Scott Adams exemplifies the smug Internet "genius" who whips out an IQ score in lieu of a penis. It ain't that impressive, dude, even if it is bigger. And guess what? It's probably not.
I have a confession to make: I am a genius.
But I have never in my life boasted about my IQ score or pulled the "genius" card in an attempt to win an argument. Any time someone does this, the only appropriate response is to point and laugh.
Never mind all the valid criticisms of IQ tests to begin with. We still don't have a really comprehensive definition of "intelligence," let alone "genius." Current theories suggest there are multiple kinds of intelligence. While being really smart certainly gives you the potential to accomplish things, it's by no means a guarantee, and furthermore, it doesn't preclude you from being an idiot. I've seen people seriously claim that an IQ test they took in elementary school means they can't be called an idiot. Some of the biggest dumbasses I've ever known have been "certified geniuses." There are plenty of high-IQ creationists and libertarians.
The thing about genius is that it represents, at best, a capacity for brilliance. Someone with a really high IQ is like a computer with a fast chip. In theory, they can do things faster and better than someone with a "slower processor," but a faster computer isn't more useful in terms of what it actually accomplishes if all it's used for is surfing pr0n. A genius who sits in his or her apartment all day playing WoW is not a smarter or more informed person. Extend this metaphor as much as you like -- some really smart, high-achieving people got that way because they worked really hard, and maybe a higher IQ might have allowed them to do it in less time, but there is no correlation between your IQ and the quality of your thoughts.
There are some theories that people with higher intelligence can see connections more easily, grasp abstractions and juggle multiple concepts in ways that less intelligent people cannot, or at least not as easily, but I'm skeptical. I get frustrated when arguing with people who are -- to be blunt -- not as smart as me, and so I understand the temptation to pull the "Oh, they're just too stupid to understand my obviously superior thoughts" argument, but the fact is, people usually fail to be persuaded by an argument not because the argument is objectively correct and they lack the cognitive ability to perceive this, but because people invest themselves in beliefs mostly for emotional and experiential reasons, not evidence-based ones, however much everyone (including -- especially -- smart people) likes to claim otherwise. That is why people are rarely converted from one religious or political philosophy to another with logic-based arguments.
(I've been wanting to rant about this for a while, because I've had to bite my tongue in one too many encounters with proud, card-carrying MENSA members, and seriously, the idea that I'm more likely to have something in common with people or find their company more enjoyable on the basis of occupying the same percentile on a standardized test is pretty readily disproven by actually talking to anyone who brags about being a MENSA member.)
If only genius correlated to greater writing speed!
My current word count is... almost exactly what it was last time. But that's after cutting out almost an entire chapter and doing some major rewriting. Not done with the cutting and rewriting yet, and I've hit another point where it's a slog to move into the final act.
But! Here is the final (sans title) cover.
Alexandra does still look a little mature for her age, but overall, I like it. The great thing about commissioning a cover is that, while the artist's conception will probably never precisely match the image in my head, I still get to see something pretty close to what I wanted. Imagine how many professional authors have gnashed their teeth over the years at the cover art for their books -- they usually get little or no say at all about how their characters will be depicted.