Cornell's boasting, luminous, Twitter oopsie

Cornell is proud that its home town, Ithaca, N.Y., is named the most brainy city in the U.S. However, on its Twitter feed, it misspells the name of the organization giving the accolade.

So very raw. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

We all make mistakes. Why, I once dated a self-described humanitarian who treated me very badly.

One shouldn't, however, mock those afflicted with error.

An exception might be made for those afflicted with vast raw intellect and boast about it.

I am, therefore, moved to a small titter by a minor faux pas perpetrated by Cornell University on Twitter.

Cornell, you see, is terribly excited that its hometown, Ithaca, N.Y., has been named the smartest city in America.

So it flexed its twittering fingers and posted: "Ithaca is named smartest city in America by neuroscience research facility Luminosity. Find whole list here: http://ow.ly/mnxSP #Ithaca."

I must confess that I had not heard of this research facility, though it sounds like a terribly bright place.

However, I owe a debt to the first person to reply to Cornell's tweet, Corey Ryan Earle. For it was he who mused: "@Cornell It's actually just Lumosity."

And so it is. Lumosity is an intelligent game company that seeks to create teasers to "stimulate your brain." (Sadly, Google will have no use for its services these days.)

You might wonder, while we're here, which other cities Lumosity deemed America's most intelligent (PDF).

After Ithaca comes State College, Penn. In third is the brain-infused hotbed of Lafayette-West Lafayette, Ind.

You might have concluded, should you look even further down the list and breeze past the scintillating one-restaurant town that is Champaign-Urbana, Ill (No.13) and the ever exciting Rolla, Mo. (No.19), that there is bias here.

This seems to be list of America's college towns, as if somehow there was real evidence of actual brains in these places.

Oddly, even the conglomerate of Boston-Cambridge-Newton in Massachusetts and New Hampshire staggers along in 49th place. Harvard will demand a recount.

Lumosity insists, according to Venture Beat, that its data reflects raw cognitive performance.

This might explain why the only Californian town to appear in the Top 100 -- albeit at No. 86 -- is the central coast area composed of San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and Arroyo Grande.

Should you not be aware, the wines of Tablas Creek and Adelaida in Paso Robles can definitely aid your raw cognitive performance. (I have personal experience.)

I would hate to affect Cornell's hubris -- more than its obviously out-of-town Twitter writer already has. But I have left the methodology of this fine list until the end.

For, in order to ascertain the ranking order, Lumosity merely used data from 3 million people who had played its little brain games.

Well, what else do you think they do in college towns? Drink?

 

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