People ARE getting dumber (14 I.Q. points dumber)

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http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/05/22/the-wisdom-of-the-ancients/

Already been analyzed and pretty well refuted. Turns out that yes, the upper class Victorian Academia WAS smarter than the average person today. That's... not really surprising, but this study does NOT show that the average Victorian was smarter.

Sounds like the truth. Tech becomes smarter, and thus, people become dumber as that tech does all the work. Like when before calculators we had to do the maths in our head, now, no need to. So we forget maths. Smart phones means dumb people. But then brilliance is for a few people. I feel that if we all knew what we were meant to excel at before hand, then the world would be a better place.

I've only skimmed through the replies so far. Soon as I read the topic title I had something to say, and that was this:

IQ is measured by average scores for your age group. If people got dumber every year then the standard for IQ would drop by definition, so that the average would remain the same (100). It's not actually possible that "everybody drops by 14 points" because the score is by definition an average.

If they're on about higher ages performing better against younger ages, then it's still covered, because it's a measure for a particular age group. Do you remember those adverts that were like "hey, this tiny little girl has an IQ of 200, what's yours?". Well, that's bollocks, because your own IQ has a different scale to that of a 10 year old. A 10 year old's IQ is measured against people of her own age. You can score much higher than her on all kinds of tests and still be given a lower IQ score. Your own IQ score is a reference on how you compare against people of your own age.

Lilani:

Another two sources I found were The Daily Beast, the site run by Glenn Beck and his ilk of hyper-conservative loons, and another source which I shit you not is called:

Are you sure you're not thinking of the Daily Caller? Daily Caller also isn't Beck, Beck's project is the Blaze. But Daily Caller is conservative though. The Daily Beast on the other hand is a center left publication that merged with a Newsweek a couple years ago. Here is a link to the reference, The Creativity Crisis.

GeneralChaos:
http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/05/22/the-wisdom-of-the-ancients/

Already been analyzed and pretty well refuted. Turns out that yes, the upper class Victorian Academia WAS smarter than the average person today. That's... not really surprising, but this study does NOT show that the average Victorian was smarter.

Ahh so my suspicion was right, the victorian studies were pretty much as overly selective and limited as most studies done in that period. The only time anyone studied the poor or other races back then was to try and prove Eugenics as a viable policy.

I think what OP needs to remember is that data from that far back tends to be heavily skewed at the best of times. This was a time when people believed the shape of your head could determine what kind of person you were, and it was the birthplace of eugenics that would eventually give rise to it's nastier authoritarian attempts at its implementation.

So yes, turn of the century college students (ivy league no less), and educated victorian museum patrons capable of paying to take the test, all of which were likely of European decent, are indeed more intelligent than a random sample of people today across multiple socioeconomic, racial, and gender backgrounds. Truly we are living in the end times.

This is like poking a bear but I can't resist

All right after looking at the article the first thing that springs out is their measure of IQ. They are using reaction times as a measure of general intelligence which is NOT what is typically understood as IQ. Reaction times are exactly what they sound like Ie how fast you react to a stimulus. The idea that reaction times are linked to a persons general intelligence has been pointed out as flawed for the last 40 years. The argument goes something like this, reaction times measure your reflexes, speed of thought is part of intelligence therefore reaction times can be used to test someone's intelligence. The counter argument goes something like this, what if someone doesn't need to think fast only well?

An example being the difference between a soldier and a astrophysicist. On the surface who do you think is smarter? we will all say the astrophysicist however reaction times will say the soldier is smarter.

Next considering their time frame 1889 to modern times the only reaction time records from that time are likely to be from Francis Galton who firmly believed that the upper class were genetically superior and tried to use reaction times to prove it and tried to explain away anything he got wrong.

Overall the study is using a flawed method to investigate a concept that is separate to their study. using flawed data. and finally IQ has only been studied on mass post WW2 and didn't even exist in its current form until just a bit earlier making it confusing that they are claiming its gone down since 1889.

Source of information: 5 years of psychology study at university (equivalent of college)

Fun fact.

IQ is defined as the average being 100. As such it's utterly impossible for the average person to get either a higher or lower IQ over time. The average person always has an IQ of 100.

Also is this thread a joke? It is right? There's no way you could possibly link sources stating the following with a straight face:

There are four basic I.Q. testes; these testes test the four lobes of your brain.

My IQ has four testes? Holy! I've only got two myself! Damn, my IQ's got balls.

