This is what I’ve observed from superstar posters on the internet (>160 IQ, or +4SD), particularly on Vox Popoli. Their communications tend almost always to be:
4. Sharp (or maybe “striking”, “to the point”)
I believe all these optimizations are due to their overcharged capability for abstract discernment, which allows them to see many possible forms of expression at once and pick the best one. This is a model I’ll attempt to illustrate soon.
I tested at 160+ in middle school. One of the two modes in which I think does seem qualitatively different from that of even the 140 IQ bunch. Thought is an instantaneous explosion of branching worldlines, and the non-viable ones are immediately apparent. It takes almost no effort to understand why a worldline fails, but it takes immense effort rigorously to explain that, even to myself.
Writing about anything that comes from that direction is difficult for me. Partly because those thoughts aren’t represented in words. Those thoughts use densely interconnected graphs of ideas, which may themselves be graphs. No idea what the primitive graph nodes are.
Writing is also hard because there are just so many possible ways to approach expressing complex ideas that I get choice paralysis at every word, abandoning sentences half-written.
High intelligence for me involves on the one hand an extremely broad and rich solution space — choppers as well as Sherpas [Ed: contextual joke, read the thread] — and on the other an inexplicable and instantaneous sense of what won’t work. It feels like I construct microcosms for a fraction of a second and can tell how they die.
Comment thread: The Excluded
It is not the same as creative expression, which is the capability for communicating immediate sense impressions rather than ideas.
1. Clarity – IQ superstars tend not only to understand complex and abstract ideas, but they are also capable of expressing these ideas in ways that are easy for the reader to understand. C.S. Lewis, a prototypical superstar, is famous for his ability to explain difficult ideas in simple terms. Even Lewis’ creative works have this characteristic. Immanuel Kant is an example of a sub-superstar; regardless of his virtues, he lacks clarity of expression and therefore only communicates well with a small number of folks.
2. Conciseness – Low average wordcount. This is a good one-way test for superstars, because it rules out a lot of folks who are terse sometimes, but not always. A superstar never wastes words. But this only rules people out because it doesn’t work the other way. A lot of people are consistently terse without being IQ superstars (particularly Alpha males per Alpha Game). These people have to be ruled out via other characteristics (clarity generally being the easiest).
3. Correctness – This is easiest to observe if you also know the correct answer. Generally, our greatest admiration is reserved for those who display properly justified true belief (patent pending). Therefore, we expect superstars to know the correct answer and why it is correct, the possible alternative answers and why they might be correct, and some common incorrect answers and why they are incorrect.
4. Sharpness – Aside from being concise, IQ superstars see right to the crux of the matter, and they prefer to communicate the key points up front. They may accomplish this in a way that is harsh, clever or striking in order to drive the point home for the reader and also head off non-constructive criticism. When they write at any length on a subject, it will tend to be in treatise format, emphasizing key ideas early and avoiding any fluff.