Real Life Good Will Hunting? The Chris Langan Story

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When I came across the story of Chris Langan in chapter nine I could not help but be reminded of a movie I saw a while back. Langan is considered the smartest man in america with an IQ of between 195 and 210. Despite his amazing cognitive abilities, he has worked many labor intensive jobs including a 20 year stint as a bouncer on Long Island. Langan has published a paper on his theory called the Cognitive Theory Model of the Universe and has started a foundation with his wife called the Mega Foundation which strives to assist and support individuals with extreme cognitive abilities like Chris.

When I heard this story I was reminded of this scene from Good Will Hunting where Will, a character with very similar cognitive abilities to Chris, explains why he does not want to work in a job which would take full advantage of his abilities. These two stories bring up an interesting question regarding the meaning of life. If these individuals who are supposedly so much smarter than your average person are living an average blue collar lifestyle, perhaps that is the best way to be happy in life.


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Chris Langan reminds me of one of my cousins. He has a really high IQ yet he works as a repo man in Minneapolis and plays in a metal band. Perhaps Mr. Langan preferred a labor intensive job because it is more interesting to him than sitting in a cubicle and thinking all day. I know that if I had a really high IQ, I would probably prefer to be doing something intensive and hands on rather than sit at a desk all day and think. Maybe it is not the high IQ that determines what we do as a job but our personality??

This also reminds me of one of my good friends from high school. He was a very intelligent person and had an extremely high IQ. He had one of the highest, if not the highest in the grade. Yet, he didn't continue school after high school. He is now working a few basic physical labor jobs, but he is very content with life. I agree that if I had a high IQ i would not want to be stuck in a cubical all day or have people taking advantage of me for it. Rather, I would want to do something that I was passionate about or at least kept me content. If that happened to be something that used my IQ, then perfect, but if not, that would be perfectly fine as well I feel.

People just do what makes them happy, I guess. If I was super smart and enjoyed using my abilities at work all day, then I would. On the other hand, if I did not like using my abilities, I would just find something to make me happy. Or, maybe Chris Langan is happy because he has a better understanding about of life. I don't know. I would like to ask Chris Langan why he doesn't do something more with his life.

I think this is a really interesting point. Western society places a lot of emphasis on material possession, and we tend to have pretty convoluted priorities when it comes to what we want to accomplish out of life. Sometimes the things that are really important in life are right in front of us, and we'd do well to take a step back and put things into perspective. Frankly, I think it's too bad that Langan isn't more interested in something like physics or chemistry, because he could be a great asset to the world's scientific community, but if being a bouncer is what he really wants, than kudos to him for being his own man.

I also think it's interesting that Langan didn't choose to do something that allowed to him to use his abilities to their full potential. Perhaps his high IQ allows him to look past the expectations of society, so he's doing what he enjoys, rather than what others would expect him to do.

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This page contains a single entry by bobzi009 published on April 6, 2012 10:18 AM.

White, Skinny, and Big Eyed was the previous entry in this blog.

IQ isn't Limitless is the next entry in this blog.

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