Why we are becoming dumber
Great article! A few observations that could be of interest to you:
1. Perhaps the reverse Flynn effect is made worse by reduced attention spans (lowering the probability of acquiring deep knowledge) and increased mental illness (search ‘anxiety’ in Google Trends, worldwide from 2004-present).
2. I don’t have any data on this, but it certainly feels like ‘smarter’ people are less empowered/vocal with their opinions. If you have more information at your fingertips (via smartphones, internet), you are less confident because you’re more acutely aware of your ignorance.
3. Your article reminded me of Alexander Luria’s investigations of rural Uzbeks in 1931, ie people who hadn’t entered the scientific age. They were (1) resistant to classification (2) couldn’t think in hypotheticals (3) struggled to use logic on top of abstractions. It could be useful to loosely define intelligence as one’s ability to think scientifically, ie *how* someone’s mind works and the quantity/quality of their questioning. After all, high trait openness and intelligence are correlated for a reason. No curiosity -> no questioning -> no data and knowledge.
4. “That which enters the mind through reason can be corrected. That which is admitted through faith, hardly ever.” - Santiago Ramon y Cajal (special thanks to Jonathan for introducing me to this incredible scientist)
5. It is highly likely that my thoughts are a perfect example of peak Mount Stupid.