Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


Are you wearing anything while you're reading this?

When I say anything, I am specifically and only referring to spectacles. 

Glasses, that is.

Fine frames and lenses that help you to see perfectly.

I ask because I've been pouring through some fascinating new research that suggests, at least to my squinty reading, that those who wear glasses are likely more intelligent.

No, it wasn't published in the Journal of Hoary Clichés

Here it is, published in Nature Communications. 

It has a deep title: Study of 300,486 individuals identifies 148 independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function.

In essence, these researchers from the University of Edinburgh and elsewhere concluded that there are 148 genetic places that are linked to general cognitive function -- aka human thinking skills.

"We detect significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function, reaction time, and many health variables including eyesight, hypertension, and longevity," say the researchers.

The specific health variables are an interesting bunch.

There's a slightly greater chance that excellent cognitive function is connected to greater grip strength, a significant chance of better cardiovascular health and a significantly lesser chance of developing osteoarthritis.

When it comes to eyesight, however, almost there's a 28 percent greater genetic chance that general cognitive function will be correlated with wearing glasses or contact lenses.

I see you instantly leap to personalized conclusions.

Some will instantly have their reverence for Bono augmented by 28 percent. 

Others will make rapid -- and perhaps mistaken -- conclusions about Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Warren Buffett, Jack Welch, Donald Trump, Jeff Bezos and especially Elon Musk.

Others still will instantly leap to some obscure genetic testing site to check whether their parents really are their parents.

I chide you to remember that this is just one piece of research.

And almost every researcher in the world insists, as one of their conclusions, that the subject needs more research.

Indeed, these researchers conclude that their work offers "a foundation for exploring the mechanisms that bring about and sustain cognitive efficiency through life."

I fancy, though, that glasses-wearers will quietly preen in pleasure at the idea that they are -- as so many of them have always thought -- a little smarter than many of their fellow humans.

Which only makes me think more and harder about all those who, when Google Glass first emerged, insisted on wearing the patently silly glasses to bars and restaurants