0603: "Idiocracy"

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0603: "Idiocracy"

Postby nomulous » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:03 am UTC

Image
http://xkcd.com/603/

Alt-Text: People aren't going to change, for better or for worse. Technology's going to be so cool. All in all, the future will be okay! Except climate; we fucked that one up.

A relatively optimistic view of things. I wonder, where does Randall get his facts?

P.S. Isn't it weird that we call the mouseover text "alt" when really the HTML alt attribute is something else, and what we are really referring to is the text in the "title" attribute?

P.P.S. Is that a new hat?
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby aleflamedyud » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:06 am UTC

Actually, Idiocracy was pretty much right, except that the upper classes aren't intelligent. This happens because the intelligent have an erroneous belief that breeding burdens the Earth with consumers of natural resources rather than increasing the share of the natural-resource pie taken by morons who won't know how to conserve it.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby sunami » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:06 am UTC

The phrase "dragged IQ scores [down]" or any variant insinuating that average IQ scores change has caused the destruction of more soda cans by me than any other statement.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Compintuit » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:07 am UTC

I agree fully. No, we do not need a breeding plan! Science will save our collective asses and allow us to be genetically engineered! Gattaca here we come!
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby knight2417 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:08 am UTC

NEW HAT!
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby meat.paste » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:08 am UTC

Damn. I had to wait around for 2 whole minutes before someone started the thread. Jeez, I might have to do it myself next time.

That theory at the end is a brilliant putdown. I'd say Mr. Munroe has it about right. In my experience, people tend to remember the past more fondly than was true. This is especially the case when there is a lot of change. Most people really don't seem to like change.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby aldld » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:09 am UTC

Have we seen this hat guy before?
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Birdman1011395 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:14 am UTC

Am I the only one that thought the smart one was some kind of time-traveling, WW1 Doughboy?
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Troger64 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:15 am UTC

i think this comic is just a testament to /b/ and its newfags/oldfags disputes it's having right now
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby .cheeseofdoom. » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:16 am UTC

The alt text says that the technology is going to be awesome, and states we fucked up the climate...... You think sometime in the future we might have some new genius that can get close to solving climate problems? New technology may come along, and we may get ourselves out of trouble if we think enough, and try hard..... or we might just be fucked and manbearpig will eat us all.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Admiral-Bell » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:16 am UTC

Randall is right, IQ scores go up over time: http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/flynneffect.shtml
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:17 am UTC

Did Randall just actually take a stab at arrogant geek culture? Considering the comic preceding it, my mind is blown.

Also, IQ is pretty much the least effective way at measuring anything... especially intelligence.
Last edited by Kalos on Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:18 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Cap'n Refsmmat » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:18 am UTC

Wikipedia says that education is negatively correlated with number of children, but White Hat Man's main point seems to be about IQ and education rates in general, not birth rates. Wikipedia does report 3 IQ point gain per decade, and I'd imagine education is growing similarly well.

So how does one account for less-educated people having lots of kids, but the population ending up more educated in the end? Most of their kids end up more educated than the parents?
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Darius1020 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:19 am UTC

Damn. I'm pretty sure that guy just got served...
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby aleph0 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:19 am UTC

Unless it's a clever portmanteau of "zealot" and "sell-out" (or a variation thereof--"far out"?), "zealout" is misspelled.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Lukifer » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:20 am UTC

Idiocracy also presupposes that intelligence is derived primarily from genetics and not memetics. Once a certain level of basic cognitive skills is established, the brain is pure GIGO.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby ivnja » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:20 am UTC

Cap'n Refsmmat wrote:So how does one account for less-educated people having lots of kids, but the population ending up more educated in the end? Most of their kids end up more educated than the parents?

Widespread public education seems to be a likely reason.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:21 am UTC

Panel four makes me want to coin a new ironic figure of speech: "The Smart Man's Burden."
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Cap'n Refsmmat » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:22 am UTC

ivnja wrote:
Cap'n Refsmmat wrote:So how does one account for less-educated people having lots of kids, but the population ending up more educated in the end? Most of their kids end up more educated than the parents?

Widespread public education seems to be a likely reason.

I'd imagine that we're talking about college education rates though, and college education is not nearly as free or mandatory as high school education. So something's making people fork over the money to go to college more than they used to.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby keystr0ke » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:23 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:Actually, Idiocracy was pretty much right, except that the upper classes aren't intelligent. This happens because the intelligent have an erroneous belief that breeding burdens the Earth with consumers of natural resources rather than increasing the share of the natural-resource pie taken by morons who won't know how to conserve it.

plus, climate changes will also be a result of our societal decline due to our reckless use of resources. we must bring the market society down. we must regress.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Alcazabedabra » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:28 am UTC

sunami wrote:The phrase "dragged IQ scores [down]" or any variant insinuating that average IQ scores change has caused the destruction of more soda cans by me than any other statement.


Sorry. You're wrong.

The standard IQ score of 100 is the (yearly adjusted) societal average.

That average has been rising (depending on who you ask) at a rate of .3 to .4 points per year, or around 3 points per decade.

