Author Topic: Mensa membership?  (Read 10419 times)

Empire Business

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Mensa membership?
« on: December 21, 2013, 05:43:38 PM »
I joined many years ago, just as something fun to see if I could do or whatever.  I used to go to some of the happy hours which were pretty good, but it has been a long time.

They just mailed and asked me to re-up my membership.

Has anyone ever gotten any professional, etc. value out of this?  Is it a complete waste?

Thanks!

CommonCents

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 06:02:58 PM »
I always thought of it as a fairly snobby elitist thing so I'm curious as to the answers.  I qualify on multiple tests (I moved several times in elementary/middle school and seemed to constantly hit the "one year" they were doing testing, had to take an IQ test in high school to get into the seminar classes - apparently a track record of high achievement was insufficient, the LSAT, etc.), but never had a desire to join.

Empire Business

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 06:12:02 PM »
Yeah, I never really mentioned it to anyone unless they tried to lord it over me first, ha.  I sure never put it on a resume or anything but I was wondering if anyone else had.

Russ

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 06:15:59 PM »
I always thought of it as a fairly snobby elitist thing
+1 (no offense OP)

I see where it could have value in certain circles, but those aren't circles I want to be part of in the first place. I also wouldn't hire anyone who put it on their resume (smart-people-society people are stereotypically hard to work with), but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be good for an analyst type of job. I imagine most of the professional opportunities are at those happy hours or similar events

Empire Business

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 06:21:40 PM »
Thanks for the replies, the happy hours were fun while they lasted but I am shredding this re-up form.

Jack

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 06:33:41 PM »
Mensa is for people who want to think they're smart, but really aren't (because if they actually were smart, they would realize there's very little value in joining a club for it).

It's kind of like that Marilyn vos Savant woman... if she's so smart, why is she writing stupid newspaper brainteasers instead of amassing a vast fortune or bettering humanity or something?

oldtoyota

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 09:37:24 PM »
I think the comment about who Mensa is for is judgmental.

My dad used to go to the parties, and I tagged along as a kid sometimes. My memory is that it involved a lot of adults playing esoteric mind-twisting board games.

They had a lot of parties, it seems, and I think it gave my dad a way to meet people. Of course, he could have met people another way. I am not sure what attracted him to the group. He is not the sort to mention being in Mensa or mention being smart, so I don't think he did it for bragging rights. And he is smart--even if joined Mensa. ;-)



Charlotte

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 02:57:33 AM »
My girlfriend found her husband at a Mensa convention. I guess it depends on what you're looking for!  ;)

arebelspy

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 10:30:46 AM »
I always thought of it as a fairly snobby elitist thing
+1 (no offense OP)

+2.  I've always thought of it as the opposite of the old Groucho Marx quote ("I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.") - I wouldn't care to belong to any club (Mensa) that would have those type of people (ones who want to join Mensa) as members.

However thinking about it now, I could perhaps see joining in FIRE if looking for a certain type of person/people to socialize with.

You'd join other groups (via meetup.com, perhaps) based on your interests, and that could be one as well.
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Noodle

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 10:44:49 AM »
I think Mensa had more value back in the days before the Internet. I was a member in high school/early years of college, and it actually meant a lot to me. I was living in a small rural city where being smart and interested in things like tricky puzzles and word games was not at all valued, and it really helped to know that there were other happy geeks out there. (I just got the publications, I never went to a meeting as there were none close by.) Once I was in college where I could meet like-minded people in person, I dropped the membership and never felt the need to renew--now my career field attracts lots of compatible folks to socialize with.

If I were a teen in similar circumstances today, I'm sure I would find my community online.

Empire Business

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 11:02:28 AM »
Yeah, if I still wanted to go to happy hours every week, I would be just as pleased with a more general purpose happy hour group, which is pretty much how I viewed this.

All that we had in common was that we were good at passing specific types of standardized testing, which doesn't mean a whole lot.  There were people from all walks of life, and we talked about whatever we wanted.

Miamoo

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 11:33:03 AM »
Mensa is for people who want to think they're smart, but really aren't (because if they actually were smart, they would realize there's very little value in joining a club for it).

It's kind of like that Marilyn vos Savant woman... if she's so smart, why is she writing stupid newspaper brainteasers instead of amassing a vast fortune or bettering humanity or something?

Once upon a time, in a land far ago . . . I dated a guy who's father was a nuclear physicist (at Argon) and he gave both of us a Mensa test that was given to him by his employers (who thought it might be cool if their employees were Mensa members - who knows what the incentive was back then).  We both scored over 140.  We're geniuses!!!  Father said . . .  this is a pile of crap . . . only means that you two MAY be brighter than average . . . continue your education. 

Flash forward 20 years and I have a SIL who brags constantly about her Mensa Membership but can't change a light bulb or tie her own shoe laces without help.  Puts down all of her siblings for being stupid and can't understand why none of us want anything to do with her.

End of rant.

Don't waste your money in being a member.  Mensa is so yesterday. 

Channel your intellect in other ways.

Good luck and Happy Holidays.

Jamesqf

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 12:15:20 PM »
It's kind of like that Marilyn vos Savant woman... if she's so smart, why is she writing stupid newspaper brainteasers instead of amassing a vast fortune or bettering humanity or something?