Evidence found by doctors states that another possible explanation for the decline in average I.Q. is via blood transfusions They found that the blood not only carried a small amount of the person but it also carried the information that allowed them to think. They did a transfusion between two people, one was intellectually very advanced and the other was one person who was considerably lower on the I.Q. ladder. The recipients of the blood became confused over time and their ability to maintain their previous level of I.Q. was indeed noted to be in jeopardy.

Wow! Who knew, it's not my brain that thinks. It's my blood!

Now the real question is does giving a blood transfusion decrease the number of testes my IQ has? Will getting a blood transfusion give my IQ more testes?

gavinmcinns:
Here is the study I meant to link to (its peer reviewed up the ass) -> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289613000470

Don't bother reading it, I didn't. I assumed that this study was a supporting the above, this is crap->University of Hartford published a study on population growth and IQ. ]]http://uhaweb.hartford.edu/BRBAKER/

Results show the the average person in the western world today is dumber by a significant margin than he was 100 years ago. So to all the naysayers who think that people are just as dumb today as they were back then, it looks like the evidence isn't with you. I think someone even said that people were getting smarter? Maybe if you live in sri lanka.

The fact is Americans and the cushy european nations have gotten lazy, and laziness breeds stupidity. Its a bitter pill to swallow, and maybe ignorance is in this case bliss, however I just can't help myself. I'd like to see someone rebut in an intelligent way.

The validity of reaction time based intelligence tests is questionable. The validity of simple reaction time as a reliable measurement of g, which is the basis for the study you linked, is especially questionable.

This is one study. Peer reviewed does not mean its conclusions are correct and should be taken as fact.

But why bother with rational thought or actual research the when confirmation bias and jumping to conclusions is so much easier?

IQ is only a way to try and get a idea of how quickly someone can intake or understand information. Someone could have a very low IQ and still be smarter than most people. Just tossing that out there.

gavinmcinns:
I'd like to see someone rebut in an intelligent way.

I would like to see you use intelligent grammar and punctuation; I suppose neither of us are going to get what we want.

gavinmcinns:
Results show the the average person in the western world today is dumber by a significant margin than he was 100 years ago.

Guess what also happened in the past 100 years?

We grew like two billion more people or something. Of course this means more stupid people, and evidently a lower average. (Far as I know the "smart ones" have always been a minority anyway.)

What I'd like to see is a comparison of the ratios between smart people and stupid people then and now.

Axolotl:
Do you really think that Girls is a mental step down from I Love Lucy? There have been smart TV shows in the past but really, now is the first time when idiocy hasn't overwhelmed the broadcasting schedule.

HEY! I'll have you know that The Flintstones and The Jetsons are bold and provocative documentaries about prehistoric man and the revolutionary technological advancements brought about by the nuclear age. Likewise I Love Lucy is dark and damning tale about the brutal soullessness of the entertainment industry, how it forever keeps aspiring immigrant entertainers from ever achieving success, and subsequently turns their home life into a living hell from which they cannot escape lest they face deportation. Further, Gilligan's Island is the tragic tale about a group of struggling shipwreck survivors who fight everyday with giving into their primal urges, and thus lose their last shred of humanity, by killing the one mentally challenged crew member who's disability time and time again prevents their salvation.

Leave it to Beaver was about a dystopian future where America had become so lost within lie of the American dream during the Red Scare that it became a totalitarian, white-supremacist, misogynistic, dictatorship where any signs of nonconformity were crushed under the iron heel of the US government.

The Honeymooners was about an abusive, alcoholic, racist husband who had completely and utterly broken the spirit of his wife while his neighbors turned a blind eye to it all.

The Brady Bunch was a bold feminist drama in support of abortion and birth control.

He-Man was an artistic exploration into America's fear of homosexuality and the AIDS pandemic.

Married with Children was about the ultimate death of the American dream and the castration of the patriarchy by the feminist movement.

Monty Python's Flying Circus was an in-depth and repeated examination of the British cultural psyche as their country became marginalized as a world power, the empire crumbled around them, and that their identity as a people was being shattered by internal, centuries old grudges.

GrinningCat:
Research is very, very serious business!

Indeed it is. In fact, I'm in the middle of writing up an experimental design proposal that involves alcohol, energy drinks and a driving simulator. Identifying and eliminating/accounting for confounds is a pain in the arse.

Kind of laughed when I thread the title.

