Happy New Year, gentlefriends! I hope everyone’s celebrations were satisfactory and have left some residual warmth lingering in your soul, b/c I am about to shower some pessimism on you. I find that people get annoyingly hopeful at this time of yr. They join the gym and crowd my power yoga class, dust off the forlorn copy of Les Miserables, and buy a juicer. They seem to forget that not only is the end near, but we’re one yr closer to it. Perhaps that is b/c their brains are SHRINKING.
That’s right, I just read this article from NPR, which talks about how we’re losing brain mass. All those millennia we assumed we were evolving? Well, it turns out we probably thought that b/c we are stupid. We’ve lost enough gray matter to mold into a tennis ball, or make a small ashtray out of. One theory to explain the phenomenon is that since it’s easier to survive now, people don’t need to be as intelligent to reproduce. But you know, now that I think about it, this makes a lot of sense. I mean, if I were in ancient Greece, I would be running marathons by day and composing Asclepiad distichs by night, and still find time to churn out a few geometric proofs.
Unfortunately, that is far from the case. These days, I’m lucky if I can finish a reading a paragraph, and often I’ll have to re-read sentences as my tiny brain struggles to make sense of the material. Worse, I flatter myself that I’m one of the verbally gifted ones.
Anyway, the point is, I can definitely tell that my brain made some sacrifices in other areas so that I could enjoy my prodigious vocabulary/become one of the best Word Bubbles players on the Internets. In fact, I thought it might be a good idea to map my brain and donate it to Science, so that they could study this effect further, and some day inject my brain w/ some stem cells that will allow me to do math and tell which way is north.
NOT INCLUDED: Math skills, sense of direction, ability to parallel park
As you can see, my brain is still a wondrous and splendid thing even in its diminished state. Still, it has obviously been weakened considerably by such things as the advent of car insurance. Punitive costs used to be prohibitively high if you failed to execute a perfect parking maneuver, or ran into a pedestrian b/c you were too busy looking at the GPS on your phone to pay attention. Debtors would be sold into slavery, worked to death, and buried in unmarked graves. Now, though, you can do either of those things, pretty much w/ impunity!
Other things you can do: stop vaccinating your children, join the Tea Party