Sunday, March 31, 2019


I have commented on other sites, especially Quora and at Maggie's, that there is a minimum IQ, a floor, for many jobs (or ministries or hobbies).  Beyond that minimum, there is usually a further range where IQ helps some, then a level where other abilities - hard work, resilience, discretion, charm, athleticism - count for more than raw intelligence.  Traveling as a tourist, I saw clearly that a great many jobs require important skills little related to intelligence. Working with the public can be hard even when it isn't difficult.

There are a lot of jobs that involve keeping your temper when other people are being jerks. Sometimes one has to explain repeatedly throughout the day some very simple directions which the public just can't grasp, and they blame you for it. At Penn Station there was a man describing very loudly and humorously the best way for the people trying to get to gates 7/8 to get through the line for gates 13/14, which blocked their way on the perpendicular. "There is an ancient method, which recent research has proven to be true! Saying the words 'please' and 'excuse me' - sometimes more than once - has been shown to have a magical effect on parting the waters!"  People laughed.  Everyone then did well in a hard situation.  This man probably uses that joke twenty times a day, five days a week, fifty weeks a year.  Whoever thought of it first might have had at least a slightly above-average IQ, but everyone else after doesn't need it.  They need character.  They need self-control.  They need awareness. They need a certain kindness and empathy. Without those things, fifty more IQ points means nothing.

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