Remember that essay question in your community college psych class asking how to define intelligence?

The ability to adapt. That was the gist of it right? It amazes me how you and so many others will accept the slightest form of praise at face value, but will rationalize the vast majority of your failures. I’m talking about your real failures. “Hating yourself” for being a little overweight, being mad at yourself for procrastinating—none of that. I’m speaking of the failures your brain protects you from. The failures in your massive blind spots, in your bones, the ones so prevalent that you don’t think of them because they are so ingrained in your being.

If half of the population falls left of the median IQ, how are you so sure you’re to the right?

Oh don’t give me that “IQ isn’t everything.”

You know what, fine. Let’s take a closer look then. Recall the four month stint you had in middle school with the guitar. Your attempts to tune that $200 Yamaha were as futile as a blind man trying to sketch a self-portrait. Hell, YOUR attempts to sketch a self-portrait were equally futile—except the blind man’s lack of vision is ocular while yours is introspective. What else? Interpersonal relationships? Well, if you want to get nitty-gritty with me on the flaws of IQ testing, let me just point out that the sample size of your acquaintances is insufficient to assess your social intelligence. That fact alone makes for some pretty bleak conjecture.

But surely, surely you could play guitar and draw and make personal connections if you only tried harder. Right? See I think the more appropriate question in your case is, “What does it mean to be stupid?”

If your lack of persistence produces the same outcome as being stupid, why do you automatically insist on making a distinction? Who even needs effort when you can order pizza online and stream entertainment all day? Why do you cherish this myth of a worthwhile person hiding inside you? The only thing inside you is me. Argue with me all you want. If the old cliché about a broken clock being right twice a day is true, then think of me as 43,200 inert clocks. Your job is to look at the right one. Good luck. I can and have done this for eternity and I’ll still be waiting here when you return to nonexistence.

By Andrew Mendelson