That would mean that an IQ score of 103 in 1999 would be an adjusted score of 100 today.

Code: Select all
IQ   Percentile
65   01
70   02
75   05
80   09
85   16
90   25
95   37
100   50
105   63
110   75
115   84
120   91
125   95
130   98
135   99
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Randal, Get the fuck out of my head!

Postby almafuerte » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:31 am UTC

<rant>
I was talking about this yesterday. I said something along the lines of "All individuals in any species reproduce as much as they can. I hate people thinking evolution is intelligent, and talking about how 'wise' nature is!. We already have people that think there's intelligence involved in evolution, they are called creationists, and they are wrong and stupid. Evolution is nothing but randomness, the universe is binary, that means we always have 2 chances: 0 or 1, true or false, something or nothing. In the begining there was nothing, or anything, or everything, whatever you want to call it, there was nothing else to compare it too, so that was whatever it was by itself. The only possible next state for that singularity is just one thing, and that is whatever can be defined as NOT that other thing. So, we call that previous inevitable state 'nothing' ,and the only possible state that is not nothing as 'something'. They define each other and require nothing else to just be because there's nothing else yet. There we have what we call 'tendency, inertia, intention' or whatever human name you want to give it. After that, that same impulse goes on and on and as entropy is beyond our understanding we see patterns and intentions. There are none. There's no intelligence in that, just fucking chance and since we are also a product of that chance, we see similarities and patterns in it. So, it's in any individual's nature to fuck as much as possible, and reproduce. That instinct brought us here, and because of self love and our instinct of self preservation we see that as 'evolution = improvement'. It's not, chance just goes around and stable, sustainable states last longer. If we consider the 'wrong' people is reproducing more, then fuck more!. Stop pretending there is intelligence or anything like that in nature, that's just as stupid as the zombie jew story.
</rant>

Seriously Randall, get off my head!
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Hat_Guy » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:32 am UTC

Cap'n Refsmmat wrote:So how does one account for less-educated people having lots of kids, but the population ending up more educated in the end? Most of their kids end up more educated than the parents?

On any measure of intelligence, I surpass either of my parents, both of whom far exceeded their parents' educational levels. The answer: genetics isn't everything. I had access to educational opportunities that my parents lacked, and they in turn had better opportunities than my grandparents had.

I'm also the tallest person my family has ever produced. Again- genetics isn't everything. Different environment, different results.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby FCN » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:37 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:Panel four makes me want to coin a new ironic figure of speech: "The Smart Man's Burden."

Good idea, Mr. Asimov. (Ironically, I am now assuming the smart man's burden as he used the term.)
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Worm » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:38 am UTC

Image

or

Image

Honestly, I think he should just step the fuck away from hats forever. Also geez, this reads like you lost an argument at a party.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby saraid » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:39 am UTC

Kalos wrote:Did Randall just actually take a stab at arrogant geek culture? Considering the comic preceding it, my mind is blown.


That's how I read it. And it's true: a lot of us do need to be taken down a peg. Or ten.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Alcazabedabra » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:43 am UTC

Wow, my post above totally screams arrogant geek.

Not that I'll change it. I feel comfortable about being conceited when I'm right.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby themuffinking » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:45 am UTC

Note: I AM ABOUT TO BE JOKING

IQ of 163 here. Just so you know, I plan on solving the Idiocracy situation myself. Any ladies want to volunteer? Giggity.

Note: NOW I AM DONE BEING JOKING
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby skine » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:45 am UTC

Cap'n Refsmmat wrote:I'd imagine that we're talking about college education rates though, and college education is not nearly as free or mandatory as high school education. So something's making people fork over the money to go to college more than they used to.

However, High School education has become decreasingly sufficient for many jobs, probably fueled by the oversaturation of post-secondary educated individuals in the marketplace.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby ryan » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:45 am UTC

I am happy to see another "Hat Guy/Girl"! Now we have Black Hat Guy, Black Hat Girl, Beret Guy and White Hat Guy. Whenever there is a character with a hat on, it's always going to be awesome. :)
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby KeithIrwin » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:50 am UTC

One of my favorite little things in Idiocracy was watching the IQ graph over time. If you look at it, in the beginning, (the "today" part of things) it starts out at about 110. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not, but I like the insinuation that right now, on average, people are smarter than average. Sort of like Lake Wobegon.

A friend of mine describe Idiocracy as not being all that funny and mostly being scary. He's wrong on both counts. I'm glad to see Randall tackle it, but it would've been nice if his character had cited specifically why the things he had just said were wrong. Otherwise it's less convincing to people who believe that people are getting less smart.

As for the mechanism, it's probably a combination of environment impacting intelligence (which it really does quite substantially) and also selective genetics. Through mechanisms we don't currently understand, when there are two different versions of a gene, we are more likely to pass on the more useful one. That is, genetic evolution is a little less random than we thought it was. There's at least some selection preference in favor of genes which were more useful to us without our lifetimes. One of the results of this (and pieces of evidence for it) is that certain genes which are positively correlated with intelligence have been appearing in the population at increasing rates. Specifically they've been appearing in new generations at rates faster than would be predicted by natural selection given how mild the reproductive advantage they convey is in our modern society and how quickly they are increasing. Having extra intelligence increases your reproductive advantage, but not strongly enough to account for the increase in those particular genes. We usually think of evolution being something which operates on the scale of dozens of generations but in this case, it's operating on a much quicker scale. That evolutionary effect is probably part of why we have been getting smarter at the rate we have.

