2 threads in 1!
1: Anyone here join Mensa, or a similar high IQ club? is it worth it? make good friends, or is it just an ego thing?
2: School was always easy for me, I didn't continue studying maths at uni, but I did some advanced stats (factor analysis, multilevel regression etc.) I noticed that in the last few years of high school a lot of people who were "good" at maths suddenly weren't; calculus, and higher level probability seemed somehow qualitatively different to the maths they did earlier. I am curious if anyone who studied maths further hit a wall later on. are there areas of maths that are vastly more difficult to understand? do a lot of people get stuck when they reach certain topics?
I'm finishing up my math undergrad, which isn't really high level math, but basically things only get significantly harder when I skimp on the pre-requisite material.
If I have a good understanding of how all the lesser concepts work, and then it's just a matter of how they come together to form another concept. It's not bad.
Mensa is just a circle-jerking waste of time. If you have a high enough IQ (not equivalent to being smart), why would you waste your time with it?
I think they do offer some scholarships and other small benefits for members though. If you have the time to kill and think you'll get in and enjoy it, go for it I guess. Just be prepared for the real life equivalent of /sci/ shitposters and popsci fans.
And I'm not just mad and biased here. I don't know my IQ but it was high enough in grade school to be admitted to the gifted program and get auto-admitted to the gifted program when I moved to a new school district. I also started college at 16, so I think there's a good chance I could make it in to Mensa if I wanted.
People who were good at math in high school probably didn't have to study for it. So, when they hit higher level math that requires dedication and memorization they just didn't know how to cope with it. There is also this huge misconception to the general public about what higher level math is; they all tend to think of cramped, hurried scribbles of various physics equations when in reality it's mostly just logic and proofs. So, a lot of people probably didn't know exactly what they were getting in to. Hell, I didn't even exactly know what I was getting in to but I was able to just roll with it.
There's also the fact that math can become extremely abstract very quickly once you hit uni-level stuff, whereas you (or at least I) only dealt with very concrete, real numbers throughout high-school.
I'm in my 4th year of a math undergrad and the biggest wall I've hit is how painfully boring certain subjects are to me. That makes it extremely difficult to learn the subjects, but most of it comes from a lack of motivation.
have you had personal experience with Mensa?
so you think it's more of an attitude thing which results in massive math dropout rates in later high school? rather than one type of math being harder than another?
No personal experience, no, this is just what I've heard. I'm sure you could probably sit in on a meeting to see if you would like it if you contact the right people.
I think it's definitely an attitude thing. Math isn't hard, really. It's just the further along you go, the more work it is. For instance, I actually just finished studying for my real analysis II exam right now. It covers 2 chapters, but the study guide (which is just a list of things to look up and make sure you know) is almost 4 pages long. There are a lot of theorems and definitions to memorize, but non of it is hard from a conceptual viewpoint.
Sort of. Engineers at my school only have to take 1-2 more math classes to get a math minor, but they'd be senior level classes. Professors weren't teaching the "here's where you plug in numbers" crap anymore. You could tell those kids a lot of those kids had no idea what they had actually gotten themselves into. Close to 1/3 of the class dropped out after the first exam.
I have heard the same thing, which is why I'm aprehensive about going. If it's full of normal people who happen to be 2 standard deviations above the mean in cognitive ability it sounds good, however I'm guessing it's a particular subset of smart people who are motivated to join mensa. I've heard that people who joint it are usually smart people who never proved their intellect outside of IQ tests.
>Mensa is just a circle-jerking waste of time
So much this. I tested into the danish Mensa chapter after playing with their online IQ test that is so often posted here and finding that I was maybe a bit more intelligent than I had realized.
I was given a copy of their self-published internal newsletter as a sample while I decided if I wanted to fork over the membership fee (it's not exactly cheap).
All the articles were grandstanding attempts at self-glorification with respect to the authors' IQ. "Oooh look how smart I am." Etc etc etc.. But not a single person who contributed had any kind of job that showed they were actually using their IQs for something productive and meaningful.
One article in particular did stand out, as it was not about the author's IQ, but instead was a very bad attempt at writing fiction, in this case a revenge-driven fantasy where the author captures a foreign door-to-door trick-thief and tortures the man to death in his basement as punishment in some kind of sick and depraved conception of "justice". I'm not even fucking kidding.
At that point I realized that all the acutely intelligent people who I actually hoped to meet were out in the world, to busy with their lives and their careers, to ever join the circle-jerk that is MENSA.
that's interesting. what topics?
do you tihnk these people would have been plodders in high school? or would they have been people who found maths easy untill uni?
IQ is a measure of intelligence. It's pretty predictive when you look at correlations with life choices, academic achievement. It's mostly hereditary which shows that it is stable and not purely a product of environment. It doesn't tell you what you can do, only gives you a score which reflects how well you scored relative to a sample population. If everyon in the world got smarter besides you your IQ would drop even though your intelligence is the same
haha jesus christ.
Well I think i won't bother then. haha
Nothing inherently wrong with popsci fans, but they don't truly understand the science behind what information they regurgitate, information that has usually already been over-simplified to the point that it ends up not being 100% accurate. They spread misinformation and, in my opinion, they somewhat make a mockery of science
When i was a kid i used to read about black holes and imagine time dilation and shit, but there was no way i could grasp the mathematics behind relativity. would i be a popsci fan then? or are popsci fans the douches who think quantum physics is spiritual?
That's a bit different. I'm referring to people who are really in to vsauce, for example, and who have never and will never read a single actual scientific paper or attempt to think about things themselves. I would refer to you as a child as more of a conceptual science fan, which really is how all great scientists begin and how breakthroughs are often discovered.
I Like Vsauce, he seems to talk about pretty solid ideas, but i guess it's always dumbed down a bit. Is the problem just that people watch his shit but look no further? or is he doing some kind of harm?
I was a legit genius in math up till BC calc. I was easily 3 years ahead in math during elementary, middle, and the start of highschool. However, BC just raped me and I got a F that year in the class until the final exam. My teacher has a thing where if you get an perfect score on the AP Exam he'll change your grade to an A. So I legit studied BC calc for a week and boom I got a A in the class. But that entire year I was so confused why I suddenly sucked at math.
It's important to be able to keep going even if you are failing. If I gave up on math that year I would have never broken out of the helpless loop of sucking at math.
I'm in college now and this freshman year I'm taking diffy eq and multivar and it's not too hard imo.
One was complex calculus. The professor would prompt the class with something like "Ok, and what's sin(pi/2)?", and these people would have to reach for their calculators.
I don't think they were dumb, or bad students, or anything like that. I think that teachers had taught them differently because they were trying to be engineers, and they just had no skills in mathematical analysis.