Hey, you on the corner, with the Pirates cap on your head and the Big O hot dog in your stomach. Guess how smart you are, compared to your counterparts in, say, Cleveland.
Don't shake your head like that. This is a serious question with a highly scientific, totally objective, completely irrefutable answer. Which is, you are No. 1 in smartness! Or your city is, anyway.
That's according to an article Tuesday on Movoto.com, a real estate brokerage company that collects data and slices them. Someone there decided to find out what city has "the smartest population" in the country.
The research looked at the 100 most populous cities and ranked them on six criteria: universities and colleges per person, libraries per person, education level, media outlets per person, museums per person, and public school rank according to GreatSchools.org.
Pittsburgh came out on top, followed by: Orlando, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Honolulu; Tampa, Fla.; Seattle; San Francisco; Cincinnati and Miami.
Anaheim, Calif., was last. Cleveland was 45th.
But don't get too excited. Another highly scientific, totally objective and completely irrefutable report ranked Pittsburgh a mere No. 4 for "brain performance" among metro areas of 1 million or more.
This one was based on data from Lumosity, an online brain-performance program, and written up Tuesday in The Atlantic Cities by its editor-at-large, Richard Florida, the urban studies theorist who used to teach at Carnegie Mellon University.
The analysis is based on data from 2.4 million Lumosity users. It looks at five key measurements: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention and problem solving. The results ranked the metro area of Milwaukee first, followed by that of Minneapolis, Boston and then Pittsburgh. Philadelphia was No. 20.
Both of these brain reports have their flaws -- universities are attended by students from many other places, having lots of museums doesn't necessarily equate with using them, and cities with smaller populations will do better in per-capita numbers than those with more people.
Lumosity's data come from a very limited pool -- namely, those who use the program. Online posters were dubious, if not downright incredulous. One of them wrote: "A city with MIT, Harvard, Brandeis, Tufts, [Boston College] and [Boston University] just can't compete with Appleton, Wis. Who knew?"
As for the Movoto.com article, another poster noted at the end: "These aren't the smartest cities, these are the cities with the most access to education ... just because there is abundant access to knowledge does not mean the people of the city possess that knowledge. Believe me, the people in Pittsburgh are not traditionally 'smart.' "
Perhaps not smart enough to know what "traditionally smart" means. But certainly smart enough to take our alleged smartness very seriously indeed.mobilehome - nation - neigh_city - science
Sally Kalson: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1610.