so the west is getting dumber

Toronto, 2013.09.27

Apparently, the population of the west has seen a steady erosion of IQ test results since Victorian times (the late 19th century). The results have slipped so badly (by 14 points) that we've effectively lost one standard distribution.

Here's what I mean. In the diagram below, the gold distribution curve on the right, plus the green area makes up the profile of IQ test results in Victorian times. The green area overlaps with the current distribution, which continues through the blue area. From this, the green area represents the number of results that remained the same, while the blue area represents a new population of people getting poorer results, and the golden area represents a population who formerly were getting high results, but which society no longer has. In other words, we've lost a hell of a lot of high performers.

I'm not actually surprised in the slightest, but I'd be curious to see how this actually plays out in some detail. Are the usual suspects of faltering educations systems and soaring TV watching a factor? Is it recreational substance abuse? The dissolution of the extended family? I'm not sure I buy the argument about people with less IQ potential having more kids. Is the IQ test a big friggin' waste of time?

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rand()m quote

(In which I leave the final word to someone else.)

Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee, and do not try to make the universe a blind alley.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson