Thursday, November 15, 2012

Are Humans Becoming Less Intelligent?

Just saying ...
The title of today's Tattler post comes from an article (click here) that showed up somewhere on Yahoo! News recently. Its premise is taken from an academic paper that was being published that same day. Here is the gist of it:

Humans may be gradually losing intelligence, according to a new study. The study, published today (Nov. 12) in the journal Trends in Genetics, argues that humans lost the evolutionary pressure to be smart once we started living in dense agricultural settlements several thousand years ago.

"The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples [living] before our ancestors emerged from Africa," said study author Gerald Crabtree, a researcher at Stanford University, in a statement. Since then it's all been downhill, Crabtree contends.

Not having lived several thousand years ago, I personally have nothing I can use to compare the intelligence of folks back then with the general smarts of today. I am certain the notion that intelligence-wise the human race is sliding towards an overall imbecility appeals to some. You can certainly see some evidence of that on a near daily basis.

But since none of us have the ability to travel back in time and administer intelligence tests to the residents of the stone age, I figured we'd do the next best thing and scour the internet for any evidence needed to make a case either way. And while we had no real agenda when we began this search (it would have been nice to show that the human race is actually getting smarter), what we discovered wasn't as good as hoped.

Here is what was found:

Arizona woman runs down husband with car for not voting: police (click here) An Arizona woman, in despair at the re-election of Democratic President Barack Obama, ran down her husband with the family car in suburban Phoenix on Saturday because he failed to vote in the election, police said on Monday.

Holly Solomon, 28, was arrested after running over husband Daniel Solomon following a wild chase that left him pinned underneath the vehicle.

Daniel Solomon, 36, was in critical condition at a local hospital, but is expected to survive, Gilbert police spokesman Sergeant Jesse Sanger said.

Police said Daniel Solomon told them his wife became angry over his "lack of voter participation" in last Tuesday's presidential election and believed her family would face hardship as a result of Obama winning another term.

Witnesses reported the argument broke out on Saturday morning in a parking lot and escalated. Mrs Solomon then chased her husband around the lot with the car, yelling at him as he tried to hide behind a light pole, police said. He was struck after attempting to flee to a nearby street.

Mod: Here is a pair of lovebirds who would definitely benefit from couples therapy. Regardless of your political persuasion or how you may have voted last week, I think you would agree that it is important for married couples to discuss their plans for election time. I would recommend a nice bottle of wine, some candlelight and a little quality time spent over two absentee ballots.

Man charged with planning Prince Charles assault (click here) Police say they caught a New Zealand man before he had a chance to throw a bucket of horse manure over Prince Charles and his wife Camilla during a royal visit to the Pacific nation.

Castislav "Sam" Bacanov, 76, pleaded not guilty in an Auckland court Tuesday to planning a crime in a public place. He has agreed under his bail conditions to keep at least 500 meters (1,600 feet) from the royal couple.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are on a six-day tour of New Zealand, the last leg of their Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth II's 60th Jubilee.

Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty said officers arrested Bacanov, a known anti-royalist, on Monday near a downtown Auckland venue where Charles and Camilla were due to appear. She said the royal couple had not yet arrived at the outdoor venue and were never in any danger.

Hegarty said officers were making sure the area was safe when they noticed the man with the bucket.

Mod: Why would anyone want to go to all the trouble and risk of dumping a bucket of manure on a couple of royals when all you really have to do is start a blog? I don't think this Bacanov fellow thought this all through properly.

Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian apologizes for fake Patch letter (click here) Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian apologized Tuesday for an incident involving a fake letter on his "Ask Paul" Patch column.

"Unfortunately, a member of my staff chose to write the question part of the column himself, based on what he believed was of interest to the public," Krekorian wrote in a letter to the editor sent to the Daily News.

"This clearly was an error in judgment and should not have happened. I regret and take responsibility for my office's error, and we have taken steps to ensure that nothing like this will occur again."

Krekorian also said Tuesday he was unaware that the question over digital billboards - which came from "Tracy from Studio City" - was fake.

The controversy started when Krekorian's communications chief Jeremy Oberstein acknowledged he crafted the Tracy letter based on what he described as an aggregate of local opinions.
The column allowed Krekorian to address digital billboards, a hot button issue at City Hall, and defend himself against a negative Los Angeles Times editorial that criticized the councilman over his work with the billboard companies.

Mod: I don't know which is worse. Posting a fake letter on a Patch site where only a relatively few people would ever see it, or getting caught and having to apologize for it. This is the  public relations equivalent of lighting your hair on fire and then trying to put it out with a hammer.

Facebook makes you spend more, research suggests
(click here) Most of us use social media every day. Research shows this online networking makes people feel better about themselves. But could that positive feeling have a negative impact on behavior, making you spend or even eat more? As strange as it sounds, a new study suggests the answer is "yes."


