There is one matter I should fess up to before my blog project here goes any further.
In the eBook I have put together, I have framed the worldview material I want to get around to discussing as a project to find the person with the best mind on the planet (which I cleverly christened as The BMOP Challenge).
I'm not really concerned with justifying the substance of the project, but I would like to make the tone of the challenge clear -- which I can best do by telling you about the little Green Man and the test I took.
I was just getting into bed one night when I suddenly found myself elsewhere, specifically in a room with a bunch of chairs and tables and a bunch of people and one little Green Man standing in front of us with his hands clasped in front of him
The tables were arranged in two banks of three each with five people at each table, all of them looking as dumbfounded as I was and making a murmur of startled, shocked animal sounds.
Then I heard a voice in my head speaking in English and sounding very much like the voice I talk to myself with, which I assumed was the way that the Little Green Man was speaking to all of us. The voice said, "You will not be harmed. You are here to take a test. It will last about an hour, and then you will be returned to where you came from. You will hear the questions in your head, and all you have to do is think the answers."
Then the test started, and as near as I could tell it did last about an hour.
When the test was over, the little Green Man said, "just a moment, please," and after a very short pause, he said, "Yes that is all," and everyone in the room disappeared but me and the little Green Man.
"I will, however, take just a moment extra with you," he said in my head.
Then, without giving me a chance to say (or rather think) anything, he went on.
"The good news," he said, "is that we have determined that there actually is intelligent life on your planet."
"Well," I thought, "go ahead and give me the other part."
"The bad news," he said, "is that you're the best they've got."
Then, in an instant, I was back in my bed again.
It took me just a moment to absorb what he said, and of course, I started laughing because I thoroughly agreed with what he was really telling me.
The essential message was very simple: Having the best mind on this planet is absolutely nothing to brag about.
Now, before I am chastised for telling such a story, I wish to say that I know the whole tale is probably just the product of an overactive imagination. But I stick by the bottom line: No one will ever convince me that having the best mind on this planet is anything to advertise.
And if it turns out that way in the BMOP Challenge, I never will.