You might be dumb if…

13 years ago Paul Shanks 0

For many of us, music is the lubricant that allows our soul to smoothly navigate daily life. A specific beat, or that certain melody can harken us back to a place of solace or sorrow. In a world of seemingly limitless variety, the line between the music we listen to and who we are can become increasingly indistinguishable. If you don’t find that scary, keep reading.

Most people I’ve come in contact with are pretty proud of the ensemble of artists pulsating through their little white earbuds. Furthermore, you probably consider yourself as an intelligent person with pretty good taste in music. Well, think again, because unless you would put “Beethoven” down as your favorite artist, it is likely that your music is making you dumb. A potentially brilliant man named Virgil Griffith has developed an insightful and exceedingly amusing way to look at the way that we assess the music we listen too and the books we read.

Griffith has devised a way to take the music and books that users list on Facebook as their favorites and cross-apply those with the average SAT of the school that each user is associated with. This study of course, does not prove causation, just correlation. Take a look at the Music that Makes You Dumb

I am a recovering musical snob, and this type of study throws gas on my proverbial Better-Then-Thou-Fire. Looking at this chart seems to magically increase my SAT score by a couple hundred points. (Yes, I have already called my mother and told her the good news.) Although, I do not consider Beethoven as one of my favorite artists, Sufjan Stevens and three or four of the next top ranking artists are on my most played in iTunes. This scientifically proves that I am smarter than you…. Well, sort of.

Additionally check out the Books that Make you Dumb , and see where your beloved books fall on the list. To really start having fun, be sure to look up the school that you’re associated with and look to see what are the top books (i.e. Is anyone surprised that the #2 book at Bryan College is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin? Oh me, oh my. Another blog-post for another day…. )

There are, of course, a multitude of exceptions and Griffith’s studies are rooted, to some degree, in generalizations. However, these studies do beg all sorts of questions: Are my reading/musical preferences indicating that I have an IQ of a llama? Or are we destined to read and listen to certain artists because of how smart we are? How quickly can I remove Lil’ Wayne from my Facebook profile?

Needless to say, if you see me this week, you will likely find Beethoven’s 9th in my ears and a copy of Lolita under my arm.