Are people getting dumber?

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eMTe
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Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Fri May 24, 2013 22:23

This is the title of the topic Ive encountered on another forum, together with the below link to the article in Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/scie ... gests.html

As much as I tend to glorify the past over presence and I have some not really politically corect views I also frequently try to view things from different perspectives.

Imo, it's not that they getting dumber, but they need different skills to survive. Also - sticking to our culture's understanding of intelligence - they may be getting dumber in Britain, but do they also get dumber in Somalia?

In modern developed world where you should no longer fight for living (soon you will not even have to work, because work will become for youngsters the ultimate suffering and governments will have no other option except raising public debt to support all these jobless egoistic people by simply giving them money to survive) skills that our ancestors required are now largely obsolete. People in China will do everything for you and if they don't, well, you can always riot, burn some cars or occupy Wall Street.

I am of the opinion that how do you understand words like "intelligence" is culturally biased. For example, nobody in Somalia (I stick to Somalia as a country widely understood as being the extremity to what majority of people consider developed world) would be interested to survey Somalian's IQ. They have different problems. Like not let themselves killed in another coup for example. Therefore the attempt to measure people's intelligence tells itself more about society than the actual results of the survey.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Scythe » Sat May 25, 2013 9:25

I get dumber every day, but I've become too stupid to realize it.

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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Sat May 25, 2013 10:02

It's not that funny, actually.

In Polish academic circles there is now a widespread opinion that mass education is sort of utopia. It levels everybody to the common denominator (represented by multiple choice tests), but since Europe is now on the rightist sociobiological vibe (Finally! [Finn alley]) they get a feeling something went wrong in their understanding of the world.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Scythe » Sat May 25, 2013 13:58

Well, multiple choice tests are backwards anyway. In enlightened societies we don't use those.

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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Wed May 29, 2013 0:49

You are likely to be eaten by your enlightened society.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Scythe » Wed May 29, 2013 9:08

No, that happens in multiple test choice countries. So sayeth the news.

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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Maz » Wed May 29, 2013 10:40

I believe the study is correct in that the genetic matter is getting worse at least in western countries - what comes to intelligence that is. However I doubt the process is fast enough to be visible yet. Anyways, you don't need to be intelligent to survive or reproduce in modern world. Pretty much everyone can survive and big tits or nice muscles are far more important when having sex is being considered. However it shold take several generatins to see this effect. I believe obtained results originate from learning habits and cultural issues not from genome.

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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Thu May 30, 2013 0:13

Maz wrote:you don't need to be intelligent to survive or reproduce in modern world. Pretty much everyone can survive and big tits or nice muscles are far more important when having sex is being considered.
This is not true. In vitro and cloning prove that intelligence might play crucial role in future reproduction, because we won't need neither big tits nor muscles anymore, except for webprofiles. Folks behind genetic engineering are asexual geeks and unattractive women and it is them who will keep The Game online and who will be responsible for shaping our wave-like future.
Maz wrote:However it shold take several generatins to see this effect.
I have tendency to talk about things like we were close to Omega Point, so it is not actually important how many generations it will take to see something. I am speaking in the name of Higgs boson clusters from 24567567 A.D. who will be in a despair need of God. :wink:
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Wed Sep 11, 2013 23:54

Not only they get dumber, but also poorer (however this should be attributed to changes in stance on materialism and general lack in resourcefullness not required for survival in our times) and have shorter life expectancy:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NE ... #t=article

http://news.msn.com/us/30-somethings-wo ... an-parents
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Pager » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:46

Actually we are poorer than our parents due to 1% inflation on life essentials 4 times per year, and a raise in wage of 2% once a year. Eventually the math breaks to pieces and everyone begins to get poorer.
By the same standards of 50 years ago, a car should cost about 1/3 of a yearly wage, nowadays you're lucky to get a low-end vehicle for the same price as what would be considered the poverty line.

Back to the topic on hand though...I don't think people are getting dumber. Lazier maybe, expecting everyone to do everything for them, even think. And the generation before the next always feel the need to coddle the one after and protect them from the hardships in which wisdom is gained. ie. Children not allowed to climb trees and fall and break their arms, because it is dangerous. The guys I knew who did that stuff, sure as heck learned not to fall out of the tree a second time.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Thu Sep 12, 2013 18:27

Pager wrote:Actually we are poorer than our parents due to 1% inflation on life essentials 4 times per year, and a raise in wage of 2% once a year. Eventually the math breaks to pieces and everyone begins to get poorer.
By the same standards of 50 years ago, a car should cost about 1/3 of a yearly wage, nowadays you're lucky to get a low-end vehicle for the same price as what would be considered the poverty line.
So you don't think that the whole "they know how to operate it, but they don't know how to build it" issue is of any importance?
Pager wrote:I don't think people are getting dumber. Lazier maybe
To me once you become lazier you become dumber.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Scythe » Thu Sep 12, 2013 21:06

I'm too lazy to participate in this discussion.

