I recently got the following comment on the post Do Blasians = whites?:
I am Blasian and MENSA clocked my IQ at 197.
You're a racist, you are obsessed with outdated stereotypes of African people, and you are thoroughly disgusting.
I ought to send your page link to Jezebel so they can destroy you.
My guess is, this commenter does not have an IQ of 197. If she did, she'd be more familiar with the statistics on racial disparities in IQ and crime, and be able to look at them objectively. Plus she would have more faith in her own ability to "destroy" me, and not have to rely on the folks at Jezebel, who undoubtedly average less than 197. (I'm using the female pronoun to refer to this anonymous commenter because men rarely read Jezebel.)
She would also be the first person in history -- herstory? -- whose IQ has been "clocked" rather than "measured."
(I do seem to have attracted a troll, though, as per today's comments on "Jewelry" and "Rumor mongering.")
In any case, the comment does bring up the subject of IQ and how it relates to self-image.
One question you used to hear debated a lot is, should parents tell children their IQ's? The arguments against basically boiled down to: if the number is low, the child's ambitions and confidence might be limited, and if it's high, the child might be tempted to coast.
My IQ tested well above average as a kid, and I was told my score. I honestly don't know whether that was a good thing. I suspect it has caused me to coast at times, since I never felt a need to prove myself academically. On the other hand, it has given me a lot of intellectual confidence -- probably much of it misplaced.
One of the results of my confidence is that I don't mind harboring -- and expressing -- minority opinions. Most people are reluctant to express offbeat opinions for fear that people think them somehow off-kilter.
My attitude is, so what? Let them go ahead and think I'm crazy. I don't really care, since I know I'm not. I also know I'm smarter than the people who think I'm crazy, so I care even less.
The confidence is probably good, but going through life with people thinking me odd has probably not been beneficial. (Not that I care enough to change.)
I don't know how many people have snickered at me after I've made the case for sasquatch. I do know how little I care.
I also don't mind expressing politically unpopular opinions. Go ahead and call me thoroughly disgusting, as the commenter above did; I know I'm right.
My confidence in my intelligence is pretty much unshakable. You can be right about five things in a row, and I can be wrong about all five, but I still know I'm smarter than you. (If that sounds incredibly obnoxious, I can't argue.)
You can be a world-renowned expert in some field that I know nothing about it. But I'll still feel I have a more well-rounded intelligence.
You can be more quick-witted than me. But that's okay, because I know that given the time I could come up with an even better line.
I can say the stupidest things, things I realize are stupid as soon as they leave my mouth, and write them off as temporary aberrations, not indicative of my intelligence. I can say stuff where even I am put off by my own stupidity or egotism (this post is not a bad example); so I can only imagine how others react. Yet it will not shake my belief in my own intelligence.
All of this makes me sound awfully narcissistic, but I actually don't have the other hallmarks of narcissism. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. And I know there are all sorts of things I positively suck at, and readily admit to those. (Type "Confessions of a beta male" into the search box of this blog and read about my low self-image.)
It's just my intelligence I'm so confident -- and quite possibly overconfident -- about. Is that good, or bad?
I honestly don't know.
(In the case of the commenter quoted above, however, I do have an opinion: it's neither good nor bad, since she's simply lying.)