What You Mean, “We”?

Kevin Langdon

 

I requested permission from Chris Langan to include the text of his copyrighted article, but more than a week later I have received no response. Therefore, I am providing only the headings used on Chris' page and the first letter of each paragraph or continuation after my remarks interrupting a paragraph, so that the reader may juxtapose my remarks with those on Chris' page to which they respond (letters not beginning paragraphs are italicized). I have also amplified my remarks with a few bracketed comments.

 

In response to the challenge to his unauthorized use of the trademarks of the Mega Society by the Mega officers, Chris Langan issued the position statement which can be found at http://www.megasociety.net/Position.html. This is my response to Langan.

Position Statement - Part I

T

What "we"? The only Mega member Chris is speaking for is wee little Chris.

h

Bear in mind, as you read, that the question Chris keeps trying to beg has been settled by vote of the membership.

The State of the Mega Society

D

Due to the highly inaccurate and sensationalistic nature of the publicity in question the "ultrahigh IQ community" may well have been harmed more than it was helped by this exposure. Chris continues to attempt to elbow the rest of us out of the way and corner the ultrahigh IQ market so that he can conduct discussions of his pet theory out of range of the critics who don't buy his ideas or his act.

F

We brought the problem to Chris' (and everyone else's) attention a long time ago, but he has defiantly continued to make unauthorized use of our trademarks and represent himself to the public as the sole legitimate authority in the Mega Society.

T

There is, indeed, a crisis in high-range testing. The instruments we rely on for admission to the societies are under attack legally. This does not imply, however, that we should relabel the tests we use and relax our standards, as Chris proposes.

What is the Mega Society East, and how does it relate to the Mega Society? 

T

Any resemblance is purely coincidental. ;-)

R

What a bunch of crap. Since "international" generically describes any business that operates in more than one country, "business" generically describes any for-profit enterprise, and "machines" generically describes apparatuses which are designed to perform functions automatically, any international business selling machines is entitled to call itself "International Business Machines East" and IBM has nothing to say about it. Yeah, right.

M

Such as, for example, the Mega Society South.

A

The "qualification criteria" of the "Mega Society East" (i.e., phony) are bogus, with trap doors allowing the proprietors to accept anyone they please as a member.

T

This [different admission criteria for men and women] is not only stupid and unfair to men, but it entails a little problem not mentioned above:

The difference in male and female standard deviations is about one to two points of I.Q. That means that an adjustment to the cutoff scores for both men and women would be necessary to compensate for this effect. The cutoff for women would have to be below the 99.9999th percentile of the general population and the cutoff for men would have to be above that point. As the difference in rarity at the Mega cutoff level is about a factor of ten, that means that men would have to score at the 99.99995th percentile to qualify, while women would have to score at the 99.9995th percentile.

I

They [members selected by other means than IQ tests] work against the "mega level" part. If we're not a high-IQ society what are we?

W

Here's another load of crap. In fact, the MF and all its subsidiary organizational entities are controlled by a Board of Directors, two thirds of which is Chris Langan and Gina LoSasso.

The "Mega Foundation" is an undemocratic organization, responsible to no one, that is making a concerted attempt to become the hub of the higher-IQ-societies community, and the "Mega Society East" (i.e., bogus) is a joke, no matter how loudly Chris blows on his tuba.

How does the Mega East journal Noesis-E relate to "Noesis"?   

A

A trademark is defined in relation to a specific market. Mega Bread would not be a problem, but any high-IQ-related product, service, or organization including the word "mega" in its name is violating the Mega Society's trademark and damaging its reputation.

I

 Wrong again. The real Noesis also appears on the Web. See:

http://www.megasociety.org [updated to current address]

What advantages can the Mega Society East offer Mega Society members? 

H

["Friendly, cooperative and constructive atmosphere."] Give me a break.

c

Langan's slippery language on this subject is not likely to get the regulators off our backs.

l

Anything on the Internet has "unlimited networking potential." It's all wired together.

a

There some good stuff and some that's not so good.

a

Affiliation with the "Mega Foundation" isn't something I'd regard as a plus.

I

 Would you buy a used car from this man?

Position Statement Part II 

Could other mega-level societies do what the Mega Society East is doing? 

