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FaxCap

join:2002-05-25
Surrey, BC
reply to donoreo

Re: This explains a lot: people are getting dumber

Go ahead.....ask any 12 year old kid to do long division without a calculator.

FaxCap


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
Or,

638
x983
-----
= ?

Prepare to wait a while.


FaxCap

join:2002-05-25
Surrey, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw
said by Juggernaut:

Or,

638
x983
-----
= ?

Prepare to wait a while.

Yup....you know it's not going to end well when they have to take off their shoes.

FaxCap


digitalfutur
Sees More Than Shown
Premium
join:2000-07-15
BurlingtonON
kudos:2
reply to FaxCap
What purpose is served by knowing how to divide 564,463 by 12,107 by hand?

Is a measure of your intelligence your ability, or lack thereof, to cook all your meals from scratch instead of buying them pre-packaged? Is a computer illiterate who needs that ability smarter than a farmer who runs a well-managed farm?

It's not what you know, it's what you need to know (skillset) to function well in today's environment that matters.
--
Logic requires one to deal with decisions that one's ego will not permit.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing - Edmund Burke.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
With those abilities you have options. Knowledge is power. Surveyors have GPS, but they still do it by rod. Why? Because sometimes GPS doesn't work where you are.

You can have a fancy calculator, but if you can't enter an equation in the correct order, it's useless. This is the foundation of knowledge.
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
reply to FaxCap
said by FaxCap:

Go ahead.....ask any 12 year old kid to do long division without a calculator.

FaxCap

The private school my girls go to does not allow calculators and they teach the times tables and long division.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to FaxCap
said by FaxCap:

Go ahead.....ask any 12 year old kid to do long division without a calculator.

In a 1958 story, Isaac Asimov foresaw a world in which people were so dependent on devices that they could not even add and subtract....

Full text of "The Feeling of Power"
»downlode.org/Etext/power.html


ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·FreePhoneLine
Is that really a bad thing though?

Everyone no longer needs to be good at the basic things to survive. Instead, we leave the hunting to a few who will excel at it, we leave the additions, subtractions and divisions to a few who will excel at it, and the rest can diversify and excel in their own little thing.

While people might have been more capable and more jack-of-all-trades in the past, people like Einstein and Hawking would never survive in the past environment, and a result, we would be stuck at excelling in general things, and limiting our evolution to surviving only.

It is precisely because we are able to punch a few numbers on the calculator and get an answer to the most complex problem that will help us evolve, as now the people who excel in math and science can stop wasting time on doing long hand divisions or calculating thousands of equations as they can just make anyone do it for them and be able focus themselves on more important things that will improve science instead.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
said by ekster:

Is that really a bad thing though?

Everyone no longer needs to be good at the basic things to survive....

While people might have been more capable and more jack-of-all-trades in the past, people like Einstein and Hawking would never survive in the past environment, and a result, we would be stuck at excelling in general things, and limiting our evolution to surviving only....

Spend 8 days or more without electricity as I just did, your view might change a bit.

------------------------------------

Einstein and Hawking, yes. But in the past we had Archimedes, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, Chaucer and Shakespere and Lope de Vega, DaVinci and Galileo, Lavoisier and Curie and Mendeleev, James Madison and John Locke.

Really, what is [now] exists because of what was [then]. Don't knock the past.

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to Juggernaut
said by Juggernaut:

With those abilities you have options. Knowledge is power. Surveyors have GPS, but they still do it by rod. Why? Because sometimes GPS doesn't work where you are.

You can have a fancy calculator, but if you can't enter an equation in the correct order, it's useless. This is the foundation of knowledge.

I can't use an algebraic logic calculator - only RPN for me.


ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·FreePhoneLine
reply to PX Eliezer70
I lived through the ice storm up here... not only did we not have electricity for a week, but it was freezing, walking outside was dangerous and we had the army forcing people to evacuate in certain areas.

I've also lived through a couple of bad snowstorm in Russia when I was a kid... electricity was the least of the problems there. And I've also spent some time living on a farm during my summers where all we just had a small house with electricity being used only for light... where I've also hunted, knew all the mushrooms, berries and fruits I could and couldn't eat in the forest, was able to walk through the forest and get back home without any GPS or compass... So believe me, I know how that can be and my view remains the same

And every single person you've named lived after we've became an agricultural society, and survived because of the hunting and building skills of others. Do you really think that Archimedes, Newton, DaVinci, or anyone else would've been able to even contribute 1/1000th of what they left behind had they been too busy hunting for boars and building shelters, or worse, dying because they were too smart and artistic and not good enough of a hunter?


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
reply to ekster
said by ekster:

It is precisely because we are able to punch a few numbers on the calculator and get an answer to the most complex problem that will help us evolve, as now the people who excel in math and science can stop wasting time on doing long hand divisions or calculating thousands of equations as they can just make anyone do it for them and be able focus themselves on more important things that will improve science instead.

You're confusing two different things. What we're capable of accomplishing with improved technology is a completely different question from intrinsic intelligence. It's obvious that advances in technology, education, and our collective knowledge are positive factors that enhance our intellectual capabilities. That's why science has been advancing so fast in the past hundred years or so as these resources have achieved critical mass. But it has nothing to do with evolution -- technology doesn't "help us evolve" in the biological sense.

In fact the evidence seems to be that it's producing the opposite effect. Which makes sense -- the less that innate intelligence is a factor in survival, the less it's favoured as a genetic trait in evolution. So we can actually end up with factors like random mutation and genetic drift becoming dominant, and the intelligence in our neurobiological makeup regressing instead of evolving.