Two marketing professors say their research shows -for the first time- that using online social networks can influence behavior by reducing self-control. They conclude that Facebook and other social media can have significant effects on consumer judgement and decision making.

"People who use Facebook more tend to have a higher body-mass index (BMI), increased binge eating, carry more credit card debt and have lower credit scores," said Andrew Stephen, a associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh.


Mod: I've now been told that angry Facebook users have started a "We hate USA Today" social media page for having called them fat.

Transportation official says 710 tunnel will be hard to beat (click here) A Southern California Association of Governments official said Wednesday the twin-bore tunnel is the only viable option to complete the 710 Freeway from I-10 to I-210.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently in the first phase of a three-year EIR for the 710 N. Gap Closure project, and has said it is equally studying five final options: "no build," traffic management solutions, bus, light rail and the tunnel.

But SCAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata said at a 710 "Technical Advisory Committee" meeting Wednesday that Metro will be hard-pressed to find another option that will meet the air-quality standards of SCAG's 2012 Regional Transportation Plan. The SCAG RTP, approved earlier this year, includes the 710 extension as a tunnel connecting I-10 and I-210.

"I will say that if Metro or Caltrans or together they decide on a different alternative with the same benefits, we'll talk, the plan can be updated, but I'm not expecting that to happen," Ikhrata said. "We did not arrive at this decision in the RTP just simply because we wanted to put the tunnel, we arrived after many, many studies and years of studies and years of debates. We've had enough debate about this project, I think the region needs to move forward."

Mod: Let me get this straight. Hasan Ikhrata and an assortment of other bureaucrats, low level city liaisons and invested Metro and Caltrans types had a few meetings about the 710 Tunnel, and after some discussion on the matter over donuts and coffee concluded that it must be built. And this is the basis upon which the decision to spend $10s of billions of taxpayer dollars to go ahead with a 5.3 mile freeway tunnel that would adversely affect the lives of a million or so L.A. County residents is to be made? We don't get to do things like vote on these sorts of matters anymore? When did that happen?

This concludes our research for today. Needless to say, we will be following up on any other troubling evidence regarding the decline of human intelligence in the weeks and months ahead. 

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

57 comments:

  1. When I saw the title, I thought that this was surely a post about the SGVCOG...

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  2. It's reassuring to know that we have a trained Party functionary aka.apparatchik Ikhraata leading the troops on the billion $$$ boondoggle.

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    Replies
    1. Iggy, as a former planner in the old Soviet Union, knows exactly how to deal with the complaints of the people. Bury them 6 feet deep in studies nobody will ever read.

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    2. Gotta love it that in order to clean up the air, the idea is to make it much worse in selected locations.

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    3. They just say the tunnel will improve the air. Obviously it won't. It's just something they say.

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  3. We are in MORAL DECLINE.

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    Replies
    1. I just hope we are more like Rome in, say, 280 AD, and not around 450.....gives us a little more time.

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  4. The biggest hoax in the history of the world....Global Warming
    Of course the people who planned this weren't dumb, just criminals, but the masses of people who bought into it.....proves Crawford's question this morning.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released--chart-prove-it.html

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    Replies
    1. Do you also believe that the earth is flat, the moon landings didn't really happen, Sarah Palin was qualified to be vice-president and that lowering the tax rate will stimulate economic growth?

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  5. I don't think our intelligence capacity has declined. I think, for the most part, we have abandoned common sense and the ability or think reflectively.

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    Replies
    1. It's called "entitlement mentality"

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    2. It comes with being special.

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    3. And a free iPhone!

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  6. I think it's not so much that our intelligence capacity has declined but that we choose to fill it up with really dumb stuff. There's no space left for reflection or critical thinking.

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  7. We have chosen to be first level, shallow thinkers and no longer give any regard to that voice of constraint that now whispers in a much lower volume. We think,what's in it for me and if it feels good, do it - and envy and revenge rule our lives.

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    Replies
    1. http://delightmakers.com/news/wild-elephants-gather-inexplicably-mourn-death-of-elephant-whisperer/

      Please check this out. It will smarten you up!

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  8. A lessor of two evils meeting will take place tonight.

    AGENDA AND NOTICE
    OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
    SGVCOG GOVERNING BOARD
    Thursday, November 15, 2012
    6:00 PM
    Southern California Edison’s CTAC 6090 North Irwindale Avenue, Irwindale, CA

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    Replies
    1. It is very thoughtful of Edison to provide a space for COG meetings.

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    2. All we are saying:
      Is give ACE a chance!

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    3. The last thing I want to drive under is a railroad overpass that the COG built.

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. So why didn't we land on the moon in 1487 AD?

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  11. Much of the capacity of folks seems to be taken up by Housewives of somewhere or other, Jersey Shore, Pawn Stars, and Fox News, and cooking shows hosted by "stars" whose ingredients rival my family's monthly food budget for a single meal. Schools no longer have relevant classes, science and engineering instruction is limited to a select few students, and a whole swath of the public believe dinosaurs and early humans coexisted.

