Sunday, July 03, 2005

Don't ask Marilyn

Well, it's Sunday, and I've just watched Ian Snell give up 5 runs to the Brewers, and only that few runs because of two impressive plays by Tike Redman (!) and Jason Bay, but that's not what I'm here to talk about. That's not what I do. What I'm here to talk about is the Sunday Paper, specifically the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and very specifically the Sunday Magazine section, Parade.

And even having narrowed it to one section of the paper, I wish only to discuss one specific column. It's syndicated, so I'm relatively sure that even if for some reason you're reading this and not from the Pittsburgh area, you might have heard of this woman.

Her name is Marilyn vos Savant (well, technically that's her mother's maiden name, but whatever) and she claims the highest IQ ever. As Wikipedia points out, that's not even true anymore. The honor has since gone to a kid named Sho Yano. Anyway the IQ that got her in the Guiness book of Records was from when she was a kid and more modern techniques place it 48 IQ points lower than her record as an adult. But none of that is really the reason I'm writing about her. If she still had the highest IQ ever, that's fine. My problem is with the people that write to her. Some pose logic and math puzzles, which is appropriate as that's how IQ is measured. Some ask scientific questions, which is also somewhat appropriate as at the very least it either demands that she know the information off hand or have reasonable research skills. The problem I have is that people presume that because she's got the highest IQ, a measure of her cognitive ability in relation to others her age, she's qualified to dispense advice. She's not. In the post I've linked, she admits that she doesn't actually know what she's talking about. Yet, every week, she either gives advice, as above, or dispenses personal opinions about Child rearing, etiquette and how the President should act in the face of a future tragedy, namely a collision of something with earth.

Stop it. She's making it up. You guys that are writing in could come up with this stuff if you'd think for yourself rather than having someone that you've heard is smart do it for you. You don't need her to tell you to be polite at a restaurant. Sense should tell you that.

So, again, stop it.

Hey, the Bucs responded with a 5 run top of the 7th, so it's a one run game again. How about that.


Steve said...

how about they won 11-10. pimp!

Jenna said...

I wrote an essay about that marilyn lady and her advice once.

Brian Wilson could beat her in genius-tude anyday

Rory said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rory said...

Dude, I totally am listening to the Beach Boys at work right now. Although it's only because they won't let me stream in my sports-talk anymore. It's like they actually want me to work or something.