The second member down from OP posted exactly what I was about to post. Well done.

1) lol tiny sample sizes are evidence now?

2) OP is dumb, laziness is not a function of intelligence. That is a function of knowledge. Intelligence is the ability to quickly acquire knowledge. A smart person can be lazy and thus not knowledgeable just like a dumb person can be hard working and appear more knowledgeable despite their relative stupidity.

3) IQ is a function of the average so you're making absolutely no sense.

GeneralChaos:
http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/05/22/the-wisdom-of-the-ancients/

Already been analyzed and pretty well refuted. Turns out that yes, the upper class Victorian Academia WAS smarter than the average person today. That's... not really surprising, but this study does NOT show that the average Victorian was smarter.

Well, I think this just about wraps this thread up.

"Victorian-era studies suffered from selection bias? Egad." Still, I'm really glad someone compiled the message in an appropriately sized package.

So the article you link says that general inteligence is correlated to simple visual reaction. First how is general inteligence is defined? Hos is it measured? Really that is kind of important. Simple visual reaction I'm guessing that it is reaction times against visual stimuli. How is that correlated to inteligence? What supports that idea? Also, how was that meassured?

Then into other kind of problems, they say they use studies from 1889 to 2004, while using "high quality instruments" in the more modern studies, how was that value meassrued before MRIs and other equipment not aviable in XIX century, which may bias the results. Also, the bias in early medical studies may be present and problematic in showing accurate results. Then they argued they used 14 studies for this 114 years, which is a little more than a study a decade, which is a small sample size of the amount of related studies and feels cherry picked for supporting data.

THe only graph they show has a dispersion that would shame any decent study (and the axis aren't very clear either, but that may be because of the lack of context, that mean effect has no clear meaning) and the linear regression is ridiculous given the data. The plot points do not seem to be fitted for comparison, as they are from varying sizes and not in a per capita or percentile scae that may show a better idea of their effect.

I would have to see better the article, but so far I'm unimpressed by the abstract and evidence they show.

Neofishie:

GeneralChaos:
http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/05/22/the-wisdom-of-the-ancients/

Already been analyzed and pretty well refuted. Turns out that yes, the upper class Victorian Academia WAS smarter than the average person today. That's... not really surprising, but this study does NOT show that the average Victorian was smarter.

Well, I think this just about wraps this thread up.

"Victorian-era studies suffered from selection bias? Egad." Still, I'm really glad someone compiled the message in an appropriately sized package.

I had been wondering how they compared this sort of thing. And thinking about it, yeah, kind of have to worry about the possible biases in old data like that.

Also curious about testing methods, if they may have improved since then and our readings are more accurate and if so by how much.

Axolotl:

gavinmcinns:
No evidence? Look at what passes as entertainment. Shows, movies, games, all are moving toward the worthless bang bang twenty minute long action sequence/setpiece. I've haven't done any hard research, but come on, if you enjoy any of these mediums, you must've noticed the glut of crap that has been elevated into the mainstream.

Films you have more of a case, yes modern Hollywood is a lot stupider than 70's Hollywood. But that's one period brought about by conditions in Hollywood. Modern stuff isn't stupider than the slick MTV blockbusters of the 80's or the epics of the 50's/60's or the utterly insipid romcoms that preceded them. Hollywood has almost always been dominated by crap. There is however still plenty of ultrasmart arthouse movies being made by lots of people in lots of places. So the idea that movies now are dumber than ever just doesn't hold water.

I'd actually like to point something out about the dumbing of films. Modern films are worse and less intellectually stimulating, generally speaking, of course, because of the Chinese and the Russians.

No, I'm serious.

Americans only make up 20% of the film going market these days. The big money is in developing markets, like China and Russia. These nations are totalitarian and authoritarian (de facto, Russia is technically a republic, but come on) respectively (there is a difference, but it's not worth going into) with powerful propaganda ministries. Any media coming into their nations must be checked for signs of subversive messages, and any films that might have some subversive message are instantly banned. As such, films are made more for spectacle than substance, more about appeasing watchful government bureaucracies and crafting impressive displays than actually creating movies of more intelligent material.

Salsajoe:
Funny how I just discussed with my father how I think it is a stupid way of measuring intelligence.
As far as I know, is it not just a way of measuring memory and recognising patterns etc. you know, logic stuff?

That's what "intelligence" is. Take this definition from Mainstream Science on Intelligence (1994): "A very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings-"catching on," "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do."

