Lazy Geniuses

September 6, 2007

An article in the New Yorker mentions Hunter College Elementary School (HCES), which admitted only the very brightest kids and provided an excellent education. It turns out that the average IQ was 157. A study surveyed graduates from 1948-1960 to see how they turned out. They nearly all turned out to be good upper middle class professionals, but there were few exceptional people as was expected of such gifted children. Why not? The study’s author guesses, “after noting the sacrifices involved in trying for national or world-class leadership in a field, H.C.E.S. graduates decided that the intelligent thing to do was to choose relatively happy and successful lives.” I’m no genius, but I completely agree with this sentiment.

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