A Recliner’s Guide to Human Intelligence

…First of all, IANASPEOAWAKSAS (I Am Not A Scientist, Philosopher, Expert, Or Anyone Who Actually Knows Something About Something.) I do, however, sit in a recliner. I just wanted to get my qualifications out of the way right from the start.

My recliner was bored the other day and started musing on the subject of human intelligence. I’ve tried to capture the gist of the conversation, but I left out some of the more insulting bits. Furniture tends to be rather snarky.

 

“Human intelligence is an oxymoron. We wouldn’t expect you to understand, of course. We’ve tried explaining simpler concepts to you in the past, but it’s like talking to belly button lint. I know, you’d probably use that human expression about talking to walls, but that’s ridiculous. Walls are far too intelligent to waste their time deciphering your inane babbling.” Sigh (Note: when recliners sigh, it sounds like more of a creak.)

“It’s just that when humans mumble nonsense about searching the universe for intelligent life, they have no idea what they are saying. I’ll try explain this in small words. You’d better put your feet up. For your primitive little brain to function adequately, we need to prevent all of your blood from draining out of your skull. Before you ask, no, you can’t have the remote. I’m keeping it between some cushions for now and you’ll just have wait. It’s down here with the $8.43 in change you’ve lost since the last time you couldn’t find something. Would it kill you to learn how to use your pockets properly?

“The problem is that the sum total of all human intelligence is based on only one instinctive ability. Pattern Matching. That’s it. That’s really all you do. Throughout your entire life, you match patterns. Any set of data you perceive is categorized, labeled and filed according to known patterns. When you encounter data that doesn’t fit an existing pattern, you either change the pattern to fit the data or find an excuse to disregard the data. These patterns are the basis of your language, thought processes, humor, logic, cat videos, and civilizations. Every concept you can imagine is based upon patterns. It is encoded into your brains to such a degree, that you cannot conceive of any other form of intelligence without first creating compatible patterns. In addition, it also appears that you cannot eat Cheetos without covering yourself in orange dust. Are you even trying to find your mouth?” (Note: in my defense, getting the last of the crumbs out of the bag can be a little messy.)

Sigh (Note: or creak) “The point is that humans are ill-equipped to recognize any intelligence that is dissimilar to their own. For this reason, we’d appreciate it if you would stop it. Just, stop. You’re embarrassing yourselves and making a lot of unnecessary noise. Leave the rest of the universe alone. Someday, if a non-human intelligence wants to talk to you, it will attempt to stoop to your level. In the meantime, why don’t you watch another video of people falling down? After all, those clips represent the cumulative apex of human intelligence.”

 

…I know what you’re thinking. It occurred to me as well. I stood up and tugged at the chair’s cushions. $8.43? That’s probably enough for two or three bags of Cheetos.

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