It's not knowledge, it's not experience, it's not wisdom. Those can all be acquired by people even of lesser intelligence... by definition, however, those people won't have as solid a grasp on complex ideas, they won't learn from their past experiences as well, etc.

gavinmcinns:

ohnoitsabear:
Ummm, what exactly does this have to do with gaming? Shouldn't this be in off-topic?

Anyway, this isn't a study published by some fancy university, this is a poorly written paper somebody did for their introductory sociology class. So I don't think I would call this primo scientific research. And let's not forget that the only thing IQ tests have been shown to accurately measure is how good somebody is at taking an IQ test, so even if IQ levels have dropped a bunch (which I have not seen any evidence of one way or another), that doesn't really mean anything.

Here is another guy affiliated with "Vrije Universiteit in Brussels, Jan te Nijenhuis of the University of Amsterdam and Raegan Murphy of the University College Cork in Ireland. that came to this conclusion" : http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/researchers-western-iqs-dropped-14-points-over-last-180634194.html
No evidence? Look at what passes as entertainment. Shows, movies, games, all are moving toward the worthless bang bang twenty minute long action sequence/setpiece. I've haven't done any hard research, but come on, if you enjoy any of these mediums, you must've noticed the glut of crap that has been elevated into the mainstream. People used to lineup for hours to go see Doctor Zhivago or Gone with the Wind, now, neither of these movies are particularly mind blowing, but they were at least cerebral to an extent, and I'm talking about the mainstream here. Gaming had a period where it embraced the cerebral, partially because of technical limitations but the lion's share of the credit goes to the passionate, inspired minds of the early period who saw all the potential. At a point, population expansion lowers IQ. It just makes sense. As you broaden the base, you need more chattel to support the pyramid, it's not an opinion, empirically speaking you'd have to be blind not to see this trend in society. Not everyone can be a rocket scientist or a derivatives analyst or a ceo.

"It just makes sense" isn't an argument. I find it hard to believe that people are dumber than ever before while more information than was ever available before is pounded into our heads on a daily basis. Dumb people exist. Ignorant people exist. But people were much dumber and more ignorant in the past. And even if they weren't, as you claim, who cares? If the downfall of society is truly caused by stupid people, well, it was inevitable anyway.

Axolotl:
[quote="gavinmcinns" post="18.828640.20168242"]

Girls is drivel, as is most of breaking bad, the pacing in that show is really bad, but there are moments that elevate it to goodness. Back when pcs were dominant in the market, there were more roguelikes and strategy games.

Arrogancy:

Axolotl:

gavinmcinns:
No evidence? Look at what passes as entertainment. Shows, movies, games, all are moving toward the worthless bang bang twenty minute long action sequence/setpiece. I've haven't done any hard research, but come on, if you enjoy any of these mediums, you must've noticed the glut of crap that has been elevated into the mainstream.

Films you have more of a case, yes modern Hollywood is a lot stupider than 70's Hollywood. But that's one period brought about by conditions in Hollywood. Modern stuff isn't stupider than the slick MTV blockbusters of the 80's or the epics of the 50's/60's or the utterly insipid romcoms that preceded them. Hollywood has almost always been dominated by crap. There is however still plenty of ultrasmart arthouse movies being made by lots of people in lots of places. So the idea that movies now are dumber than ever just doesn't hold water.

I'd actually like to point something out about the dumbing of films. Modern films are worse and less intellectually stimulating, generally speaking, of course, because of the Chinese and the Russians.

No, I'm serious.

Americans only make up 20% of the film going market these days. The big money is in developing markets, like China and Russia. These nations are totalitarian and authoritarian (de facto, Russia is technically a republic, but come on) respectively (there is a difference, but it's not worth going into) with powerful propaganda ministries. Any media coming into their nations must be checked for signs of subversive messages, and any films that might have some subversive message are instantly banned. As such, films are made more for spectacle than substance, more about appeasing watchful government bureaucracies and crafting impressive displays than actually creating movies of more intelligent material.

weeeell, it's partially that, but it's also that spectacle translates better to foreign cultures in general. Everybody understands a disaster movie or a big gun battle, but a story about changing American values in a small midwestern American town set in the backdrop of modern day pop culture references, probably isn't going to appeal to your average Italian or Brazilian citizen the same way seeing shit get blown up will. For movies, it's similar to when video game publishers talk about, "broadening the audience", they are trying to appeal to as many markets as they can in one go, and the easiest way to do that is to make everything as generic as possible so nothing is lost in translations. Everybody understands what an explosion is, not everybody is going to understand the rules of American football, or a subtle play on words in English, so it gets cut in favor of things everybody does understand.

