Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why This Blog's Name is So Apt

About 10 years ago, I heard a politician proclaim that all books needed to target "the lowest common odometer." What he had meant to say was that learning needed to be tailored to the least mentally capable among us--the lowest common denominator. In his attempt to sound intelligent by borrowing this phrase from mathematics, this politician made the case for doing exactly the opposite. Clearly, if a policy maker cannot differentiate between a car gauge and a mathematical description, our schools are already teaching to the least capable.

The question that we all need answered is:

Do we want to live in a nation of dummies? Because that is the inevitable result of targeting information to the lowest common intellectual level. Personally, I try to play sports against people better than me so that I can improve. I try to engage in discussion with those more intelligent than I for the same reasons. I read books not to have my deficiencies accommodated, but to remedy them.

From that speech on, I decided to begin fighting the mental mediocrity happily embraced by our politicians. I think that it is clear that my approach was correct. After 2008, when the market fell apart, the mediocre minds pushing policies that could only destroy this country began to field questions. Allan Greenspan had to explain why he took his policy cues from a Russian female novelist instead of economists with decades of proven results. (I am referring to Ayn Rand whose insipid writings inspired tons of mediocre minds to proclaim themselves geniuses)

I have not posted for a while, but I am going to start again.