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Monday, December 4. 2017
I'll grant that Donald Trump has a number of unpleasant personality traits, and that he is ignorant and incurious about many things. Still...
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I have answered the Trump, Hillary, and Barack and Michelle Obama IQ questions over at Quora, and have estimated Bush 43 and John Kerry at my own site. Al Gore we know is around 132. I based this on available data, not whether I like them or not or whether I think their opinions are sensible. If I were to have another go at it I might shade Trump a few points downward from the 125-128 I estimated, and shade Barack up a few from the 116-120 I estimated. This is because I have seen new information since then, plausible but not verified. First, that Trump's acceptance to Wharton had a touch of favor in it; second, that Obama may have had a good ACT score.
People usually misread what accomplishments mean in terms of IQ range. Common examples would be that Bush 43's and Trump's misuse of words means they are not intelligent, or Obama's acceptance into HLS means he has an average IQ for that class.
Hillary Clinton 135
Bush 41 135
Al Gore 132
Bush 43 126 (Higher math than verbal)
Trump 125 (Higher math than verbal)
Barack Obama 120 (He and Bill would be classic high verbal, low math)
Bill Clinton 120
Michelle Obama 108
You can read my analyses there, under my real name, David Wyman, or at my AVI site. Remember that all of them are now trending down in raw candlepower as they age and were likely "smarter" in some sense before. We hope that wisdom increases with age, however. Or, that ours does, at least. That most cultures have respect for the elderly suggests that there is something to that.
There is a paradox in the IQ theory. Rarely do high IQ individuals do anything significant. Most very successful people are below two sigma IQ and wouldn't qualify for any high IQ society. There are exceptions and one could easily point to high IQ people throughout history who have done great things. But this would miss the point, that is you could make a list of these high IQ very successful in their specialty people and it might be a few hundred to a few thousand people. Perhaps even into the 10's of thousands. But in the time period used to make the list the number of people with what would be considered high IQ's might well number in the 100's of million. Where were all these high IQ minds and what have they done?
But most multi-millionaires and most successful people have an IQ lower than 120. Now to be fair, most people (95%) have an IQ lower than 120 but even when this is taken into consideration the high IQ individuals mostly are absent from the roles of multi-millionaires. Why?
I believe there are two reasonable causes for this:
1. Success depends more on drive than intelligence. If you are the kind of person who works 16 hour days and are driven to succeed you are far more likely to succeed than someone for whom things come easy.
2. People with really high IQ's become enmeshed in their interests. They may be college professors who specialize in 19th century literature and masters in their field but poor as church mice and yet quite content. They may be computer programmers who although very capable prefer searching for solutions to arcane computer problems that simply aren't marketable or meaningful.
What matters more is the individuals history; did they succeed in what they attempted, did they continue to challenge themselves or become content to skate along on past successes. Have they grown and attempted bigger things, more complex things, more useful things. And even; have they been lucky, because often what appears to be luck is more likely a good understanding of what they are dealing with.
I consider Trump to be perhaps the "smartest" president in the last 100 years or so. I do not consider Hillary to be particularly smart which she has confirmed many times over. I considered Obama to be a puppet or Manchurian candidate (one day we will find out who pulled the strings). But what I don't know, yet, is will Trump go down in history as a very smart or good president? Will he be successful?
I think there are many people; many forces who intend to make him fail and that the odds are against him. So far he has outsmarted them. Hopefully he will never take their advice (stop tweeting, act more presidential, compromise...)
Hillary Clinton 135
Offhand, I would say that is too low, as Hillary was a Merit Finalist. I would estimate by that criteria, at least 140 and probably higher. When Hillary and I took the Merits, the score you got on the Merits was roughly equivalent to IQ, and I recall a Merit cutoff of around 145, though Illinois may have had a lower cutoff.
Hillary may be the sort that tests better than she performs. Nixon is acknowledged to be pretty bright- though with iron butt at Duke Law. His books were well-written- at least the ones I read. Hillary's books- much worse. Reading Nixon's books, you end up with respect for him. Hillary- laugh at her lack of self-knowledge.
John Kerry, Dubya and Al Gore- that sounds about what I have read. Back in 2004 the scuttlebutt was that Dubya was SO much dumber than the NUANCED Kerry, but it turns out that the tests they took for the military put paid to that.
Bill Clinton 120 (high verbal, low math). I don't know about Bill's math smarts. I have read that in law school he could slack off all semester and get by with a week's cramming. That to me indicates an IQ considerably higher than 120. Cramming is useless for STEM- most of us need to go full-out from beginning to end. Cramming is easier for word subjects. Bill couldn't have done that if he were STEMming. I am impressed that he was able to get away with it.
Trump and Obama- I have no reason to disagree. He got into Penn via connections, but was bright enough to do the work.
Others have pointed out that millionaires and managers are not necessarily geniuses- and Presidents are basically managers. A not top tier IQ, but with a very high social IQ. Recall FDR being described as not a top rate mind but with a top rate temperament. So he could mine the minds of the policy geeks. A childhood friend was like that. She was friends- and still is- with the brightest kid in our class. Most of her intellect would have been intimidated by his smarts. She went on to a high level management position with a Fortune 500, now retired.
"I'll grant that Donald Trump has a number of unpleasant personality traits, and that he is ignorant and incurious about many things."
So, you know him personally then? Sorry, but I don't give any credence to anyone that makes projections (whether IQ or otherwise) that are based on interpretations drawn from the MSM. That's like assigning character traits of Fonzie to Henry Winkler. Personnas on TV are not in any way honest. And, frankly, anyone assigning an IQ above 110 to Obama is FOS.
