According to the Daily Beast, Fresno has a collective IQ (based on Daily Beast criteria) of 3. Now I am smart enough to know that an IQ score of less than 70 is considered mentally retarded (this is because the mean IQ is 100 with a standard deviation of 15; therefore two standard deviations either direction is statistically significant (with an alpha of 95%, less than 5% of the population would fall into that category)...thus 70 would be retarded (100-15-15) and 130 would be genius (100+15+15)). So where would an IQ of 3 put us? 55th on a list.
Back to my point.
I do not think it is worth pissing and moaning about how Fresno received a kick in the intellectual sack. I'll let my friends at the Fresno Beehive manage that discussion. I do not think deficit-based problem solving is the answer. Want to move up the list? Do something about it.
Below are five ways to get smarter. It's really easy and mostly free...
1) Get a library card and use it.
Our public libraries are full of good books to revisit. Remember all the required reading you were assigned in high school? Well now is the time to actually read it instead of renting the movie or relying on Cliff's Notes. My favorite revisit was The Stranger, by Albert Camus. So much more interesting after gaining perspective from life.
2) Have lunch with a grandparent (does not have to be yours).
They have something they can teach us. Spend one afternoon a month and you will want to come back for more. Get them to tell you a story like they did when you were younger. It will probably be the same story but with different meaning.
3) Try to solve a problem without using your iPhone.
This is my biggest issue. I am losing my ability to think critically. I can defer all critical thinking to an app. Unless you are developing the apps, you should probably try to solve at least 50% of your problems without picking up the phone. If you asked HG Wells, he would probably content that the Eloi were iPhone users.
4) Walk around the block.
Yes, walking actually makes you smarter (I have no proof, but it sounds good). When you walk, spend time creating a story about your what you see. Imagine what the neighbors might do for fun. Think about why people plant particular flowers. Pay attention to the design of the neighborhood and the story about its formation. If you want to get ambitious, blog about your journey. I'd read it.
5) Take a class at MIT, Yale, UCLA, or Stanford (for free).
All you need is an internet connection. Check out Open Courseware and get to learning. I'm currently taking a Game Theory class from Yale (my mom is going to be so proud). Then I want to take all the general education classes I slept through in college.
The point. If a community wants to move up the list, it must do smart things. The next challenge is to begin to apply all this new smartness. That's another post for another day.