People are born unequal, with some qualities difficult to change more than others, which requires knowing, accepting and dealing with individuals' differences as early as possible, for everyone to find their niche in society. Yet, improperly measuring or employing such differences leads to hasty judgment and unjust labeling and treatment of individuals. Discrimination based on the potential someone has is ethically justified only temporarily, for basic introduction until giving them a chance to be judged by their achievement.
Among the "discriminators" are some advocates of IQ testing who claim the age of meritocracy has come, that is, "giving power to superior intellects." In their utopia, meritocrats should control the world. All people in leading positions in a country, in politics, education, etc. who guide the "average" public should be mentally worthy. One must have an IQ high enough to apply for certain jobs, else forget it.
This may turn into a utopian heaven, or a dystopian hell where war, crime, and poverty still prevail; justice might be served or new forms of discrimination arise. Meritocrats can equally use their genius for good or evil purposes, unless "merit" is re-defined. When science allows us to genetically "design" genius, genius may not even be called genius, where also language, education, politics, ethics, traditions, and every aspect of life change.
On the other "end," some individuals, groups, classes, and even countries have seriously low "average" IQs, because of chronic ages-old isolation, illiteracy, etc. making them collectively mentally-challenged. This alone can create worldwide discrimination, if not political conflicts, if we don't face the problem many ignore out of political correctness, if not illicit manipulatory/colonial motives. IQ differences, even approximate ones, affect the entire world's education, economy, security, and progress of the human race.
IQ discrimination is the least obvious and most serious type of discrimination, compared to that based on gender, class, race, religion, looks, etc. It's expected to take longest to be cured, becoming the main cause of discrimination in the near future, for different reasons:
• The brain is not an external organ, to easily see and compare the different brain structure each individual has. Moreover, we cannot change brain parts to increase someone's IQ, at present, surgically or otherwise. We can only increase IQ by some points (10-40), by education, environment and other external tools before adulthood, after which it's nearly impossible to increase IQ. Changing one's class, belief, appearance, or even gender, is easier then, than changing one's IQ.
• More people are becoming aware that intelligence is power, essential for changing their life and the entire human civilization, more than other physical or social characters, as statistics show a strong connection between IQ and education level, income, creativity, etc. that many societies give extra benefits to the gifted. Accordingly, some grow envious of those who are intelligent, and contemptuous of those who are not, ending with discrimination against both.
• Schadenfreude can make those who fail to use their IQ properly happy to see others fail too, as misery loves company. Low or high, many take their frustration with their unaccepted/unused IQ out on others, wishing them dissatisfaction with and failure to use theirs too.
• This happens indirectly sometimes, as when we innocently, instinctively pity someone with a disability requiring them hours to do a simple job that we do in few seconds. We forget, consciously or not, how "similar" we are, thus feeling comfortably superior by comparison. Statistically, most people's IQ is around 100, with the mentally-gifted much higher and the mentally-challenged much lower. This makes geniuses—e.g. Gates, 160, Kasparov, 190, Netanyahu, 180 (?), etc.—just smarter than all of "us" the average people who are in turn smarter than all the mentally-challenged. This can teach us not to discriminate against the latter, as by doing so we give the same right to superior intellects to discriminate against us.
• The development in psychometrics, though primitive and not measuring IQ accurately, is making many grow over-enthusiastic about discovering their and others' potential, whether to use it or not. They rush to attach this newly discovered "IQ tag" to everyone.
• The insufficient research on measuring IQ and understanding the human brain, along with the technological, financial and ethical challenges for doing certain experiments, helps keep the status quo of ignorance about individuals' real differences.
• Social conventions prohibit some from describing someone as unintelligent, considering it rude/politically incorrect; meanwhile, they discourage others from telling someone they are intelligent either, let alone a genius, lest he/she be spoiled. Avoiding the subject of IQ differences leads to even more discrimination in disguise.
• Until this day, there are some who ignorantly believe that all humans' IQs are equal, and it's just people's choices and environment that make some look smarter than others! This indirectly causes discrimination, as many people are wrongly blamed/praised for actions their IQ had mainly led to. Also some naively connect certain individual characters and looks to smartness or dumbness, in their zeal to discover others' IQ from mere physiognomy and outer behavior.