I consider Trump to be perhaps the "smartest" president in the last 100 years or so. I do not consider Hillary to be particularly smart which she has confirmed many times over.
Of the Presidents we have had in the last 100 years or so, Trump and Reagan are the only ones who have had significant non-military experience outside politics- Truman excepted. This gave them perspectives different from the ordinary politician. That "trumps" relative intelligence differences.
The issue with Hillary is NOT her intelligence. She was a Merit Finalist, so she is pretty damned bright. The problem with Hillary is that there is no there there. She absorbs the ambience of the environment she is in, only to change when in a new environment. In her Chicago suburb in 1964, she was the perfect Chicago suburbanite- a Republican and thus a Goldwater Girl. At Wellesley several years later, she was in a lefty environment, and she became an Alinskyite. Similarly, she changes her accent when making a campaign stop at a black church.
The problem for Hillary is that there isn't always a copy book to follow. Consider her recent kvetching about "hostile" journalists Lauer etc. not accepting her canned answer about the e-mails. A far as Hillary was concerned, she followed the copy book response for the e-mails. That was all she needed to do.
Some wordsmiths concluded that Hillary's speaking during the debates was at a higher grade level than Trump's. That may indicate a higher intellectual level for Hillary.[Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level ].
There may be something else involved:relatively spontaneous versus memorized speeches. In Toastmasters, I learned that there were basically two ways to make a speech. You could memorize it from beginning to end. Or, you could use a template: tell what you are going to talk about, memorize the main 3-4 points and talk about them, and then sum up what you have talked about. Using the template is a lot easier. Using the template will also result in a simpler vocabulary. You are less likely to use flowery phrases or complex phrases using the template model. I suspect that Hillary memorized big chunks, which helps explain why her vocabulary was larger and she spoke at a higher grade level than Trump. Nonetheless, even if Hillary were spontaneous, her vocabulary etc. would be higher. But I suspect that her memorizing instead of using the main points template increased the difference.
Who said these are perceptions based on the MSM?
You clearly did not read the analyses. So you jump to conclusions, and you can't be bothered to do the work.
You just changed the subject by going to a discussion of high-IQ, so I figure this is just something you have on disk and kick out reflexively whenever anyone says the letters I and Q together. "Rarely do high-IQ people do anything significant." I am trying to imagine a less-informed statement about IQ, but it's difficult. Please show your work, and not your feelings and impressions on the matter.
I suppose if making money is your main criteria - you mention it frequently - then the additional skills beyond IQ that are required do loom larger. IQ is not the only valuable trait, certainly, and it is not especially important beyond a certain floor in many fields. That is not evidence that it is not a valuable item in itself.
You have a prejudice about what the limitations of high-IQ people are, and why they occur. Whatever this prejudice is based on, it's not based on any data I am aware of. It is unlikely that you actually know the IQ of the people you encounter or read about, so you are free to slip whoever you meet into whatever slot you wish. It's called confirmation bias.
“What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.”
Even people with a high IQ can believe stupid things, and often do. And really, some things aren't worth being curious about.
A bias perhaps but not a prejudice. I am 74 so quite a long lifetime of experience. You may not consider that means anything in this discussion but then that would be your prejudice.
What is your measurement of "success"? Money is a pretty good one in a capitalist society. But I would certainly accept other measures of success. But it doesn't reverse the IQ paradox.
Oddly it seems that you are the one with the knee jerk reaction to this suggestion. I'm not sure why but I'm open to understanding your position. I may have changed "your" subject, but I was not responding specifically to you but to the subject presented.
Yes my brother received a merit scholarship and has spent his entire life doing nothing. I think what is tested is two things (two legitimate things I agree): 1. What the student learned in school for the previous couple to four years. 2. Their ability to take a test.
The reason I make this point is that it is common for youth to embrace school and learning, especially with supportive and active parents. It is easy for these people to excel in K-12 and embrace the challenge of a rigorous test. Don't misunderstand, I applaud them but it isn't "IQ".
Perhaps it is Trump's weakness that he speaks like a common man. But he has spent decades working with common men in a city where this style of speaking is almost revered and he is what he is. I suspect he loves his style and sees it more like an honest and sincere style than perhaps the style of the Clinton's or Obama which might be more "elite" but more represents a carefully prepared misdirection than it does truth. I also think Trump likes to speak plainly as it causes the elite he has to deal with to misunderestimate him which he uses as part of the art of the deal. Trump is clever and smart, doesn't ooze Ivy League college elitism but is able to think on his feet and hold an audience for hours on end. I am not sure Obama could speak more than ten minutes without a teleprompter and if he did he would make numerous gaffs (and he has in the past).
Heh! $20 trillion debt and a world upside down and we are discussing IQs of politicians😂. The discussion should be why are politicians so arrogantly stupid? Trump isn’t a politician.
And you missed the fact that you have garnered all of your information from 2nd and 3rd hand sources. You know nothing of what you speak. If you base your opinion on "data" provided by 2nd and 3rd hand sources, you can't make any claim that your opinion is any closer to the truth than anyone else's. And you know what they say. Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one and they think the other person's stinks. Maybe you should change your handle to Village Idiot Intern?
In the recording he states President Trumps IQ is 160 and the "smart person" that you know is probably at 145. I have failed to find an answer to why the current scales show that a a 135 is a significant level of IQ. I am assuming that some where along the way official scores have been changed for the designations of genius, very bright etc.
Can any one point me to when the scales changed showing lower levels such as 135 is considered "bright" when 145 is only "smart". And how the current scale would translate a 160 from the previous scale.