Wow!

I recently came across a tool in American Mensa’s back office, with many thanks to Ruth Danielle. In conversation, she had mentioned that during her time as LocSec she’d seen a tally of the various member interests. (Remember that section that you filled out, either on paper, or in your Profile at American Mensa?) Well, I’d vaguely remembered doing it, but went out in search of what we had — who we are as a group. It was fascinating. All of a sudden, I got an idea of what it is that interests the various of us — and some ideas and strategies of things to pursue for this year.

Overview

Now, before I get into the numbers, though I am a data person, the numbers don’t reveal the person. And in fact, can obscure the picture, especially when you tally it in such a form as I did below. The mind glazes over, and one begins to think that three people who clicked a category is more significant than two people. Or that somehow it made the category more (or less) valuable. We are a large group of very individual people. Even so, there were some insights to be gleaned from the preponderance of numbers. –And one of the most meaningful entries was a selection by only two people.

Minutiae: The way the spreadsheet downloaded from National was one line per individual and entry — those who had made multiple “interest indication” choices had one line for each. So I labored over the spreadsheet, and tallied it by the named Mensa categories. Then I asked for a “count” of the category iterations. (That raw tally is here, for any who are interested.) But it quickly became apparent that although there were a number of separate categories, many of these intuitively grouped together. So I spent some time in compiling the lines into what felt like meaningful categories: Music, Health & Fitness, Arts, Literature, Science, Hobbies, Lifestyles, etc. –These were my own compile, and arbitrary. And even so, some of these were particularly difficult to place. Where does one place “Inventions“? Science, Business, Art, Lifestyle? –It’s all of these. But I placed that one in Business. So don’t be offended if you think your category grouping is amiss. It was simply a best-effort.

Data

And even so, there was some phenomenal information there. As a group, Travel was our most chosen category across people’s spoken interests, followed by Computers, then Music, then Outdoors, then Health and Fitness. –Not entirely what I would have expected. And yet, not all surprising. I tried to get a handle on which of the groups had the most penetrating interests — which ones had been most singularly  checked? –And which ones seemed to elicit the most passion? So, numbers person that I am, I took a tally, first of that group’s total, and then, averaged the group’s per-line entries. Travel had the highest hits with 35, but when combined with the other travel entry, Travel-RV, the group total was 37 — but the per-line average was 18.5 — the highest across the categories. This gave me some belief that this was an area of passion for people. Computers and Tech was second, with 12.3 hits per category line, and Music followed with 11.6. (Who said, by the way, that our members don’t know how to use computers? This data doesn’t support it.) Outdoors and Health & Fitness were pretty strong across category lines. And Food & Dining followed — a bit surprising actually, as I expected this interest level was one of the highest in the group. Then Literature, Arts, Pets, all followed, as you can see, interestingly, from the data below.

Conclusions?

While it’s tempting to look at all the numbers, the significance is really in the “double digit” numbers. But clearly, Travel is something that interests most people — perhaps someone can write an ongoing Travel piece, either in The 4M or as a set of continuing blog entries here. (This is, after all, the purpose of such a site — to coalesce your participation. –We welcome such here.) Ruth, I know you’ve traveled the world; perhaps you’d be most appropriate to write of your adventures and thoughts? –Or perhaps someone else, simply writing about their experiences traveling to Longboat Key and kayaking in the mangroves. Or a trip to the woods to look at the vein structure of a leaf. It’s all travel; and clearly of interest to many.

Music was also deeply selected, across several categories. This suggests that there might be interest in either planning an Orchestra/Jazz/Opera/Ballet outing; or perhaps simply to listen to these in a home. I have an exquisite music system in my home, and would be happy to host for this latter, if there is interest.

Suggestions?

 

    • Travel was far an away a favorite. As discussed above, maybe one (or some several people) could write about these adventures, near and far.
    • Music, also as discussed was very popular. One of the things I’d thought about for some time was personally buying a subscription to either the Orchestra, or Ballet, or both. And perhaps to get a double set of tickets, either for my use occasionally or to share with the group for shared purchase. Such a concept could fail financially, and would really take some advance thought and planning. But it may be viable. The data might support it. If this strikes anyone, please contact me. Moreover, I recently bought a one-year subscription to MasterClass. –And I’m in love with this format! In the music area, I’m currently watching Herbie Hancock teach jazz improvisation and composing, and Carlos Santana teach the art and soul of guitar, and Christina Aguilera teach singing, and Hans Zimmer teach film scoring. –And in all of this, by the way, I’m beginning to find a theme thread that weaves through all of them: The Creatives are beginning to all reflect, it’s all about the story, and from the heart; and inspiration only comes after they start. I would be happy to watch any of these again.
    • Outdoor, and Health & Fitness activities were also popular, though some of this was so segmented as to make it challenging to coordinate things. Even so, this is an area of interest of mine (to do for the group), and may now garner more attention. And Guy, perhaps it’s time for you and I to start that Triathlon SIG.
    • Food was popular; besides dining out there were specific interests in:
      • Wine — MasterClass has a module I’m also watching, James Suckling Teaches Wine Appreciation. Fascinating.
      • Cooking and Gourmet Cooking (both) — I’ve watched a number of Gordon Ramsey courses preparing high-end (taste-wise) restaurant food for the home. And my skills — and meals — have improved significantly.
      • Perhaps a reinstatement of P.O.E.T.S (Phooey on Everybody, Tomorrow’s Saturday), if we can find a good venue. And I like the idea, perhaps at the outset, of someone bringing a poetry piece to read. — Literature Reading was one of the high-hit choices.
      • Others — and this you may get a kick out of: As I looked over the list, I was arrested to see two people indicate interest in Space Exploration. Well, I was also in the middle of a MasterClass module, Chris Hadfield Teaches Space Exploration. Chris is an astronaut, and former Commander of the International Space Station, spending over a hundred days in space. What he had to share would certainly be of interest to many, as he talked about not only the current space effort, but eloquently taught on exactly what would be necessary to be able to go to Mars. –I may telephone you two, to discuss this.
        • Perhaps someone can write again on Investments. There was a great interest in this.
        • And for the one person who indicated interest in Atlantis? Yeah, I put that under Science.

