Copy of a letter about Celia Green's early life
Of course unusual factors have to be present for anyone to set up an organisation for doing academic research outside of a university, but the unusual factor is not an interest in some particular kind of psychological phenomenon, nor even in psychology at all, but my state of alienation from society resulting from a ruined education, resulting from unusual precocity.
As a result of this precocity, I was from a very early stage of my life at odds with society and subject to socially received views of my position which were inversions of what was the case. It was, throughout, more or less universally assumed that my father was pushing me, when actually he was holding me back. And I was not wishing to spend my time in any other way than taking exams as fast as possible as young as possible because I was spontaneously and autonomously ambitious at a very early age (if ‘ambitious’ is taken to mean ‘wanting to make the optimal use of one’s abilities in acquiring qualifications at one’s own pace, in order to maximise one’s claim on the sort of career and lifestyle which one needs to have’).
Recently I have been invited to join an international association for very high IQs, considerably more exclusive than Mensa. I met two people from it and went over my early life for them. They agreed that the age at which I was found reading indicated an IQ considerably higher than 180. (One of them used the word ‘astronomic’.)
It is quite likely that the educations of many people with IQs over about 170 are ruined because of the inappropriateness of the time scale on which they are conducted, apart from the hostility which they arouse in those around them, including those who have the power to make decisions about what they are to be allowed to do. But in my case the precocity factor was extremely great.
So I have to say explicitly that when I was thrown out at the end, with a second class degree in maths and no research scholarship; that is to say, with no usable qualification at all with which to make a career; it was not actually the case that I could not do research or teach perfectly satisfactorily in a wide variety of subjects, including maths and physics.
This only starts to define the position, because I am subject to so many automatic assumptions being made that it takes me a long time to dismiss them, let alone get round to stating what is really the case. And I cannot expect people to read long letters. So this will have to do as a first instalment, and I hope to write again later.