The report, which was over 2,500 pages long, supposedly proves that being exposed to stupidity over an extended period of time will whittle away at your brain cells and slice a significant percentage off of your IQ.
“The concept of second hand stupidity is much the same as that of second hand smoke,” Dr. Willow Barnes explained to this Modern Philosopher. “Once something that harmful is released into the environment, it is going to latch onto and affect everyone around it. There’s simply no way to prevent the stupid from ‘rubbing off’ as they say.”
I suppose this explains why experts such as Dr. Barnes and her cronies travel in packs.
“That is correct, Austin,” she explained with a smile as she pushed her glasses up on her nose. “The best way to limit exposure to second hand stupidity is to avoid persons with decidedly lower intellects. If you keep yourself in a bubble of superior intelligence, you cannot be harmed by the stupid.”
So how did they test their theory?
“We used volunteers, who had to prove that they lived in a ‘high risk’ environment,” Dr. Barnes told me. “By that I mean they had really unintelligent friends and family members, lived in a building where they were surrounded by general idiocy, or suffered through a work day with coworkers who considered gossip stimulating conversation and thought Mensa was the Spanish word for the men’s room. We tested the volunteers’ IQ and then encouraged them to spend as much time exposed to stupidity as they could possibly handle without wanting to strangle anyone.”
According to the good doctor, the results were startling. “We didn’t see any change at first, and we believe that was because the human body will defend the brain from invasion by substandard intellect for as long as possible. Our findings have led us to believe that those defenses can hold out for about three weeks. Once they crumble, however, they are just gone and the enemy can rape and pillage the brain at will.”
“After six months,” she continued with sadness in her voice, “we found that the average IQ of our volunteers had dropped by almost 15%. There were some extreme cases with a 30% drop, and those poor people were relocated to an intellectual commune for six months of deep healing and meditation.”
Numbers rarely lie, Modern Philosophers. After six months, the brave volunteers were rewarded with a two week vacation to the high IQ destination of their choice. The experts hope that the sudden burst of intellectual stimulation will allow the brain to recover and IQ points to return. They will not know if that theory is correct, however, until after another round of tests.
So what does Dr. Barnes suggest we do to keep ourselves safe? “As I said earlier, surround yourself with intellectually superior people. Read books that challenge you. Go to museums. Spend time out in nature. Shut off the television. Avoid Adam Sandler movies. Engage in Deep Thought and intelligent conversation as often as possible. Feed your brain.”
I would add that reading this blog should help as well, Modern Philosophers. Our brains are giant sponges, and it’s up to us to choose with what we’d like to keep them wet. If you surround yourself with idiots, you’re going to soak up all the stupid…