Some weeks ago, this Swedish study on the correlation between cognitive ability and readiness to accept Covid vaccination made the rounds. It irritated a lot of people, particularly in these circles, for appearing to support the observation that getting vaccinated is just something that more intelligent people do – and, by implication, that vaccination is more objectively rational.
It all comes down to STREET smarts, not BOOK smarts.
Many 'smart' people - as defined by an MBA or a PhD, or as 'the system' defines it, were duped. Not just by C19 either, but by Ukraine and other things too.
Since 2020, I had a concrete realization of what my dad always told me - there's a difference between street smarts and book smarts. They're not the same, at all. One can read between the lines and see how the world really works - while those with book smarts can simply recite information when asked to take a test.
Nothing to do with intelligence.
It’s a social pressure, herd mentality phenomenon coupled with a lack of critical thinking skills and common sense. In med school we called them ivory tower morons.
Good article. 3 points.
1. I believe people are only capable of judging intelligence up to their own. In other words to an average person (100 IQ), there is no difference between a 120, 140 or 160. They are indistinguishably smart.
2. For the past two generations (at least here in the U.S.), the "everybody gets a trophy" mentality has taught people they are never wrong, so there is no humility or self awareness of one's true capabilities.
3. You can distill many of the ills of society (including obviously covid response) to the fact that the wise are no longer in leadership positions. Wise=highest IQ+education. True education has sucked for a long time. But we've also lost the system of filtration and gatekeeping in government that elevates wise leadership and in media that elevates wise opinion/journalism. In the U.S. (and I'm simplifying) the original idea of democracy was that regular citizens (and only few could vote) elect local leaders who they know and can judge for wisdom and character, local leaders elect the wisest national leaders and national leaders elect the wisest president. We no longer have anything like this. The internet and social media destroyed the biz model of traditional journalism so there are no longer gatekeepers (editors). Now any idiot can have enormous reach and (see #1) the average person has no way of differentiating good ideas from stupid ones.
This is an exceptionally important post--it's fundamental to what's gone wrong in our information society. Digital discourse has become the plaything of rhetorically articulate 120 IQ midwits--the sheep dogs competing to influence the herd.
The true Shepherds of Being go unnoticed in all the barking and snarling while vast herds of befuddled sheep stampede to and fro . . .
I think that the arguments proposed here by you are correct. However, there is I think a missing crucial ingredient necessary to make it work, namely the framework of a high trust society. Western and central European countries have traditionally been high-trust societies and in particular in the post-war era (at least until quite recently) the political leadership has continually delivered on unprecedented material comfort and peace. The crowd of above-average-but-not-brilliant people has been a demographic that has so far been rewarded disproportionately by the post-war system offering managerial and professional jobs to bright and industrious people who may have come from more humble backgrounds. I think it is particularly this history and the cultural context which makes these people especially susceptible to manipulation from authorities. And of course it is exceedingly treacherous by the powers that be to abuse the trust that has been built up over so many generations in this nefarious way.
My experience,as a locally lone member of the heretical awkward squad- much good has it done me ,as I watch Blighty's steady decline- is that group think has indeed penetrated and corrupted our public , private and political sectors more or less entirely.
Ostensibly well educated thoughtful people known to me swallowed the covid stuff without question, have lined up behind HMG's line on Ukraine, believe that global warming is proven beyond reasonable doubt and won't condemn Open Borders outright, despite having inner qualms.
I think there are akso significant pressures on those who are employed in the finance and other professional sectors: family members have told me about obligatory woke training seminars, preferential diversity and equality of outcome recruitment policies and Covid vaccination peer pressure .
Many are extremely intelligent but,as Eugyppius writes, conformist in their adherence to the prevailing status quo.
