Are people, generally speaking, smart or stupid?

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Poll Closing Date: Friday, 11 June 2021 00:00 (in 1 month)

This is a hard one. 'Trump is elected president' -- okay, people are fucking idiots. Shortly afterwards, something clever is trending on Twitter, or, a movie that doesn't suck wins best picture, and my faith in humanity is restored. What a rollercoaster.

The average person is reasonably intelligent
The average human is of average human intelligence
The average person is pretty dumb


cerebral halsey (rip van wanko), Sunday, 2 May 2021 04:20 (four days ago) link

I don't understand the question

Chickpeas, Scamps and Beeves (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 2 May 2021 05:12 (four days ago) link

This question is stupid

Clara Lemlich stan account (silby), Sunday, 2 May 2021 05:25 (four days ago) link

smupid

Joe Bombin (milo z), Sunday, 2 May 2021 05:47 (four days ago) link

i thought we established intelligence is a bullshit concept

Left, Sunday, 2 May 2021 07:10 (four days ago) link

who is this average person anyway, has anyone met them

Left, Sunday, 2 May 2021 07:11 (four days ago) link

somewhat tautological innit but the average human being has the average intelligence doesn't one? Or taht is to say unless some other variable is thrown in unexpectedly.

Stevolende, Sunday, 2 May 2021 08:44 (four days ago) link

The average person might not be dumb, but they're definitely undereducated. Voted for dumb anyway.

In my house are many Manchins (WmC), Sunday, 2 May 2021 15:31 (four days ago) link

We need truly independent observers to answer this question for us. Let's ask dogs and horses and squirrels what they think.

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Sunday, 2 May 2021 15:47 (four days ago) link

People = Shit

Filibuster Poindexter (Neanderthal), Sunday, 2 May 2021 15:48 (four days ago) link

Most everyone is relatively fine, but dumb in some way

mh, Sunday, 2 May 2021 17:40 (four days ago) link

The answer to the thread title is 'yes'.

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Sunday, 2 May 2021 17:41 (four days ago) link

by definition, average is average, right?

Draymond is "Mr Dumpy" (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 2 May 2021 20:00 (four days ago) link

i keep trying to vote but it takes me to a logout screen and then this picture of a naked man come up, can nebody halp

Filibuster Poindexter (Neanderthal), Sunday, 2 May 2021 20:11 (four days ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzGnX-MbYE4

pomenitul, Sunday, 2 May 2021 22:24 (four days ago) link

Hiking yesterday which always makes me think bout stuff and this time I was thinking about how stupid people are ruining things for smart people. I'm sure not a new observation but applying in particular to COVID.
Smart ppl: hey there's this virus that will be bad for the world
Dumb ppl: lol no it's no worse than flu
Smart ppl: ok it's located king pretty bad. We've figured out that if everyone stays away from each other or at least wears a mask in public it should end its spread
Dumb ppl: lol no we ain't doing that, nice try Illuminati
Smart ppl: ok phew we worked very hard and actually created new type of vaccine. We just need everyone to get vaccinated and this whole thing will he over.
Dumb ppl: lol no we're not doing that either. Nice try, big pharma and big govt, we see u bull gates.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Monday, 3 May 2021 00:47 (three days ago) link

"Located king" lol spell check. "Looking like…"

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Monday, 3 May 2021 00:48 (three days ago) link

When it comes to other people, you get what you’re looking for. People are a mix of contradictory impulses. If you want to see their kinder, more thoughtful side, approach them like you expect them to be kind, thoughtful people. If you go out there with a caustic, misanthropic attitude you’ll get that energy right back.

treeship., Monday, 3 May 2021 01:28 (three days ago) link

Covid skepticism is due to a growing lack of social trust which is caused by probably hundreds of factors. It’s not primarily about people having low IQ’s or whatever.

treeship., Monday, 3 May 2021 01:31 (three days ago) link

everyone except me

, Monday, 3 May 2021 01:56 (three days ago) link

Most smart people are stupid

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 3 May 2021 02:04 (three days ago) link

'Where there's a lot of intelligence, there's also a lot of stupidity' is a classic Romanian proverb and verifiably otm.

pomenitul, Monday, 3 May 2021 02:08 (three days ago) link

afaics intelligence is a trait discoverable in some thoughts or actions, but it is not a consistent or reliable trait among humans. this puts it in the same category as kindness or courage or most other traits we admire or despise in humanity. it's not like brown eyes or hammer toes.

