The subpar revelation

STANFORD-BINET is the old-school intelligence test, and it’s been in operation since 1916.

When I was a public school student back before the Boer War, it was routinely given to students, but the results were not revealed. It was just for the staff to know, a teaching aid. Guess they didn’t want pupils to either get a big head or an inferiority complex, depending.

However, my mother was an Eighth Grade teacher in my school for a spell, and she looked into my file and told me the score. Also, she administered the test to me a second time at home. I know the score on that one too. There was about a 10-point spread between the two.

So I’m swifter on some days than on others.

But with either score, I could easily have lived in Garrison Keillor’s hometown of Lake Wobegone where all the kids are above average. Surely, this does not come as a surprise to you.

However, it just recently dawned on me that if the average IQ is 100 on the Stanford-Binet that means, of course, that half the population is above the norm and half is below it. I had never thought of that specifically.


dumbIt means that one out of two people are below average in intelligence, 50 freaking percent.

This explains so many things: Religious wars, text messaging while driving, and Obama’s re-election. It explains why about half of Americans vote Democrat and half vote Republican.

But, aside from that, think about it: Half the people you run into every day aren’t very bright, maybe even retarded. It’s enough to make you want to just stay home and write junk on the computer screen.

36 thoughts on “The subpar revelation

  1. Very true, Felipe, It’s sort of like living on the planet of the apes. Unfortunately, the mental & morally unbalanced keep on procreating. I think if a person can write intelligently, without too many errors (Sometimes I get in a hurry and misspell or forget my grammar or purposely write in a Southern dialect to confuse the other 50%), and read at least three books a year, then they are above the norm.

    Our generation is disappearing, and the other side is starting to overwhelm us. This is just one of the reasons I left the fatherland. I detested to see it happen.

    As the adage says: When America sneezes, Mexico gets pneumonia. I see people texting all the time and taking grammatical shortcuts to the point where they all write in phonetics now. Oh well, in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. The other day someone called me “Professor.” I feel flattered since I’m just a country boy from Georgia who fell off a turnip truck.

    Saludas a su esposa, Felipe. Have a nice day !


    1. Señor Mystic: Planet of the Apes!? Clearly, you’ve been out of the United States for a long time. You cannot say such things. You will be called names.

      And, as you may recall, I too am just a country boy from Georgia.

      Saludos a tu esposa también. Y qué tengan un día increíble.


    2. If you think the writing of the younger generation of Americans is frightening, take a look at the abysmal, pathetic Spanish written in the comment sections of Mexican online newspapers. You’ll suddenly realize that everyone NOB is actually pretty literate in comparison.


      1. Kim: You are quite correct, of course. What can one expect in a nation where a good chunk of teaching jobs are simply handed over to relatives and friends on retirement, regardless if said relatives and friends can even read or write. Plus, the power of thuggish “teacher” unions that are fighting — to little avail, thank God — reforms in that hand-me-down system.

        Education, especially up to high school, down here is pathetic more often than not.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. PS: Private schools seem to do it somewhat better, but most are Catholic schools and religious brainwashing is a big part of the school day. My nephew attends one of those.


  2. ‘This explains so many things:’ Indeed, it does.
    We hang out with people who think the way we do and then wonder why it’s so hot around here and what are we doing in this handbasket and then we realize the world is largely populated with people who aren’t very bright and are easily led … like Republicans 🙂


    1. Great to hear from you Loulou. I thought you had vanished entirely into the woodwork. So many folks from the “other side” have run off in a snit or have been blocked due to bad manners. You are none of those.

      As for hanging out with people who think the way you do, that’s perfectly natural. Everybody does it, which is why multiculturalism usually ends in conflict.

      As for Republicans being easily led, I hope someone leads them to support Ted Cruz, as all good people do. We would welcome you into our fold in a heartbeat.


  3. I’m surprised that your school didn’t reveal that Stanford Achievement Test scores to the students. I guess I just grew up with the notion that the rest of the world was like Southern California, where we did learn our scores. And for the rest of the week, compared them with our classmates’ scores. Or maybe it was just the high scorers who made a big deal out of our scores.


      1. This is the second time I see you write Ha (usually the first letter is capitalized if any). I write it because my kids do when we text. What’s your excuse ;)…?


        1. Andean: I think you are confused. Ha! has a long, long history.

          I wrote a post recently titled LOL, R.I.P.

          The topic was that LOL is becoming passé, and those among us who are more modish now write haha instead. A mere Ha! has been around for a long time, longer than haha, and Ha! usually has an exclamation point.

          So Ha! is for us old fogies who have not jumped on the train to modernity in communication.


  4. Our parents got our scores during Parent/Teacher conferences and they were on our high school transcripts along with our SAT/ACT scores. I don’t remember my parents discussing it with me. Come to think of it, I don’t remember any of my classmates talking about their scores either.

    You know the scary part is most politicians are said to have above normal IQs.


    1. Judy: Interesting how this issue was handled differently in other parts of the country. I do see the reasoning behind keeping the info from the kids, which is what took place in north Florida where I grew up. As for politicians having above-average IQs, that comes as no surprise. Of course, being smart doesn’t mean you’re not also slick.

      Sorry for the delay in your comment. I just found it sitting in the spam pile. Dunno why.


