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(Business Insider)   Why smart people fail at the most important things in life or, conversely, why dumb people will eventually rule the world   (businessinsider.com) divider line 46
    More: Obvious, stupidities, intelligent people, Personality and Individual Differences, natural phenomena, anthropology, evolutionary psychology  
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5513 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Jun 2012 at 10:16 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-18 10:10:01 AM  
Dunning-Krueger?
 
2012-06-18 10:23:16 AM  
Who says these are the most important things in life ?
 
2012-06-18 10:23:35 AM  
tl;dr
 
2012-06-18 10:28:44 AM  
imgs.xkcd.com

I think this should just about cover it.
 
2012-06-18 10:32:49 AM  
Looks like their argument is that intelligent people tend to do evolutionary novel things, while the less intelligent people tend to do more conventional things.

I don't know, the whole thing seems a little too much like they seem to have discovered some kind of pattern to human behavior as it relates to intelligence level and are hammering everything so it fits into that pattern. Seems a little too cut and dried for me.
 
2012-06-18 10:35:56 AM  
Eventually?
 
2012-06-18 10:36:34 AM  
'Most important' says who?
 
2012-06-18 10:38:08 AM  
The article seems to be saying that smart people have a harder time being social. They have a harder time finding a mate and making friends, so are at an evolutionary disadvantage.

I think that looks at evolution too narrowly. Humans are a large, social group. We don't need everyone reproducing to be evolutionary successful. People who come up with new ideas are good for our population and make us all more successful, and it is in our best interest to produce such people, regardless if those people have a ton of kids. We are so genetically similar that helping the group survive IS ensuring your genes survive, even if you have no children.
 
2012-06-18 10:39:57 AM  
why dumb people will eventually rule the world

Eventually?

This article comes off as a bunch of philosophical masturbation worshiping the vaguely defined "common sense" that conservatives use to protect themselves from the very real criticism that they lack intelligence. "Intelligence is only useful for natural disasters! Humans are historically conservative!"

A lot of bold statements with nothing to back them up. And the guy fails with the very first "suggested reading" (the suggested reading on every paragraph itself comes off as "I'm right because look at all these books I read!"). The whole thing is just a bunch of unsupported nonsense that's just intelligent-sounding enough for conservatives to use as justification for why they aren't smart and are terrible people. No wonder it was published by "Business Insider".
 
2012-06-18 10:42:26 AM  
And I just watched "Smart People" yesterday...
 
2012-06-18 10:43:21 AM  
No wonder I have so many problems with social situations.
 
2012-06-18 10:43:53 AM  

Xythero: The article seems to be saying that smart people have a harder time being social. They have a harder time finding a mate and making friends, so are at an evolutionary disadvantage.

I think that looks at evolution too narrowly. Humans are a large, social group. We don't need everyone reproducing to be evolutionary successful. People who come up with new ideas are good for our population and make us all more successful, and it is in our best interest to produce such people, regardless if those people have a ton of kids. We are so genetically similar that helping the group survive IS ensuring your genes survive, even if you have no children.


The article, and the researcher in question's whole career, is a perfect example of one of these people that thinks they are great at everything and write prolifically on topics well outside of their expertise. It isn't that people from different fields don't often make important and meaningful contributions to other areas of research, plenty of mathematicians, computer scientists, etc for instance make important contributions to biology every day. But they know their limits and partner with people who have deeper understanding/training in that subject. Otherwise you get people who do a cursory statistical analysis and explain their results using only a really shallow, but broad, understanding of the necessary topics.

And then you get a rela proliferation of the narrow view of evolution as being synonymous with Natural Selection, instead of the correct view, where natural selection is only one facet of evolution.

/Did PhD in Molecular Evolution
//Neutral Theory FTW
 
2012-06-18 10:56:45 AM  
I'm neither as smart as I wish I was, nor as smart as my students think I am, so I fail in BOTH ways. I can cook, though!
 
2012-06-18 11:02:23 AM  
Despite TFA, there must be a reason why evolution has been pushing humans toward bigger brains and more intelligence since the beginning of the species. It could be that the external threats to survival, such as disagreements with other species over who occupies the top of the food chain, have been overtaken by internal threats, i.e. people killing one another over who should be first among the tribe. Intelligent people seem to grasp what a threat mankind is to itself better than dumb people. Dumb people are so much more likely to be belligerent that aggression is a rough gauge of IQ. Still, really efficient self destruction relies on the talent and innovation of smart people, applied by those with the insight of a gorilla. Where is this taking our species? It is by no means certain that the big brain favors the survival of homo sapiens.
 
2012-06-18 11:02:27 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: This article comes off as a bunch of philosophical masturbation worshiping the vaguely defined "common sense" that conservatives use to protect themselves from the very real criticism that they lack intelligence. "Intelligence is only useful for natural disasters! Humans are historically conservative!"


Speaking as a relative conservative, that article seems like a load of crap. I agree that humans are generally change averse, which is not at all the same thing as being politically conservative.

entropic_existence: a perfect example of one of these people that thinks they are great at everything and write prolifically on topics well outside of their expertise.


There's a lot of that been going around lately.
 
