Does it seem to you that there are an awful lot of people out there who seem to struggle to make decisions that for most of us appear rather self-evident? I have frequently ranted about the insane drivers that populate our streets, and there’s now even a series of commercials from one of the insurance companies that plays on that fact. And then there are the Jackass films that glorify acts of dangerous insanity. And what about the nuts who text while they’re driving? We assume of course, that these people are a relatively small, albeit highly visible minority whose antics attract our attention by their very stupidity.

But a recent response by my cousin George (who works in Greece) to one of my posts, had me laughing out loud when the statistical veracity of what he was saying hit me. He said, “After all, 49 % of the world’s population is of below average intelligence”. The initial liberal reaction is one of outrage, i.e. how can you say such a thing? But of course, it’s absolutely true from a statistical perspective; in fact, 49.999% of the world’s population is of below average intelligence because that’s what “average” means, assuming a “normal” distribution of the extremes!

This fact now gives me a sense of peace when confronting the stupid in daily life. Yes Virgina, there are a lot of people of below average intelligence out there 🙂 .