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Monday, 3 May 2021 02:14 (three days ago) link

now do a poll with the same options but add "are people on ILX, generally speaking" to the topic

Draymond is "Mr Dumpy" (forksclovetofu), Monday, 3 May 2021 02:14 (three days ago) link

I figure we all have to be pretty stupid to spend as much of our lives here as we do

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 3 May 2021 02:34 (three days ago) link

Generally no. Usually typing

Evan, Monday, 3 May 2021 03:23 (three days ago) link

Tree ship otm.

Voted stupid, but ime most people are smart about some stuff, average about most stuff, and dumb about other stuff. The stuff varies from person to person.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 3 May 2021 05:30 (three days ago) link

Treeships theory x and theory y is, ime, not correct tbh

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 08:15 (three days ago) link

Many apparent differences in intelligence, especially in politics, can be explained instead by differences in values. "It isnot contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. It is not contrary to reason for me to chuse mytotal ruin, to prevent the least uneasiness of an Indian or person wholly unknown to me. "

I took drugs recently and why doesn't the UK? (ledge), Monday, 3 May 2021 11:36 (three days ago) link

I figure we all have to be pretty stupid to spend as much of our lives here as we do

― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Sunday, May 2, 2021 7:34 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

time i spend on this website is time spent not injecting drugs into my eyeballs or getting involved in multi-level marketing schemes

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 3 May 2021 12:27 (three days ago) link

Not mutually exclusive ime.

pomenitul, Monday, 3 May 2021 12:32 (three days ago) link

I like to second screen ILX while doing my MLM scheme

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 3 May 2021 12:33 (three days ago) link

Let people be.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 3 May 2021 12:34 (three days ago) link

this poll would be better if the options were "yes" and "no"

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 3 May 2021 12:50 (three days ago) link

I can only get my head around one marketing level at a time but I'm doing my best

Evan, Monday, 3 May 2021 13:16 (three days ago) link

More serious answer: people mean a lot of different things when they say "intelligent" and I don't think there is such a thing as "general" intelligence. There are people who are amazing at theoretical math who would be the absolute worst person to run a business, or hold government office, or even give you good directions to the post office. There are people who can speak captivatingly to a crowd about french literature and don't understand simple percentages. There are people who can see through anyone's bullshit but can't make heads or tails out of Shakespeare. There are people with encyclopedic knowledge and understanding of plumbing who couldn't make a plant grow, and encyclopedic gardeners who couldn't put up a shelf.

Also, ime, people who consider "intelligence" to be a general trait are often obnoxious, arrogant, and prone to overestimate their own "intelligence," often with bad consequences.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 3 May 2021 13:33 (three days ago) link

There are also highly "intelligent" people who believe things that seem "stupid," -- PhD anti-vaxxers etc. No one's "intelligence" is free from their emotions. Relative who was one of the most "intelligent" people I knew (spoke 6 languages, amazingly well-read, brilliant conversationalist) also believed in healing crystals and stuff like that.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 3 May 2021 13:36 (three days ago) link

Being good at calculation and some tasks of cognition is no defense from believing weird/dumb/wrong things. Belief formation and transmission is a complicated as fuck topic that most popular discourse doesn’t seem to have any understanding of

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Monday, 3 May 2021 14:28 (three days ago) link

Education/pedigree/cultural capital also often conflated with intelligence, especially by the holder. Be born to two college-educated parents with good incomes, attend a high school where 90% of people go to college, get good grades, go to Cornell and graduate with a 3.2 avg and a poli-sci degree or something, not the hardest life outcome to achieve, does not indicate exceptional intelligence.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 3 May 2021 14:56 (three days ago) link

One of the posts above raised a question for me - are there hyper-rationalists who consider any kind of aesthetic engagement a literal delusion? People who would consider listening to a record or reading a novel not just a waste of time, but a failure of intelligence comparable to belief in religion or superstition?

