Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rant: The Obvious

They say that when a high-brow meets a low-brow
Walkin' along Broadway
Soon the high-brow
He has no brow
- Crazy Rhythm
Music by Joseph Meyer and Roger Wolfe Kahn, lyrics by Irving Caesar
I read Slash dot once in a while, although I don't know why.  Call it amusement, but it's likely closer to relief from boredom.  The site is supposedly a refuge for the more intelligent among us, the presumption being that all the other folks are either screwing around on facebook, downloading free music from the pirate site du jour or surfing porn sites.  Slash dot users have a very high opinion of themselves and their ability to contribute to world order as we should know it, but that's nothing new.  Today, for instance, I learned that the average person is too dumb to make democracy work, among other equally vacuous topics.

Some folks with the letters PhD written after their name got together and conducted a study which slash dot snapped up: Scientists say people aren't smart enough for democracy to flourish.  The original article is here: People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say.  Here's a quote from the article and two interesting comments:
The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.
WrongSizeGlasses: Can somebody explain to me what they mean by "not smart enough"?
Anonymous Coward: I would, but you are not smart enough to understand.

My first reaction to this was, "Well, no foolin'?  Who would have ever guessed?"  Answering my own question I find that any group of five or more experienced beat cops would not even bother guessing.  They'd know for sure.  So would firemen, EMTs, anyone working in the ER of every single hospital located in a major city, right along with public school teachers on their third martini.  Some people are dumb.  Others are dumber than a box of rocks.  From time to time these people must make a decision and half the time the coin comes up tails instead of heads.  When that happens the police, firemen, EMTs and hospital personnel go to work, and the stories they come away with can't be fabricated - no one has that kind of imagination.  Why did Tyrone steal his auntie's .38 and stick up a 7/11?  Bottom line: Tyrone isn't all that bright.  Tyrone is dumb.

When The Bell Curve was published in 1991 (or whenever the damned thing hit the street - I don't remember and don't care) the hue and cry could be heard from Washington to Peking.  It wasn't right, it wasn't fair.  It was a pack of lies and anyone who said otherwise was clearly looking for a slapping match with a limp wristed Moonbat.

Take a drive down the street during rush hour.  Look at the way other drivers behave, and you'll come to understand that half of these people are below average.  Now look at our political system and the upcoming presidential election.  This isn't a contest between half a dozen people who are all capable of holding the office of President of the United States.  This is a popularity contest, and all we have to choose from are prom queens.  The geek who was offered a full scholastic scholarship to Harvard isn't in the running.

Moving right along I learned that Smartphones More Dangerous Than Alcohol, When Driving; here's the original article from across the pond: Using smartphones behind the wheel is more dangerous than drink driving along with an excerpt:
Using smartphones for social networking while driving is more dangerous than drink driving or being high on cannabis behind the wheel according to research published today by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists). Despite this, eight per cent of drivers admit to using smartphones for email and social networking while driving – equivalent to 3.5 million licence holders
Then I learned in a separate thread that Nearly Half of American Adults Are Smartphone Owners; original article is Nearly half of American adults are smartphone owners. Which states that:
Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012, an increase of 11 percentage points over the 35% of Americans who owned a smartphone last May.
I suppose it's true.  Why not?  It doesn't really matter anyway.  By which I mean that if you're stopped at a red light and some idiot slams into your rear end and sends your car into the intersection where another idiot slams into your driver's side, does it really matter to you if these drivers were drunk, high or screwing around with their smartphone?  You're still headed for the ER.

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