Thursday, April 21, 2005


I've just fired off an e-mail to Mensa Philippines in order to pre-register for their qualifying exam on May 7. Hopefully they'll receive and confirm it before I change my mind.

Mensa, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is an international organization of people who have IQs that lie within the top 2 percent of the world's population. With such an elite circle of membership, it is somehow remarkable that Mensa, for the most part, actually does nothing at all. Mensa has very little political, social or cultural influence to speak of, and has had no bearing in any important events to date.

Mensa, however, creates some very nice puzzles. And, as everyone probably already knows by now, I'm a sucker for creative puzzles.

I am, however, hesitant to pay significant amounts just to enjoy these aforementioned puzzles, which is why I keep putting off taking the qualifying exam. There's a P400 entry fee associated with it, you see. Earlier exams cost P500 and only bought you membership for a year, and I figured then (probably correctly) that I could get more enjoyment out of the back shelves of various bookstores.

Times have changed, it seems. It looks like Mensa Philippines now has more volunteers running the organization, enough at least for them to be able to set up a small mailing list. That, and I've got a substantially larger salary this time. I suppose that if I can afford to offer a P500 prize for a small metapuzzle on this blog, then I can give this membership a try.

I'm still at a loss at to what Mensa Philippines actually does, though. It's hard to conceive of them swapping puzzles all the time, and it's even harder to imagine myself participating in some of the overly intellectual discussions.

If I pass the exam, I wonder if I can put the Mensa membership on my resume.

Then again, any potential bosses probably wouldn't know what the heck Mensa is. I wouldn't want to have to explain it to them either:

HR: So, you're part of this international group.
Me: Yes.
HR: And they're composed of the smartest people in the world?
Me: You could say that, yes.
HR: So... what do you do?
Me: Well, we, um... sit around and talk a lot. And do puzzles.
HR: Uh-huh. What else?
Me: Well, um... we don't do much else, actually.
HR: Nothing else? You mean, you don't do anything that smart people are supposed to do, like produce controversial social analyses, create revolutionary new operating systems, or cure cancer?
Me: Uhh... no. We, uhh... talk. And do puzzles. (Worried smile.)

At the moment, I cannot stress how important it is that Mensa Philippines receive and confirm my pre-registration. It's just too easy for me to change my mind.

Or even worse, I might completely forget about it. For all I know, I could be at home that day, trying to solve the latest teaser on somebody's site.


Sacha said...

I'd like to join the Toast of Mensa SIG. =)

Sean said...

I've heard about their Special Interest Group setup, mind you, but I've never heard of the "Toast of Mensa" SIG. What's that?

jeff-reiji said...

thanks for your honest critique and info about Jupiter... well, I just read the contest rules and I was too old, it was meant for 18 years old and below only... oh well... I'm going to try my luck with RMAF... thanks again! :D

Marcelle said...

I'm thinking about trying my hand at it.

But I'm short on cash, so maybe next year...

Dominique said...

I know I'm not smart enough, so I'll just keep my money. Hee hee.

Now THAT, I think, is the smart thing to do.