• We have a problem with rewards: we reward individuals for the good results, not the efforts/attempts they made to reach those results.
The average Nobel Prize winner has an IQ of 165, which definitely made winning the prize easier for them, than for someone for example whose IQ is 65 only. Meanwhile, many low-IQ people who work hard, day and night, pushing their boundaries to achieve something even beyond their capacity, are rarely rewarded or even thanked. Although they do their "best," to us it's just "good," passable, or even wrong, that we rush to criticize or punish them.
• Mindless categorization of people puts them in all the wrong places, wasting time, money, resources, etc. Undervaluing/overvaluing someone can harm society's hierarchy, that should be a reflection of nature's hierarchy, that we should respect for the present until we change nature itself. (It's unfair of Mother Nature to make us born unequal—in IQ, health, finance, circumstances, etc.—yet we have to accept the reality and move forward.)
• When people find someone with a VERY high IQ, they may objectify/dehumanize them, treating geniuses/prodigies as freaks, which indirectly isolates them from society. They may expect more from the genius to do, even without offering them the environment and tools they need. Thus they harshly criticize, ridicule, or even mistreat them as long as they don't see genius "works." As for the genius themselves, out of self-solace, they may grow a superiority complex with no superior achievements to match their genius.
Although praising someone for being intelligent, without using such intelligence, may spoil them, ignoring the intelligence of a hardworking intelligent person altogether can make them worse:
Some employers discriminate against intelligent employees/applicants of jobs requiring less intelligence lest they grow unmotivated/over-knowing/overambitious/over-trusting their intelligence at the expense of focus, diligence & experience. However, other factors matter too alongside intelligence, as when the intelligent "really" need a job, however easy/unrewarding, for temporary reasons or just preferring a simple lifestyle allowing them to do/enjoy other things simultaneously.
• As for unintelligent people, telling them they are unintelligent can hurt them and make them depressed & diffident. Meanwhile, not telling the unintelligent "they are unintelligent" can make them wrongly accept jobs they CANNOT & SHOULD NOT do. Although they use many survival strategies to "make up" for their lack of intelligence, they wrongly apply them when they do it merely out of guilt/inferiority, or to avoid discrimination and rid themselves of the low-IQ stigma:
Increasing awareness of IQ differences, while offering suitable avenues by society for individuals to use such differences.
This accordingly requires understanding elitism. The elite is the critical few, that has the quality but lacks the quantity. Its members are more important than others, but useless without others. They could be richer, healthier, and, more importantly, smarter, as superiority in physical characters is easier to achieve than intellectual ones. They may refuse to do easy menial jobs, but the world is full of such jobs that need to be done anyway.
Machine has replaced the body, as it will replace the brain. Eventually, both naturally intelligent and unintelligent humans will be inferior, to the artificially intelligent machine. Future laws will forbid elitism, as it is based on inequality (unfair distribution of intellectual resources) causing discrimination, envy, and crime. It's inhumane. Diversity will replace disparity. People will be all intelligent, but differently intelligent.
Accepting One's IQ
Whatever one's IQ is, they have to accept it, use it, and get along with life and enjoy it to the full. After knowing your IQ, there are different possibilities:
Knowing your IQ is a double-edged weapon. If high, you feel satisfied, confident, and superior, that you may grow enthusiastic to fully benefit from it, or too lazy to use it at all, or just superficially anxious to show it others. If it's low, you feel frustrated, diffident, and inferior.
If other people know you have a high IQ, you feel more responsible toward them, as you can't hide your gift. If they know it's low, you feel less responsible, but also embarrassed, having to work harder to prove to them that you have other good qualities too.
Accepting Others' IQ
You may feel jealous of the highly gifted, who can think less yet do things faster and store more data, to retain longer, than the rest of people. It's ironic to see some Mensa members with a very high IQ jealous of those with an even "higher" IQ (just as the rich feel jealous of the richer, even when neither use what they possess properly). However, everyone, esp. those suffering IQ envy, needs to remember some basic facts of life: