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Are we as a species becoming stupid


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Our collective intelligence is amazing. If we felt like focusing on it we could probably be living on Mars in 30 years. We can build intelligent systems that outlast us and keep getting better every generation. 

 

As individuals tho the need for us to be skilled in more than one thing, and not really even be expert in one thing, to get by has dropped significantly. 

 

So as species we're smarter but as individuals we're getting dumber. 

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I don't think there has been a significant change. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean the species as a whole doesn't have problems. There is a Sci-Fi author, Robert A. Heinlein, who observed, through one of his main characters, to "never underestimate the power of human stupidity". This was meant as a generalized observation of humanity in general, not any one particular person. The quote is from his book "Time Enough For Love", published in 1973. So, no, this is nothing new. It is centuries old, honestly. Just think about all the large scale wars mankind has fought. How many of the victors actually started the conflict? Answer is, precious few. Witness both WWI and WWII. The countries starting them...ended up losing and losing badly. Do you think is was an intelligent idea to start the war? Knowing what history had witnessed to that point? There ya go!

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5 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

Our collective intelligence is amazing. If we felt like focusing on it we could probably be living on Mars in 30 years. We can build intelligent systems that outlast us and keep getting better every generation. 

 

As individuals tho the need for us to be skilled in more than one thing, and not really even be expert in one thing, to get by has dropped significantly. 

 

So as species we're smarter but as individuals we're getting dumber. 

I see where you're coming from on this, but I respectfully disagree. The "collective" intelligence is more a reflection of another observation from that same book by Heinlein. Something like "1% of the population can think, knows how to think and knows how to implement those thoughts that are useful". Look at the US government. Do you think a population with some degree of significant intelligence would have elected Donald Trump? Or Hillary Clinton? Or pretty much any president over the last several decades? I'm not 100% familiar with all of the Canadian Prime Ministers, but I surely think dear ol' Joe Clark was a case of the "dumbs". And Boris ...whatever his name is over in the UK. He doesn't strike me as being all that. This doesn't include just the Western nations. Vladimir Putin? And don't get me started on any of the idiots in North Korea.

Those organizations that require significant intelligence, they know how to find like members. I'm thinking of NASA and the other space agencies around the world, along with any that collaborate with them. Yes, they do some very impressive work. 

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4 hours ago, Ilunga said:

https://www.researchgate.net/post/Are-we-as-a-species-actually-becoming-stupid

 

So what do my fellow board members believe

 

Are we actually becoming more stupid ?

 

https://www.swnewsmedia.com/shakopee_valley_news/news/opinion/columnists/column-it-s-official-intelligence-levels-are-dropping/article_8317aad9-876e-5c1e-804a-55cb6f297361.html

 

I have believed that our species as a whole has never been as smart as we think we are,myself included.

 

Better start eating more fish !

 

this actually quite a interesting topic to wrap your head around.

 

Before i get into my main argument I'm going to defend my millenial brothers and sisters, we are smarter than we sound.

According to Weiten, "IQ tests are valid measures of the kind of intelligence necessary to do well in academic work. But if the purpose is to assess intelligence in a broader sense, the validity of IQ tests is questionable." Some scientists have disputed the value of IQ as a measure of intelligence altogether. 

https://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20121218/iq-test-really-measure-intelligence

Also don't blame us, we weren't the ones that bought us all those mind control devices, that was our parents.

 

END RANT, back to your question

 

I believe there is cosiderable proof that IQ scores are dropping. i think the fact that so many people question the younger generations intelligence is proof that this is a important matter to the general public. There is proof that a lower IQ will affect a child's likelihood of continuing education past public school.

 

psychologist Wayne Weiten says "IQ tests are valid measures of the kind of intelligence necessary to do well in academic work."

 

there have been various studies that show that as the percentage of youth who continue Education rises, that  Economic Development follows in suit. one study estimates that the education factors for every every dollar that is created in the GDP by 14%.

 

there is no reason not to believe these studies, and I'm positive that the governments know this. But why aren't they investing more money into supporting a childs development towards continued education? there is 2 Main reasons. One reason is that for every dollar a company invests in technology the increase in gdp rises by 28%.

and 2  Major companies are influencing the government to divert tax dollars away from social services and into tax breaks/loops that support immediate boosts to the GDP (For Example Netflix subsidization in canada) 

 

Right now there is two models of education the US way and the scandavian way. Canada is going to end up like one of these countries, do you want smart educated people less likely to commit crime or the free for all in the US that further divides it's people into a classist nation?

 

Sources

https://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/economics/the-role-of-education-in-economic-development/38355 (also gives idea how to support education growth)

 

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/education-spending-in-public-schools-in-canada-2019

 

https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(16)30329-4/pdf (poverty and education correlation)

 

https://globalnews.ca/news/4056954/trudeau-tax-netflix-google/

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita (scandanavian model is more effective than the US)

 

Edited by Petey_BOI
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Some good reasons to be skeptical about the original post on RG. For example, it mentions that the average IQ has fallen over the last century. This isn't really something that can be measured because IQ tests change over the years and the way IQ scores are calculated is according to where someone's score falls along a normal distribution for a particular cohort. There is no such thing as a raw IQ score.