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 3 May 2021 15:04 (three days ago) link

Have you met ILX

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Monday, 3 May 2021 15:07 (three days ago) link

I think I understand what you're getting at and I feel like I have come across people that are close to that once or twice in my life.

But you also raise a broader point about how the lines between "rational" beliefs or activities and pure "aesthetic engagements" can be blurred for some intelligent people, even deliberately at times. Many rational people also partake in religion while understanding that, on the most literal level, it's not rational and not "true" in a purely rational sense. I always thought it was possible that my relative who liked healing crystals understood on some level that it was an emotional-aesthetic thing that was not "rational" but she never let on. I guess it only becomes problematic where it can harm others.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 3 May 2021 15:10 (three days ago) link

I have no issue with people engaging with the world irrationally to the extent that their engagement doesn't adversely affect the lives or well being of others. Which is to say that I have a big fucking issue with a lot of the people who are currently engaging with the world irrationally.

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Monday, 3 May 2021 15:12 (three days ago) link

Yes, man alive, not to question your judgement of your relative, but what is the difference between getting a healing feeling from a crystal, and from a piece of music or a painting?

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 3 May 2021 15:15 (three days ago) link

Like it's cool to believe in witchcraft until you start burning people in the town square.

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Monday, 3 May 2021 15:16 (three days ago) link

the trick is to not assume someone who has an Esq after their name or a Dr before their name is an expert on every topic.

Filibuster Poindexter (Neanderthal), Monday, 3 May 2021 15:19 (three days ago) link

Did this thread last year

Outcome was that ilx gets v funny about calling stupidity a thing in a specific thread like this despite being fairly onside with the essential concept and using the term and related terms and concepts in every other thread

Found it a little....forced...meself tbh

Ledges post about values is interesting.

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 15:23 (three days ago) link

Like it's cool to believe in witchcraft until you start burning people in the town square.

Don't be so sectarian. Murderous pyromaniacs might be remarkably intelligent in other, subtle ways you're not accounting for.

pomenitul, Monday, 3 May 2021 15:25 (three days ago) link

religion might be true on a more or less literal level, who knows

treeship., Monday, 3 May 2021 15:40 (three days ago) link

We will never credit hume in this house

IQ is a strawman itt

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:00 (three days ago) link

IQ is extremely relevant & the fact that ppl clearly take it more seriously than star charts even here says a lot about how ppl conceive of intelligence, (ir)rationality, etc

Left, Monday, 3 May 2021 18:04 (three days ago) link

IQ is a strawman itt

Agreed. Smart and stupid are the announced standards we're supposed to be applying, but no one knows what the criteria for these are. As we fumble around in the dark, it is easy to lay our hands on IQ as a proxy, but it's a useless proxy, so there we are.

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:05 (three days ago) link

xpost But they don't as has been illustrated, but don't let that stop you from dancing with the strawman.

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:06 (three days ago) link

the fact that ppl clearly take it more seriously than star charts even here says a lot about how ppl conceive of intelligence

Sorry, Left, but you're trying to pin the tail on the donkey while blindfolded.

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:08 (three days ago) link

Waiting for Left to object to either the activity of pinning the tail on the donkey or the phrase 'blindfolded'.

Authoritarian Steaks (Tom D.), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:10 (three days ago) link

Don't know how so many people itt can argue against tarot cards while explicitly promoting phrenology, makes u thing

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:12 (three days ago) link

IQ is extremely relevant & the fact that ppl clearly take it more seriously than star charts even here says a lot about how ppl conceive of intelligence, (ir)rationality, etc

― Left, Monday, 3 May 2021 18:04 (six minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

a good demonstration of intelligence would be to not the 'itt' u tiresome ass also astrology is fuckin nonsense regardless of whether iq is a measure of anything its not involved at all

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:13 (three days ago) link

anyway its noted we cant talk about anyone being intelligent, is anyone keeping tabs at all these days

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:16 (three days ago) link

I notice you didn't call IQ fuckin nonsense which is exactly the fucking oh never mind

Left, Monday, 3 May 2021 18:16 (three days ago) link

if I really wanted to be PC I would object to the rampant use of ableist language like dumb, stupid etc. which I genuinely have problems with but even I know that's a lost cause rn

Left, Monday, 3 May 2021 18:18 (three days ago) link

Ive addressed IQ as a strawman ive addressed astrology as utterly irrelevant ive amended the rest of this post to be nice tbh

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:19 (three days ago) link

I notice you didn't call IQ fuckin nonsense

I notice you didn't call IQ "fuckin nonsense" either.