--
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to ekster
said by ekster:

Is that really a bad thing though?

No, it's not. I was a math whiz ages ago, in elementary school, finishing flash type sheets of long and short division before every other student; but today I'd have to figure out how to do math by trial and error, from scratch, as it's all gone from my memory replaced with useful data.

The ability for me to 'add and subtract' is unnecessary as I excel in my full time career and my part time career and if you threw me in a foreign country with the clothes on my back, I'd survive, and a desert island? I'd relax and have a great time.

People worry about things that have no bearing on the ability for people to function in the real world.... although if I get a job offer for a Full Time Number Adder & Subtractor, I'll get some schooling.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to Wolfie00
said by Wolfie00:

In fact the evidence seems to be that it's producing the opposite effect. Which makes sense -- the less that innate intelligence is a factor in survival, the less it's favoured as a genetic trait in evolution. So we can actually end up with factors like random mutation and genetic drift becoming dominant, and the intelligence in our neurobiological makeup regressing instead of evolving.

*

In the new narrative, the Time Traveller tests his device with a journey that takes him to 802,701 A.D., where he meets the Eloi, a society of small, elegant, childlike adults. They live in small communities within large and futuristic yet slowly deteriorating buildings, doing no work and having a frugivorous diet. His efforts to communicate with them are hampered by their lack of curiosity or discipline, and he speculates that they are a peaceful communist society, the result of humanity conquering nature with technology, and subsequently evolving to adapt to an environment in which strength and intellect are no longer advantageous to survival.

Returning to the site where he arrived, the Time Traveller is shocked to find his time machine missing, and eventually works out that it has been dragged by some unknown party into a nearby structure with heavy doors, locked from the inside, which resembles a Sphinx. Later in the dark, he is approached menacingly by the Morlocks, ape-like troglodytes who live in darkness underground and surface only at night. Within their dwellings he discovers the machinery and industry that makes the above-ground paradise possible. He alters his theory, speculating that the human race has evolved into two species: the leisured classes have become the ineffectual Eloi, and the downtrodden working classes have become the brutish light-fearing Morlocks. Deducing that the Morlocks have taken his time machine, he explores the Morlock tunnels, learning that they feed on the Eloi. His revised analysis is that their relationship is not one of lords and servants but of livestock and ranchers. The Time Traveller theorizes that intelligence is the result of and response to danger; with no real challenges facing either species, they have both lost the spirit, intelligence, and physical fitness of Man at its peak.

Wikipedia summary of [The Time Machine] by H.G. Wells (1895)

Another view:

[Alas, All Thinking], the 1935 short story by Harry Bates, has an equally depressing view of man's evolutionary fate. Harlan T. Frick travels three million years into the future and finds that man is a species on the verge of extinction. Civilisation has collapsed and only a few remnants of the human race live in a collection of huts. What's happened? Man's brains got bigger and bigger until it reached the point that when people reached adulthood they became macrocephalic scarecrows that must have their heads propped up in frames so that they can literally contemplate their navels while their skulls collect dust.

»davidszondy.com/future/Dystopias···king.htm


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
Funny thing is, though I'm not much of a SF reader, I'm familiar with both of the stories you mentioned recently -- "Marching Morons" and "Flowers for Algernon" -- and in fact recall them very distinctly.

Further along the SF theme, Arthur C. Clarke once postulated a potential upper limit for the lifespan of any civilization. His particular focus was that once nuclear energy is discovered, the civilization's days are numbered. I think that one could generalize that a good deal more, along the lines we've been discussing - i.e.- if the power we can harness with technology keeps growing, and our innate intelligence keeps decreasing, it's a disaster in the making. One has only to look at what we're doing to our planet. There's toxic pollution in the air, water, and land, explosion of CO2 levels, crap in our food, residual traces of radiation from the atmospheric nuclear testing of the 50's and 60's, not to mention Chernobyl and Fukushima, and more things than I can think of. These are not just the results of simple population growth -- a lot of it is from the spread of irresponsible idiocracy. Years ago the worst you could do was have your horse poop on the street, or drive a Model T. Today you can drive a Hummer, or if you're very rich like Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, own your own Airbus A380 (because the 747 was too small).
--
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan


vue666
Small block Chevies rule
Premium
join:2007-12-07
Halifax, NS
kudos:1
reply to PX Eliezer70
And HG Wells believed in eugenics...

quote:
Eugenics

Wells believed in the theory of eugenics. In 1904 he discussed a survey paper by Francis Galton, co-founder of eugenics, saying "I believe ... It is in the sterilisation of failure, and not in the selection of successes for breeding, that the possibility of an improvement of the human stock lies". Some contemporary supporters even suggested connections between the "degenerate" man-creatures portrayed in The Time Machine and Wells's eugenic beliefs. For example, the economist Irving Fisher said in a 1912 address to the Eugenics Research Association: "The Nordic race will ... vanish or lose its dominance if, in fact, the whole human race does not sink so low as to become the prey, as H. G. Wells images, of some less degenerate animal!"[43]

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._G._Wells#Eugenics



PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Many people feel that Planned Parenthood's founder Margaret Sanger believed in eugenics....

booj

join:2011-02-07
Richmond, ON
reply to vue666
said by vue666:

And HG Wells believed in eugenics...

Lots of otherwise respectable men believed in racial superiority a century ago. I wouldn't really hold it against them as it was the norm. Nowadays not so much.

For a more modern and sinister example of eugenics, check out Nobel Physics prize laureate William Shockley. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for inventing the transistor. Sadly he spent the last half of his life lobbying the US government to implement a eugenics program.

»www.pbs.org/transistor/album1/sh···ey3.html