July 10th, 2004

Pixie

Mighty Mekon

In a maddened fit of ego-massaging a little while ago, I submitted myself to the terrible rigours of an IQ test. Earlier today the (somewhat delayed) results arrived, along with an invitation to join the secretive ranks of the Illuminati Mensa.

As anyone who's ever talked to a psychology student will know, IQ tests are rubbish and prove nothing, except that you can respond successfully to certain forms of question. Not only that, but you can improve your performance on IQ tests by practising, so they're not measuring any fundamental truths about your mental capacity.

However, it is nice to know that the fundamental truths about my mental capacity have been accurately measured, and it's reassuring to have independent confirmation that my ever-expanding forehead is not mere male-pattern baldness but simply a natural result of my pulsating brain pushing the skull through the hairline.

In search of a positive role-model for my continuing transmogrification, I have selected the mighty Mekon, the acme of arch-boffins.

I'm kind of glad I did pass the threshold for Mensa membership, as I can now say I'm a bit dubious of the whole process without it sounding like sour grapes. It seemed to me that too much emphasis was put on language comprehension skills - I should imagine I romped through that bit - and while I think my spatial skills are fairly good too, I was doubtful about the quality of some of the diagrams used for those questions. In the age of computers - and even though the test papers have been around for a few years, they do fall comfortably within the era of desktop publishing - is there any excuse for tests that look like they've been drawn with a shaky pencil?

From my experience of aptitude tests when applying for jobs, I was a bit surprised to find no numerical tests. As some people have a definite knack for that sort of tests (I don't think I'm too good at them personally), I wonder whether that represents a type of intelligence that isn't being fairly represented.

Will I actually join? I'm not sure, but I think I probably will - at least for a year - if only to be able to say that I could and did. Will anybody ever ask? Erm... shouldn't imagine so. Is it an ego-trip? Yes, absolutely. But probably no more so than vanity-publishing in the form of a blog.

In honour of the occasion, today's user picture finds me disporting my finest wizzarding hat, as imagineered by a friend who's intrigued by the thought of grown loonies indulging in roleplaying games. Hi Julia!