splatn't™

Are humans smart?

Recommended Posts

It seems to me that if we can discover what sorts of problems tend to make humans stupid in the aggregate (mob mentality) and what sorts of problems tend to make them really clever in the aggregate (if you ask a crowd the height of a random object in front of them, the average answer will actually be quite accurate), we can leverage that to propel things forward in much the same way that we use government as an arm of the people to make sure that known market failures don't destroy our economic system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technologically smart, dumb as a sack of hammers in almost every other way. Gullible, astonishingly little foresight, irrationally obsessed with shiny trinkets - and obtaining new shiny trinkets as often as possible - and quite willing to enslave, exploit and murder other members of our species for the pettiest reasons or differences of opinion.

Technologically, we’re quite impressive. Socially, we’ve barely moved beyond tribes of chimps screeching and flinging dung at one another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I guess when phrasing a relative question in an absolute way, one will inevitably end up with an arbitrary answer. In my opinion, this relativistic aspect of smartness does not make it a good category to conducively argue about in absolute terms.

Would one call the heuristic of life that constitutes a human smarter, than the one of a bacteria? One commonly would. Yet perhaps one has just established elaborately that apples are apples and oranges oranges, by arguing about an aspect that defines apples as apples and oranges as oranges in the first place.

One certainly could define smartness loosely as an abstract aspect of harmonization with one's environment and conclude (somewhat circularily), that if harmonization (smartness) facilitates existence, existence inherently proves some sort of 'smartness'.

Still, asking about more general properties that promote or obstruct existence (perhaps our only absolute benchmark), might provide a more fruitful perspective, then just the category of 'smartness'.

Edited by Vycma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[cue edgy phrase about how humans are dumb]

 

You're free to insult the human species, do whatever you want. But know that you're one as well, so before doing that you probably should get off your moral high horse.

Spoiler

in case it is not clear, this was not directed towards anyone - as a matter of fact I haven't read any posts yet apart from OP. But it really does upset me when someone starts trash talking civilization as if they were superior to it; this is meant to illustrate that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Aperture Science said:

[cue edgy phrase about how humans are dumb]

You're free to insult the human species, do whatever you want. But know that you're one as well, so before doing that you probably should get off your moral high horse.

  Reveal hidden contents

in case it is not clear, this was not directed towards anyone - as a matter of fact I haven't read any posts yet apart from OP. But it really does upset me when someone starts trash talking civilization as if they were superior to it; this is meant to illustrate that.

 

The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging that there is a problem. I stand by everything in my post. Three of the four points I made certainly apply to me and the fourth one does indirectly.

I like to think I’m making (slow) progress in fixing the first three, fixing the fourth is going to be a lot harder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Everyone is smart in one area more than others and the others are smarter in some areas more than us.

Edited by DNKKING

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, DNKKING said:

Everyone is smart in one area more than others and the others are smarter in some areas more than us.

Yup. Mathematically gifted people tend to be socially awkward, and vice versa. 

But really, there is a wide range of intelligence within a given species; the Darwin Awards are proof of that. I’ve seen dogs that can be outwitted by a chew toy, while others outwit their human companions. 

Crowds tend to sink to the lowest common denominator. 

Edited by StrandedonEarth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.