It would be silly of me to try to pull some deeper meaning out of winning both of the pub-trivia contests I entered this summer: one in early June at The Den at The Fox in Oakland, and another one tonight at The Albatross in Berkeley.
I got there, and met Dawn and Jay eating some barbecue and trying to come up with a good team name. We went with Jay’s first pass at it, a play on Chomsky’s classic treatise “Manufacturing Consent.” Their friend Janet, who turned out to be a former Oakland Tribune writer from the paper’s Robert Maynard days, asked me “Are you smart?” I just smiled.
Dawn explained how she’d met me after choir rehearsal at The Den’s contest, and I filled in with the lucky bit about the assist I got from the random guy who turned out to run his own contest Mondays in San Francisco’s Mission District.
I look at many of my friends, many of whom possess and manifest several kinds of intelligences before lifting a finger to get out of bed each day, with gratitude and admiration, and I ought to try to remember their examples when I put myself in situations that reward reasoning, memory, good guesses and luck.
I think I’m going to try to treat more situations as if they were pub-trivia contests, and as if the people around me are on my team (or on competing teams). You can say “gamification” if that’s what it makes you think of. Maybe it’s just a more enjoyable model for gaming than what’s going lately.