Tuesday, April 29, 2003

On becoming stoopid...

I have recently become convinced of the notion that I am becoming increasingly stupid.

stu•pid (courtesy of Merriam-Webster Online)

Pronunciation:- 'stü-p&d

Function:- adjective

Etymology:- Middle French stupide, from Latin stupidus, from stupEre to be numb, be astonished

Definition:- 1 a : slow of mind : OBTUSE b : given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner c : lacking intelligence or reason : BRUTISH; 2 : dulled in feeling or sensation : TORPID; 3 : marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting : SENSELESS; 4 a : lacking interest or point b : VEXATIOUS, EXASPERATING

Synonyms:- STUPID, DULL, DENSE, CRASS, DUMB mean lacking in power to absorb ideas or impressions. STUPID implies a slow-witted or dazed state of mind that may be either congenital or temporary. DULL suggests a slow or sluggish mind such as results from disease, depression, or shock. DENSE implies a thickheaded imperviousness to ideas. CRASS suggests a grossness of mind precluding discrimination or delicacy. DUMB applies to an exasperating obtuseness or lack of comprehension.

This is not just the inevitable awareness of an aging broad’s growing intellectual obsolescence. No, no, I have empirical evidence which supports the anecdotal. Not only am I aware that I; a formerly brilliant individual with soooooooo much potential; now can’t even remember the …well, I forget what...I took a test, two tests actually.

Okay, I admit I was having a mediocre day, night, 3 am to be exact. This was probably not the best time to take an online IQ test of dubious scientific value; considering the inherent dubiousness of IQ tests to begin with. Never mind that, we’re not going to get bogged down in the socio-economic, not to mention cultural, biases of quantitative assessments of intelligence. We are also not going to indulge in an unnecessary examination of the nature of intelligence; makes my brain hurt. For purposes of discussion let’s accept, temporarily, the validity of such tests as well as my apparent 15 point drop in 6 months. By my, none too careful, estimation I’ll be a drooling idiot by next June. Let’s consider, just what happened to my genius.

After a whole 15 minutes thought, I came up with the following possible explanations:

1. The early onset Alzheimer’s theorem.

"First you forget names, then you forget faces, then you forget to pull your zipper up, and then you forget to pull your zipper down."

- Leo Rosenberg

Granted I may be a few decades too young to utilize this diagnosis but I could also be atypical. The disease is typified by dementia before the age of 65 with personality changes including withdrawal and suspiciousness. Common symptoms are the gradual decline in memory function and intellectual ability.

I later rejected this possibility since it precluded by ability to effect positive change.

2. Memory loss due to alien tampering? See: War of the worlds.org

No really, work with me here. The guys that run this site have employed wonderful, if ludicrous, logic. Their entire theory is based on the October 30th, 1938 incident of mass hysteria induced by an Orson Welles radio broadcast. They claim that the public reaction to that broadcast had “prompted decades of research into mass hysteria, been used as a model by the military around the world to design information warfare against enemy troops and civilian populace, and used as the most compelling reason to protect the public from the knowledge of the presence of aliens on Earth”.

They further claim that one General Wilson has been conducting an alien white paper which proves that there really was an alien invasion; well, actually a scouting mission; at Grover’s Mill which was thwarted not by bacterium but rather an unsung local militia; fascinating, but beside the point. It would appear that the whole radio show scenario was merely a brilliant bit of pentagon disinformation, reinforced by the collective selective amnesia of eye witnesses who were later too embarrassed to face up to the general awesomeness of their experience; OR, wait for it, it could have been the aliens themselves who inflicted the memory loss, bidding their time for their next unscheduled visit.

This got me thinking. Forget stem cell research as a solution to degenerative neurological disease. What we really need is effective early detection systems (we can’t fight ‘em if we can’t see ‘em coming) and a less paternalistic approach to good governance.

3. I’m allergic to this island theorem. gdsl.com

I relocated a little while back to this picturesque, steamy, bug infested isle and have been sick ever since. I hear you out there, “Psychosomatic”, you say. Harumph!

Nonsense, it is now widely accepted that post modern life exposes us to a ever expanding range of environmental, not to mention sociological, toxins which may spark a “variety of physical and cognitive disorders, including depression, anxiety, memory loss, and fatigue. Even at relatively low levels, toxic elements have the destructive capability to damage nerves and tissue; strong clinical evidence points to their potential role in early neurodevelopment disorders, such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as in neuro-degenerative conditions of aging such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease”.

I’m thinking, a pervasive apparently innocuous flowering plant is the most likely culprit…hmm…hibiscus?

4. The “use it or lose it” theorem.

This theorem was proposed by the female parental unit, and has since been discredited as judgemental not relevant to my case. I mean really, is that what you call being supportive?

5. The awakening theorem, AKA, you were always this stooopid.

An intelligence test sometimes shows a man how smart he would have been not to have taken it.
- Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)

Don't say a word!

5 Ninjas, 1 Kitten and a Fifth of Vodka!