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Why is society biased against intelligence?

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posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 10:52 PM
Why do most of the people in our world enjoy being idiots?
And, it's been getting worse in the last half century -- and it was bad before. It seems like society in general has always been biased against intelligence.

Is today really that much different from the days when Socrates was put to death by the Greek senate, or Galileo was put under house arrest by the Catholic Church? How else would you explain teachers getting paid so little when professional athletes get paid so much in modern society? Or why the kids who care about their education in school are shunned, just because they do?

Look at modern politics today. There is very little intelligent discussion going on between Bush and Kerry. It's all about sound bytes and name calling. Don't get me wrong, explosive furor has it's place, but it's not where intelligent rational discussion once sat. How soon before we see Bush adopting "Democrats are teh suck" as his campaign slogan and Kerry responding with "I know you are, but what am I" as his?

[edit on 7/6/2004 by ThunderCloud]

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 02:01 PM
For some reason, when you are at school, the clever, who care about education are exiled as geeks. The stupid seem to resent the superior. In britain we have a 'gangsta' 'rudeboy' culture in the youth. Why? everything related to being a 'rudeboy' is retarded, everything someone trying to be 'gangsta' does seems to be stupid. why are they then the most popular? It does not make sense. Why aren't the clever respected and popular?

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 02:11 PM
Good question. I know many teenage girls who envy certain low intellgent celebrities because its "cool" to be stupid and not have to know anything. Personally I hate being in the dark and seek out hidden knowledge and could care less how others look at me.
Rich kids acting like "ganstas" is truly retarded.

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 02:16 PM
Hi all!

A very good question indeed

I haven't a "quick fix" answer (I doubt anybody would have!) but I did a quick search for "dumbing down" and found this, which, although only discussing the USA, I found quite thought-provoking.

I'll watch this thread with interest, if I may, and see how it develops!!

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 02:18 PM

Why aren't the clever respected and popular?

IMO Chances are that it's because these popular kids are doing the exact same thing most popular icons in pop-culture do, like in American football (and no doubt British football and all sports as well), musicians, etc...they drop out of school and focus on their careers...

Those that are smart and enjoy sports, singing, and the like are usually the exception b/c they fit into both clubs...

Add to that the fact that our education system here in America is not all that great of a system to go thru in most parts of the US, and you're left with disillusioned semi-talented kids, the smart kids who end up making the intelligent portion of our society, and then the rich kids, who run it...

[edit on 7/7/2004 by EnronOutrunHomerun]

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 05:48 PM
Society is biased against exceptionally intelligent people because society is biased agianst the minority.

Gifted children are seen as abnormal, and the group mentality which makes kids think they have to band together in the biggest group possible, signles out these people.

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 06:14 PM
Intelligence, or cognitive ability is important. A employee with a high cognitive ability will do better than a employee with a low cognitive ability. Even if it is between busboys at a fast food place. A busboy with a g(general intelligence) of 102 will not be as good of a worker as a busboy with the g of 132. Now, why are the people with a higher g and therefor higher cognitive ability shunned? Not true! Yes in lower forms of school the "geeks" are ridiculed and shunned. but once out of school the ones with higher g are sought after by the best. Yale, Harvard(unless daddy has money, like Bush Sr), Oxford, the other top schools are looking for people with higher cognitive ability then others for they know that those kids will do the best. Then in the workforce, the ones with higher g will rise to the top of their proffesion. You are a secretary and new at the office. You start off with # jobs. But say your cognitive ability is 130, you will in most cases rise out of the # job area and become the secretary of a middle executive. Then a little while more you would rise to be the secretary to the boss. Now people may think what is one doing as a secretary if so smart? Well, a smart secretary is able to pull in more than the rest. Read the book The Bell Curve to truely get an understanding of it all. But mainly, companies asked said they would pay 500-750 more for a secretary who did outstanding work than just a regular mediocre secretary. But the same is true for say a dentist. A dentist who "just" passed will make less than a dentist who was top of the class. But one doesn't really need to be top of the class to be smart. If everyone in the school has a cognitive ability mean of 130, this could mean one person has a cognitive ability of 80 while the rest have 130+. But say the highest cognitive ability is 150, but the cognitive ability mean is 130, that means there are brilliant minds at the 120-135 of the scale, but they are the majority and compete amongst themselves while the few 136-150 are on top.

Well, as said, read The Bell Curve for a full understanding. It is long, probably college senoir reading level, but a great read for those like me who can read and understand such concepts.

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 06:16 PM
What's a "rudeboy" ? Is that a Brit thing?



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 06:23 PM
The question asks WHY?

Well there are a myriad of reasons. Some are explored quite thoroughly by Noam Chomsky in his many writings and are addressed in Manufacturing Consent (I highly recommend this book whenever I can

Basically his argument is that it is necessary to keep the population distracted in order to rule in a democracy. Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" makes this point quite poignantly as does "The Unconscious Civilization" by John Ralston Saul.

In a Democracy, if your population is intelligent and engaged you cannot get away with any kind of shenanigans, so the rulers have no interests in educating people for fear that they would question their actions.

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 06:45 PM
Then there are situations where anomalies exist outside the norm. Take a man who has a Stanford-Benet IQ of 173 and is stuck in a minimum wage job since he could not afford college (born to a poor family). Did not get any scholorships or recommendations due to only 'average' work in school due to sheer boredom.
Now he works in a minimum wage job supervised by people who by comparison would be retarded if this guy was normal. The sharp guy would be screwed because every 'improvement' mentioned wouldn't be understood and therefore ignored, 'cause it doesn't make sense, sorry I am not going to do that...' I have seen this type of trap before and it's quite disturbing.

