A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 21, 2015
“The IQ of a committee is equal to the IQ of the dumbest member…”

"The IQ of a committee is equal to the IQ of the dumbest member divided by the number of people on the committee” is a quote of unknown authorship. “The I.Q. of the group is the I.Q. of the dumbest member divided by the number of people in the group” was cited in 1980. “The intelligence quotient of any mob can be figured by dividing the IQ of the stupidest member of the mob by the number of people involved” was cited in 1986.

Paul Dickson’s The New Official Rules: Maxims for Muddling Through to the Twenty-First Century (1989) called it “Carlisle’s Rule,” but Carlisle was never identified:

“Carlisle’s Rule. To find the I.Q. of any committee of commission, first determine the I.Q. of the most stupid member and then divide that result by the number of members.”


Google Books
The Coevolution Quarterly
Volumes 25-32
1980
Pg. 55:
Group Intelligence and the Political Scene
by P. T. DeLassus

“The I.Q. of the group is the I.Q. of the dumbest member divided by the number of people in the group.” While waiting to check-out of a hotel in Newark, Ohio, I overheard a young man recite this gem to a companion. I wasted considerable time that day chuckling over this accidental acquisition and making the obvious applications to committee work and team projects. Later, I wasted still more time developing the corollary which is the theme of this paper.

“The I.Q. of the elected official is equal to the I.Q. of the dumbest voter divided by the number of votes received.”

31 March 1986, The Telegraph (Alton, IL), “Rampaging students” (editorial), pg. A-4, col. 1:
The intelligence quotient of any mob can be figured by dividing the IQ of the stupidest member of the mob by the number of people involved.

Google Books
The New Official Rules:
Maxims for Muddling Through to the Twenty-First Century

By Paul Dickson
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.
1989
Pg. 43:
Carlisle’s Rule. To find the I.Q. of any committee of commission, first determine the I.Q. of the most stupid member and then divide that result by the number of members.

31 August 1989, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, “Knowing the rules makes living simple” by Mike Deupree, pg. 2A, col. 2:
The IQ of a committee is equal to the IQ of the dumbest member divided by the number of people on the committee. That is why the quality of committee work is inversely proportional to the number of committee members.

Google Books
Investigating Corporate Fraud
By Michael J. Comer
Burlington, VT: Gower
2003
Pg. 18:
Given the undoubted skill of the panel members, it has to be assumed that either they did not have the time to check the handbook as thoroughly as they would have liked, or they fell for the Cynic’s First Rule on Committees, which concludes that:

The aggregate IQ of a committee varies inversely with the number of its members.

Simply stated, this means that the more people there are on a committee, the dafter it is.

mafiascum
PolarBoy
Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:00 pm
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy wrote:
It is said that mobs take a life of their own. It is also said that to find the IQ of the mob, take the IQ of its stupidest member and divide by the number of people in the mob.

The Zion Chronicle
Mob Intelligence
Posted on May 1, 2007 by David
I love reading Terry Pratchett, for the humor, but I just discovered an extremely useful mathematical equation in Maskerade to calculate the intelligence of any mob.

“The IQ of a mob is the IQ of its most stupid member divided by the number of mobsters.”

Smart Company
How to make your team more productive: Best of the Web
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 16:11
ANDREW SADAUSKAS
There’s an old joke about meetings: How do you find the IQ of a committee? You take the IQ of its dumbest member, and divide it by the number of people sitting around the table.

Unfortunately, in business, meetings are a fact of life.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, January 21, 2015 • Permalink