And maybe if we're lucky we'll start getting wiser soon too.
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Re: Randal, Get the fuck out of my head!

Postby frezik » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:52 am UTC

almafuerte wrote:I said something along the lines of "All individuals in any species reproduce as much as they can.


Then why is education, particularly of women, correleated negatively with birth rates? Also, explain homosexuals. Neither seems particuarly convincing of a purely reproducton-driven model.

I hate people thinking evolution is intelligent, and talking about how 'wise' nature is!. We already have people that think there's intelligence involved in evolution, they are called creationists, and they are wrong and stupid. Evolution is nothing but randomness, the universe is binary, that means we always have 2 chances: 0 or 1, true or false, something or nothing.


It's not random. Random outcomes would not make any sort of interesting lifeforms. Adaptations may be produced at random, but the applied selection process certainly isn't. Adaptations survive or don't for a specific reason (be able to get more food, mate more, get away from predators better, etc.).

Nor do I know where you're getting the binary nature of the universe. There is going to be a broader continuum of possibilities for pretty much anything.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby A. Smith » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:54 am UTC

Thank you, mister Munroe... the Internet now has something to point o when someone brings up idiocracy.
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Re: Randal, Get the fuck out of my head!

Postby undiscoveredsuitcase » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:56 am UTC

almafuerte wrote:<rant>
I was talking about this yesterday. I said something along the lines of "All individuals in any species reproduce as much as they can. I hate people thinking evolution is intelligent, and talking about how 'wise' nature is!. We already have people that think there's intelligence involved in evolution, they are called creationists, and they are wrong and stupid. Evolution is nothing but randomness, the universe is binary, that means we always have 2 chances: 0 or 1, true or false, something or nothing. In the begining there was nothing, or anything, or everything, whatever you want to call it, there was nothing else to compare it too, so that was whatever it was by itself. The only possible next state for that singularity is just one thing, and that is whatever can be defined as NOT that other thing. So, we call that previous inevitable state 'nothing' ,and the only possible state that is not nothing as 'something'. They define each other and require nothing else to just be because there's nothing else yet. There we have what we call 'tendency, inertia, intention' or whatever human name you want to give it. After that, that same impulse goes on and on and as entropy is beyond our understanding we see patterns and intentions. There are none. There's no intelligence in that, just fucking chance and since we are also a product of that chance, we see similarities and patterns in it. So, it's in any individual's nature to fuck as much as possible, and reproduce. That instinct brought us here, and because of self love and our instinct of self preservation we see that as 'evolution = improvement'. It's not, chance just goes around and stable, sustainable states last longer. If we consider the 'wrong' people is reproducing more, then fuck more!. Stop pretending there is intelligence or anything like that in nature, that's just as stupid as the zombie jew story.
</rant>

Seriously Randall, get off my head!


But that rant was just instinct--there was no intelligence in that, and therefore no reason to allow it to affect our lives, right?

and i love the hats!
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Esn » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:00 am UTC

I registered just to reply to this... it seems that the comic, at least as it relates to Britain, is actually wrong, as British IQ levels have been declining for 30 years:

No links before 5 posts. Especially if you link to filthy scum like the BNP.

NOT. WELCOME. HERE.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby dasada122 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:01 am UTC

I would have preferred it if White Hat had produced some form of evidence to back his position.

{[White Hat Guy] == 1/[Black Hat Guy]}?
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby ssk » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:03 am UTC

Is it just me or has XKCD been slightly darker than usual. Friday's comic was really depressing to me because I've been in situations like that and today's is also about prejudices and stuff. Or maybe I'm projecting
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Esn » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:03 am UTC

dasada122 wrote:I would have preferred it if White Hat had produced some form of evidence to back his position.

Yeah, I found that irritating as well. He's no better than no-hat guy.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Bion » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:06 am UTC

Not more than 30 hours ago, I was sitting at Barnes and Noble skimming through "The Dumbest Generation".
No links before five posts. Read the rules. -Belial

The truth is somewhere between the comic and that book. Society is declining and people are becoming more and more wasteful with their time. But the economy has produced so many more useful minds than in the past, that we're able to get even more done while individually being more dim and lazy.

With Respect to Evidence Complaints: It is common knowledge that IQ and Rates of Educational "Achievement" are increasing. Though the preposition is correct, the logic is utter fail.
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Re: "Idiocracy" Discussion

Postby Aetius » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:07 am UTC

This comic fails to take into account the "but he's an idiot" factor, which I feel is playing more of a role than any of us realize.

"He graduated from Harvard."
"But he's an idiot."

"He was elected to congress"
"But he's an idiot."

I question the validity of our supposed objective measures that fail to consider this highly virulent phenomenon.
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