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Think Out Loud

The Meaning of Mensa

Pete Springer/OPB

The American Mensa Annual Gathering is in Portland this weekend. Mensa, an organization with chapters all over the world, calls itself a “forum for intellectual exchange.” Admission to the club is pretty simple. All you have to do is score in the top two percent on a standardized intelligence test. But the big question we had when we found out about the event was “what do Mensans do when they get together?” The answer, it turns out, is a lot.

The gathering, which is taking place at the Hilton in downtown Portland, has a wide variety of events scheduled. There are city tours and puzzle rooms, business meetings and author presentations. There’s a rock paper scissors competition, a seminar entitled “Learn How to Hustle Legally” (it’s about dancing), and even an “Underachievers Meet and Greet.”

We’ll be talking about these events (and more) and about why people decide to join high IQ societies.

Are you a Mensa member? What was the test like? Why did you join? What do you get out of it? If you’re not a member, have you considered joining?

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