If I asked you to rank your own intelligence compared to a specific dog, you would probably put yourself on top – with a confidence bordering on smugness – and rank the dog as a distant second.
I totally agree with your assessment, and I haven’t even met the dog in question. But here’s the interesting part:
The dog doesn’t know you’re smarter.
The dog might know you usually touch a thing on the wall when you enter a room after dark, and the room lights up. But the dog chalks that up to coincidence. Dogs see no need to overthink these sorts of things.
This brings me to Donald Trump.
There are two types of people who believe Donald Trump is – to borrow a British slang – an idiot. These two groups are…
- Super-geniuses who see Trump’s brain as tiny and inefficient in comparison to their own.
- Idiots who don’t know they are idiots.
This same generalization holds true for all of us. The two groups who believe you are stupid are the ones who are far smarter than you and the ones too dumb to grasp your brilliance in all things. You look like an idiot to both of those groups.
And statistically speaking, super-geniuses are a small percentage of the population. So … if you were an objective observer, knowing nothing about a population of folks except that they all thought the same person was an idiot, you wouldn’t be able to sort out the smart ones from the dumb ones on that data alone.
And did I mention that super-geniuses are rare?
So let’s say you believe – as the British do – that Donald Trump is an idiot who is accidentally dominating the American political system and its media from top to bottom. That puts you in the category of people who are either super-geniuses or idiots who don’t know they are idiots. There is not enough data to sort it out. But if you are curious about the group you’re in, I have some suggestions.
Look carefully at the walls in-and-around whatever space you use for indoor work. If you see any photos of yourself accepting a Nobel Prize, you are probably a super-genius. Exceptions to this rule would be photos of you accepting the prizes for peace or economics.
If you are in a wheelchair and you use a computer-generated voice to discuss black holes, you might be a super-genius.
But if you have a personal financial advisor who charges you a percentage of your portfolio no matter how he performs, you are not a super-genius.
I have other suggestions too.
If you still need them, you are not a super-genius.
Update: Google Analytics tells me the British are already checking their walls…