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Useful And Fantastic: Are We Being Dumbed Down? - 3

"We are letting ourselves to be made more stupid,'' declares Val Yule.

IQ scores are rising all over the world, an astonishing phenomenon. Are we really all becoming more intelligent?

Yes, in non-verbal skills that make us wonderful in using and adapting to modern technology - nonverbal problem solving, visual-spatial-organizational skills, visual pattern recognition.

But no, not in verbal skills such as analyzing information, solving problems using language-based reasoning. judgment and general knowledge.

As a mob, we may be falling behind in aspects of intelligence that IQ tests cannot measure, such as wide-ranging curiosity, persistence, and imagination as ‘considering what may be possible in the real world not just in fantasy.’

Interests that benefit from mass stupidity include governments and business that want more docile citizens, workers and consumers.

People become more stupid by:-

Damaging and ignorant child care. This is increasing not decreasing.

Deliberate self-harm such as binge drinking, drugs, brain damage in car accidents, gluttony, no exercise and even deliberate suicidal behavior when suicide is not a rational response

Entertainment that may affect cognitive function – excessive loud noise, epileptogenic lighting, the incoherence of video clips, ADHD stimulation by constant interruptions on commercial TV, music with excessive drumming and repetition of notes or words. The numbing effect of stimuli such as poker machines. As far as I can find, there is no real research to monitor the effects of these global experiments.

Excessive Entertainment takes away time previously spent on constructive activities – reading, social, hobbies, political action, reflection, exercise.
Responses to challenges by escape/depression not enterprise/courage.

Doing what everybody else does, even if they are going over a cliff.

Taking things to extremes. Even moderation can be taken to extremes.

Low expectations in schools. I agree with Rupert Murdoch (Boyer Lectures) about the deleterious effect of too-low expectations in schools, but I do not agree with the deleterious effect of his tabloids on public levels of thinking.


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