Bob has an IQ of 140. This makes him very smart but not a genius. Jane, Peter and Paul have IQs of 100, 90 and 70 respectively. The average IQ of this group is 100. The question is: would you rather have Bob make decisions, or would you prefer to live by the rules of the group? Here’s a clue to the right answer – it’s directly related to your own IQ.
The numbers above are better than real life. The distribution of Intelligence is not a smooth-sided pyramid, it’s a ziggurat with an incredibly small top. Less than 0.25 percent of the population have an IQ of 140+, while the global average is 90 and falling. If the world is getting more and more stupid, is so-called ‘democracy’ anything more than a case of asking a bunch of idiots to make decisions for us?
Social media has given us all a voice and many would say that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, we all now believe we should be heard. The end result of our posting, tweeting, and blogging would be self-cancelling noise but for the rise of a new kind of political leader. People like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson imagine they’re smart, self-made men, but their positions owe more to the zeitgeist than any cleverness on their part. They are just two of many politicians who have discovered they don’t have to choose supporters who are right, honest, or even sensible, they just have to be vocal and savvy at getting a message, however rancid, into media streams.
The appearance of polarization in our societies is deceptive. At either end of the spectrum there aren’t enough people to achieve societal change. The Brexiteers, Remainers, gun lobbying, NRA protesting, pro-life, pro-abortion, tax raising, tax cutting, fascist, communist, evangelical, atheist, and just leave me the hell alone I’m a Jedi groups, are tiny, noisy minorities. Most of us are more concerned with lunch. I, for example, have recently lost all interest in American school shootings. Sensible gun control is the obvious solution, but if America’s silent majority can’t be bothered to get off their donut eating arses and demand change then why the hell should I care?
“There’s been another school shooting in…” Click. TV off. Hey, has anyone seen the car keys?
Society is no more polarized than it ever was. People at the end of any spectrum have strongly held views or they would gravitate to the ‘don’t really care’ centre. In the West we’ve done something infinitely worse than polarize opinions, we’ve created societies where the power broker is the average man or woman in the street. Instead of respecting expertism and education and science, instead of asking clever people how we should solve the problems of the world, we’ve created a world where such people are the smart kids in the dumb class and the thick kids think the stupid swots should shaddup and go away. We see it all the time...
TV Interviewer: So Professor Xavier, what do you think the likely consequences of xyz are?
Professor’s expresses an opinion based on all known science.
TV Interviewer: Thank you professor. Mrs Miggins, you work in the local pie factory just down the road from the Professor’s lab. What do you think?
In truth, the average person is about as informed as a half brick in a sewage pipe. We the people means those who hear a statement like “Brexit means Brexit” and don’t go “hang on, that’s a fucking tautology, I’m not thick. What do you mean EXACTLY?” If Brexit means Brexit means something to you, you either made up what it means for yourself, you are a sycophantic nut who lets other people make it up as they go along and then say ‘yes, that’s what I was thinking too’, you are mentally unstable, or you are as intelligent as stunned goldfish. I don’t care what Brexit means, but if you tell me it means itself I must regard you as what you are, a dangerous imbecile.
You can expose lies, deceit, corruption and astounding stupidity, it means nothing to the average person. They’re not paying attention because it hurts their little heads. Tories take money from Russian oligarchs, the Labour leadership can’t escape its radical left-wing leanings, Donald Trump has been caught having sex with a badger, Obama was born in Burkina Faso, Russia invaded Cleethorpes but took one look at the town and handed it back… Yeah, yeah. Next!
Your average numbskull says nonsense like “I voted for Brexit, why don’t they just get on with it?” How dim do you have to be not to realise even now that Brexit was a vote for something that had no definition, no timescale, and no genuine objectives, promoted by people whose pants were on fire. People, you can do what you like with Brexit, just stop being so mind-numbingly tediously ignorant that you refuse to understand it’s going to have to be invented from scratch because it never existed as a defined concept. THERE WERE NO BREXIT STUDIES DOH!
Here are a few things going on in the world, not just because I say so:
Donald Trump has started a trade war that will severely damage many sectors of the world economy if it escalates (and there is no reason it won’t). The average man has no idea this has even begun.
China is flexing its muscles and building militarised islands in the South China Sea. Last week it warned off American destroyers from passing close to one of its islands. In its expansionist drive China is using economic muscle to punish any organisation that dares to refer to Taiwan as a country, because it fully intends to crush and then absorb that independent nation. The average person has paid about as much attention to this most likely source of superpower military confrontation as they have to quantum physics.
Iran is now free to build nuclear weapons. It will do so if Russia decides it is in its political interests to let them. No nation is going to bomb any nuclear plant that has Russian military protection without getting its arse handed to it. It would be a pointless attack anyway since Russia can make a country a nuclear power overnight. The average person doesn’t know the difference between Iran, Iraq, and Bognor Regis.
The survivalist Ed Stafford spent 60 days marooned on a desert island. He found enough trash to live on - water bottles, straws, cooking implements, a toothbrush, slippers, rope, you name it. The average person knows f**k all about the current status of global warming (dire, learn to swim, watch this year’s hurricane season beat all records), pollution (you can start a plastic recycling plant on a desert island for fuck’s sake), deforestation (1.5 acres lost every second), the obliteration of species (upper estimates from WWF say 10,000 – 100,000 species are extinct each year), and so much more that is so very bad.
What pisses me off the most is that when we are on the very edge of annihilation, and mankind is living in a festering, dying world of its own making, the average person is going to look up and say “I don’t get it, when did it all start to go wrong?”