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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Pager » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:42

Original poorer comment was off topic and just showing how the mathematical formula breaks down eventually.

But...the lazier you are the dumber you are isn't really correct, it isn't that you don't possess the capacity to learn, its just that lazy people choose not to because it is too much effort. It isn't that they know how to operate it, but not build it, it is that they don't really care how to build it because someone has already built it for them.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:52

You're from Denmark (to Scythe), so it figures.

I hate Scandinavia as much as I love it and the latter comes from the fact that I learned why I don't want to become what people in your parts have become. Robots. They have access to everything, they feel secure, they feel free (?), they earn more than people in southern countries. But what comes of it? Nothing. Emptiness. What's the point of living when you already know how to live?

One f*** advantage of Poland is that it is chaotic. Poland is a box of chocolates. It's always in development, it never rests. You never know if another Einstein will be born in here or another Jesus. Things just happen here. Up north, they have already packed the reality in the box and try to sell it. Fennoscandia is like North Korea - it takes no prisoners.

I say: f*** you! I am free.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Scythe » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:13

eMTe wrote:You're from Denmark (to Scythe), so it figures.

I hate Scandinavia as much as I love it and the latter comes from the fact that I learned why I don't want to become what people in your parts have become. Robots. They have access to everything, they feel secure, they feel free (?), they earn more than people in southern countries. But what comes of it? Nothing. Emptiness. What's the point of living when you already know how to live?
Nice try.

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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:36

At least I tried.

Back to the topic, this night certain taxi driver, whose bmw (or was it lady mercedes) I started to punch and kick after he almost run me over, abandoned his post with a baseball bat in his hand. That he wanted to kill me is understandable, but that the car was still moving and the passenger had to stop it before it hit the traffic sign is less. For a while I thought I am in Greece.

Maybe people are not getting dumber, but drunker? If this is the word.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Pager » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:17

Depends how drunker you are :P

In this case, not dumber, more ignorant.
Ignorance is bliss, until everyone in the world is ignorant. Then it is hell.

About once a month my wife almost gets run over by impatient people while waking the dog. My wife does not cross at red lights, she does not j-walk, she is probably the most traffic concious person I have ever met. But for some reason she always crosses the path of ignorance behind the wheel.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Thu Oct 03, 2013 15:18

Pager wrote:Ignorance is bliss, until everyone in the world is ignorant. Then it is hell.
Isn't it hippie heaven?

I dont remember if I shared this story here or elsewhere. My friend, who is a psychologist and also psychoanalyst, recently had a patient, 23-year old girl with emotional problems. The summary of what she said is "I have traveled to sixteen countries, I met hundreds of people, I had six boyfriends and I dont know what more I can experience, I dont want to live."

Imo, globalisation and wisdom are in fact dysfunctional for our bodies. I dont want to follow the whole savannah theory or jump on the "brain vs body" bandwagon, so popular among sf writers, but one must admit they arent all that stupid.

Laziness, obesity, irresourcefulness, alcoholism, racial tensions, drug use, suicidal tendencies, even allergies; from evolutionary perspective they work sort like body's defense mechanism against brain and internet which both went too far. Bodies of modern humans act like rioting teenagers.

From evolutionary perspective, brain, but also nervous system, is just a sidejump and ultimately, humans (and everything) will return to tree/rock form.

Openness usually precedes death. And since people are now more open than ever, it is almost certain that our civilisation is nearing death. Everything's al dente and everyone is el producente.

That's temporarily good for trees and rocks. But they will evolve and the eternal dance will start once again.
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by Pager » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:40

So what you are saying is that our need for intelligence, and our body's defense against that addiction is what will eventually kill us...?


Btw, I had a physics teacher that used to say, "if you aren't willing to open your mind to new ideas, then why bother to wak up in the morning?"
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Re: Are people getting dumber?

Post by eMTe » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:35

What I am saying is that this whole intelligence thingy may peak and later downgrade.

From broader perspective, the only important goal that brains could help us achieve at the moment is colonization of the Universe. Here on Earth we are finished. But colonization will probably never happen for various reasons (lack of funds, lack of resources, physical impossibility of interstellar travels etc.). AI concept is dead as it is now obvious, even for masses, that computers are but oversized calculators.

If you want an example that we're already going backwards think of recent trends: turning roofs and balconies into market gardens, raising hens on courtyards. You don't need a brain of modern human for these neolithic activities...

Btw:

http://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordp ... han-us.pdf
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