Well, we could make much the same argument for all you people who are becoming financially independent so you can retire early and live a life of leisure.  She appears to have found a way to make a (presumably) decent living from a few hours of not-very-hard work each week.  Seems fairly smart to me :-)

luigi49

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2013, 12:29:44 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying. 

marty998

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2013, 03:55:16 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying. 

She probably makes more money than all of us.

arebelspy

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2013, 05:21:16 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying. 

She probably makes more money than all of us.

Strippers make a lot of money, porn stars not necessarily as much, from what I understand...
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Ian

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2013, 06:18:44 PM »
I think Mensa had more value back in the days before the Internet.
Beaten to saying this. I think Mensa made sense in an era when it might have been difficult to find people with similar interests - particularly people willing to discuss them in some depth. But performance on standardized tests was really just a proxy for finding people you found interesting, and with the advent of the internet there are much better choices.

Hamster

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2013, 06:42:18 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying. 

She probably makes more money than all of us.

Strippers make a lot of money, porn stars not necessarily as much, from what I understand...

Speaking of which... It's been a while since I last heard Bakari's updates on his chatroom money-making endeavors. :-)

[MOD EDIT: Quote Tags.]
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 07:42:14 AM by arebelspy »

oldtoyota

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2013, 07:28:12 PM »
I think Mensa had more value back in the days before the Internet. I was a member in high school/early years of college, and it actually meant a lot to me.

This is an excellent point. My dad belonged before the internet...I wonder if that group will survive. I'd probably use meetup.com before trying to join a group that costs money to join.

oldtoyota

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2013, 07:29:17 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying.

What is his name?

arebelspy

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2013, 08:46:45 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying.

What is his name?

Bakari.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Empire Business

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2013, 09:17:37 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying.

What is his name?

Bakari.

:D

It pleases me to have started so dumb of a topic that ended up this entertaining.

luigi49

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2013, 09:50:05 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying.

What is his name?

google is your friend      pornstar mensa

meadow lark

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2013, 10:56:47 PM »
Bored at work a few weeks ago a friend and I took an online IQ test.  My computer refused to let me answer a whole series of questions that had to do with drawing spatial relationships.  My score at the end was pretty sad, but the description and suggestions where so worth it.  It told me I was "really bad" at spatial perception and I should try to improve by practicing parking my car!  Harrumph!  I am an excellent parallel parker, for your information.

Empire Business

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2013, 11:05:38 PM »
When I took the test initially, there was a frantically timed section about making change as fast as you can.  No one ever finishes, the section is just about determining the amount of change from a transaction in coins as quickly as possible. 

The change was in USD.  The guys next to me had come down from Canada to take the test.  They weren't too happy about this section.

Mensans: best pool of fast food cashiers?

grantmeaname

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2013, 06:29:45 AM »
High-IQ society membership self-selects that portion of the high-IQ pool that 1) has a high tolerance for politics, infighting, grouchiness, and bullshit, 2) believes that having a high IQ excuses assholatry (just as "everyone on the internet has Asperger's"), and 3) feels the need for an external credential to validate their intelligence/stroke their ego. No thanks. I want to join the club for high-IQ folks that don't join Mensa!

My dad was in Mensa in high school and they toured Cheyenne Mountain. That would be ridiculously cool.

Zelda01

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2013, 12:13:24 PM »
One positive about Mensa when I used to go to the events is that the members were very non-judgmental about quirky people.  Quirkiness was encouraged.  People who didn't have great social skills were fine.

MissStache

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2013, 12:21:01 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying.

What is his name?

Bakari.

Damnit.  I LOL'd.  Now the 8 or 9 other people who came to work today will know I'm not actually working!

oldtoyota

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2013, 01:19:32 PM »

Bakari

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2014, 05:00:49 PM »
there is a pornstar who is a mensa member.  high IQ too.  just saying.

What is his name?

Bakari.

LMFAO

I'm not remotely a star.

dragoncar

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2014, 10:30:21 PM »
I think Mensa had more value back in the days before the Internet. I was a member in high school/early years of college, and it actually meant a lot to me. I was living in a small rural city where being smart and interested in things like tricky puzzles and word games was not at all valued, and it really helped to know that there were other happy geeks out there. (I just got the publications, I never went to a meeting as there were none close by.) Once I was in college where I could meet like-minded people in person, I dropped the membership and never felt the need to renew--now my career field attracts lots of compatible folks to socialize with.

If I were a teen in similar circumstances today, I'm sure I would find my community online.

OK, I get why you'd want to be in a "tricky puzzles and interesting discussion" club.  But why limit membership based on a standardized test besides snobbery?  I highly doubt that such a club would have trouble with "that one dumb guy who keeps coming but doesn't really fit in."

sol

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Re: Mensa membership?
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2014, 11:26:40 PM »
Despite technically qualifying for membership, I always avoided mensa for many of the reasons already mentioned here.  Those stereotypes are widespread and I was not immune.

But then I was invited to speak at a mensa gathering for professional reasons, and I found the group attentive, thoughtful, funny, and remarkably insightful.  They asked the best questions of any audience to which I have ever presented.  There were a lot of microsoft engineers present so we didn't have a lot to talk about in terms of overlapping professional interests, but they clearly grasped the nuances and complications of the work I talked about, despite having little or no prior exposure to it.

I haven't joined up or anything, but I no longer automatically denigrate or respond negatively to all mentions of mensa, either.  The members I met were all good people, interesting and well adjusted and the sorts you'd expect would make good dinner party guests.  Not at all the snobby weirdos you/I might have expected.