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 07:07 PM

Originally posted by Crysstaafur
The sharp guy would be screwed because every 'improvement' mentioned wouldn't be understood and therefore ignored, 'cause it doesn't make sense, sorry I am not going to do that...' I have seen this type of trap before and it's quite disturbing.

I have also seen it and experienced it. Smart people are actually fighting this trap almost every day. With people they meet during their day, people at work etc. when they are trying to make conversation, get things done etc. So it is societal and not just in the schools where they are treated as geeks.

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 07:20 PM
Well with all modesty I am probably smarter than many of my former class mates. I was shuned from society, I was kind of the outcast. But then again many people didn't like me because I reminded them of a cerial killer. But none the less kids were jealous of my friends and I more so my friends since they used there brains constructively. But the whole idea is if you cant beat them dont join them, change the game. The other thing is many people like brave actions. And many people also confuse bravery with stupidity. An example being one time I was doing something that looked brave but now that I look back I see it was flat out stupid. Yet for a time my peers thought I was cool. Although it was short lived you kind of see that bravery vs. stupidity isn't black and white. Its hard to tell the difference until you look back.
So in conclusion I feel it is for two reasons. The first being there was no way to beat the minority at there own game. And the second reason being that the majority was to stupid to tell the difference between bravery and stupidity.

[edit on 7/7/2004 by cyberdude78]


posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 12:23 AM

Originally posted by ThunderCloud
Why do most of the people in our world enjoy being idiots?
And, it's been getting worse in the last half century -- and it was bad before. It seems like society in general has always been biased against intelligence.

Fear. Somebody mentioned distractions already. There is a big, big, scary world/universe out there and some people would rather not know anything about it. When you stop to think about things, most of the time you end up scaring yourself. Nobody likes to be scared, so naturally people will occupy themselves with stupid things.

I got into a conversation not to long ago about aliens/other life, etc with a very skeptical person. My main point was that the universe being as big as it is, it would be impossible for there not to be some other form of life out there....etc...
This stemed out into a conversation about space in general. Well, to make a long story short, this person (upon realizing that earth was indeed IN SPACE
) completely freaked out and terminated the conversation. Thinking about it scared the crap out of him...the enormity of the universe...etc.

The reason (in my opinion) for why athletes get paid more than teachers.....sports are a major distraction. Instead of worrying about the war, the country, the world, etc, people would rather being worrying about weither the yankees win the game, or that 'great play'.

posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 02:07 AM
Well, I totally understand the need for distractions from the real world. We all need distractions (like TV, movies, sports, hobbies) to keep us sane!

However, I want to understand the nature of the reality we live in as well. That's what worries me -- most people don't want to know. Of course, you can't let your knowledge depress you; there's no use in worrying about that which you have control over anyway.

The same Universe that scared your friend puts me in awe!

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 02:21 AM
The sheple dont like intelligence because
the all have a bubble which they float in
if something that scares them or makes them uncomfortable
they shun it .Theyd rather go with the flow

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:49 AM
Ignorance is bliss when people grow up they know this is true the more you know about the world the more of a pain it can become..Some people are happy and content with their ignorance.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 08:10 PM
One of my sayings is "Ignorance is Bliss, until the truth catches up with you".

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 10:26 PM
From the point of view of a student at the top of his class (I say with modesty). I know what it is like to be picked on because of my intelligence. After decking a few people for making fun of me and starting on the varsity basketball team I am now very popular.

Anyway, People are thats what my mom told me lol. They have to feel good about themselves so they point out faults in others. My own brother does this, everytime I make a mistake he says "For a guy that scored a 29 on his ACT he sure doesn't know anything." (The tone he says it in is simply cruel, almost angry) My ACT score (36 being perfect) is the school record and that was taking it as a Sophmore with no knowledge of trig.

I used to be very shy and people would tell me that "quiet, smart kids like you blow up schools"
Where does that come from?? Oh, I could write pages on this subject and my personal experience. It comes down to people being afraid of anything superior and wanting to pull it down to their level instead of raising themselves up.

posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 12:28 AM
This seems to be the reason many of us are gathered here reading up on "Counter Information" contrary to what most would seek.

I have always loved reading alot of scientific information, even though it is outside my field. Why? To enrich my mind, and try to reach a conscious expansion of my mind.

It seems this is more of a recent trend, propagated by the Media's views of who is popular. I know that I would love to raise kids, at a later date, without television. Think of how hard parents have to work now to get kids to leave the video games and tv to go outside, a hell of a lot harder then when I grew up.

I remember a time when I had to get permission to watch TV, now I feel that it controls too much of the masses, and has become an opiate for the masses who seem to value convienence over hard work (watching TV rather than reading a long difficult book).

I pray that this is only a phase, just as I pray that alot of the mainstream music of today is just a phase, especially alot of the violent hiphop.

It seems we get less intelligent each century. Consider how they spoke in England during the time of Shakespeare, even the lower class folks, compared to the lower class folks in the times of Hip Hop, Mass Materialism, etc.

posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 12:30 AM

Well there are a myriad of reasons. Some are explored quite thoroughly by Noam Chomsky in his many writings and are addressed in Manufacturing Consent (I highly recommend this book whenever I can).

who remembers this concept from 1984

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