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    Replies
    1. Oh well. There is always the Lottery.

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    2. Somebody always wins and the odds are published! I'd go with the lottery before I would religion.

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    3. Really 10:16?
      But the odds for the lottery win are so great - the truth about religion odds? 50-50.

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    4. Your odds are even better if you go with both.

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  12. How can we be less intelligent when we have such university courses on Women's Studies, Latin Culture, and many on politically correct issues of how not to hurt one's feelings, etc. My Father could recite Longfellow, Shakesphere, knew as much math as I learned through high school,and had reasoned, logical thinking about all things and only went through the 8th grade. But then, he didn't have to worry about hurting anyone's feelings while being a Stanford Indian fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Low wage service economy employment requires a lot of politeness.

      Delete
  13. As John Prine has sung: Blow up your TV, throw away your papers, move to the country, build you a home. Plant a little garden eat a lot of peaches, and you'll find Jesus on your own.

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    Replies
    1. But "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore!"

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    2. ... you may see me tonight, with an illegal smile

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    3. "We're already overcrowded from your dirty little war."

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    4. Back before I was a movie star
      Straight off of the farm
      I had a picture of another man's wife
      Tattooed on my arm

      Delete
    5. Make me an angel that flys from Montgomery
      Make me a poster of an old rodeo
      Just give me one thing that I can hold onto
      To believe in this livin' is just a hard way to go.

      Delete
    6. "When I die let my ashes float down the Green River
      Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam
      I'll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin'
      Just five miles away from wherever I am."

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    7. Let's all move to Muhlenberg County

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  14. Folks confuse education with vocational training. Most college graduaes concentrate on a degree that leads to a job. At $50K a year for tuition and expenses you can't blames them but it comes down to illiterate uneducated computer programmers and reverse mortgage salesmen. Go ahead... I'll wait while you look up illiterate..,

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    Replies
    1. Who do you think is reading your comment?

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  15. 7:22 The 710 tunnel is a fiasco. But why do we limit our critique to Cal Trans and Governmental Functionaries? This project is about big big money. The Trucking Industry, The Teamsters, The Tax Collectors, The Construction Industry, Hard Hats, and many other money interests are behind this project. To facilitate, "cash" will buy politicians, government intrests and developers. The cash that will exchange hands to move this project forward will be staggering. To hell with the residents of the San Gabriel Valley. Who needs them anyway?

    And 7:22 to equate this project with denial of global warming puts you in there with the ostrich sticking its head in the sand. Just pay attention to what is happening around you and try and understand its significance.

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    Replies
    1. Build a train line out of the ports to victorville and distribute from there
      Run line up river beds and cut costs...RR workers all union so still can buy off government officials

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    2. What I want to know is who is behind the 710 tunnel. Who is it that has Metro and SCAG and all the rest of the secret government pushing so hard for this. Somebody must be pulling their strings. Right? Aren't they all government funded?

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    3. 3:26....please look up Alameda Corridor and Alameda Corridor East.

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  16. All this speculation is pretty meaningless anyway. We will all buy the farm on December 22nd anyway.

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    Replies
    1. Is that before or after the water runs out?

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    2. Good. that means I don't have to brave the mall for Christmas shopping

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    3. And which oracle has given us that date, this time?

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    4. The Mayans. Apparently their long count calendar ends on Dec 22. That plus there is a huge asteroid hiding behind the sun.

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    5. Some folks are in for a hard morning December 23. A little cognitive dissonance for breakfast.

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    6. The sad fact is the world goes on. We end.

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  17. Interesting. My grandfather taught 8 grades in a one room rural schoolhouse. Farmers children knew that if they failed in the opportunity to educate themselves they would be consigned to backbreaking farm work. The pictures of his classes 1890 and after reveal 30 kids in each year, most of whom went on to U of Ind, Purdue, Ind State Teachers college, Depaw, Notre Dame, among others. Motivation was not needed. An education was your ticket.

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  18. YES. Less smarts.
    R "we" taxpayers being charged by Edison to keep the lights on for the COG meeting tonight? Isn't there a conflict of interest somewhere? Or better yet; what is Edison's take in reaching out and touching COG?
    YES. Dinosaurs still exist, just ask the old DSP supporters in town.

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  19. Good news, SGVCOG meeting went along pretty smooth. They did try and follow the new guide lines (California approved) for conducting a public meeting. November 15, 2012..

    A couple issues, when ever roll call is called it's by city as a ya or nay, not with a name of who physical is present.

    Public address system is ZERO, some speakers are so afraid to speak their voices never get out past their lips.

    The Exec. board is still bewitched by Arroyo Associates and the staff and office space and location. They will have another meeting to try and resolve the many problems associtated with Nick Conways legend.

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  20. I think the guy who plotted to dump horse manure on that royal douchebag is a genius.

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