# Difference between revisions of "Talk:1386: People are Stupid"

On average yes, an individual is of average intelligence. But taken as a population of a whole, well, that's a different story entirely. Randall needs a vacation, ever since he jumped the shark with the dead baby it just feels like the downward trend is getting steeper. --108.162.210.135 13:20, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Isn't that a reference to the Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence? 103.22.200.119 04:49, 25 June 2014 (UTC)krayZpaving

White Hat being burned? This certainly will not end here.--141.101.102.208 04:52, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb. This wiki is founded on the very principle that people are stupid. 108.162.223.29 05:35, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

You make an intelligent point, which I both appreciate and like. 108.162.222.50 13:41, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Awww, it's just a joke, it's not personal or anything! Davidy²²[talk] 13:43, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

This comment is one that makes me scratch my head and wonder... surely Randall is able to see that intelligence is not a relative but rather an absolute thing (if one were to kill the 10% most intelligent people the rest wouldn't get dumber, nor smarter). Surely intelligence is not to be measured in units of the common denominator. Surely it is obvious that 2nd panel is a pure strawman. Sigh... Oh and btw an IQ of 100 is the median, not the average. 141.101.104.17 09:18, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

I am wondering if the explanation should not include a mention of the Median/Mean problem because it is entirely possible for a majority of a population to be above or below some mean (average) statistic depending on the distribution. Also stupidity is a standard that is not dependent on either median or mean.Sturmovik (talk) 11:46, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
The IQ of 100 is actually defined to be the median AND the average (and also the mode). It is also defined that the distibution around the IQ of 100 is a perfect bell curve. The IQ just tells you how many people in the world have your IQ (It is also defined that two values that have same distance from hundred, e.g. 80 and 120 have the same amount of people, 'cause it's a perfect bell curve (this means that there are as many people with IQ 120 as people with IQ 80). If the overall population gets more intelligent they have to make the IQ tests harder, so that 100 is again the average and median (This really happened). This and some other things are reasons why I think that IQ tests are BS. --141.101.93.219 14:01, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
"A test device with numerous correlates measures an amount of environmental influences beside innate determinants, therefore bullshit"... What are your other objections to I.Q. testing? 141.101.89.221 14:17, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

The mocking "award", which is an analogy of saying "intelligence isn't everything" (an EXTREMELY common cliche), reflects the fact that Randall, like just about anyone, is oblivious to the magnitude of the totality of positive correlates of intelligence, and even (TRIGGER WARNING, TABOO CONCEPT AHEAD) I.Q. Intelligence, I.Q., not only makes you happier, it also makes you more helpful to other people, more creative, more socially stable, better-to-do, less susceptible to mental illnesses, more likely to remember events in your life, etc. etc. etc... Basically, there isn't a positive trait or quality of life with which intelligence doesn't correlate. But people positively LOATHE awareness of how highly intelligence, in fact, matters. Hence the vehement denial whenever someone indicates its importance, all the "I know an intelligent person who is miserable/mean/...", all stressing of exceptions, all ridicule of the notion of intelligence in general, all the "don't think about it"-mentality, all writing off of I.Q. as "antiquated, grossly limited, racist, metric" rather than the extremely potent predictor that it is. tl;dr Randall at all, take time to actually STUDY intelligence or the g factor before you mock it like that. 141.101.89.211 09:25, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