Arrogancy:

Axolotl:

gavinmcinns:
No evidence? Look at what passes as entertainment. Shows, movies, games, all are moving toward the worthless bang bang twenty minute long action sequence/setpiece. I've haven't done any hard research, but come on, if you enjoy any of these mediums, you must've noticed the glut of crap that has been elevated into the mainstream.

Films you have more of a case, yes modern Hollywood is a lot stupider than 70's Hollywood. But that's one period brought about by conditions in Hollywood. Modern stuff isn't stupider than the slick MTV blockbusters of the 80's or the epics of the 50's/60's or the utterly insipid romcoms that preceded them. Hollywood has almost always been dominated by crap. There is however still plenty of ultrasmart arthouse movies being made by lots of people in lots of places. So the idea that movies now are dumber than ever just doesn't hold water.

I'd actually like to point something out about the dumbing of films. Modern films are worse and less intellectually stimulating, generally speaking, of course, because of the Chinese and the Russians.

No, I'm serious.

Americans only make up 20% of the film going market these days. The big money is in developing markets, like China and Russia. These nations are totalitarian and authoritarian (de facto, Russia is technically a republic, but come on) respectively (there is a difference, but it's not worth going into) with powerful propaganda ministries. Any media coming into their nations must be checked for signs of subversive messages, and any films that might have some subversive message are instantly banned. As such, films are made more for spectacle than substance, more about appeasing watchful government bureaucracies and crafting impressive displays than actually creating movies of more intelligent material.

not to mentioned nuance doesn't translate well to subtitles and redubs. I mean, i wouldn't argue that a part of it is to get past chinese censorship, but I'd wager a lot more of it has to deal with language and content.

Like Bob pointed out a couple weeks back when he talked about this very subject, an eye opening drama about a guy trying to make a life in middle america is going to fall hard in the foreign market, whereas EVERYONE can understand "don't get killed by a big giant monster". Movies these days make most of their big money overseas, so they have to make movies that will appeal to those audiences.. so they have to cast as wide a net as possible, and "big stupid action" pretty much fits the bill every time.

OT: IQ isn't a very good measure of people over time. It's a decent measure for a single person to get a decent idea about where they stand in terms of their own.. but if you're comparing people from different areas or through the course of time (comparing to people in the past for instance) it falls apart. Plus from some of the replies I've read, the study seems a bit shaky from the getgo. I wouldn't put much stock in it.

I'm pretty sure that would break mathematics. :/

Scientists will move to combat this problem, but will end up instead developing new hair growth treatments and erectile dysfunction pills. That's where the money is.

GeneralChaos:
http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/05/22/the-wisdom-of-the-ancients/

Already been analyzed and pretty well refuted. Turns out that yes, the upper class Victorian Academia WAS smarter than the average person today. That's... not really surprising, but this study does NOT show that the average Victorian was smarter.

So all I need to do in order to boost my IQ is to ruthlessly exploit my fellow man for profit so that I may live a live of leisure dedicated to the pursuit of the noble sciences?

Dr. Cakey:
HHHHHHFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMPEWPEWPEWPEW".

It was circular reasoning, a result of trying to explain simple ideas in a frustrated state. As you broaden the base, the base gets disproportionately larger than the zenith. As the middle class shrinks across the world, people in poverty represent a larger chunk of the pyramid pie. Those in poverty no longer have discretionary income, and therefore cant afford things like an education. Did you know that after the Great Recession Depression, 9 million jobs were destroyed after taking count (66% were medium to high paying)? And that in the recovery, less than 10% of those medium and high paying jobs came back, instead we got retail jobs and mcdonalds to fill the multi trillion dollar hole.

I don't know if you are refuting dysgenic fertility or not but it seems to me a sensible conclusion to reach and so I'll base my logic on it. You just dont see many phd's popping out babies so they can boost their government checks do you? In any case (this should be obvious), if you take the bottom 20% of the population (in income) of adults vs. the top 20% of earners, care to guess who is going to have more kids? Again this should be obvious. On a macro scale this leads to an accelerating gap in population between the rich and poor, the educated and uneducated, which takes away incentive to create intelligent entertainment like "Harsh Times" and instead creates incentive to make dumb entertainment like "The Avengers.", among more important consequences like the dumb-ening of the public school system.

