November 25, 2005


Talk about intelligence...

I read this blog post by Rashmi Bansal with great amusement. She picks up one remotely offensive sentence in a book, interprets it and tears it apart with great logic and eloquence. But, as Dilbert says, it is wrong on so many counts.

She starts the blog quotes from the book -

"Remember", the instructor said to the class,"a 35 year old American's brain and IQ is the same as a 10 year old Indian's brain.... Americans are dumb, just accept it. "

- pg 53, One Night in a Call Centre

She counters this with example from some FM radio station, and "proves" that the educated, upper middle class is as ignorant as the average American. So we need not brag about our intelligence.

To begin with, the quote from the book is faulty. It implies that IQ increases by the age. Gaaawd, how can somebody get THAT wrong? A child can have an IQ of 200 while an 35-year old can have IQ somewhere in the higher double digits. (I give verbosity a miss for I respect the IQ of the reader.)

Her argument is simple. The quiz conducted by a FM channel contains utterly ordinary (junta-level, to use her phrase) questions which can be answered by anybody with an IQ of room temperature - in degree Celsius! The questions are "Arnold Schwarzenegger is the governor of which US state?", "In which country is carmaker Hyundai based?", etc. I wonder, what makes her think, this is trivial information and everybody should be answering with the ease of telling somebody their own cell number?

Let's forget about somebody else's country. Lets name all the North Eastern States of OUR country - Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim. (I am still not sure, I got it right.) Now how about their Capitals? Guwahati, Aizawal (I think, that's spelt incorrectly), Gangtok, Kohima,...uummm... I give up! Now information about Chief Ministers is so volatile, that only serious quizzers consider it to be valuable. Nope. Not even a "regular" guy with an IQ of200 will keep track of that information.

So while I can tell that Arnold Schwarznegger (one more typo, I am sure!) is Governor of California, he is an immigrant from Austria, I can't tell something about my own country.

Now, am I intelligent because I can answer the question listed? Or am I dumb since I don't even know "supposedly common" things about my country?

You see, I am not from K-Pax like Kevin Spacey who casually says, "It's common knowledge on my planet."

we all are want to know about the world knowledge, but we for get to learn our country knowledge. me too dont know the capitals of norttheast. i know only Gawgathi is the capital of assam. very nice post.
umm...I'm not sure what you're getting at here. We were taught in school(or was it pre-school) about all the Indian states and territories and their capitals! Let's just say mainland Indians are very ignorant about the rest of the country, in the same way Americans are ignorant about the rest of the world outside their own.
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