My sense is that the phenomenon now threatening to take down the west, cannot be explained solely by IQ measurements; it seems to be a complex and bewildering confluence of factors which I constantly seek to understand by studying previous episodes from history of destructive derangement
I know that in my case, I already had a long experience with the medical system and its shortcomings prior to covid. Therefore I was skeptical, to say the least, of the promises made by megacorps like Pfizer. I knew the history of these criminal corporations and the many poisons they sell as medications. I don't know where I fall on the IQ charts and don't really care. I know what I know and no set of GIGO studies from interested parties (which includes those getting directly funded by big pharma and those whose careers are predicated on running with the herd) will convince me to take any recently productized "medicine" from these monsters. If a medication doesn't have a solid 10-20 year track record of doing no harm these days I just don't take it. I recommend that approach to anyone who isn't near death and desperate to try anything.
Excellent point regarding the communications barrier. I don't think it's entirely accurate in all cases: there are highly intelligent people who can make themselves understood to anyone, but this is a skill in itself that not all possess. There's also a strong dependence on subject matter. Take Chris Langan. On political subjects he's very easy to follow; once he gets into metaphysics it becomes quite difficult. However, those caveats aside, my experience is that this principle generally holds. There's about a 1 SD separation beyond which communication becomes increasingly difficult.
I suspect this is the source of a great deal of the ennui of the sensitive young men of the dissident right. As a group, they are highly intelligent. Ideally they would want to find wives who are comparable. However, women tend to be a bit lower in intelligence at that end of the distribution (greater male variability), and they're additionally more susceptible to social pressure regarding beliefs for reasons of personality; these two factors mean that the majority of bright young women are quite thoroughly indoctrinated with the new religion of Woke, which renders them utterly unsuitable as wives. Result is an extremely small pool of potential romantic partners, and a consequent epidemic of loneliness.
It all comes down to your definition of “smart”
No matter what their IQ is--the vaxxed lost the competition.
I dont think we should discount the impact that "high trust" has on society. Sweden especially, has historically been one the highest, and in fact it was that trust which guided much of their initial pandemic response
With the data available in early 2021, anyone of average intelligence could have figured out that the risks outweigh the benefit. The myocarditis, the new technology, the adverse effects, the low IFR, none of this required a very smart person to notice.
When we look at a graph of vaccine uptake, all we're really looking at is a graph of trust in the technocracy. I think you'll find that's what explains almost all the variance. Either you trust the technocracy, or you don't. On average high IQ people will tend to trust the technocracy more, because life tends to work out better for them.
High IQ people will come up with very elaborate reasons for their decision, low IQ people will come up with none or just some paranoid rambling about how the WEF wants to kill us all. But the reasons are just data you grab from the ocean of information available to us, after you already made your decision. We don't decide whether we grow up to trust the technocracy, circumstances beyond our control decide that for us.
If the vaccines just contained plutonium and nothing else, Pete Buttigieg would have still signed up for them. If we had received a live codon deoptimized intranasal vaccine, Alex Jones would have still thought it's part of a secret plot to kill us all.
This is the best analysis of the "midwit" class I have seen.
I’ll take my common sense and BS meter over any IQ points or pile of degrees any day.
Fascinating... and it confirms my anecdotal experience (as an outlier of course).
Excellent analysis. It also explains why PhDs and the highly university educated are more easily convinced by propaganda than the street smart without tertiary degrees. They have a social investment in always being right, on being smarter than almost everybody else, about everything - it is their identity.
When I was young - a long time ago - I wouldn’t say boo to a goose. I was a dedicated student but very quiet and introverted and standing out from the crowd terrified me. But as I’ve got older I’ve changed. I’ve also done things backwards. I finally got my degree at 58 having changed my mind about university two weeks before my course was due to begin. The advantage of this was that I could see when I was being taught BS and could spout what was needed to pass without believing in it. Along the way I have become ‘bolshy’ and I don’t like being told what to do. The covid jab was a giant exercise in being told what to do by a government and people I had little respect for. I smelt BS from around April 2020 and no way was I falling for their tactics.
I don’t believe I am particularly smart but I’m not that stupid either!