I don't know who nisio issin is, but given your penchant for aesthetically pleasing and sharp sentences with a dash of smug talk (which I'd appreciate if you'd leave at the door), I'm inclined to think that this nisio character creates stuff that is at the very least worth looking at. As opposed to something like a tween fantasy novel, tell me which is the superior? Or is everything equal to everything? This is the really frustrating thing for me, when people insist that all entertainment is equal in value.

gavinmcinns:
No evidence? Look at what passes as entertainment. Shows, movies, games, all are moving toward the worthless bang bang twenty minute long action sequence/setpiece. I've haven't done any hard research, but come on, if you enjoy any of these mediums, you must've noticed the glut of crap that has been elevated into the mainstream. People used to lineup for hours to go see Doctor Zhivago or Gone with the Wind, now, neither of these movies are particularly mind blowing, but they were at least cerebral to an extent, and I'm talking about the mainstream here. Gaming had a period where it embraced the cerebral, partially because of technical limitations but the lion's share of the credit goes to the passionate, inspired minds of the early period who saw all the potential. At a point, population expansion lowers IQ. It just makes sense. As you broaden the base, you need more chattel to support the pyramid, it's not an opinion, empirically speaking you'd have to be blind not to see this trend in society. Not everyone can be a rocket scientist or a derivatives analyst or a ceo.

Another thing that bothers me, here: You harp on modern entertainment as being a sign of society's decline, yet during the time periods in which you seem to think more "enlightening" entertainment was produced, racism was upheld by the law, women were expected to either be chaste or barefoot in the kitchen with 6 kids, and the very thought of a gay person was simply unquestionable. The values and social commentaries in those classic films are downright archaic when you get down to it. Do you know what the first major film was in the US? The Birth of a Nation.

Made by Charlie Chaplin's good friend D.W. Griffith, Birth of a Nation tells a history of the KKK as adapted from a book, and features many heartwarming scenes, such as a white woman throwing herself off a cliff because a black man told her he loved her. That's what passed for "entertainment" in those days. As you can imagine, the source material was a bit biased. But again, it was the first what you might call a "blockbuster" in the US, and toured for a very long time selling out pretty much everywhere it went (because back then there weren't really theaters, they just toured the films around, usually with vaudeville shows).

And you know what else is funny? Back when Gone with the Wind was playing, there were people who were harping on that as a sign of society's degradation. They thought it was a sign things were really going to hell, because it had the word "damn" in it. Oh my! I think I'm going to swoon!

I think it's really odd you think what entertainment is consumed is a greater measuring stick for how intelligent and enlightened society is rather than looking at how actually intelligent and enlightened society is.

gavinmcinns:

Dr. Cakey:
HHHHHHFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMPEWPEWPEWPEW".

It was circular reasoning, a result of trying to explain simple ideas in a frustrated state. As you broaden the base, the base gets disproportionately larger than the zenith. As the middle class shrinks across the world, people in poverty represent a larger chunk of the pyramid pie. Those in poverty no longer have discretionary income, and therefore cant afford things like an education. Did you know that after the Great Recession Depression, 9 million jobs were destroyed after taking count (66% were medium to high paying)? And that in the recovery, less than 10% of those medium and high paying jobs came back, instead we got retail jobs and mcdonalds to fill the multi trillion dollar hole.

I don't know if you are refuting dysgenic fertility or not but it seems to me a sensible conclusion to reach and so I'll base my logic on it. You just dont see many phd's popping out babies so they can boost their government checks do you? In any case (this should be obvious), if you take the bottom 20% of the population (in income) of adults vs. the top 20% of earners, care to guess who is going to have more kids? Again this should be obvious. On a macro scale this leads to an accelerating gap in population between the rich and poor, the educated and uneducated, which takes away incentive to create intelligent entertainment like "Harsh Times" and instead creates incentive to make dumb entertainment like "The Avengers.", among more important consequences like the dumb-ening of the public school system.

I don't know who nisio issin is, but given your penchant for aesthetically pleasing and sharp sentences with a dash of smug talk (which I'd appreciate if you'd leave at the door), I'm inclined to think that this nisio character creates stuff that is at the very least worth looking at. As opposed to something like a tween fantasy novel, tell me which is the superior? Or is everything equal to everything? This is the really frustrating thing for me, when people insist that all entertainment is equal in value.