(licks pencil, scores one point for himself, according to Left's Rules of Debate)

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:21 (three days ago) link

Anyway i think people dont want to be bothered if they can help it and modern life is set up to supply a surfeit of bother and somewhere between something aligned with ledge's start of a discussion about values and keeping the head down and earning a crust without being told you are guilty of something or on the hook for the price of something else people are happy to feign whatever passes for average or below average intelligence unless they have been rewarded for it or anticipate likely reward for it

That latter point is where rearing, class, education all absolutely feed in- the kindling of interest and the interest shown in return imo

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:25 (three days ago) link

(Not on topic, but a gentle aside to Left: Try for once posting like a human addressing fellow humans instead of a lecturer addressing the benighted. You could even try venturing onto ground where you don't feel yourself to be 100% righteous from time to time. It would be refreshing to hear your voice in some other register.)

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:30 (three days ago) link

if I really wanted to be PC I would object to the rampant use of ableist language like dumb, stupid etc. which I genuinely have problems with but even I know that's a lost cause rn

You're a lost cause.

Authoritarian Steaks (Tom D.), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:33 (three days ago) link

Try for once posting like a human addressing fellow humans

Thank you, Aimless, you've echoed my thoughts precisely.

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:35 (three days ago) link

I don't seem to be able to do that. everything is just read as trolling at this point

Left, Monday, 3 May 2021 18:36 (three days ago) link

Yeah you dont get to start from scratch as if you havent been sermoning from the mount the past several months but its doable

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:38 (three days ago) link

Hi left, lets start over

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:38 (three days ago) link

it's a paradox, the more sincere and honest and open and earnest I try to be the more I piss people off. clearly I am a lost cause as an ilxor

Left, Monday, 3 May 2021 18:41 (three days ago) link

that's how this website works believe me

treeship., Monday, 3 May 2021 18:42 (three days ago) link

but still, you keep coming back -- as do i, as does LJ -- and so that tells you something about yourself and what motivates you. something complicated, probably, requiring some tarot cards.

treeship., Monday, 3 May 2021 18:43 (three days ago) link

Sincere open honest and earnest isnt generous, humorous, engaged or interested which all tend to be decent starting points to discuss things with people ime

Now im not everybodys cup of tea neither granted

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:45 (three days ago) link

if the ilxor covertly known as LJ and currently using the dn 'imago', could rehabilitate himself as an ilxor, no one's case is hopeless.

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:45 (three days ago) link

Lots of smart people are pretty dumb. Each finds a different way to be dumb. It's a vast tapestry.

Loads of people (myself included!) got called "gifted and talented" in childhood. But it almost never manifested in a way that made us happier, better-functioning, or less inclined to make terrible life decisions. I would gladly trade 90% of that attention for marginally better life skills.

I don't love the framing of "emotional intelligence" or "multiple intelligences" - much of which is clearly designed to flatter more than to describe. But it does seem like it's not a single sliding scale of smart > stupid. I'm good at some stuff. I suck at some stuff. Same is true of everybody.

Finally, to the ableism point: I have some Feelz(TM) here. My 10-year-old son is pretty seriously intellectually disabled. He's mostly nonverbal and is unlikely to ever talk, write, do math, or read at grade level. At some point he might be able to bag groceries. And I love him utterly because he is my son. He's affectionate, funny, and pleasant to be around. Smart/stupid just doesn't really apply, he's himself and when I'm with him, that's what matters.

Frumious Cumberbatch (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:46 (three days ago) link

My dad used to call me "severely gifted".

