As the years go by tests get dumbed down so that scores will go up, creating an interesting image of what apsses for smart. A scary image of what passes for smart. Paying school tuition and having another kid email in the home work passes for smart. As Mark Twain so famously said, "Education is the only thing folks are willing to pay for and not get." Thus paying tuition and reading a synopsis of the assignment passes for smart. Getting on American Idol passes for smart. Getting onto a pro football team passes for smart, and that's about the smartest thing I have mentioned so far.

As you get older even dumber things pass for smart. Selling something that is actually nothing, not a product not a service - passes for smart. It's called a pyramid scheme. Its very popular right now. You can apparently do it even with stocks and investments. You simply take the money from later investors to pump up the early on board investors, convincing them you know what you're doing and then you leave with all the money. Pushing Avon or Mary Kay or silly smelly candles on your friends and family passes for smart. Have one party and rake in the bucks. Of course your friends won't make the same amount because you have already sold to all your mutual friends, but pyramid sales pitches are built on the fantasy that they have a completely separate non-overlapping social circle.

My boss thinks the two strange girls I work with are smart. He thinks that because they can remember every box holder by name and number. They can even remember who rented the box before the current box holder. I don't think this is a reflection of intelligence. I think its because neither one of them has any kind of life outside of stuffing mail into those same boxes. They don't have bills or investments hobbies or friends. They don't have activities or events. They don't have responses or actions. They come to work six days a week to put mail in boxes. The mail comes in numeric order. If you started at that for four years you would have to remember some of it whether you wanted to or not.

I had some insight recently into just how NOT smart these girls really are as I watched one of them attempting to stuff more mail into a box that was already fully. She didn't consider any alternatives. She just continued for a season trying to jam the letters in to a space clearly full. The number of times she tried was insane, as if space was going to magically open up - when just yesterday she herself had filled that box. May be her lack of understanding spatial relationships explained why she was so big. After trying to stuff the box unsuccessfully she finally through the mail in a bin for her sister and cussed up a string of curse words.

Not only is she NOT smart, but she passes for smart? Truly one of the great mysteries of the Western World is how does this girl have a job in this economy? Is it any wonder the financial world has collapsed. Her own employer thinks she's smart.