The problem with this is that it assumes a wholly meritocratic system and ignores that enviromental factors have or can have greater impact on IQ than genetic factors. ie, many people who are poor may still be pretty smart, or at least have the potential to be smart had they received the right nurturing.

Furthermore, from an economical standpoint, more poor people doesn't tend to result in more stuff marketed at the poor, quite the opposite. As wealth is concentrated into fewer hands, those hands get increasingly pandered to.

(As an aside, whilst the chattering classes love to talk about people 'popping out babies for a govt. check' the maths has been done, and it doesn't work. It is much more likely that very poor people drink and fuck more because those are cheap ways of passing time, they have sod all to occupy themselves with and they can't afford entertainment)

gavinmcinns:
Why not? There a many sorts of questions that pop up again and again in IQ tests. You just keep practising until you can do them all. You won't get any smarter, but you'll get that 170+ IQ score eventually.

Because you want to seem to tread IQ as some sort of absolute and objective measure for a person's potential of intelligence. And given such a flexible nature, that rather distorts your reason for being here. Along with posting a study which cites evidence taken more than 100 years ago (from a time in which scientific studies outside of the hard sciences was absolutely fraught with selective and skewed results), you've gone out of your way to insert your own feelings of superiority above modern society, and all to prove that people in the past were "smarter" than they are now.

Anyway, the reason this isn't helpful for you is because it doesn't prove people are dumber or less enlightened. So people nearly 100 years ago were watching Gone with the Wind? Yeah, they were also enacting Separate but Equal in the south and having gay sex was illegal. So people these days have a slower reaction time than people from the Victorian era? Well at least we aren't beating wives for being disobedient to their husbands or forcing Bibles down the throats of people in foreign lands anymore. If that's what being "dumber" is, then count me in. From the way you've put it at this point, it seems our "stupidity" epidemic could be solved with a bit of cardio and a regular trips to a batting cage.

If people are really dumber, then why are we living so much better? Why are we living so much longer? Why do people have more rights and freedoms than they used to? Why have some diseases which plagued the Victorian era basically ceased to exist? Why are we no longer under the impression that sickness is caused by demons? Why is most of the world richer than it used to be? Why is information so much more accessible? Why are more people than ever literate? Why are more people than ever educated to at least some basic level? Even if this drop in intelligence is real, you're going to have to prove this has somehow been a detriment to society. Because from where I'm standing, we are doing a LOT better than we were in the Victorian era, hell even since the 1940s.

gavinmcinns:

Dr. Cakey:
HHHHHHFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMPEWPEWPEWPEW".

It was circular reasoning, a result of trying to explain simple ideas in a frustrated state. As you broaden the base, the base gets disproportionately larger than the zenith. As the middle class shrinks across the world, people in poverty represent a larger chunk of the pyramid pie.

But the middle class is expanding...

gavinmcinns:
Those in poverty no longer have discretionary income, and therefore cant afford things like an education.

Which is why God invented liberals [citation needed], who invented compulsory public education [citation needed].

gavinmcinns:
Did you know that after the Great Recession Depression, 9 million jobs were destroyed after taking count (66% were medium to high paying)? And that in the recovery, less than 10% of those medium and high paying jobs came back, instead we got retail jobs and mcdonalds to fill the multi trillion dollar hole.

I think you're talking about the switch from an industrial-based economy to a service-based one and you just don't know it.

gavinmcinns:
I don't know if you are refuting dysgenic fertility or not but it seems to me a sensible conclusion to reach and so I'll base my logic on it. You just dont see many phd's popping out babies so they can boost their government checks do you?

No, I prefer to not to hang out in hospitals watching babies being born.

Oh, that's not what you meant.

gavinmcinns:
In any case (this should be obvious), if you take the bottom 20% of the population (in income) of adults vs. the top 20% of earners, care to guess who is going to have more kids? Again this should be obvious.

Okay, time for another exciting edition of XKCD Explained! I'm not sure why xkcd needs explaining, because even though it's intelligent and multi-layered, Randall's about as subtle as Ayn Rand. Nonetheless, xkcd #603: Idiocracy, explained.

image

The thing I love about this strip is that it is you. Literally, point for point, Cueball (that's the guy on the left, without the baseball cap) says exactly what you've been saying. The first three panels concern the current subtopic. Yes, lower wage-earners tend to have more children than higher wage-earners. But this isn't exactly a new thing. The only difference between past and present is that the number of children everyone has has gone down. Unless you consider having three kids to be at the limits of human ability.

gavinmcinns:
On a macro scale this leads to an accelerating gap in population between the rich and poor, the educated and uneducated, which takes away incentive to create intelligent entertainment like "Harsh Times" and instead creates incentive to make dumb entertainment like "The Avengers.", among more important consequences like the dumb-ening of the public school system.

