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drumbo

Should we stop discriminating against stupid people?

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Many aspects of our society are harmful to stupid people. If you cannot get good grades in school you are unlikely to get the education credentials you need to make a decent living. Even if you manage to get a decent degree you are still faced with the challenge of not coming across as a troglodyte during job interviews, and actually performing well if you are hired. In 21st century Western countries almost all of us have had decent nutrition and ample opportunities to acquire knowledge and cultivate our minds, and therefore most of the variation in how smart we are relative to each other is determined by our innate design which we had no control over. Should we accept that stupid people are not responsible for their deficits, and start giving them money so that they can be happy?

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It isn't as simple as that, because intelligence (which I assume is the 'observable' you are quantifying here) isn't a linear thing, it is multi-dimensional. What I mean by that is that most people are differently abled in different areas of life. For example, I have a friend who is absolutely useless in maths and most other academic subjects, but a brilliant artist, and earns a decent living by producing art. I myself am very intellectual-minded, and thus perform well in academic subjects such as maths and physics, but I am useless when it comes to social skills, so I'd be a miserable failure if I were to go into (say e.g.) politics. So what does it mean for someone to be 'stupid' or 'intelligent'? These terms are meaningful only in a specific context. You don't need to have book smarts to be successful in life, and conversely plenty of book-smart people never do particularly well in the competitive world of business. 

So no, we shouldn't give money to people purely for lack of intelligence, unless of we are dealing with a recognised intellectual disability. What would be a far better thing to do is provide an unconditional universal basic income for everyone, because that would give people a better chance to develop their full potential in life without having to worry about their basic survival, even if that potential cannot be immediately quantified in terms of monetary value.

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In 21st century Western countries almost all of us have had decent nutrition and ample opportunities to acquire knowledge and cultivate our minds, and therefore most of the variation in how smart we are relative to each other is determined by our innate design which we had no control over.

That simply isn't true. Some kids have parents that don't give a damn, they drink or have problems with drugs or money. Some schools have outdated textbooks, broken laptops and no or limited access to the internet.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/reader-center/us-public-schools-conditions.html

Students at Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, Ariz., learn from 25-year-old biology textbooks.oakImage-1523301363640-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale

Some students don't have the internet at home or have very bad internet and only reference books.

Some families need help at home and take kids out of school to help out on the family farm or are forced to help out on the farm after school. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6728209/Children-skipping-education-help-family-farm-drought.html

Children as young as seven are being taken out of school to help out on their family farm as the drought tightens its grip on NSW (pictured, Harry Taylor with bones of dead livestock on family farm at Coonabarabran)

Some kids don't have access to extra curricular activities like sports or music. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/01/the-activity-gap/384961/

original.jpg

Some kids don't have access to tools and equipment required to study certain activities. One example could be a student in my school built a wooden boat as a school project from wood and tools his family had just lying around and got an A1 in the woodworking class. I had little to no tools at home and barely got a C.

image.jpeg.c8f3fce340d33d86e1dfa57cae0fd1d1.jpeg

But it gets worse. Some kids have access to tools like Unreal Engine because their parents can easily afford computers capable of running. For a long time I didn't have a computer that could run unreal engine at all. 

Unreal Engine - Wikipedia

Then there is the university places gimmick. Access to university is controlled by a points system. The number of places puts people in their boxes. Poor people do the low paid courses and rich people do the better courses. There is some allowed movement between rich and poor but really the government doesn't want too much change. If poor people start to do better then the points increase. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/aug/13/almost-40-of-english-students-have-a-level-results-downgraded

Edited by fiveworlds

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10 hours ago, drumbo said:

Even if you manage to get a decent degree you are still faced with the challenge of not coming across as a troglodyte during job interviews, and actually performing well if you are hired.

If A.I reaches its full potential the same could be said even if your in the top ten percent.

The problem I see with giving people money, is that it's unlikely to be anything more than the minimum you need to survive. Most people would be living on the poverty line. If you try to earn a little more they'll just deduct it from your next payment.

I agree with a universal basic income, but it needs to be more than just a cheque every two weeks. I've no idea what though.

Also when people say everyone, does that include the wealthy? Not sure I agree with that, complete waste of money. 

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I'd take a nice idiot over a smart arsehole, every day of the week.

But just to be clear, I'm not accusing anyone of being smart...🤒

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This will soon turn into a discussion about equal opportunity vs equal outcomes.
Equal opportunity should be available to all ( it currently isn't ).
Equal outcome depends on how bad you want it ( not what's provided for you ).

Exemplified by spoilt rich kids who have everything provided for them, and they never even try.
While immigrant kids, who have seen what their parents have endured, work their asses off to better themselves.

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

I'd take a nice idiot over a smart arsehole, every day of the week.

But just to be clear, I'm not accusing anyone of being smart...🤒

You took the words right out of my mouth, sir. 🖖

And as Markus has pointed out, idiocy is observer-dependent. ;) 

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By all means, let’s just let anyone be a physician/engineer/scientist/ etc. without regard for their intelligence. What could go wrong?

