsman. It doesn’t take a mighty brain to figure out what food to eat or how to dance or play the piano. Life can be extremely rewarding for those who are not blessed (or cursed) with mighty intellect.

Take Kim Kardashian, for instance…

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