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Although we hear endless complaints about the overly rich compensation of our corporate elite, the front page of this morning’s New York Times Business Section provided a glowing portrait of an obvious exception to this pattern, namely Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, whose 2010 compensation of $84.5 million had outranked that of every other corporate executive in America.

Although Dauman admits to having been an indifferent student in college and law school, the clearest objective proof of his blinding intellect was that at the tender age of just thirteen he had scored perfect double-800s on his SAT exams. I recently read Robert Klitgaard’s highly regarded Choosing Elites, and it contained a handy table developed by a Harvard researcher for converting between SAT scores and IQ. Applying this simple conversion and necessarily adjusting for age (as is required in all IQ calculations) puts young Dauman’s IQ score at well over 260, dozens of points higher than the highest ever recorded in human history. Obviously the compensation for such a prodigy of historic rank seems absurdly low by any standard.

Indeed, I can think of only two individuals whose intellects clearly burned a bit brighter. As was widely reported during the 1930s by Pravda, Joseph Stalin achieved the unique distinction of becoming the world’s greatest intellectual authority on a huge range of entirely disparate academic fields, including economics, genetics, philosophy, and linguistics.

And only slightly beneath him was the late and much lamented Elena Ceaucescu of Rumania. Despite having been an elementary school dropout, she was universally hailed by her husband’s Rumanian state press as having produced scientific discoveries worthy of at least three or four Nobel Prizes, failing to receive those awards only due to the obvious bias of the Swedish Academy.

With America’s most prestigious media organs performing such reliable and effective scrutiny of the claims made by the wealthy and the powerful, I feel certain that our economy and society will continue to florish just as greatly as did those of Stalin’s Russia and Ceaucescu’s Rumania.

The Man Who Would Be Redstone
Amy Chozick, The New York Times, September 22, 2012

[Addendum: Please note all my references are to the pre-1995 SATs, whose scores were substantially lower than those of today]

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Humor, IQ 
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  1. SteveM says:

    Takes a lotta smarts to time-slot Pinky Dinky Doo and SpongeBob SquarePants.

  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I think we would honour Stalin’s intellect more if we referred to his ‘Soviet Union’ rather than his ‘Russia’. To acknowledge him as one of the leading intellects of the twentieth century and then strip away the non-Russian republics of the empire he ruled seems insincere.

  3. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "Andrew"] says:

    This is an absolute outrage, neither Stalin nor Ceausescu even touch the feet of Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-il. Both are known to make a major contributions to the field of math analysis and statistics, single-handedly designed all kinds of things from missiles, buildings and cars to clothing for the workers of Juche Paradise. Both were a supreme military strategists. Accomplishments of both in sports, meanwhile, are beyond description. That’s what I am talking about!!!

  4. All those folks were, indeed, devilishly clever at putting one over on their fellows.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Huh. Then the conversion chart is flawed. Double-800s on the old SAT were certainly very rare, but they happened.

  6. Ryan says:

    Anyone know where to find Klitgaard’s conversion table online?

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