Saturday, June 23, 2007

Christopher Langan

Smartest man in America? Crackpot? Both?

He believes in an intelligent designer of the universe.

Whatever the case his IQ is absurd and he's for real.

He states that he is closer to ultimate truth than anyone who has ever come before him, which is a...... dumb.... thing to say. But watching this video one can't help but wonder..... maybe he's not fucking around, this guy.

His profession? Laborer and bar bouncer. Held the world record for IQ until Guinness book removed the category.

Currently the smartest man in the world is considered to be
Kim Ung Yong
Kim Ung-Yong (born 1962) is a Korean former child prodigy. He scored a 210 IQ on the Stanford-Binet test according to the Guinness Book of World Records. At five months he was able to walk and speak and at seven months he was able to write and play chess [1]. He began to learn differential calculus at the age of three. He was able to read and write in Japanese, Korean, German, and English by his fourth birthday. At the age of four years on November 2, 1967, he solved complicated differential and integral calculus problems on Japanese television, demonstrated his proficiency in German, English, Japanese, and Korean, and composed poetry.
Kim was a guest student of physics at Hanyang University from the age of three until he was six.[1]. At the age of seven he was invited to the United States by NASA.[1]. He finished his university studies, eventually getting a Ph.D in physics at Colorado State University [1] before he was 15. In 1974, during his university studies, he began his research work at NASA[1] and continued this work until his return to Korea in 1978.
Now don't you feel like a tiny piece of shit in the cosmic toilet bowl?


upinVermont said...

Extreme "intelligence", even in prodigies, doesn't impress me so much. It's creative intelligence or creative power that impresses me. Mozart was not a good poet or conversationalist. He was probably a damned poor chess player, but... need I continue?

JS Bach was probably average in every way, like Mozart, except for his powers of composition which, in sheer technical proficiency, exceeded even that of Mozart. I think what both men shared was a deep, profound, instinctive grasp of human nature and how to communicate that in music. I think *all* great artists, by definition, share this capacity. Keats and Shakespeare certainly did. I think Da Vinci and Michelangelo possessed the same capacity and it can be recognized in their ability to capture the psychology of their subjects.

Einstein is famous, not for his great intelligence, but for his *creative* genius as it applied to science. He was not, in any other sphere, an extraordinary man. He was very ordinary.

So... am I impressed by Christopher Langan? Of course. But I'm not impressed by his accomplishments which, to date, seem solely relegated to his precocity -- somewhat like Yehudi Menuhin.

Aaron said...

Langan impresses me with his brute intelligence, but like you I am not impressed by his contribution. Although I have no idea what CTMU theory is or whether there is much merit to it. He comes across as very confident, but he truly is extraordinary and there would be no reason to downplay it's significance.

I think all the artists you mentioned were both extremely creative and extremely intelligent IQ-wise. They often go hand in hand.

I think that creating music is finding the right series of pitches and timings that create a response in yourself. The creative genius of musical creation is the sensitivity and sensual delight the creator has from the sequences of tones and they are discovered and refined by raw intelligence and tenacity. Same with visual art. A good artist enjoys the visual stimuli enough to work at at and refine it.

Anonymous said...

unpinvermont, you're conflating creativity with intelligence. Einstein wasn't creative. There's no room for creativity in science. Science involves the discovery of facts that already exist, you're not creating anything.

upinVermont said...

//Einstein wasn't creative. There's no room for creativity in science. Science involves the discovery of facts that already exist, you're not creating anything.//

Thanks for the comment. Interpreting your comment generously, you're conflating the development of a hypothesis with the acquisition of evidence. But besides that, the idea that there is no room for creativity in science is demonstrably absurd.

Creating the experiment by which to test non-locality (Bell's Theorum) required tremendous creativity. Devising experiments and assessing evidence of *any* kind requires a creative mind. Einstein's ability to imagine space & time was an act of creative genius. The process of acquiring evidence to support his theories also required tremendous creativity.

Yes, science is the process of discovering facts that already exist, but someone has to have the creative genius to imagine just what facts we should be looking for. This is where the greatest creativity occurs.

Roy said...

I just don't like the guy. And I think he should spend more time trying to understand HIMSELF rather than coming up with theories about the universe.
Supposedly, he's not to be argued with, about anything (and he practically says so himself), owing to his IQ score.
He's hiding from himself, and others, behind those IQ test scores. Or if you like, he allowed it to build a wall around him.
And upinVermont- I really agree with what you said there.