/ Mark Frauenfelder / 5 pm Fri, Aug 8 2014
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  • My genius friend Rick Rosner went to high school for 10 years

    My genius friend Rick Rosner went to high school for 10 years

    Rick Rosner is my unfathomably weird and wonderful high school friend. I knew he was smart, but it turns out he is the second smartest person in the world, according to a bunch of IQ testing he's taken. He is so unusual that Errol Morris made a documentary about him.

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    Here's one weird thing Rick did. After he graduated from Boulder High School in 1978, he forged a bunch of documents and re-enrolled in another high school in New Mexico. (When he broke into the Boulder High School office to steal his documents he learned that his IQ was 150.) And then he went to another high school in another state. And then he did it again. He went to a bunch of different high schools until 1987, when we was 25 or 26 years old, even when he was living with his wife-to-be (who was also his legal guardian!). He wanted to perfect his high school experience, and it took several tries to get it right.

    Another weird thing Rick did: he lost a question on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and spent years suing the TV show. He lost the lawsuit.

    Errol Morris featured Rick on his First Person TV series. See it here on YouTube.

    He was a writer for Jimmy Kimmel for many years, and tweets at @dumbassgenius.

    Rick takes over 75 vitamins and supplements a day, and we talked about some of them in this episode.

    Besides having a fascinating discussion with Rick, we recommended a few books:

    Half a King by by Joe Abercrombie

    The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist, by Karl Johnson

    Little Failure: A Memoir, by Gary Shteyngart (Author)

    I also gave an update on my video workshop about DIY projects for parents and kids (sign up for the course here and learn how to make cool stuff).

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    Notable Replies

    1. 10 years in high school to make sure he perfected the experience? he must be a huge john hughes fan.

    2. Makes me wonder who the smartest person in the world writes for. Probably Conan.

    3. Really smart people don't let anyone know how smart they are.

    4. Really, really smart people tell everyone, just so they'll underestimate me them.

    5. LDoBe says:

      It's not like IQ is a measurment of anything useful. It's really just a way of displaying the normal distribution for scores of a specific test that doesn't really have any other applications in the real world. I scored 120 when I was evaluated for ADD. a score of 100 is the mean for the test group. Nearly everyone has a score within 10 points of 100. A 120 means I'm very good at taking the IQ test. It means literally nothing else.

      I have a life full of bad decisions, impulse commitments, and thoughtless mistakes. If I were really "intelligent", then I'd be a helluva lot prouder of what I've made of myself. Instead IQ tests seem to be mostly a test of applied reasoning. Not really a test of how one's brain functions in day-to-day life.

      If I were smart enough, I'd develop a test that measures people's social and personal productivity, compare that to a test of how happy they are in daily life, and combine those scores in some way. Those people are smart. They know what they want, and figure out how to get there, and in the end are satisfied.

    Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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