Robert Oppenheimer and Chris Langan

Robert Oppenheimer is a well known name, especially after the events that happened at the end of World War II. But he is also a classic example of the importance of having social skills as well as intelligence.

Lets paint a picture of two individuals, one named Robert Oppenheimer and the other named Chris Langan. The first is arguably the smartest person in the world. The average person has an IQ of 100, Einstein had an (approximated) IQ of 150. This individual has an IQ of 195. While in school, he rarely had to study. In his foreign language classes, if he had time to skim through his textbook before a test, it was all the studying he needed to do to secure an A. He aced the SAT despite falling asleep during the test. As expected, he received a scholarship to go to college.

The other individual was perhaps, not quite as intelligent. Not that he was stupid by any stretch of the imagination. He did well in school studied at Harvard and Cambridge. While in college, he became enraged at one of his professors. In an attempt to get even, this individual took drugs from the chemistry stockroom, and tried to poison his teacher.

Can you guess who is who? Robert Langan is the first, and Robert Oppenheimer is the latter. Somewhat surprising when I found that out. The difference between these two individuals is the kind of intelligence they possessed. Despite being intelligent, Robert Langan had very little people skills. His college scholarship ended up being revoked because his mother forgot to fill out his financial aid form. He attended a different university that was a bit further from his house and required him to drive to class every morning. When his car broke down, he tried to convince the school to let him take afternoon classes so that he could make the long trip every morning to gain an education. Unfortunately, he was not granted his request, and was kicked out of school.

Robert Oppenheimer on the other hand, had tremendous social skills. He seemed to have an innate ability to make others see things his way. In fact, he got off easy after his attempted murder. The only punishment he received was psychiatric treatment. Later, he landed a job heading the Manhattan Project. Comforting (and somewhat ironic) to know that the research to create the atomic bomb was headed by and attempted murderer.

Here is an ABC news report about Chris Langan if you are interested in learning a bit more:

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