Saturday, March 31, 2007

Society Be Getting Stupider

A French architect is claiming to have discovered the process through which the Egyptian Pyramids were built. Which leaves only one question regarding the architectural novels that are the Egyptian Pyramids; How the fuck did it take us 5,000 years to figure out something that was done by people who defecated in the same river that they drank from?

I believe a theory that I first conceived while reading a book on the 7 wonders of the ancient world may be illuminating:

We as a species have been getting progressively dumber since shortly after the dawn of civilization (shortly being relative, probably around 1000-2000 years). This is due to a dilution of the gene pool resulting from excessive procreation amongst the dumber elements of society.

It is widely accepted that as countries become more developed their population growth slows and the wealthier elements of society tend to have fewer children than poorer elements. Now, I don't mean to suggest that all wealthy people are smart and all poor people are dumb, but I do believe that a correlation exists between wealth and intelligence. (Here's the wikipedia link to a controversial book entitled IQ and the Wealth of Nations that tangentially supports this argument). Said correlation has been amplified by capitalism which has provided those most savvy and capable among us a far better opportunity to become wealthy then had been the case under previous economic systems. Over time, this creates a situation whereby high IQ individuals represent a smaller portion of the gene pool than low IQ individuals. Further, the likelihood of high IQ individuals procreating with low IQ individuals increases thus creating a generation that is less intelligent than the one that preceded it.

I know that this idea is wildly politically incorrect and I'm not even sure I stand by it, but as I was reading about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Lighthouse of Alexandria I couldn't help but think about how impressive those creations were particularly with the limited resources of the time.

A counter argument would suggest that the limited resources were due to the lack of intelligence of the people existing in those civilizations. This is of course nonsense as it stands to reason that over time inventions and discoveries are inevitable regardless of the intelligence of the human species as a whole.

Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butt-Head and Office Space made a movie about the future of our ever dumbing society titled Idiocracy, that tackles this very idea in a comical fashion. It's a pretty funny film and it does well to satirize some of the dumber aspects of society.

Be back tomorrow with YouTube clips.


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