So I bought this book the other day, and I use the term book loosely, if memory serves the author even referred to it as an essay. It's a short read, only took me two days to get through and I wasn't trying all that hard.
Now I don't think I've ever done a book review before, but I think I might start. If nothing else it'll keep me reading which will keep me from thinking about other things.
Premise: The basis of this book is simple, there are normal people, there are dumb people, there are retarded people, and there are abnormally intelligent people.
The abnormally intelligent people account for a very small percentage of the population and the more intelligent the person the smaller that percentage gets. Now the world is built for the masses, which are the normal and dumb people in the middle of the pack and the lower end. The book basically explores all the different things that an abnormally intelligent person would deal with in trying to negotiate a world that is entirely too dull for their superior intellect.
Now if you ask me I'm a pretty smart guy. I got a 25 on the ACT test, and I've had my IQ measured at 120. Which, according to Mr. Clarey is above the 1st standard deviation of the IQ scale putting me in approximately the 91st percentile. Meaning, per the tests, I'm smarter than 91% of the people I run into everyday. Working in a prison that might push my average a bit higher but it's a special condition that skews my day.
So, by the numbers I am part of the lower IQ end of the group that this guy is talking about and some of his conclusions are valid. Yes, school has always been a chore for me. I could figure out the material within a few minutes of being introduced to it and the things that school demanded like blind conformity and sitting idly by in a classroom while the teacher wasted their time trying to teach the dumbasses that were in the room with me was tedious to say the least.
And yes, I've run into bosses my entire life who were dumber than a box of shit.
Some conclusions were a bit sketchy, like his ideas about nihilism and sublimation. Nihilism = bad, sublimation = good. The principles were sound, but he takes it too far sometimes.
Now let's just talk you and I for a moment, I don't know very many people who think they, themselves are stupid. I'm assuming that you reading this don't think you're stupid. But that begs the question, if everyone or at least most everyone walking around thinks that they're pretty smart then how do you manage a population that is convinced of it's own superiority? Myself included, I've got a few tests and numbers to back up my intelligence claims but they are still nothing but claims. There has to be a way, other than observation to separate the intelligent, from the dull.
I would like to see a world that catered to the intelligent more. I think we may have to dispose of every television and movie producer in order for that to become reality, but a small price to pay, am I right?
I recommend the book. If nothing else it'll get you thinking about whether you are as smart as you've been led to believe.
Were there any drawbacks to the book? Sure, like I said for the most part his evidence is anecdotal. His statistical methods are sound, but where he got the data from is another story. And then there is my chief complaint with this book and the characteristic that kept it at 3 stars.
His use of two words.
Ergo: conjunction, adverb 1. therefore.
Ennui: noun 1. a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom
The words by themselves are fine. Nothing wrong with them, he used them properly and in context, but this motherfucker could not stop saying those two words.
That being said, hearing those words over and over reminded me of Dead Poets Society. When Robin Williams character told his class that you shouldn't say "very tired" you should use, "exhausted" don't say "very sad" use "morose"
Basically, using those over and over again, regardless of how smart this cat is showed a bit of intellectual laziness that is hard to overlook when the entire premise of the book is just how smart he is and how hard it has made his life.
Had this guy busted out his thesaurus and found a couple of new words I would've been able to give him 4 stars for this, but the use those two words contributed to my ennui while reading. Ergo, he only gets 3.