Take a look over the list below; and the raw data underneath that. See if you don’t get some insights and thoughts. And please feel free to add to this discussion by giving your comment thoughts at the very bottom of the page.

And again, for those who are interested, here is the raw data.

–Don

Interest Group

Specific Interest

Iterations

   

Group Total

Average per category line

           

Travel

Travel

35

     
 

Travel-Rving

2

 

37

18.5

           

Computers/Tech

Computers

32

     
 

Internet/World-Wide Web

7

     
 

Technology

5

     
 

Computers-Games

5

 

49

12.3

           

Music

Music

15

     
 

Music-Classical

15

     
 

Music-Performing

11

     
 

Music-Jazz

10

     
 

Music-Rock

7

 

58

11.6

           

Outdoors

Gardening

14

     
 

Outdoors

10

     
 

Bird Watching

8

     
 

Sailing

6

     
 

Amusement Parks/Zoos/Aquariums

4

 

42

8.4

           

Health & Fitness

Bicycling

15

     
 

Health & Fitness

14

     
 

Tennis

12

     
 

Physical Fitness

11

     
 

Walking

11

     
 

Hiking

9

     
 

Yoga/Pilates

5

     
 

Jogging/Running

5

     
 

Dance

4

     
 

Dance-Ballroom

4

     
 

Nutrition

2

     
 

Vegetarianism

2

 

94

7.8

           

Food, Dining

Wine

13

     
 

Cooking

12

     
 

Cooking-Gourmet

6

     
 

Restaurants

8

     
 

Chocolate

3

     
 

Cooking-Ethnic

2

 

44

7.3

           

Literature

Literature/Reading

18

     
 

Literature/Reading-Fiction

8

     
 

Literature/Reading-Mystery

7

     
 

Literature/Reading-Nonfiction

5

     
 

Literature/Reading-Classics

4

     
 

Reading-Sci-Fi / Fantasy

4

     
 

Literature/Reading-Poetry

2

 

48

6.9

           

Art

Art

19

     
 

Art-History

7

     
 

Creativity

6

     
 

Architecture

5

     
 

Art-Appreciation

3

     
 

Drawing

2

     
 

Graphic Arts

2

 

44

6.3

           

Arts

Theatre

11

     
 

Opera

10

     
 

Museums

6

     
 

Acting

1

     
 

Ballet

1

 

29

5.8

           

Pets

Pets-Dogs

13

     
 

Pets-Cats

12

     
 

Animals

8

     
 

Animals-Rights / Protection

5

     
 

Horses

3

     
 

Pets

1

     
 

Pets-Birds

1

     
 

Pets-Fish

1

 

44

5.5

           

Games

Crossword Puzzles

12

     
 

Puzzles

8

     
 

Games-Bridge

8

     
 

Games

7

     
 

Trivia

7

     
 

Games-Scrabble

6

     
 

Games-Chess

4

     
 

Contests/Sweepstakes

2

     
 

Games-Poker

2

     
 

Games-Wargames

2

     
 

Games-Role Playing

1

 

59

5.4

           

Business

Investments

15

     
 

Economics/Finance

12

     
 

Real Estate

10

     
 

Homes

4

     
 

Business

4

     
 

Inventions

4

     
 

Self-Employment

4

     
 

Construction

3

     
 

Sales/Marketing

3

     
 

Women in Business

3

     
 

Personal Finance

3

     
 

Retirement

3

     
 

Remodeling/DIY

1

 

69

5.3

           

History

History

14

     
 

History-American

6

     
 

History-Military

5

     
 

History-Ancient

3

     
 

History-European

2

     
 

History-American Civil War

1

 

31

5.2

           

Film/Movies

Films/Movies

20

     
 

Television

4

     
 

Films-Classic Films

3

     
 

Videos

1

     
 

Monty Python

1

     
 

