If you're looking for Bartleby.com
(formerly Columbia University's Bartleby Library, and before that,
Project Bartleby), you've come to the wrong place.
Bartleby is my cat, and his IQ is 151. Here he is selecting some
light reading material:
|"Tolstoy or Twain?"|
(Photograph by K.M. O'Craven, used with permission)
Click for larger image.
How, you may well ask, does a cat get his IQ measured? More easily
than you might suppose. A few years ago, a popular magazine, which I
will not name except to say that it was Omni, invited its
readers to participate in a mail-in IQ test for the "super-intelligent".
The test, which I will not name either ("The Quest Test"), was based
upon a laughably absurd methodology. To counter absurdity with
absurdity, I decided to have Bartleby take part. The answers were his,
although I had to transcribe them for him; I also helped him with
turning the pages of some large reference books. (If you're interested
in the Quest Test, the questions, the answers, and the name of a single
reference book that can be used to find most of them can all be found
in the rec.puzzles
A few weeks later, Bartleby received a letter informing him that his
IQ was 151, and that on the basis of his performance he was qualified
to join T.O.P.S., the Top One Percent Society.
Bartleby declined to join, preferring to spend the membership fee
on cat toys. However, he has received some interesting mail since.
Bartleby's Mail Bag
It's surprising how many pre-approved credit card offers can be received
by a cat who doesn't even have a Social Security number, much less a
credit history. Here are some other selected items from his mail.
From Natural Choice-USA:
For all the years of your life you put into making money for
someone else . . . For all the days and nights and weekends you've
sweated trying to make ends meet . . . this letter is for you."
From Buyer's Choice:
Your household has been carefully selected to participate in this survey."
From Great Expectations:
"Dear Single Friend,
You know it the moment you meet.
There's a certain something.
You can't explain it.
But you sense almost immediately, "this is the one"."
And there was the time Bartleby received an offer for a discount
subscription to Playboy... But through some inexplicable oversight,
he still hasn't been invited to subscribe to America Online.
More mail for Bartleby
(added 19 Feb 1997)
I'm beginning to think that he has a better credit rating than I do:
From First USA Bank:
Dear Bartleby Helenius:
Your outstanding financial management has earned you a very distinct
form of recognition: An Invitation to carry the First USA Platinum
The First USA Platinum Card gives you the purchasing power and services
- No annual fee.
- A credit line from $5,000 up to $100,000.
From America One Communications:
We know that everyone in your family has very different schedules these
That's why we are offering you Personal Advantage cellular service from
America One, a simple, affordable cellular phone service.
Wherever they go, you go too!