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  1. #1
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Default Humanity will become stupider?

    So I just saw Idiocracy, a comedy with Luke Wilson, and I found the premise of the movie frighteningly believable. The premise (for those who haven't seen it) goes like this:

    Intelligence is no longer required as a survival trait for humans given our level of technology. In fact, it is now a hindrance to reproduction since intelligent people today are, on the whole, less likely to have large numbers of children (or any children) than stupid people. Thus, over time, stupid people will reproduce far more than intelligent people, and thus intelligence will gradually be bred out of the species.

    I could definitely see this taking place in the more affluent West, but I guess the salvation of humanity is a) immigration, b) religions which discourage birth-control, c) eugenics and d) abject poverty.

    Still, I've often wondered (after reading literature of former centuries) whether we are becoming stupider. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    We're definitely getting lazier, that can easily be transfered to a lack of active intelligence.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Sahara's Avatar
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    I watched that film and have to admit that I could really see that kind of scenario coming to fruition one day.

    Somewhere else I am registered too was also having a conversation about this topic, and someone posted this article which i thought was interesting:

    Online NewsHour: Expanding Minds -- April 20, 1998

    I am worried that in the UK, people will be less educated rather than actually less intelligent, as the standard of education is slipping really badly.

    Ditch lessons, schools are told - Times Online

    With that current trend, who is to say that idiocracy isn't the future of Britian.
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  4. #4
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    I am not so much concerned with people becoming stupider but more with them becoming so darned passive that they don't care what is going on outside their own little world and in many cases don't much care to stand up for themselves either.

    Willful refusal to use one's mind to think for one's self is what I see that disturbs me the most. So many people just letting the latest news clips, their corporate propaganda or the latest article by their favorite guru become the contents of their head without further thought.

    That's not quite the same as being stupid, it is more about people allowing themselves to be programmed to be passive human cattle, controlled through their pleasures and past times.

    It is not as final as if they were truly organically stupid, because they could at any moment make a decision to take back their own personal responsibly to think for themselves.

    Eugenics as it is currenly applied is more of deteriment to humankind than a boon, it is more about the elite trying to control and dumb people down and make them weaker, but then that is sort of another topic.

  5. #5
    respect the brick C.J.Woolf's Avatar
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    C. M. Kornbluth explored the same theme in his sf short story "The Marching Morons". It made a big impression on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    I am not so much concerned with people becoming stupider but more with them becoming so darned passive that they don't care what is going on outside their own little world and in many cases don't much care to stand up for themselves either.
    If most people become passive given the luxury to be passive, then I must conclude that passivity is a common human trait. It's an interesting species when most individuals are sheep and some are wolves.

    The expression "Bread and Circuses" was coined 2000 years ago. The Roman people thought of their society as a pack of wolves, but that didn't stop a whole lot of Romans from becoming sheep. Nowadays, passive Americans take pride in their independent and enterprising national character. It helps them avoid facing their sheephood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    I am not so much concerned with people becoming stupider but more with them becoming so darned passive that they don't care what is going on outside their own little world and in many cases don't much care to stand up for themselves either.

    Willful refusal to use one's mind to think for one's self is what I see that disturbs me the most. So many people just letting the latest news clips, their corporate propaganda or the latest article by their favorite guru become the contents of their head without further thought.

    That's not quite the same as being stupid, it is more about people allowing themselves to be programmed to be passive human cattle, controlled through their pleasures and past times.

    It is not as final as if they were truly organically stupid, because they could at any moment make a decision to take back their own personal responsibly to think for themselves.

    Eugenics as it is currenly applied is more of deteriment to humankind than a boon, it is more about the elite trying to control and dumb people down and make them weaker, but then that is sort of another topic.
    Agreed.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Eugenics as it is currenly applied is more of deteriment to humankind than a boon, it is more about the elite trying to control and dumb people down and make them weaker, but then that is sort of another topic.
    How is eugenics currently being applied? Where is it being applied?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    How is eugenics currently being applied? Where is it being applied?
    It is all around us. For one thing, people who are educated tend to produce less children than those who aren't. But really the whole history of eugenics and those who promote it is really ugly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    If the smart people are smart, then they will become concerned eventually and start making more babies.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    If the smart people are smart, then they will become concerned eventually and start making more babies.
    Being smart doesn't always make a better person, else there would not be socialized psychopaths out there. I wasn't so much arguing that educated people should or should not be having more children, but the fact that they don't have as many children statistically as those with less is a factor that can shape society and create social changes, good or bad or both.

    People with more education often do have access to better jobs that provide more resources and often are able provide more resources to a larger number of offspring per family and more able to provide for an extended adolescence where those offspring go through higher education more often themselves.

    So right there you have the allocation of money and resources going against the greater number of children in a culture.

    Really though eugenics is in our country's history very deep, especially our plutocratic leaders and it affects our cultural beliefs to this day. Today most who follow these sorts of beliefs prefer the term "human genetics" to eugenics studies.

    ETA. I think the only way to protect freedom in the coming scientific technocracy will be to make sacrosanct the voluntary and individual nature of reproduction choices and the choice whether or not to use genetic science in that reproduction.

    Part of keeping reproductive freedom is being personally responsible in family planning so that no agency can come in and say they now need to make decisions for people. I fear that the ultra passive, "entertain ourselves to death" attitude of modern people will prevent them from standing their ground and keeping the coming technocracy from taking away their personal reproductive rights slowly as the science improves.

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