Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Weird Science: Are You Smarter Than Me?

Most likely you are.

This entire post is really about me, however, and not about you.  Sometimes Toby Keith and I just want to talk about ourselves.  Even though we think you are super cute.  Right, Toby? Toby?...

I sit in meetings and watch entire conversations fly over my head.  I nonchalantly flip pages and underline things, scrambling to figure out what the heck we are talking about, whilst maintaining my poker face.

Unfortunately, the elevator of my brain does not stop on the floor of your meeting. The things I am underlining are being underlined to keep me from doodling all over the page. Sometimes, I feel like my brain is slogging  through beach sand in  army  boots, only  to arrive at the same point everyone else agreed on five minutes ago. When I finally get there, I disagree with the consensus, but my disagreement is intuition-based and reminiscent of research I did several days ago, but can't remember now, and anyway, it's too late. I already nodded my head in an affirmative way, back when I didn't know what we were talking about.

Even if I do catch up, I am unlikely to speak because the rationale, so crystal clear in my mind, has little chance of escaping my mouth intact.   If I try, you will be treated to a lifetime supply of ...."ummm...because...well, what I mean is".  I'll probably throw in some unproven theories and false percentages, just to fill any conversation gaps, because I am nothing if not imaginative, and unlucky in Math.

When I picture my brain trying to keep up with all the other brains, I picture it as a scene from Love Lucy.

In the episode. Lucy and Ethel get jobs in a candy plant.  This is not Willy Wonka's candy plant. If they had gotten jobs in Willy's plant, they would have excelled, been promoted to Oompah Overseers, and eventually nudged out poor, malnourished Charlie, and his ancient Grandpa, to take over the reins.  Lucy and Ethel are employed in a less-magical environment, where the chocolates are coming faster and faster, it seems, down the assembly line, and they can't keep up with their work. Rather than ask for help, they stuff the excess chocolate in their mouths and down their bras.

Picture my brain. Now picture my brain with Lucy's face.

During these meetings,  which I find myself in more often than I'd like, I question how I got myself  dressed and out the door that morning.  It seems apparent that someone should have walked me across the street with a morning snack, the rock I found for show and tell, and my nap blankie

The funny thing is, despite all evidence to the contrary, I think I'm smarter than average.  Not smarter than you, or most of the people I know, but smarter than the average of all the people I don't know who aren't reading this blog post.

As far as I can tell, most people believe that they are smarter than average. The irony of average intelligence is that no one wants to be average, and none of us is even considering that we (or our children, for that matter) might be below average.

I looked  around to see if  I could find any new developments on the science of intelligence; something which proves that people who can't follow along in meetings, even when guided by state of the art Prezi presentations, are smarter than average.  Sadly, there are no such studies.  To date.

I did find a couple of interesting articles that you might enjoy.   Basically, I think they prove what we learned in Kindergarten.  We are all  smart in different ways. Say, would you like to see my rock?  It's a beauty.

This is why most of us think we are smarter than average
Huff Post explores the theory that we are all getting dumber:
Business Insider offers 20 ways to tell if you are smarter than average
Drunk, eccentric, left-handed chocolate lover?  You're my kind of smart!
Here's one for elephant lovers. Elephants are also smarter-than-average

People who love Chocolate?  Smarter than Average.  "Studies prove"

Ok, Smarty Pants.  I'm outta here.

Chicken out

PS I won't be around for a few days.  A work deadline is looming.  In the meantime, I may post a couple of old posts just to keep the old blog in shape.  Have a great week.


  1. The Business Insider link ends with a link to a quiz about Harvard, and Question 3 has just given me a wonderfully misspelled word that I am hugging in delight - "widdled". No, it's not what you think. Someone wanted to say "whittled" but instead we get an absolute gem :)

    Great links and funny post! Good luck with your work deadline.

    P. S. I just discovered Part 1 of your writing practice story ... it clears up my confusion about the other parts and I must say I like them all - looking forward to more.

    1. Hi Jenny-Widdled...I missed that. It is a huggable word, you are correct. Thanks for the encouragement. I just found a major flaw in entry four and pulled it but I'll work it out over the weekend. Also, I am apparently not done procrastinating, so you'll see more of me. Maybe tomorrow I will get something productive done. Perhaps.

  2. Intelligence is overrated. I have found a convincing attitude of alert silence far more useful in discussions.

    1. Geo-and a penetrating gaze, but not too creepy (you have to look away once in awhile), is also effective.


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