2012-06-18 11:03:45 AM  
Step 1: Redefine "Intelligent" to "Mutant"
Step 2: Write an Article about it
Step 3: Profit.
 
2012-06-18 11:10:00 AM  

Honest Bender: Eventually?


came for this!
 
2012-06-18 11:14:20 AM  

Maverick Couch: 'Most important' says who?


malle-herbert: Who says these are the most important things in life ?


Presumably the correct choice is the one that presents the highest probability of your geneline being preserved to the next generation.

/quantity over quality
 
2012-06-18 11:27:56 AM  

KRSESQ: Maverick Couch: 'Most important' says who?

malle-herbert: Who says these are the most important things in life ?

Presumably the correct choice is the one that presents the highest probability of your geneline being preserved to the next generation.

/quantity over quality


From an evolutionary standpoint, yes. From a philosophical standpoint, not necessarily so much.
 
2012-06-18 11:29:47 AM  
I love blondes.
 
2012-06-18 11:31:40 AM  
What he seems to be saying is not that, for example, intelligent women can't make great mothers, just that intelligent women, on average, are more likely to go against their maternal instincts. Similarly, being smart doesn't automatically mean you can't be really social, have a great relationship, etc., just that some smart people skew the average away from that.
 
2012-06-18 11:43:03 AM  
Apparently, our perception of what is and isn't smart is inaccurate.
 
2012-06-18 12:12:26 PM  
Wait...there is nothing here about crushing my enemies, seeing them driven before me, and hearing the lamentations of their women.

Isn't that what is truly best in life?
 
2012-06-18 12:19:37 PM  

Millennium: KRSESQ: Maverick Couch: 'Most important' says who?

malle-herbert: Who says these are the most important things in life ?

Presumably the correct choice is the one that presents the highest probability of your geneline being preserved to the next generation.

/quantity over quality

From an evolutionary standpoint, yes. From a philosophical standpoint, not necessarily so much.


Women are sluts.

You can't explain that.
 
2012-06-18 12:35:56 PM  
He equates caring only about your tribe with political conservatism, but human tribes lived as communes back in the hunter-gatherer days. (Which is all that matters evolutionarily; the rise of agriculture was only several thousand years ago, a relative blip.) (Source: "Sex At Dawn", also common sense; nomads aren't big on private property because you'd have to carry it with you).

StoPPeRmobile: Women are sluts.

You can't explain that.


"Sex At Dawn" does.
 
2012-06-18 12:48:25 PM  

akula: Looks like their argument is that intelligent people tend to do evolutionary novel things, while the less intelligent people tend to do more conventional things.

I don't know, the whole thing seems a little too much like they seem to have discovered some kind of pattern to human behavior as it relates to intelligence level and are hammering everything so it fits into that pattern. Seems a little too cut and dried for me.


Yeah, that's the vibe I got. While the initial premise may have some truth, it's like he instantly turned an observation into a natural law. Anything that is not helpful to reproduction is now "more likely" to be true of intelligent people.
 
2012-06-18 12:57:43 PM  
Both the American and British population data (nationally representative samples of Americans and Brits) show that more intelligent people consume more alcohol more frequently.

Really average people have a hard time understanding how drugs use is not something only idiots engage in.
 
2012-06-18 01:13:28 PM  

Big_Fat_Liar: Both the American and British population data (nationally representative samples of Americans and Brits) show that more intelligent people consume more alcohol more frequently.

Really average people have a hard time understanding how drugs use is not something only idiots engage in.


Clearly he is just saying that farkers aren't dependent on alcohol but, in fact, simply more intelligent.
 
2012-06-18 02:05:04 PM  

Galloping Galoshes: Speaking as a relative conservative, that article seems like a load of crap. I agree that humans are generally change averse, which is not at all the same thing as being politically conservative.


Speaking as a relative liberal, this article seems like a load of crap. Intelligent people are more likely to be homosexual? Ahh, because that's an intelligent informed choice you make apparently.
This guy honestly reminds me of my father in law, who had a phd, so was an expert in everything!
 
2012-06-18 02:12:55 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: StoPPeRmobile: Women are sluts.

You can't explain that.

"Sex At Dawn" does.


N-wad taxes?
 
2012-06-18 02:14:18 PM  
I did not find the author's thesis and supporting evidence to be convincing.
 
2012-06-18 02:16:30 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: but human tribes lived as communes back in the hunter-gatherer days.


No, they lived in tribes.

Their living arrangements may have been communal (or not), but that doesn't mean they lived in a "commune", at least not as we generally understand the term today.
 
2012-06-18 02:25:33 PM  
The real takeaway from all this is that there have always been geeks and nerds and there have always been rough-and-tumble sport-loving he-men. And while the mighty hunters were out hunting with their splendidly made spears and finely crafted arrowheads, cavemen Leonards and Sheldons and Howards and Rajs were back at the cave making those spears and arrowheads and nailing all the hot, hot cavewoman tail they could bag.

/At least, if caveman Howard is to be believed.
 
2012-06-18 02:35:30 PM  

akula: Looks like their argument is that intelligent people tend to do evolutionary novel things, while the less intelligent people tend to do more conventional things.

