Fresnans get defensive

Another list came out recently ranking America’s smartest cities and Sacramento came in at T35 with Oklahoma City.

Metro Area Population: 2,109,832 – Daily Beast IQ Score: 84

On paper, Sacramento has a lot going for it, intellectually. It’s the capital of California, a draw for the Golden State’s best and brightest. And it’s just 90 minutes east of the Bay Area, which almost topped this list. Yet Sacramento wound up with below-average scores for almost every one of our criteria.

We do have a lot going for us, you know, on paper. It’s hard to swallow our IQ score of 84 (the winner, Raleigh-Durham, had a score of 170!), but when you consider they included college education, presidential voting turnout AND nonfiction book sales in their study it starts to make sense. Two out of three ain’t bad, right?

Fresno finished last (IQ of 3!) and the Fresno Bee’s Mike Osegueda took issue with it.

Fresno and its metro area finished at 55 with a collective IQ of 3. By contrast, smarty-pants winners Raleigh-Durham had a 170 IQ. Gaaaaaaasp! What a dubious distinction. We should be ashamed, right? And all you people who bad-mouth Fresno at every turn (yet, curiously, still live here) surely feel vindicated, right? Meh. I say we turn this short bus around before we arrive at the intersection of Self-Hatred Street and Pity Party Lane.

You’ll notice the commenters really take issue with Mike taking issue (many of the comments are actually quite insightful and constructive! Imagine.).

So, what do we make of these lists? (Why, I can make a hat or a brooch or a terradactyl), I’m with commenter “jghall00” …

Fresnans aren’t nincompoops. They don’t need you to leap up and defend their honor against attacks from marauding outsiders bearing statistics. What they do need is for you to extoll the virtues of the place they call home and exhort them to make it an even better place. Now that would be smart, stupid.

Well said.

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

7 thoughts on “Fresnans get defensive”

  1. The referring page details the methodology. Their use of “IQ” is relative to this study.

    Once we had all these comparable, per-capita figures, we ranked the cities in each category, assigning 10 points to those near the very top, and 0 to the bottom, with scores allocated between in a broad bell curve. We then added the totals, and multiplied by two, which made for a perfect score of 200, a wash-out score of 0, and an average score right at 100—close to the exact parameters of a classic IQ test.

    The college graduates, nonfiction books, voting stuff I mentioned in the post contributed to this score.


  2. I just don’t see the point in reporting back an IQ that would never be encountered in real life. It’s almost like they just think up these polls and publish them without caring how the results affect people!


  3. Rest assured that no matter how neurotic and defensive we Sacramentans are about our fair city, we are a pack of arrogant, self-important bastards compared to Fresno.


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