In other words (and this is going to be my last addendum to this note, because it is a vast subject), whenever people say (or imply, as in the comic's case) that "intelligence isn't everything", the question to ask in return is, "okay, now what is the degree to which intelligence enables, facilitates, contributes to, 'the rest' to which you're opposing intelligence here?". People minimise the depth and breadth of the intellectual substrate of achievement. 141.101.89.211 09:33, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Also, Randall (and everyone saying that) is being highly unjust in equating "people aren't smart" with "people aren't as smart as me". A perfectly valid alternative sense is, "people aren't as smart as to be rationally expected to contribute to rather than damage the discussion/situation/position at hand"--having the objective good, the objective recognition that certain situations (for instance, a certain online conversation which is expected to be competent) require certain minimal intellectual thresholds (for instance, an I.Q. of 120), in mind rather than egotic comparison. Lower intelligence, deny it all you please, comes with temperamental problems for instance. Selection for intelligence will largely filter them out. 141.101.89.211 09:46, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
tl;dr of my entire production here: people must learn that BOTH situations of the Dunning-Kruger are equally harmful, the one that's less often considered perhaps actually even more so. Mistaken self-perception as intelligent is bad for the individual, but refusal to acknowledge the importance of one's own cognitive capacity (which is as good as universal in intelligent people--"I am not that smart" (who hasn't heard that one innumerable times?), "I just like doing thing x, my proficiency in it has nothing to do with my intelligence or I.Q.", "I have areas in which I'm 'stupid' too", "effort counts too") has societal consequences, of contributing to erroneous dismissal of the notions of intelligence & I.Q. & g etc. Shutting up for good now. Night. 141.101.89.211 10:11, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
GAHHHHH just one more thing. Consider this: the fact that people dismiss I.Q. is the best indicator of how important a trait it really is. Thing is, people would not feel compelled by modesty to deny its importance had it not been vitally integral to many, many things. We deny what we value, so to give hope to those who lack that thing (to comfort those who lack intelligence). 141.101.89.211 10:15, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Hey 141.101.89.211... I wonder if you have something to say, but despite my best efforts, I'm having trouble following everything you're saying - I have a feeling you were a bit emotional (perhaps tired?) when writing that, or you might have had fewer "more things" immediately following "I'm done" statements. If you're up for it, I'd appreciate you taking the time to make sure you're saying what you want to say, and then say it, because you seem to at least have good grammar (though there were a few British spellings... :-D), so I suspect you probably have a good point. It's also conceivable that I'm just not smart enough to get what you're saying (?) or perhaps it's just too early for me. BTW the best way of making sure I see what you're saying would probably be to let me know on my talk page... might even have the conversation there if you'd prefer. Thanks for your time. Brettpeirce (talk) 11:25, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't know why you think that 141.101.89.211... No where does the comic say that. The mocking award is simply mocking people who may or may not have higher intelligence than the people they're addressing taking a Better Than Thou attitude because they think they do. In other words: "Higher intelligence doesn't give you an excuse to act like a jerk." I'm sure you can agree with that too 108.162.245.218 04:42, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I would add one "people are stupid" angle not yet mentioned: judging by behavior, most groups of people are less intelligent that any member of that group individually. This is valid even for the "all people" group - just look at the planet. Surprisingly, judging by content of most wikis, the "editors of wiki" groups seems to immune. -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:05, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Good point--conforming to pressures of one's group or one's position to the detriment of one's judgment is a separate personality trait. The phenomenon is remedied by intelligence, but independent from it. 141.101.89.211 10:11, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Beat me to it. I'd like to add that even individual people have their occasional stupid and intelligent moments, with the stupid ones typically being of greater magnitude. Thus, it's not unreasonable to say that the average actions of people are at least slightly less intelligent than the average intelligence of most people on most days. 173.245.55.83 12:13, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Similar to the statement in the film "Men In Black". Agent J says, "Why the big secret [about the aliens among us]? People are smart. They can handle it." Agent K responds, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." 108.162.221.45 01:15, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I can't believe people say things like that, man, people are stupid Halfhat (talk) 10:52, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the Lake Wobegon references. Not only is it on-target, but I take personal joy seeing mentions of uniquely Minnesotan culture anywhere I can find them. --BigMal27, Minnesota-born, Minnesotan-raised // 173.245.55.88 11:53, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Instead of saying, "People are stupid," we would do better to say "People make poor decisions / statements / judgments." And this, for multiple reasons, few of them I suspect tied to basal intelligence. Stage of life, level of health and stress, experience relative to the topic, level of education and the quality of that education, cultural idiotic beliefs that interfere with optimal choices, and a zillion others. Plus, as a large percentage of humans are either just coming online in experience and education, or are winding down in health and mental function, we are guaranteed to see a large percentage of stupid decisions right across the IQ landscape. No help for it. 108.162.246.217 13:04, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

I.Q. affects level of health and stress, rate of acquisition of experience, level of education, quality of education obtained, preference of cultural beliefs. It doesn't seem to defy reason that it affects the zillion other factors, too. 141.101.89.221 13:17, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Remember, in interaction between psychological and social factors, the question is never of *existence* of a connection, but of its magnitude. It is fine to posit a multitude of environmental factors that determine (ir)rationality, but as long as such position keeps people from connecting I.Q. with those factors' actual occurrence (how much I.Q. does it take to finish a good school? to develop a habit of reading a book every month? this is not at all trivial question, and it needs to be resolved with more than anecdotal evidence of "I know an intelligent illiterate person"), there might be an elephant buried underneath the room which no one knows about. 141.101.89.221 13:25, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

I know Cueball's explanation can be construed to illustrate otherwise; but I doubt the comic was meant to be a comment on the relative intelligence of humanity. It seems more likely, to me, that the purpose of the comic was to comment on the stonewalling that the mindset, "I'm better than you," induces. 108.162.216.35 15:12, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

The cartoon never mentions I.Q. at all, Just "Average Intelligence", so the Mean/Median discussion is moot. As for the other discussion on this page, I'm just going to quote Blaise Pascal: "I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time" Jim E (talk) 16:00, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

As mentioned above, in other comments that it's hard to find a way to indent from, there's a difference between different 'average's. (To compare "the median" with "the average" is not a good way of doing it, because one needn't know whether you're talking mean or mode in the second sense. I could even say that I have more than the average number of arms, for a human.) The assumption that the median [i]and[/i] mean (and, perhaps, also mode) are a single location at which 100IQ can be placed is dependant upon the bell curve being symmetrical. Just one hyper-intelligent could skew the mean well above the median. (Ok, so we're talking about comic-book "hyper"ness, to make it significant, in a world's worth of population, but the principle still stands for any more manageable population.) And about IQ tests being recalibrated... there is already a common convention that there's a score-adjuster (or a look-up table, based on this) that gives you different IQs for the same number of correct answers but for people of different ages (and sometimes male/female). Which seems to me like "we give up trying to be demographically neutral, let's just find how well different people answer in our test and then work out where their own arbitrary sub-group's bell-curve stradles". That said, I like IQ tests. I do well in them, and have fun doing them, even if I don't actually believe in them any more than I believe in Sudoku puzzles! And, sorry, I ended up typing far more than I had intended... 141.101.99.193 16:31, 25 June 2014 (UTC)