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 3 May 2021 18:47 (three days ago) link

Conflating intelligence with worth is why this is a radioactive topic. These things need to be disentangled, utterly so.

treeship., Monday, 3 May 2021 18:48 (three days ago) link

xp ye mad puffin

treeship., Monday, 3 May 2021 18:49 (three days ago) link

I think in pretty much every context where I employ 'stupid' as a pejorative I almost always actually mean 'lazy'. So something more akin to 'Clearly you have an intellectual capacity roughly commensurate with the task you're undertaking so the fact that it's become a deeply flawed (if not failed) undertaking seems to be more about your unwillingness to expend effort than your ability, idiot.'

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:52 (three days ago) link

OL brings the truth bomb

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:55 (three days ago) link

xpost (Like, generally as applied to work-related concerns, if that wasn't obvious.)

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Monday, 3 May 2021 18:55 (three days ago) link

I don't seem to be able to do that. everything is just read as trolling at this point


Lol it’s not read as trolling it’s just read as “acting out” or whatever

brimstead, Monday, 3 May 2021 19:21 (three days ago) link

I’ve done it too

brimstead, Monday, 3 May 2021 19:21 (three days ago) link

you seems genuinely full of bad feelings for people and that’s OK but it’s not trolling

brimstead, Monday, 3 May 2021 19:22 (three days ago) link

I am interested in learning more about Left.

Left, your rigidity is anathema to me, it just is, but I trust that it’s sincere. What led you to this militant outlook?

treeship., Tuesday, 4 May 2021 00:55 (two days ago) link

I felt genuine kinship with you when you talked about being misinterpreted on ilx. I know i sound dickish now but i don’t mean to.

treeship., Tuesday, 4 May 2021 00:56 (two days ago) link

regarding earlier posts: I love the iconography of tarot, just as art. I love all of the tarot traditions - early Italian, Marseilles, Etteilla, Rider-Waite-Smith, Thoth, and the Celtic Wheel of the Year. The confluence of the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, astrology, numerology, the Waite-Smith tradition, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and especially colour symbolism in the images of the Thoth tarot is very deep and is fascinating

Dan S, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 01:55 (two days ago) link

I don't read you as a troll, Left, there just tends to be a pattern in your posts of saying "this artist/person/opinion is shit" with an added implication of "and you're morally suspect for engaging with them/their work." And I don't assume that that's your intention, but it doesn't really contribute to a great vibe on a board that spends of lot of time talking about music and movies and art made by less than morally upright people, and where politics discussions are already well aware of how terrible everything is and mainly divided about the relative merits of purity and incrementalism. I think your posts about music that you enjoy are good!

JoeStork, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 02:17 (two days ago) link

My mum always says stupid is as stupid does

Pinefox reviews Reviews (wins), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 08:56 (two days ago) link

She’s a fucking dimwit though

Pinefox reviews Reviews (wins), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 08:56 (two days ago) link

I like my mum's daft mixed metaphors in an Irish accent that don't make any sense - there is some wisdom in there somewhere!

calzino, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 09:04 (two days ago) link

She once said, when I was starting a bookie job: "when you are dealing with money, don't even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"

calzino, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 09:09 (two days ago) link

I am generally speaking smart because I realized this thread was gonna go into tl;dr territory 100 posts ago

Draymond is "Mr Dumpy" (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 15:41 (two days ago) link

I can generally figure things out but I also do dumb shit all the time: the Duality of Man

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 16:04 (two days ago) link

She once said, when I was starting a bookie job: "when you are dealing with money, don't even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"

This is funny to me because back when I worked construction in the summers, that last part was the foreman's favorite insult for people he perceived as dumb. I.e. "that new laborer is so stupid his left hand don't know what his right is doing".

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 16:38 (two days ago) link

when you are dealing with money, don't even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing

Her use of it makes sense if we go by this definition:

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/225650.html

pomenitul, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 16:42 (two days ago) link

Oh, it's from the Bible.

Authoritarian Steaks (Tom D.), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 17:14 (two days ago) link

where does “overthinking” come into play?

brimstead, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 21:44 (two days ago) link

Also the Bible

Filibuster Poindexter (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 21:51 (two days ago) link


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