I don't know, the whole thing seems a little too much like they seem to have discovered some kind of pattern to human behavior as it relates to intelligence level and are hammering everything so it fits into that pattern. Seems a little too cut and dried for me.


Agreed - where's his citations?
It's like a new, more elaborate form of the horoscope; people read this stuff and identify with the things hey like (either because it excuses a behavior they have or seems to confirm that they are intelligent because they have a certain behavior.)
He's writing 80 articles...well, frankly that's not a big deal in the age of self populating content. I mean kudos for having the discipline to write that much, but that doesn't speak to it's veracity.
There are somethings in the article that ring true, but then again, the worm on the fish is real and tasty too (to the fish that is...) So be careful which bits you swallow.
 
2012-06-18 02:37:49 PM  
[click]


Suggested reading: "The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life" by Herrnstein, Richard J. and Charles Murray (1994)



[/click]

F**kwittery of the highest order. No thank you.
 
2012-06-18 03:57:32 PM  
www.cultureblues.com
 
2012-06-18 04:35:40 PM  

RatOmeter: akula: Looks like their argument is that intelligent people tend to do evolutionary novel things, while the less intelligent people tend to do more conventional things.

I don't know, the whole thing seems a little too much like they seem to have discovered some kind of pattern to human behavior as it relates to intelligence level and are hammering everything so it fits into that pattern. Seems a little too cut and dried for me.

Yeah, that's the vibe I got. While the initial premise may have some truth, it's like he instantly turned an observation into a natural law. Anything that is not helpful to reproduction is now "more likely" to be true of intelligent people.


"more likely" being "not always the case." In human behavior there's always a continuum, and there's always outliers. Didn't get the "this is a law" thing from the article like you and others in this thread did. I read it thinking "this explains a lot." Not that I think I'm super-intelligent or anything like that. But the pattern seems to mostly fit.
 
2012-06-18 05:26:18 PM  
That article was crap.

"Having a mate and friends" =/= "Ruling the world"

Will average people have an easier time fitting in socially than above-average people? Probably. But above average people can LEARN how to fit in, while still retaining their higher intelligence.

This person is attempting to take a very subjective, narrow, present-day understanding of "success" and apply it to all of evolutionary history. Frankly he sounds like an attention whore--collect degrees that reinforce his intelligence, then use his position of influence to badmouth smart people. It must suck to be the kind of conservative "intellectual" that will be forgotten even before he dies.
 
2012-06-18 09:36:25 PM  
Maybe you can't find a mate because you're incapable of forming a sentence that doesn't include 'evolutionarily novel.'
 
2012-06-18 09:42:38 PM  
I'll certainly agree that highly educated bigots make much bigger mistakes than less educated ones.
 
2012-06-18 10:16:06 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: This article comes off as a bunch of philosophical masturbation worshiping the vaguely defined "common sense" that conservatives use to protect themselves from the very real criticism that they lack intelligence. "Intelligence is only useful for natural disasters! Humans are historically conservative!"

A lot of bold statements with nothing to back them up. And the guy fails with the very first "suggested reading" (the suggested reading on every paragraph itself comes off as "I'm right because look at all these books I read!"). The whole thing is just a bunch of unsupported nonsense that's just intelligent-sounding enough for conservatives to use as justification for why they aren't smart and are terrible people. No wonder it was published by "Business Insider".


This, plus he sounds like a self-serving anti-conservative wrapped in pompous erudition.
 
2012-06-18 10:20:48 PM  
Smart people fail at the things that stupid people think are important.
 
2012-06-18 11:10:12 PM  
The article states that more intelligent people are more likely to drink and smoke.

Most of the people I see smoking these days would not fall into the intelligent category. In fact from what I can see smokers tend to be chavs in the UK, rednecks in the US and bogans in Australia - they're all pretty much the same thing.
 
2012-06-19 04:28:47 AM  
This guy is so far off the mark it's ridiculous.

By defining everything as "novel evolution" he's mistakenly taken that to mean that it's intelligent. His interpretation of consuming alcohol, which has been shown in species down to insect level, is just one example of how farked he is.

His main point is, "If there isn't a cliche in nature that I've seen, it's evolutionarily novel. If it's novel, then it's smart." He throws out tons of in-depth research into animal behavior, and seemingly throws out the concept of "evolutionary dead end." It's so fanatically wrong-headed that this article should be read by every self-identified atheist as a test to see if they're just a religious zealot.
 
2012-06-19 09:43:40 AM  
I don't know, but I think there may be at least something to what this guy is saying.

I worked the front desk at a hotel that hosted a MENSA convention about 15 years ago. These "smartest" people on the planet couldn't manage to navigate their way 40 feet across the lobby to get to the elevators without help.
 
2012-06-19 11:51:49 AM  
So if someone smarter than you does something you don't understand, how can you be sure that THEY are the ones who are failing at something?

Sounds like someone watched "The Big Bang Theory" a little too much, mistook it for reality, and assumed anyone who knows something they don't is Sheldon Cooper.

The whole article reads like someone trying to jump through hoops to justify their own ignorance and mask their obvious anti-intellectualism.
 
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