The logogram you see here may look strange, but it is nonetheless an official symbol of Mensa somewhat crudely drawn because of my limited talents as an artist. It was adopted by the Mensa I[nternational] G[eneral] C[ommittee] ca. 1971 as an alternative to the familiar square-cornered table. The designer was the same Peter Devenish who created the standard logo.
About 1970, when the logo was being designed, I was American Mensa Chairman. After the selection had been made and was in the process of adoption, an Australian Mensan (whose name, I'm sorry to say, I don't remember) commented in a letter or article that the logo wasn't appropriate for a "round table" society. I immediately recognized the appropriateness of that observation and wrote to Peter asking whether he could modify his design. He did so, but it was too late to institute the change. Next, I got the IGC ( now the IBD) to pay Devenish a nominal sum for his design and to adopt it officially as an alternative. Mensa was too poor and too disorganized to proceed with a conversion forthwith, and the present logo became entrenched. But, so far as I know, the rounded logo is still an official emblem.
One of my many projects for Mensa is to bring the round table back into the public eye. It can be done and should be done.
I have in my files the following documents:
- A letter (25 May 1971) from Peter Devenish to Margot Seitelman, forwarded with a note to me, requesting a nominal payment (£12) for the design of the alternative symbol.
- A memo from Victor Serebriakoff (1 July 1971) referring the payment to the whole IGC (International General Committee) with his endorsement.I do not have the minutes of an IGC meeting later that year in which the payment was authorized and the revised symbol was adopted as an alternative to be employed when it was convenient to do so.
- A Xerox copy of Devenish's original drawing in which the black areas are noisy gray.I scanned this copy, retouched the gray, and posted it here. Click on the symbol to see enlarged image.
Return to Directory Page
Created: 27 Jun 96
Revised: 24 Apr 02
Copyright © 1996 Sander Rubin
Meanwhile, here's some e-mail correspondence that tends to bear out the view that the Mensa establishment is arrogant and out of step with the Mensa metaphor:
X-POP3-Rcpt: sander@wheel Date: Mon, 01 Jul 1996 20:59:54 -0700 From: Sander Rubin <email@example.com> Organization: Davis (CA) Community Network To: firstname.lastname@example.org CC: email@example.com Subject: Mensa personal page X-URL: http://www.mensa.org/perlink.htm Your reconfiguration of the personal pages today makes downloading much faster. Thanks. BUT -- The link to my "Mensa Articles & Directory" page seems to have disappeared. Is there any reason for this? Will you restore the link, please, or indicate what rule I have violated? Sander http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~sander/mensa/mensa1.html
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, Sander Rubin <email@example.com> From: Sander Rubin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Mensa personal page Cc: Bcc: X-Attachments: At 12:47 7/2/96 -0500, email@example.com wrote: >Your link was removed, because your copy of the logo is in violation of the >Name & Logo rules, specifically, the alterations to it. Fix that, and I'll >re link you. I'll be at the AG, so look me up > >At 08:59 PM 7/1/96 -0700, you wrote: >>Your reconfiguration of the personal pages today makes downloading much >>faster. Thanks. >> >>BUT -- The link to my "Mensa Articles & Directory" page seems to have >>disappeared. Is there any reason for this? Will you restore the link, >>please, or indicate what rule I have violated? >> >>Sander >> >>http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~sander/mensa/mensa1.html >> >> > -----------REPLY------------- Thanks for the prompt response. 1. It is, to say the least, discourteous to remove the link without prior notification. 2. The "modified" symbol is, as far as I know, still an official version, adopted by IGC in 1971 [or '72] as I stated in the link from the symbol itself. IGC actually paid a (nominal) fee for the right to use the curved symbol. 3. Does the "official" action without "due process" mean that the Logo Committee can suppress discussion of alternative logos by barring illustrations from appearing? 4. The appearance of the "modified" symbol in this context does not derogate Mensa's trade-mark, which is acknowledged to belong to the society, not to an individual. I suggest the way that this has been handled gives considerable credence to the charges, by such as Alan Truelove, of high-handedness by officious "leaders." Restore the link at once and then we can deal with the merits of the issues involved. Do not, please, place your considerable talents at the disposal of persons who abuse authority; let them handle their responsibilities properly, not use you as a catspaw. I'd like very much to talk to you personally. Unfortunately, I won't be at the AG. Sander
