Do you feel like this world is dumbing down?

Asked by: Adam2
  • It is nothing new.

    Humans have always been a pretty stupid animal. We tell ourselves that more complicated is smarter, and that more information, like the internet (and libraries before that) indicate an increase in learning. This indicates we are even too dumb to recognize how dumb we are.

    Consider the rate of unplanned pregnancies anywhere in the world. It has long been obvious that having sex leads to babies, and similarly obvious that babies require lots of time and resources, yet somehow people who do not have the time or resources find themselves to be parents. The basic problem is that gonads that weigh only a few ounces routinely outsmart brains that weigh a few pounds.

    These weak brains are routinely selected out for, since those whose gonads are more powerful than their brains pass their genes on at a much higher rate.

    Just think about how many people believe unlikely crap for which there is no evidence. Add to that how many of these people think that the unfounded crap (religion, for example) they believe is somehow different than the unfounded crap someone else believes. For example, most modern Christians would think it ridiculous to believe in werewolves, vampires, leprechauns, and scientology, but fail to see that the fairy tale they believe is exactly as ridiculous, and it is this failure that demonstrates the depths of our stupidity.

  • When people say "The Nazis believed in Nordicism," you know this world is in trouble

    I think we are dumbing down our knowledge. And it's not just our lack of intellect. As a matter of fact, that's like 1% of the problems. You've got people behaving stupidly as well, just to make matters worse. This world is dumbing down, and for the worst. It's sad.

  • Technology has made us powerful

    The problem is not out intelligence, our intelligence at this point is almost unlimited, what with our access to the internet. Fifty years ago we had no where near the level of knowledge we have today. If you want to know something, chances are it is on the net.

    Our issue is ignorance, and the lack of curiosity. Most folks just don't really care about history, or politics, or any of the ins and outs of the big issues.

  • IQ rates are going up, and education is actually better every year.

    IQ rates in the US have risen 24 points since we first started measuring IQ in 1914 (http://www.Newsweek.Com/are-we-getting-smarter-150369). So If you had an IQ of 100 in 1914 your descendants should have IQ's of 124 right? No, and this is where the fallacy comes from. 100 points is the average IQ. Higher is smarter, lower is less. So what do you do with the scale when the whole population's IQ keeps going up? You adjust the average. So if you have a score of 100 today, you are still 24 points smarter than a person with a score of 100 in 1914. You're still smarter, the professor just put you on a bell curve so it looks like you aren't. This scale alteration is called the Flynn effect.
    Education ACROSS THE PLANET has been increasing in quality year by year. Here (http://nces.Ed.Gov/fastfacts/display.Asp?Id=38) is a link showing that in fact "9-year-olds scored higher in 2008 than in any previous assessment year, scoring 4 points higher than in 2004 and 12 points higher than in 1971." Also, "In mathematics, the average scores for 9- and 13-year-olds were higher in 2008 than in all previous assessment years".
    The idea that we are getting dumber is a fallacy that's not supported by the numbers. I think the biggest reason we believe this nonsense is because we have a tendency to rate the intelligence of an entire generation based on other factors unrelated to intelligence. It's the same thing as saying Justin Bieber fans don't know what music is. Our great grandparents were saying the same thing about the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. Our parents said the same thing about Marilyn Mason and Slipknot. Just because a new generation likes music we find abhorrent doesn't make them less intelligent, it just makes them more unique.
    We also have a tendency to believe that memorization skills are more indicative of intelligence. We complain that the answers are just sitting there on Google, where you can just find them without working hard; Or that this generation needs a calculator for everything. This too devalues what "smart" really means. Intelligence is not a measure of being able to remember the most multiplication tables or periodic elements, it's HOW we use the information that counts. If you look at a twenty year old in 1965 versus a twenty year old today, the baby boomer probably can recite the entire periodic table, but the Millennial graduate is using that information to create cold fusion and solar power. The only difference is that he has to look up the half life of uranium instead of just remembering it. Probably as a result of all the other stuff you had to cram into his brain like reasoning and spatial skills the baby boomer doesn't have. Every generation complains about their youth being dumber, and that will continue until generation XYMilleniumPlus or whatever invents a cure for death.

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