Horror

1

 

30

5.0

           

Current Events

Politics

13

     
 

Current Events

7

     
 

Environment

7

     
 

Government

4

     
 

Government-International

2

     
 

Government-Federal

1

     
 

Government-Local

1

 

35

5.0

           

Writing

Writing

10

     
 

Writing-Non-Fiction

6

     
 

Writing-Fiction

3

     
 

Grammar

2

     
 

Writing-Poetry

1

 

22

4.4

           

Science

Science

15

     
 

Archaeology

11

     
 

Genealogy

11

     
 

Psychology

10

     
 

Medicine

8

     
 

Biology

6

     
 

Philosophy

6

     
 

Anthropology and Culture

5

     
 

Physics

5

     
 

Language/Linguistics

5

     
 

Sociology

4

     
 

Astronomy

4

     
 

Mathematics

3

     
 

Ecology

3

     
 

Space Travel

2

     
 

Mythology

2

     
 

Nursing

2

     
 

Gemstones/Rocks

2

     
 

Geography

1

     
 

Geology

1

     
 

Paleontology

1

     
 

Chemistry

1

     
 

Nanotechnology

1

     
 

Nuclear Energy

1

     
 

Renewable Energy

1

     
 

Dreams

1

     
 

Atlantis

1

 

113

4.2

           

Sports

Golf

18

     
 

Baseball

8

     
 

Fishing

7

     
 

Boating

6

     
 

Canoeing/Kayaking

6

     
 

SCUBA

6

     
 

Football

5

     
 

Hockey

4

     
 

Marathons

3

     
 

Skydiving

2

     
 

Skiing-Snow

4

     
 

Swimming

4

     
 

Weightlifting

4

     
 

Basketball

3

     
 

Martial Arts

2

     
 

Archery

1

     
 

Racing

1

     
 

Boxing

1

     
 

Dance-Country/Western

1

     
 

Olympics

1

     
 

Soccer

1

     
 

Softball

1

 

89

4.0

           

Hobbies

Photography

11

     
 

Humor/Absurdities

10

     
 

Aviation

6

     
 

Automobiles

6

     
 

Firearms/Guns

6

     
 

Piloting/Flying

5

     
 

Amateur Radio

5

     
 

Collecting

4

     
 

Collecting-Coins

4

     
 

Motorcycles

4

     
 

Arts & Crafts

4

     
 

Painting

4

     
 

Woodworking

4

     
 

Gambling

4

     
 

Collecting-Antiques

3

     
 

Collecting-Books

3

     
 

Collecting-Stamps

3

     
 

Electronics

2

     
 

Needlework

2

     
 

Quilting

2

     
 

Sewing

2

     
 

Magic

2

     
 

Military

2

     
 

Postcards

2

     
 

Pottery

1

     
 

Heraldry

1

     
 

Fashion

1

     
 

Scrapbooking

1

     
 

Reenactments

1

     
 

Automobiles-Antiques

1

     
 

Automobiles-Racing

1

     
 

Models/Dioramas

1

 

108

3.4

           

Lifestyles

Lifestyles-Singles

8

     
 

Human Rights

5

     
 

Women/Female Issues

5

     
 

Nudism

4

     
 

Public Speaking

3

     
 

Left-handers

3

     
 

Parenting

3

     
 

Education-Gifted Children

3

     
 

Education-Public Schools

3

     
 

Education-College/University

2

     
 

Intelligence

2

     
 

Civil Rights

2

     
 

Community

2

     
 

American Indians

2

     
 

Language- Russian

1

     
 

Language-German

1

     
 

Lifestyles-Gay/Lesbian

1

     
 

Lifestyles-Transgendered

1

     
 

Lifestyles-Widowed

1

     
 

Men/Male Issues

1

     
 

Assisted Living

1

     
 

Careers

1

     
 

Disabilities

1

     
 

Feminism

1

     
 

Issues/Abortion

1

     
 

Veterans

1

     
 

Parties

1

     
 

Tattoos

1

     
 

Doomsday

1

 

62

2.1

           

Professions

Law

6

     
 

Accounting

2

     
 

Chemical Engineering

1

     
 

Electrical Engineering

1

     
 

Law Enforcement

1

     
 

Lexicography

1

     
 

Mining/Prospecting

1

 

13

1.9

           

Other Interests

Other

10

 

10

10.0

           

Faith

No Religion

25

     
 

Other-Christian

18

     
 

Roman Catholic

16

     
 

Atheist

13

     
 

Baptist

10

     
 

Agnostic

11

     
 

Religion

8

     
 

Presbyterian

7

     
 

Bible Studies

7

     
 

Lutheran

6

     
 

Nature/Wiccan/Pagan

3

     
 

Occult

3

     
 

Parapsychology

2

     
 

Pentecostal/Charismatic

2

     
 

Buddhist

1

     
 

Church of Christ

1

     
 

Jewish-Reconstructionist

1

     
 

Islam/Muslim

1

     
 

Witchcraft

1

     
 

Tarot

1

 

137

6.9