19 August 2011

The Best We Can Hope For Is a Tactical Nuke

For some inexplicable reason, I have been watching "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?", and I have come to a conclusion. While I am cognizant of the fact that I know relatively very little when weighed against the vast amount of knowledge in the world, I am incredibly intelligent and ridiculously good looking...and humble. I make it a point to be such since intellect is the most valuable, though underappreciated or utilized, resource of humanity. But that's not really what got me thinking, well in a way it is but only in the most tangential of paths.

In watching the show, listening to it in the background actually, I have found myself incredulous at the contestants. For those not in the know, the premise of the show is get an adult and ask them elementary school questions that are pretty much common knowledge and watch them fail miserably. Simple questions like: Is a tyrannosaurus a carnivore or an herbivore, Which of the following is an improper fraction 2/3 4/5 6/9 4/3, or What is the noun in the following sentence - John ate a bucket of chicken. And sadly, while the above examples are not exactly as worded on the show but more a template of the simplicity, full grown adults with MBAs or PhDs have missed such easy things.

I really do not know what to make of this, are these people actually that stupid? Are they forgetful? Did they, in earning advanced degrees of "education," manage to cram so much else in that their memory effectively reset itself to retain only the more recent information? Part of me hopes for the latter, as this is the least embarrassing of the options. But given the nature of humanity in general, and the shameless willful ignorance of the American public as a whole, I highly doubt that the people on that show are there for little more than a chance at a paltry sum of "free" money and to be on TV. And I would sit here and argue memory reset versus accepted medical knowledge, but the Rangers are on, the children are bitching about something stupid, and I have no more patience for the day.

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