Example of standard bell curve.
Monday, August 13, 2007

The Left Side of the Curve

Every once in a while I get to feeling optimistic about my fellow human beings. Most of the people that I see and interact with strike me as having IQs that are generally somewhat above normal, even if they are not hyper-educated. Generally, they seem to be reasonably smart. So I started thinking that maybe the IQ curve was somewhat skewed, and that there weren’t as many idiots, morons, and other low IQ people as there are higher IQ people. In a perfect bell shaped curve the numbers on the right (high side) and the left (low side) should match exactly, and I thought that it was strange that I hadn’t met that many obviously stupid people.

Well, as you’ve probably guessed, I was wrong. I wanted to order an item from an Internet store, but one page showed a $30 price difference from the order page. So I called to get this clarified. I had to spell out, letter by letter, the address of the page. Then the girl wasn’t smart enough to figure out that I’d assumed she would put it after the dot com part of the address. So I had to specify the full URL, and again spell out the page, letter by letter, underscore by underscore, till she saw the page. Then she had to consult with somebody. They agreed to give me a credit for the $30. Then I had to spell out my street address. Okay, I’ll grant you that Isle can be confused with Aisle, but most people have heard enough poetry to know that Isle is a more or less poetic form for Island. Then I had to spell out “of” for her. She was totally lost at Spotsylvania, and got that wrong too. She did manage Virginia, thank God for the Postal Services two letter abbreviations.

When I got the email confirmation for my order, she’d managed to get my name wrong and spelled it “Tomas.” My God, every Tom, Dick, and Harry is named Thomas, Richard, and Henry, and she can’t get that simple thing right.

I’m now beginning to think that there may well be more on the left side than on the right.