T

Many constructive steps have been taken by the societies, but they haven't created much in the way of public perception. What really happened is that Esquire did a sleazy and sensationalistic article on very-high-IQ people, featuring Langan as "possibly the smartest man in America." Although all four interviewees were held up to ridicule, Langan has seized on this as a validation of his absurd posturing and has parlayed the publicity into an on-line empire.

And anyone who thinks that Esquire's treatment of the interviewees wasn't sleazy has his work cut out for him explaining why there was such outrage by some of those profiled when I quoted the Esquire article on the fire list.

I

As the past is in the past, no retroactive justification is needed and none has been attempted. Administrator Jeff Ward and Publisher Chris Cole were selected in an election open to all. I responded to a call for volunteers to edit Noesis. Chris can offer nothing comparable as justification for his bizarre claims to authority to speak for the Mega Society--East, West, North, or South.

V

As Chris has chosen to couch this argument in economic terms, I will continue the analogy. Suppose that a company develops a technology, obtains a patent on it, and then decides that the time isn't right to enter the commercial market with it. What Chris is claiming is that another company can come along and market the product, disregarding the first company's patent rights.

I

What is really needed is the ability to psychometrically certify mega-level intelligence. And here's where the "Mega Society East" (i.e., imitation) completely fails to cut the mustard.

t

[Ability to respond quickly.] This is desirable, provided that it isn't at the expense of democratic decision-making.

a

Desirable also, but secondary. And others can and do provide such content, too (e.g., Darryl Miyaguchi).

E

In the days that Chris is referring to there were only 20 or 25 people to draw on for material and no Internet channels for fast interaction. Naturally, things didn't move at a breakneck pace.

What about the litigation proposed by “the officers”? 

A

. . . according to the sole overlapping member.

If Chris doesn't mend his ways he will find that the litigation he's facing is a lot more than a nuisance.

H

Funny that the only one of these people who's a member of the Mega Society is Chris Langan.

W

Association with Chris Langan, his loony theory, and his grandiose claims for it is the kiss of death.

W

The Mega Society has been producing the journal you are now reading for almost twenty years.

M

The officers of Mega have been duly elected and appointed, while Chris Langan has no legitimate claim to standing to act in the name of the Mega Society.

I

Get a new attorney. I can prove every word I wrote.

O

Those who wish to cooperate with others shouldn't start by illegally appropriating their intellectual property.

About the Mega Society and its journal 

E

The precedent is totally irrelevant. Bill Clinton can't waltz back into the Oval Office and start signing and vetoing bills.

O

I have no objection to having more than one Editor. In fact, we currently have two--Ron Hoeflin and me. What I object to is Langan's misrepresenting his stuff as the "Mega Society" ("East" or not) and Noesis ("-E" or not).

W

Langan has many of the details screwed up here. The election results reported in Noesis #114 (January 1996) were:

Rick Rosner  

8 votes

Glenn Morrison  

1 vote

Chris Langan  

0 votes

In the election reported in Noesis #134 (real, not Langan's phony 134; August 1997), Cole and Ward were indeed unopposed, each winning 6-1, but Langan was free to oppose them and chose not to. This is a turnout of more than a quarter of the membership, respectable by high-IQ-society standards.

W

Many people known to me have received prompt and courteous replies from Jeff Ward.

W

Chris didn't volunteer; he demanded that the rest of us do it his way or else. We didn't do it his way and now we are dealing with a "genius" scorned.

A

Isn't it wonderful how Chris appeals to people's better nature?

In closing

T

Chris' projection is so accurate it's scary.

I

[It's time to serve notice on those seeking to divide and oppress this community.] You are so right.

I

Substitute? [For the so-called Mega Foundation's accomplishments.] There's damn little there in the first place.

Chris Langan and Gina LoSasso continue to call all the shots in the "Mega Foundation," the "Utranet," the "Mega Society East" (i.e., deceptively-labeled), and their other front organizations and exclude the critics of Chris' theory from their otherwise all-inclusive "UltraHIQ Community" while hogging the limelight themselves. And they complain that others are oppressing them!

T

 Chris Langan

2001 Christopher Michael Langan and Mega Society East™ [i.e., bogus]

It's a nice idea in theory. In practice, Chris' organization is against democracy and against airing everybody's ideas on a level playing field.