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Book Review of "At Our Wits’ End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What it Means for the Future"

book review intelligence idiocracy general intelligence

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#1 jroseland

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 10:13 AM

I just published a 5000 word book review entitled Why You Can't Fly on the Concorde (here's the podcast version)




Here's the TLDR

The general intelligence of western civilization is declining precipitously.

  1. Mostly for the same reasons as portrayed in the first few minutes of the movie Idiocracy.
  2. Wealth and resources discourage the most intelligent from reproducing.
  3. Civilizations (Rome, China, "Golden age" Islam) go through cycles of rising and declining intelligence which reflect in the waning of the civilization. Western civilization is now in decline.

it's a black pilling message, but in my conclusion there's a white pill


But ultimately, we don’t need transhumanism to save us from Idiocracy, this problem of declining intelligence could be fixed culturally.

We understand the current intelligence collapse so well, that we probably won’t face a thousand year dark age like after the fall of the Roman empire. Things happen very fast now. You may have the opportunity to play a part in shaping a new cultural order that cultivates intelligence. If we had a culture that permanently banished the dysgenic welfare state and strongly encouraged young people to…
Get educated.
Be healthy and moral.
Have children early and often, forming a family with a virtuous partner in their 20's.
It would not be very many generations before geniuses solved some of the most intractable problems our species currently faces and we began to turn our collective gaze towards impregnating the other planets in our solar system with human brilliance.

#2 Bruce Klein

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 11:52 AM

Jonathan, is the Flynn effect covered? 

#3 Mind

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 09:13 PM

I think there have been some declines in IQ in recent years, but don't have sources right now. Reading a couple of articles led me to believe the the Flynn effect has leveled off.

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#4 jroseland

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 07:17 AM

Yes, thoroughly. The Flynn effect is reflective of increased specialization, not a general trend of increased intelligence. I explain this more thoroughly in the podcast.

Jonathan, is the Flynn effect covered? 


#5 Mind

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 04:52 PM

When I look around me, I can't help but think of Idiocracy as well. Even though the world still runs well and humans as a group continue to do amazing things, it seems that on an individual level, people are outsourcing their creativity, memory, intelligence, to devices or the Internet. Without their connection, they don't know much. Maybe this is good in that it forces people to stay connected and connected people are less likely to harm each other, however, it seems bad for natural individual brain power. Use it or lose it.

#6 seivtcho

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:16 AM

I have noticed a secondary factor about people getting less intelligent. The rise of the PC games, and the such called gamers. The PC games, especially those, that are addictive, may lead to addiction. The addicted to games stay entire night shifts infront of their PCs, leaving behind the personal development in the real world. They slowly turn into mental and emotional degradates.

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