 

But if you did want to look at fullscale IQ scores over time:

 

Intelligence - Our World in Data

 

 

Edited by Down by the River
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31 minutes ago, Father Ryan said:

I see where you're coming from on this, but I respectfully disagree. The "collective" intelligence is more a reflection of another observation from that same book by Heinlein. Something like "1% of the population can think, knows how to think and knows how to implement those thoughts that are useful". Look at the US government. Do you think a population with some degree of significant intelligence would have elected Donald Trump? Or Hillary Clinton? Or pretty much any president over the last several decades? I'm not 100% familiar with all of the Canadian Prime Ministers, but I surely think dear ol' Joe Clark was a case of the "dumbs". And Boris ...whatever his name is over in the UK. He doesn't strike me as being all that. This doesn't include just the Western nations. Vladimir Putin? And don't get me started on any of the idiots in North Korea.

Those organizations that require significant intelligence, they know how to find like members. I'm thinking of NASA and the other space agencies around the world, along with any that collaborate with them. Yes, they do some very impressive work. 

I'm not just taking about the 1% smart, its the enduring intelligence of all of our collective knowledge and systems where our smarts really reside.

 

But as people? how many people know how to cook a whole chicken anymore? grow a garden? fix their house? have actual transferable skills outside of their cubicle? many jobs have become very push button and/or follow a basic instruction set that doesn't really require much thought. You can get by now and make a living on not much brain effort. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ilunga said:

https://www.researchgate.net/post/Are-we-as-a-species-actually-becoming-stupid

 

So what do my fellow board members believe

 

Are we actually becoming more stupid ?

 

https://www.swnewsmedia.com/shakopee_valley_news/news/opinion/columnists/column-it-s-official-intelligence-levels-are-dropping/article_8317aad9-876e-5c1e-804a-55cb6f297361.html

 

I have believed that our species as a whole has never been as smart as we think we are,myself included.

 

Better start eating more fish !

 

I don't think so, I just think the right wing populist movement is exploiting the stupid element of society

 

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27 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

I'm not just taking about the 1% smart, its the enduring intelligence of all of our collective knowledge and systems where our smarts really reside.

 

But as people? how many people know how to cook a whole chicken anymore? grow a garden? fix their house? have actual transferable skills outside of their cubicle? many jobs have become very push button and/or follow a basic instruction set that doesn't really require much thought. You can get by now and make a living on not much brain effort. 

 

 

True Jimmy

I am lucky to be one of the ones who can at least cook a whole chicken,,( just the feathers get annoying), I often wonder how the stores do it, that part is a mystery, much like how they get the caramel inside the chocolate

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1 hour ago, joe-max said:

Intelligence is alright. It's education and culture that's dwindling.

Problem is when what's being taught in schools is dated compared to what's available even online, and when people stop seeking to learn after they leave school.
That's when you're stuck with dated info without the means to modernize.

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1 hour ago, Jimmy McGill said:

I'm not just taking about the 1% smart, its the enduring intelligence of all of our collective knowledge and systems where our smarts really reside.

 

But as people? how many people know how to cook a whole chicken anymore? grow a garden? fix their house? have actual transferable skills outside of their cubicle? many jobs have become very push button and/or follow a basic instruction set that doesn't really require much thought. You can get by now and make a living on not much brain effort. 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Jimmy McGill said:

I'm not just taking about the 1% smart, its the enduring intelligence of all of our collective knowledge and systems where our smarts really reside.

 

But as people? how many people know how to cook a whole chicken anymore? grow a garden? fix their house? have actual transferable skills outside of their cubicle? many jobs have become very push button and/or follow a basic instruction set that doesn't really require much thought. You can get by now and make a living on not much brain effort. 

 

 

Not only that but people actually have to think less about the tasks they do. Mechanical assistance or software guidance eliminates the need to think things thru. TV pablum has replaced reading which actually encouraged thinking. 

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6 minutes ago, Phil_314 said:

Problem is when what's being taught in schools is dated compared to what's available even online, and when people stop seeking to learn after they leave school.
That's when you're stuck with dated info without the means to modernize.

Education itself seems like that. I'm not a teacher so hopefully I'm wrong on this. But funding for schooling, and improving programs seems to be the victim of budget cuts. And since "no child is left behind", they pass when they aren't really learning anything. It's not just a matter of smaller classrooms. The teachers need to learn more. There should be guest speakers, or instructors that are specialized in a certain field. And work with the teachers instructing for a week. The saying goes "A mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited".  Or Plutarch's words:

 

"For the mind does not require filling like a bottle, but rather, like wood, it only requires kindling to create in it an impulse to think independently and an ardent desire for the truth."

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1 hour ago, stawns said:

I don't think so, I just think the right wing populist movement is exploiting the stupid element of society

 

There is stupidity on both sides of the isle, but generally I agree.

55 minutes ago, BoKnows said:

No, "dumb" people can share their ideas with a very large audience now though.

This is basically it. These dumb, but also motivated, people have always been around but there was never a platform. Now these people are not only mislead, misguided or whatever, but they are also extremely motivated to spread their message. Now, combine that with a group of people, who represent a higher portion of the population, who are gullible and/or lack critical thinking skills. This combination feeds what we have in the USA. However, the majority of the populace doesn't fall into this cohort of people. The loudest voices don't necessarily represent the views or capabilities of the masses.

 

The internet is such a wonderful invention. It has changed the world for better and for worse. Unfortunately people use it irresponsibly. Anyone can put anything on here. Some people don't have the capacity, or dare I say willingness, to come to their own conclusion. It takes effort to do your own research and weigh all factors. It is just as much of a laziness problem than anything.

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