This morning I found myself faced with two questions: am I the smartest one in the room? and do I want to be?
I was reading a book yesterday in which someone was described as the smartest one in the room. As my wife was in another room at the time, I was struck with the whimsical thought that the same could at that moment be said of me without contestation. So, armed with the serious issue of logical fallacy and the less serious opportunity to use contestation in an article, I resolved to write about the dangers of mistaking a comparison for a value judgement.
However, this morning I wondered if my smartness had been beyond contestation. Despite not getting enough sleep last night because my wife had to get up for a very early train and not having any urgent deadlines, I got up this morning to feed the cats rather than having a lie in. Una hunted my socks, hoovered up food like a black hole, and then went to sleep. Jasper followed me around until I fussed his head, munched some food, and then curled up to sleep.
After breakfast, I went shopping, did some admin, and tried to find out how to tell Windows 10 Update that an update to a program was failing because the program wasn’t installed. Una and Jasper bimbled over to me to bunt my arms, returned to the sofa, and then went back to sleep.
I began to doubt that – even in my wife’s absence – I had no challengers for smartest one in the room.
Of course, the things I did – while somewhat less relaxing – advanced longer goals; so I probably still win if you include awareness of consequences in the list of qualities for smartness.
Which is why I wonder if I want to be the smartest.
Of course, even if I weren’t I couldn’t curl up on the sofa. The cats have me beaten on expanding to fill all the available space too.