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the demise of intellect

Have you ever found yourself watching a movie with very little merit, but you’ve watched just enough to make you feel like you’re committed – and you gotta keep watching? That happened to me this evening. I didn’t read the description on Netflix very well, and I ended up with a movie instead of a stand-up special: Idiocracy. woo. This movie sucks. The premise, though, was terrifying. Premise being: Humanity begins regressing and intellect begins to disappear as the wisest among us tend to have fewer children, and the least astute are veritable baby factories.

Ever hear of the Quiverfull movement? I’m not saying that participants are necessarily lower in intellect, though some might wish it so. Just … food for thought, I suppose.

Honestly, IQ is a sort of random indicator of intelligence, considering the piece that was on the Colbert Report last night. Apparently, IQs have been steadily increasing, year by year, since the time they began administering the tests. This is no surprise, considering that those ideas/concepts/thought patterns that are most prized will be reinforced within society so that [at least] the most privileged of the society will be exposed to the media/material with more frequency and at younger ages, to facilitate better scores and subsequent opportunities. So in reality, IQ is as much of a construct as anything else. As much as we want it to be a measure of innate ability, it’s not. Thus, patterned differences in IQ should appear across groups that are systematically more disadvantaged: poor, minorities, those with alternate learning methods, and those whose first language is something other than English.

Wow. How did I end up talking about built-in bias in IQ tests? [Especially since, I believe my own IQ may have dropped a few points after watching that movie.] I just think it’s interesting that folks who are supposedly well-versed in the scientific method [though they may not have any social scientific training] pop up every once in a while to talk about how black people aren’t as smart as white people. Yeah – those kind of comments tend to stick with people. I still remember the Bell Curve business. What stands out more than anything to me is how obvious it is to me that environmental factors impact IQ scores so strongly, and how reticent people who benefit from those factors are to admit it. {I actually AM as smart as that paper says I am. Really! Just cuz people taught me how to answer the questions beforehand doesn’t mean anything!}

Blah.

aside: best line of a tv show this week? “Do you wanna go to that party alone with that talking-head of a slut throwing you shade?? I don’t think so.” Cashmere Mafia

The SC Democratic primary is this weekend, and I’ve made up my mind – at least for the primary. I’m going for Hillary. She seems to draw a harder line on things that are important to me. Obama is tempting in some ways, but I’m starting to see a few chinks in the armor, and it’s not … it’s just disturbing to me. I could still see him as President if he wins the nomination, but I’d like to throw my support behind Hillary for this one. The one thing I’d like her to do, is step up and just stop all this war business. Just stop it. As much as you can stop this quagmire. That’d give me more confidence in her. But all in all, I’m happy with my decision.

And yet. I’m troubled. The most recent debate – here in SC – devolved into drama. I don’t think anyone left unscathed, but I know a lot of people have been absorbing the press coverage on the Hillary-Obama segment, and it seems that the press is spinning it in such a way that Edwards is the one coming out smelling like a rose. Obama was leading in SC, coming in to MLK day. It will be interesting to see who actually wins this wknd. I feel like we’ve all been set up, though. That all the hype about ‘an historic bid for the presidency’ was a means to get the two minorities out there sparring – with most of the press coverage. [In my mind, more coverage = more chances to put your foot in it, like Howard Dean’s yelling gaffe.] So, the white dude consistently comes in third, garnering just enough, but not too much publicity. And then, when ‘the woman’ and ‘the black guy’ finally succumb to the pressure and go off on each other, the white guy swoops in to carry the torch and keep the legacy going.

I know I’m not the first person to think of it either. But it scares me. And I don’t even hate Edwards. [Although, if I hear about his daddy working at that mill one more time…]

There is good news, though. Fred Thompson’s out of the race. Yay! One less (One Less!). And Florida will tell the tale of Rudy’s fate – we’ll see. I thought Jon Stewart had a good take on him at the beginning of the week [relevant piece starts at 3:55]

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.thedailyshow.com posted with vodpod
Whatever happens, I’ll still be here. Crossing my fingers.

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