Now we'll gather up our skirts and take a hop-skip right over panel four directly to panel five. There you are again, compressed into a tiny sentence fragment: "But look at how popular -". Do me a favor and take a gander at this. Wikipedia's done all the work for you. Just make sure to keep your Nostalgia Glasses off (well, they wouldn't be nostalgia glasses, since I assume you weren't alive in 1920, but you know what I mean). Unless you intend to tell me that the gutted corpse of what was once Mary Shelley's Frankenstein novel is more intelligent than, say (and forgive me for choosing this example), The Dark Knight.

gavinmcinns:
I don't know who nisio issin is, but given your penchant for aesthetically pleasing and sharp sentences with a dash of smug talk (which I'd appreciate if you'd leave at the door), I'm inclined to think that this nisio character creates stuff that is at the very least worth looking at. As opposed to something like a tween fantasy novel, tell me which is the superior? Or is everything equal to everything? This is the really frustrating thing for me, when people insist that all entertainment is equal in value.

I'm sorry, the smugness is a package deal: it comes with the medium. If you want me to be polite and conciliatory, you'll need to talk to me face-to-face. If you're familiar with the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory, you'll understand.

Don't worry, I'm not one of those "everything is equal" people. I also struggle to convince myself that the quality of art can be measured objectively, which is of course dumb and stupid and wrong, but it's something I want to believe.

Nisio Isin - if I can be forgiven for combining my two favorite pastimes (talking about anime-related things for an unnecessarily long time and engaging in pretentious analysis) - is a Japanese light novel author. And since this is Japan and all, he tends to write under the broad category of fantasy. In other words, he writes tween fantasy novels. OH SHIT.

He's best known for writing the Zaregoto series ("Nonsense" series, the first two books of which were translated into English by Del Rey), Katanagatari ("Sword Story", which was adapted into an anime which you can buy for the low, low price of $100 from NIS America), and the Monogatari series (When you write a series called the "Story" series, I think you just win. Everything. They've been adapted into several anime, which are excessively priced, but are also handily streaming in a couple different places). Having just seen Pulp Fiction for the first time, I'd say he's very similar to Quentin Tarantino in a lot of ways, from his plastic treatment of time and reality, to his highly referential method of smashing pop culture together to make something new (it would not be at all odd to find a Niezche quote next to a Dragon Ball Z reference), to the fact that his stories are structured as almost nothing but a parade of crackling dialogue. To summarize in an even more pretentious manner, Nisio Isin's works are a reflection of the malaise of the generation, of Japan's 90's and 00's and 10's, a stew of a pop culture that has been wrapping further and further inward on itself, with the conclusion that everything is meaningless.

Hm, I just need a title page and a couple examples, and I've got a thesis paper.

CAPTCHA: root beer float

Don't tease me, captcha. I already had dinner.

Imagine that. Someone suggests that people are now less intelligent than prior generations and people wail in offense at such an accusation.

Sometimes you simply have to quit using all the statistical gymnastics to convince yourself and others ,open your eyes, utilize simple observation, common sense, and quit ignoring the painfully obvious because you simply do not want to accept. It is not a pleasant thought but the more denial gets pushed around the longer it takes to be taken seriously and something actually gets done to correct it.

Just like for every junkie, the first step is admitting the problem.

Lilani:
If people are really dumber, then why are we living so much better?

I won't argue the movement of average intelligence in either direction but it is possible to imagine a hypothetical scenario with high living standards and falling intelligence. Living standards are a lagging indicator: you learn how to carve the spear and hunt in packs and then you get the boar not visa versa (or if you prefer Tony Montana... money, power, women). A society with falling intelligence wouldn't necessarily feel the sting of falling living standards because it would have an accumulated technological and economic legacy from prior generations. The civilizational equivalent of resting on laurels.

Ancient and medieval people had low living standards and there is a tendency to think of them as backwards but really consider any number of Medieval cathedrals or Eratosthenes making a pretty good estimate of the circumference of the earth.

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