I did an online IQ test the other day. It’s about forty years since I last did one, and you’re supposed to be at the peak of your mental powers in your early teens, so I was expecting it to have dropped by a few points, at least. But imagine my surprise, dear readers – instead of declining gently, it seems I have almost become a genius!
Except, of course, I haven’t. The tests I took in my teens had three parts, with questions involving maths, logic, verbal and visuo-spatial ability, and each took an hour. The one I’ve just done had thirty true/false questions, and took less than twenty minutes. It’s not even an apples and pears comparison, is it?
It’s just the old dream factory at work again, telling people what they want to hear. Now, I work in the dream factory myself, and there’s nothing wrong with dreams. But fiction is an excellent way of conveying truth without deception. You know it’s fiction, and you can pick out what you want and leave the rest. ‘Facts’ are a different ballgame, and you do need to be clever to sort out the false from the true. But you don’t have to be a genius. Which is just as well...