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hi,

I have not clearly understood what kind of message you want to transmit to us but as the title is very clear and its color is very obvious, while I would not like to make any explanation about my own idea in the current position,I would definitely express  one woman who has far relation with me; she says:

"why someone says to other ones marking or calling them as 'stupid' ?

did they create them?"

Clarification: that woman intented to express that it would not be convenient to call anyone as "stupid". I can also consider that this would always be an insulting word. 

(assume please someone head to you by calling you with this word,the implication is also awful.)

however, under this instructions we can also not call someone even if someone has had disease (mental ilnesses)

because (although this approach will potentially include relative idea) that woman also expressed this in the content

"you or people did not create that one, so you/they cannot call him as 'stupid' " and illness is generally not in your hand 

 

some keywords: ethics ,aesthetics,manner, human rights.  

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15 hours ago, drumbo said:

Many aspects of our society are harmful to stupid people.

Or, stupid is an aspect of behavior, or cognitive choices, but NOT an aspect of humans themselves. People can do and say many stupid things without being intrinsically stupid. In fact, by labeling the whole person, you're discriminating against groups you've judged as "stupid". You should stop that.

15 hours ago, drumbo said:

Should we accept that stupid people are not responsible for their deficits, and start giving them money so that they can be happy?

"Money so they can be happy" is hideously short-sighted, imo. We should give a basic universal income so after several generations we'll see less ignorance and more educated people. Education and improving job skills are high priorities when people get past paying for the necessities.

4 hours ago, Curious layman said:

Also when people say everyone, does that include the wealthy? Not sure I agree with that, complete waste of money. 

It should be money available to every citizen over a certain age so it will be supported by every citizen. I know it sounds petty, but if you don't give it to everyone, the wealthy will eventually resent it and work to take it away from those who rely on it. That's what they do with public parks, museums, swimming pools, healthcare, social security, and libraries, because they don't use them. But tie the basic income to citizenship, and they'll defend it as their right.

 

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On 9/12/2020 at 11:41 AM, Curious layman said:

 

Also when people say everyone, does that include the wealthy? Not sure I agree with that, complete waste of money. 

Assuming a fair tax system it would simply offset a small portion of their taxes. Keeping it universal eliminates any stigma, the cost and problems of running means tests, and avoids the issues created by clawback welfare. 

 It could be one of the more efficient aspects of what government does.

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4 hours ago, Charles 3781 said:
On ‎9‎/‎12‎/‎2020 at 3:41 PM, Phi for All said:

 

 

One of the few things you've said I wholeheartedly agree with. :)

Edited by MigL

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🙂

On 9/20/2020 at 9:54 PM, MigL said:

One of the few things you've said I wholeheartedly agree with. :)

.🙂

Edited by Charles 3781
added smile in appreciation

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On 9/12/2020 at 9:41 PM, Phi for All said:

Or, stupid is an aspect of behavior, or cognitive choices, but NOT an aspect of humans themselves. People can do and say many stupid things without being intrinsically stupid. In fact, by labeling the whole person, you're discriminating against groups you've judged as "stupid".

How else you would in one word call people who believe that e.g. Earth is flat, who believe in that vaccines were created to harm people, who believe in conspiracy theories, and spreading them further (and contaminating minds of similar to them weak minds. with their mad theories).. etc. etc. ? Such a person has an almost permanent brainwashing..

How to call in one word somebody who can be easily manipulated, who is vulnerable to socio-technical tricks?

 

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43 minutes ago, Sensei said:

How else you would in one word call people who believe that e.g. Earth is flat, who believe in that vaccines were created to harm people, who believe in conspiracy theories, and spreading them further (and contaminating minds of similar to them weak minds. with their mad theories).. etc. etc. ? Such a person has an almost permanent brainwashing..

How to call in one word somebody who can be easily manipulated, who is vulnerable to socio-technical tricks?

False dilemma. In fact, I think trying to reduce complex concepts down to a single word is a big part of why people seem to do so many stupid things.

One-word descriptions are lazy, entertainment-media conventions that let everyone define these concepts however they see fit, and folks who use them usually expect everyone else to agree with their definition (or they're stupid). If I say "welfare", half the folks hear something along the lines of "support for widowed mothers", and the other half hear something like "free money for the lazy". Single words can also hide various fallacious arguments. 

I understand the urge to dismiss these folks. I feel like this type of person used to linger on the fringes of society, but now they get to hear a whole bunch of bizarre because so many "normal" people find it entertaining, and the fringe folk feel justified. 

Our problems require a deeper understanding than a single word can give us. And if we're to address them effectively, step one is to be clear on terms. Alternatively, you could let me paint your house green.

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7 hours ago, Sensei said:

How to call in one word somebody who can be easily manipulated, who is vulnerable to socio-technical tricks?

Is it  -  a  Liberal? 

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3 hours ago, Charles 3781 said:

Is it  -  a  Liberal? 

Yes. And a conservative who also allows their self to be defined by a single word. I'm not sure who is more easily manipulated and acts more stupid, but it doesn't take much to confuse people who think they can live a modern life using a single tool.

The ultimate socio-technical trick is getting non-wealthy people to put their own heads in the noose. Single word lifestyles helped create working class Republicans with no healthcare, and Democrats with a majority that votes like a minority. 

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