tickled to death:

My Test Results!
nothing to brag about...

Phonus Bolonus!


These guys started advertising all over the web around February 2004. You may remember seeing this picture of Einstein where they invite you to take a free IQ test, of which they give you part of the result. That's the sucker trap.
Because then, if you want to know more, you can join the club for some $15/month. And, like most con artists I've met, they're pretty good at their job! They tell you just enough to whet your appetite.
So I took out this trial subscription for $10, carefully setting an alarm warning me to end it before a week would have passed (or it would have cost me $25 at least), to check it all out at my leisure.


All those tests are very scientific, they keep assuring you. Maybe so (but methinks they do protest too much.) It then does make one wonder to find a test on horoscopy; the by now thoroughly discredited Rorschach; biorhythm. I also have to tell you in this connection, one of the members of the tickle gang is the notorious Dr. Phil of the Oprah show. If that guy is a scientist, I am an actor. So what can the rest be worth? Here, I stuck to some that are at least somewhat credited, still, by most psychologists.

from Harvey Kurtzman's
HELP! magazine

I'm so smart!
Actually, they got me sort of angry right at the start by telling me that, with an IQ of 139, I'm as smart as Bill Gates. First, my IQ has been measured several times before to be appreciably higher, but apart from that, I just know I'm much smarter than that guy - if not quite that rich. Then, it's essential to an I.Q. test how much time it takes you to finish it. They never measured that interesting aspect of the matter (not even mentioning problems with broadband vs. modem.)


Flattery Will Get You Nowhere
(Groucho Marx)

I don't want to spend much more time on this. To show where all their tests are it, the easiest thing to do is change every you and your to I and me and the trick becomes obvious right away. (Hint: Try it on your next visit to your friendly neighborhood psychic.) (Almost) anybody would be ashamed to talk that way about self, but we all have this amazing syrup-absorbing capacity. A few examples will suffice. Remember you don't have to read it all - now, if it only were about you...

IQ and Personality Tests

My Unique PersonalityMy Multiple IntelligenceMy CareerMy Personal IQ
I, Observer, am an unusually selfless and balanced individual. [...] I am an indispensable equalizer amongst the various groups that comprise my life. [...] There's lots I can still show the world. [...] I am extremely good at dealing with change and chaotic situations. [...] I convey my genuineness to others with my ability to focus on what counts – I am not easily swayed by superficial things. I also don't act in fake ways to "get ahead" or to look better than others. People notice that about me and appreciate it. [...] My insight and calm help me get through these situations with minimal drama. I have my own distinct brand of smart. As a result, I'm likely more geared toward some types of intelligence than others. The important thing to remember is that the scores I receive below are an indication of where I stand today. Everyone possesses the capacity to improve and change. To help me do just that, Emode's experts have provided a series of action steps in each section below to help me fulfill my potential. But first, let's examine what I'm best at. [...] By forming creative mental images and really seeing the things around me, I can make the world a more wondrous place.
I just mention the fact that they give me a score of 3 (max. 10) for Linguistic Intelligence, and then go on to say that I've already got a better handle on this type of intelligence than most people do. Huh?
I am the person for a job that involves thinking outside the box. I am innovative and intellectual. I don't like paying attention to administrative details, though I pay attention to details when necessary for aesthetic or practical reasons. Organizing and filing do not appeal to me. My skills are in the art of expression, and I have the ability to convey the message to the intended audience effectively. [...] Based on the way I answered the test questions, my primary personality type is CREATIVE, while my secondary personality type is ANALYTICAL. Like a meticulous collector, I've fed my brain a unique set of facts and figures over the years. Words, numbers, I've got it all. That's what makes me a Facts Curator. Whether or not I intend to absorb every piece of information that comes my way, my mind has certain steel-trap qualities to it. I am a knowledge sponge. I have almost enough words in my head to fill a dictionary, and I'm equally adept when it comes to manipulating numbers. [...] I'm also able to learn from example and piece together all the little facts in life to get to the big picture. That's why I never stop accumulating information as I walk through life. My strengths lie in both the verbal and math realms - placing me in the same arena as someone like Bill Gates. [...] And to think - my brain works in this same way!
I was tickled to death!
So I did no more tests.
(enough, already)

Nobody, but nobody, likes a smart-ass.

Advice for FBI-agents:

What you want to do is make them think you're barely smart enough to find your way back to the car.
The Silent Brotherhood, Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt, NY 1990 Amazon.USA Amazon.uk Amazon.ca Amazon.de

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