Monday, July 01, 2013

Amusing Anecdote . . .

IQ Test
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A Korean friend recently requested my insight on a couple of multiple choice test questions (which I won't post), and the following amusing interchange took place:
Friend: A former student of mine, currently teaching at the branch campus of KU, consulted me about . . . questions on . . . [a] passage . . . . [W]ould you pick . . . the correct answers?

Me: Oh no, a test! I hate tests -- they make me feel stupid.

Friend: You surprise me . . . . I firmly believed that all smart people loved exams and tests. You, being a genius, I had no doubt would be at your happiest working at tests and exams. But I suppose you hate tests like [these] . . . because they don't offer space for you to unfold your magnificent intelligence. But you do love exams, don't you?

Me: If I'm a genius, this fact never showed up on IQ tests. I'm a slow learner. About the only thing I do well is write, but I don't do so quickly. I am best when I have time to write without interruption, and I do know that I can sometimes write very well, but I have good models in giants like Milton, so I stand on their shoulders.

Friend: You know, my IQ score says I'm a genius, or a near genius, but it has never been corroborated by anything else in the whole universe. And I do feel a great fool at least a dozen times a day.

Me: Pay no attention to the universe -- what does the universe know? For thousands of years, it told us the earth is its center. We now know that's untrue. But the universe tells me every morning that the sun is coming up and starting its 24-hour trip around the earth! You can't trust the universe. It sings the same line over and over, never changing its tune. That's why it's called "uni-verse." You've got documentation you're a genius. Stick with that. It official and trustworthy. Unlike the universe.
"And I do feel a great fool at least a dozen times a day."
Well, that's wisdom. A fool would never notice even a single instance of foolishness!

Friend: Should I be a fool and think myself wise, or wise up and know myself a fool? I will think long and deep on it in the days to come . . .
Such are the aporias life imposes upon us, giving rise to enjoyable dialogue of the sort recorded here . . .

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