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, Sander Rubin < email@example.com> From: Sander Rubin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Mensa personal page Cc: Bcc: X-Attachments: At 13:23 7/2/96 -0500, email@example.com wrote: >>1. It is, to say the least, discourteous to remove the link without >>prior notification. > >OK, I will apologize for not notifiying you before I removed your link. >That was my fault. >Gerry Riley informed me of the logo violation. He is my boss. The name & >logo committee is in charge of what is appropriate and what is not. >Take it up with them. > > >>Restore the link at once and then we can deal with the merits of >>the issues involved. > >Excuse me? And you are who? > >>I'd like very much to talk to you personally. Unfortunately, I won't be >>at the AG. > >Bummer, I'm going to try that tour of NASA. (sounds cool) > ---------------REPLY----------- Who is Gerry Riley? Never heard of him. What exactly are the powers of the Logo Committee to suppress members' discussion about the logo or to conceal historical facts? If you want to know who I am, you may start by browsing the historical stuff on my page. Quite objectively, Mensa owes me. But were I merely a non-contributing member I would still find the high-handedness objectionable. The "logo violation" claim is arbitrary, inappropriate, and applied without even minimal "due process." This isn't what Mensa was intended to be. Your failure to pre-notify is understandable and readily excused. The argument, "I'm just following orders," doesn't even begin to fly. Your position ought to be to tell Gerry to take the matter up substanatively with the "offender" before you perform the strictly ministerial function of maintaining a Web page. Mensa has alienated its most valuable contributors, come close to bankruptcy, and become contemptible in the public eye because decades of such arrogance as displayed by AMC and the Logo Committee have been ingrained in "official" behavior. I can supply you with copious details, but for now you can take my word. Please don't become part of that syndrome. Sander
X-POP3-Rcpt: sander@wheel From: firstname.lastname@example.org X-Sender: email@example.com Date: Wed, 03 Jul 1996 06:00:41 -0400 To: Sander Rubin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Mensa personal page I have re-linked you, until I talk to Gerry at the AG. If I must unlink you, I WILL notify you! (Fair enough?) BTW, babbling about "suppressing members' discussion....." and "....The "logo violation" claim is arbitrary, inappropriate, and applied without even minimal "due process." This isn't what Mensa was intended to be." is just rambling THAT I IGNORE. It makes you appear childish, and quite frankly, I'm surprised a Mensan would whine like that. That type of rhetoric does NOTHING to sway me, and in fact, has the opposite effect. I know you are a much bigger person than that. If it will you soothe your bruised ego any, I'll put this whole matter another way. I am the webmaster, I run the page, and I decide what gets linked and what does not. PERIOD. Gerry Riley has the FINAL word, but he rarely takes advantage of it. He (so far) trusts me to use my judgement. I decided to relink you tenatively DESPITE your last several posts. I could very easily have dismissed your emails and not replied, but I found merit interweaved with your rantings. Logan
X-POP3-Rcpt: sander@wheel Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 12:24:04 -0700 X-Sender: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Sander Rubin <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Mensa personal page I like your second paragraph. You take responsibility for your own decisions and actions; you reach a good conclusion to gather more information before taking an action that affects others' interests. Now I need to deal with "babbling", "rantings", "bruised ego", and "whine". Let me, hypothetically, turn the situation around. I could, should I choose, read "I am the webmaster, I run the page, and I decide..." as indicating an egotistical power trip attitude. I needn't read you that way, and I don't. In fact, (and I mean historical fact) I have always taken the position that other people's motivations are none of my business, nor are mine theirs. The underlying issues are real, not merely Sander's (or Scott's) perceptions. Mensa in the US (and Canada) has languished and declined since 1982. Quite objectively, the society has come close to bankruptcy, significant assets have been wasted instead of invested in much-needed facilities, and the political atmosphere has been poisoned (largely because of official attention to others' motivations rather than to facts). When you talk to Gerry at the AG, please bear in mind that there are genuine issues, quite apart from personal feelings, having to do with the integrity, policies, and corporate health of Mensa which require careful attention. Actions that conceal issues, distort history, misrepresent individuals, or pre-judge without adequate information harm the society as well as particular individuals. I am not notably egotistical (certainly as compared to others I could name), but neither need I apologize for or conceal some pride in my contributions to our society. If you will read my words in that spirit, I'm sure we'll reach a good conclusion. Sander
It isn't radical to suggest that committees in a society of Mensa's kind need a better reason than it violates our rules before acting to suppress members' views on matters that are arguable.