eThoughts : The Smartest Person in the World: How Frightening Would That Be?

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It’s one thing to have an occasional idea that no one seems to have thought about and it’s entirely another thing—I imagine—to be that kind of person on a regular basis. I mean, just how unnerving would it be to be the smartest person in the world? Who would you turn to if you’re stumped?

While I’m not a believer in the-smartest-person-in-the-world scenario (heck, most of the time, I don’t even buy into the-smartest-person-in-the-room scenario), I’ve noticed that the human propensity to have and honor alpha-whatevers seems to dictate that someone has to be the smartest, bestest, mostest—the Capitan Magnifico(a) of Capitans Magnificos(as) (Spanish speakers everywhere are cringing).

Hmmm—I suspect a kind of defensive mechanism afoot. After all, if we’ve got the smartest-person-in-the-world gig going on and things go awry, well, guess whose fault it has to be? Not the rest of us. Is this why we have Royalty and Presidents and Oscar, Grammy, and Gold Metal, etc. winners? Someone has got to set the standard, right?

Some-one? Certainly we’ve got group winners by proxy. Americans put the first human on the moon—well, we’re proud to be Americans, even if we had been sitting around drinking beer, eating pork rinds, scratching our rear aperture, and holding forth about our dumb neighbors, dumb foreigners, dumb politicians, and dumb policies the entire time.

Speaking of dumb in the plural sense, oddly, we don’t seem to have the dumbest-person-in-the-world going on. Apparently we like to group those folks together as it’s much more entertaining, not to mention gratifying, to have a population of dummies (think The Darwin Awards or the movie Dumb and Dumber or even dumb crime video).

Perhaps having the smartest-person-in-the-world scenario is really dumb—really dumb. What if we realized the transitory nature of accurately grasping reality? What if we realized that we all need some help on occasion and we all can help on occasion?

In this world, sometimes we’re the corndog and sometimes the corndog stick. And that folks, is a good analogy for our evolutionary prowess as well as allowing for a lot of personal preferences. If we work on it a bit, maybe we can improve our intellectual diet as well as our ability to apprehend reality. Even then, elevated as we might be compared to now, there’s still going to be a need for all of us—well, mostly all of us.

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