Book Review: Curse of the High IQ, by Aaron Clarey. 2016. 222 pages.
Another great book built on the absolute Clarey principles: 1) your life is finite, 2) it is your responsibility to maximize it, 3) the most valuable thing in life is other people, and 4) you’ve been misled about life by people who profit from you (parasites).
Curse is my fourth Clarey book, if you don’t count Boris the Shitting Buffalo. Enjoy the Decline, Bachelor Pad Economics, and The Black Man’s Guide out of Poverty are all solid books based on the Clarey principles above.
If you don’t know, Aaron Clarey is a comrade of mine. We connected through his blog, Captain Capitalism several years ago and have met four or five times since. He has spent the last two years running Asshole Consulting, an unique advisory service of his own making. Asshole Consulting has had some impressive success, so much so Aaron told me another book wasn’t worth his time. He told me that maybe a month before he started Curse. But that is Aaron. Immerse yourself in Aaron’s YouTube channel, books and blog as I have, and you’ll see his is driven to help others. Out of altruism, yes, but also a bit of anger at having suffered from false assumptions and guidance. Most of his career and relationship advice comes from his own experiences. Curse is no different.
Curse of the High IQ is Aaron Clarey’s advice to those suffering from abnormally high intelligence. First, you’ll come to understand this isn’t ‘smart vs dumb.’ He explains the challenges of high IQ as being in relation to others rather than an actual ranking. It is this explanation that should put the reader of any IQ at ease, and it negates the potentially negative tone of the book’s title as a book only for super-intelligent - something I think will hurt his book sales. Like his last book, The Black Man’s Guide out of Poverty, I think Curse is a book for anyone as there are lessons for all.
The reader will come to understand the challenges and obstacles high IQ people endure as they move from K-12 to college to career. They will learn the system is not designed for high IQ people. He also addresses the relationship challenges one encounters when trying to find an equally gifted mate.
The author references the brilliant 2006 movie, Idiocracy, often. I would go so far as to call this book the critical analysis of that comedy, as it explores the systemic realities in education and employment that encourage the down-breeding that far outpaces reproduction within society’s high IQ populations.
Clarey is a political conservative which comes through in all his books. In Curse of the High IQ, he explains the “smart tax” high IQ people will pay if they choose to reach their potential. Not only will they always be employed, but they will be taxed at higher rates too. They will suffer politically as democracy is geared toward the lower IQ’s, many of which vote to redistribute wealth, avoid taking responsibility for their poor decisions, and seek a scapegoat to bail themselves out of future bad decisions.
Chapter 3, Education, was my favorite chapter. Anytime Clarey has something to say about Education is an opportunity for me to light a cigar, pour a drink, and start nodding in agreement. “...that veritable gulag of mental torture is the “education” system.” (P50) You’ll also see words and phrases, “prison,” “bloat,” “conformity,” “compliance,” “obedience,” “outdated,” “child abuse,” “largest crime against humanity,” and “lack of passion.” I can only hope a bunch of the bad teachers, professors, and education bureaucrats buy this book on the title alone thinking their self-worth will be reinforced, only to discover in Chapter 3 that their value to society has been been calculated, and it is far right of the decimal position.
I appreciated Aaron’s praise for the Internet as a tool to find friends outside one's city or state with similar interests and intelligence. This was how we met. I was impressed by Aaron’s expansion into advice for women - not something he’s done in his other books. He is quite versed in understanding the different challenges the high IQ ladies face in career and relationships. He also dedicates a good portion of the book to a huge challenge: the absence of challenges. And last, and you’ll have to read the book to understand the joke: I enjoyed Aaron’s praise of Oprah Winfrey.
The Curse of the High IQ has something for everyone. But it is a must read for those who know they have a high IQ, and those who suspect the frustrations they’ve had in school, career and relationships may be linked to an abnormally high IQ.