  5. Greetings from the lower end of the scale. Looking backward, those supposedly gifted kids didn’t always turn out to be the winners they were supposed to be. A lot of them died of drug problems. Some died in the war. Others I saw as they came into the prison system.

    Us dullards seemed to fare better.


  6. You can’t use “retarded” any more, my friend. It’s now “mentally-challenged.”

    Don’t want some PC assassin from north of the border headed your way.


    1. Ray: I know you people cannot use retarded anymore. However, one of the many beauties of living south of the border is that political correctness, such as it exists down here, which ain’t much, you’ll find primarily in the minds of the Gringos because most of them are Obama people.

      Sad but true. I weep. I bet they also text message while driving.


  7. Thankfully for the impatient among us, most people are probably hovering near the midrange score. I find the best indicator of intelligence is the curiosity/desire to learn something you didn’t know, even simple things.
    Donald Trump’s polling numbers indicate he has caught a bunch of sub-100 folk that otherwise seem normal. Flaws in the Republican thinking, or just Trumpettes switching teams?


    1. Kris: Oh, I’m sure most folks are around the midrange. That’s how a bell curve works. As for Trump, I do so wish he would just go away. The nation certainly does not need yet another president who should not be in office at all.

      Sorry too for the delay in your comment. I just found it in spam. WordPress has its flaws.


    2. Mr. Trump is a good show, but then again, so is wrestling. And we all know what a sham that is. People will go see him, but will they vote for him?
      He talks about issues that others avoid. Yes, we have problems, but he is not the one to solve them.
      We cannot deport twelve million people without disrupting the economies of our and others nations. We need to get real.


  8. Your conclusion that average means that half of the population is above and half below isn’t quite accurate. That description would fit the word “median.” And the implication that the half who are below average are notably so implies that there’s a wide dispersion around average, which is probably not the case either.

    As for “retarded,” it is a word that, in its day, was considered a kind, medical sort of term to replace other, less gracious words like “moron,” or “imbecile.” But now, “retarded” is seen to be a highly negative word that some wish to ban.

    Here’s a very interesting quote from Wikipedia:
    The terms used for this condition [intellectual disability] are subject to a process called the euphemism treadmill. This means that whatever term is chosen for this condition, it eventually becomes perceived as an insult. The terms mental retardation and mentally retarded were invented in the middle of the 20th century to replace the previous set of terms, which were deemed to have become offensive. By the end of the 20th century, these terms themselves have come to be widely seen as disparaging, politically incorrect, and in need of replacement.

    So it won’t be long before young people start to insult each other by shouting “intellectually disabled!” if it hasn’t happened already.

    The same progression can be seen from “crippled” to “handicapped” to “disabled” to “physically challenged” to “special needs.” The fact is that no amount of euphemisms will cover up the fact that what is being discussed is bad and undesirable.

    Frankly, I think it’s time to call a spade a spade.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where lack of thinking causes *far* more problems than lack of intelligence.


        1. Kim: I, of course, am not on a euphemism treadmill and never will be. It’s one advantage of not having to work for a living in the U.S. of A. or in nutty Europe these days. And living in Mexico is great for a number of reasons, one being that there is no euphemism treadmill here. We leave that to you folks up north.

          As for the Baltimore Sun piece, I got almost halfway through it before I bogged down in that mindset. But thanks anyway.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Señor Zapata,
    I have to blame Americans’ lack of intelligence in some part on the corrupt, greedy teachers’ Unions. Public education in the U.S. is second rate but the parasite teachers retire millionaires. Of course, since they are major fundraisers for the Evil (Democrat) Party they are deified. A pox on their houses.


    1. Wesmouch: The union-management situation is a pendulum. A century ago workers often were badly taken advantage of, and unions did a lot of good to rectify that abuse. Now it’s swung in the other direction. Unions often are totally out of control. Private-sector unions are shrinking daily. Public unions, on the other, hand are causing major problems. While I doubt many teachers, for instance, are retiring millionaires, it can be a pretty fine and permanent gig. Other public unions — police, fire, etc. — often retire people at astronomical salaries and benefits, putting lots of financial pressure on various levels of government. Unions have no business being in the public sector whatsoever. Salary negotiations are essentially negotiations with themselves because the people they are “negotiating” with are people who want unions’ support and votes. A pox indeed.


  10. Average is a tricky word. In my opinion, people use it to mean “most people.” They don’t use it in the mathematical sense. An IQ of 100 is a normal IQ. Having an IQ of 100 simply means that your mental age and chronological are equal. The Stanford-Binet arrives at your IQ by dividing one into the other, as you get older your score usually goes down.



      1. The internet is a wonderful thing, I decided to double check, because I also could be wrong. According to this article in Psychology Today

        A person’s IQ score was originally calculated by dividing a person’s mental age by their chronological age, and then multiplying by 100. In other words, MA ÷ CA × 100. Chronological age was simply the child’s biological age, or how old the child was. Mental age was given by first giving the child an intelligence test and seeing how they scored. This score was then compared with how other children did on the test. It was found that as children get older, their score on the test would improve. Mental Age was then defined as the age at which a typical child exhibits a particular level of performance on the test. In other words, how old is the average child when they score that high on the test? So IQ is a measure of the mismatch between a child’s Mental and Chronological Ages.

        Let’s see if my HTML skills work on making links and italics….


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