[extropy-chat] an(other) Aussie visits Texas

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Mon Jan 29 08:23:48 UTC 2007

"... after careful analysis I have developed a sophisticated theory to
explain the existence of ... bizarre workplace behaviour. People are idiots.
Including me. Everyone is an idiot, not just the people with low SAT scores.
The only differences among us is that we're idiots about different things at
different times. No matter how smart you are, you spend much of your day
being an idiot. That's the central premise of this scholarly work."

Scott Adams, "The Dilbert Principle"

On 29/01/07, kevin.osborne <kevin.osborne at gmail.com> wrote:
> this is a -wee- bit of a wakeup call in regards to refutation of the
> whole 'most people are stupid!' meme.
> it's actually a meme I'm kind of fond of refuting myself. Wherefore
> art these stupid masses of people, I say? Is it me? you? met anyone
> really stupid lately? Many seem to rant and moan about the ignorance
> of the masses without actually providing tail+pin+donkey, and pretty
> much everyone I've ever met seems relatively clever and sharp-witted
> and altogether non-bovine. Where's Wally?
> Blink. The thing is, there -are- stupid people out there, and we're
> them, in one way or another.
> - some of us don't pay their bills on time, budget or save money.
> ever. (me. yes, it's stupid)
> - some of us don't comment appreciatively on a colleague/peer's new
> shoes/hair/outfit. (stupid, in a you-never-get-laid kind of way)
> - some of us are gullible, and susceptible to parroting
> unsubstantiated-yet-oh-so-juicy gossip (quote Madeleine Albright: 'I'm
> not a person who thinks the world would be entirely different if it
> was run by women. If you think that, you've forgotten what high school
> was like.')
> - some of us don't know our history that well, or at least know it
> patchily (gameshow kind-of-stupid)
> - most of us couldn't survive 14 days in the woods in Texas (the
> dumbasses in the video probably could though, with any Star Wars fans
> among them probably less likely)
> - none of us polymaths (OK, a few of -you- guys are, but you're so
> many standard deviations from the mean you don't even -count-,
> statistically speaking).
> all the g-factor data points are no doubt well-researched; however it
> could just be that if you take well-educated, healthily raised and
> positive-role-model rich children, find out all the things they're
> smart at, and assign data points accordingly, you may find the tests
> for these data points reflect badly on ill-educated, unhealthy and
> socially disadvantaged kids. i.e. the kids of 'stupid' people, and
> hence stupid people themselves. I'm pretty sure I could devise a test
> that measures fashion sense, social communication and sexual technique
> and end up finding that people who do well on the test also live
> longer, earn more and achieve well. how well would this test correlate
> with IQ? poorly I would suspect :-)
> argh. I'm back to refuting stupid people, and I'm doing it by
> attacking IQ no less; disregard, with the the proviso that Steven Rose
> doesn't seem to think too much of this particular hangover from
> Skinner's behavioural psychology - mayhap the baby should have
> preceded the bathwater? In any regard neuroscientists are my root
> authority when it comes to brain certificates, and his distrust of IQ
> seems also to play along to his deconstruction of the
> twins-raised-separately foundations that Pinker seems to rely on
> rather heavily.
> final word: we're all a bit stupid in one way or another, and some are
> definitely more stupid than others. does it mean most people are
> stupid? subjectively yes, objectively no. is there a universal test
> for stupid? no. should we take singular questions directed away from
> people's area of expertise and background as a test of their
> intelligence? no, we've all got at least one question as-yet-unasked
> (if we're lucky) that would make us look like a dumbass. some just
> have more unasked questions than others :-)
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