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February 19, 2013

Bizarre: The Economy Helped Re-Elect Obama

I say bizarre but not "wrong" -- Obama did, after all, win reelection, in about the same range the economocentric models predicted.

The idea is that people don't vote on absolute numbers (8% unemployment) but rather on change/directionality of numbers (10% to 8%).

Apparently they are not sophisticated enough to take that to the next level -- figuring out the average (natural) rate of growth and judging a president harshly if his figures nominally change in the right direction but to a lesser extent than they would have under virtually any other hypothetical president.

But then, people are dumb and getting dumber. It's Science (TM).

Ever can’t help but think you’re surrounded by idiots? A leading scientist at Stanford University thinks he has the answer, and the bad news is things aren’t likely to get any better.

Dr. Gerald Crabtree, a geneticist at Stanford, has published a study that he conducted to try and identify the progression of modern man’s intelligence. As it turns out, however, Dr. Crabtree’s research led him to believe that the collective mind of mankind has been on more or a less a downhill trajectory for quite some time.

...


“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas, and a clear-sighted view of important issues. Furthermore, I would guess that he or she would be among the most emotionally stable of our friends and colleagues. I would also make this wager for the ancient inhabitants of Africa, Asia, India or the Americas, of perhaps 2000–6000 years ago. The basis for my wager comes from new developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology that make a clear prediction that our intellectual and emotional abilities are genetically surprisingly fragile, and that a situation in which intelligence is not constantly being favored over stupidity results, within a span of a century, in David Frum.”

I added that last part, after "fragile."

His basic idea -- if I understand it right -- is that man formerly faced life-or-death situations an awful lot, and intelligence played a role in whether he survived. Thus, intelligence tended to become more prevalent in a population, and stupidity less prevalent.

And now that our world is idiot proof (well, nothing's idiot proof, but more idiot proof at least) populations' collective average IQ is on the fall.

Thanks for the Stupid Link to @tkarpis


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posted by Ace at 12:04 PM

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