The Smart Appear to Be Getting Smarter

In the 1980, New Zealand political scientist James Flynn discovered that average IQs in many countries have been drifting upward at about 3 points per decade over the past couple of generations. In fact, the average has risen by an astonishing 15 points in the last 50 years in the United States. In other words, a person with an average IQ of 100 today would score 115 on a 1950s IQ test.  

“This means that on an IQ test made in 1930 the average score of the entire population would give an IQ between 120 and 130 according to the original standardization,” explains [PDF] Hungarian technologist Kristóf Kovács. “This means that instead of 2%, 35–50% of the population would have an IQ above 130. And vice versa; if the current standard was applied to people living in 1930, average IQ would be between 70 and 80, and instead of 2%, 35–50% would be diagnosed with mental retardation.”

Up to half the people alive in 1930, to use Kovács' insensitive phraseology, were mentally retarded? Really? That might help explain the rise of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

In any case, there has been some recent evidence that the increase in IQ scores has begun to level off in some countries. But Wired is reporting a new study, “The Flynn Effect Puzzle,” by Duke University researcher Jonathan Wai and his colleagues published in the journal Intelligence. Wai investigated the right tail of the IQ distribution ...

By looking at approximately 1.7 million scores of 7th grade students between 1981 and 2000 on the SAT and ACT, as well as scores of 5th and 6th grade students on the EXPLORE test, the psychologists were able to investigate the extent to which the Flynn effect exists in the right tail of the bell curve. The results were clear:

The effect was found in the top 5% at a rate similar to the general distribution, providing evidence for the first time that the entire curve is likely increasing at a constant rate. The effect was also found for females as well as males, appears to still be continuing, is primarily concentrated on the mathematics subtests of the SAT, ACT, and EXPLORE, and operates similarly for both 5th and 6th as well as 7th graders in the right tail.

In other words, the Flynn effect doesn’t appear to be solely caused by rising scores among the lowest quartile. Rather, it seems to be just as prevalent among the top 5 percent. The smartest are getting smarter.

What can explain this dramatic across the board increase in intelligence? Answer: Television. 

One frequently cited factor is the increasing complexity of entertainment, which might enhance abstract problem solving skills. (As Flynn himself noted, “The very fact that children are better and better at IQ test problems logically entails that they have learned at least that kind of problem-solving skill better, and it must have been learned somewhere.”) This suggests that, because people are now forced to make sense of Lost or the Harry Potter series or World of Warcraft, they’re also better able to handle hard logic puzzles.

Whole Wired article can be found here

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  • Ed Shultz||

    Me smart? That's unpossible!

  • Fillmore Butz||

    "One frequently cited factor is the increasing complexity of entertainment"

    No. It's fat. It builds a better brain. Advanced nations have diets with higher fat content.

  • Name Nomad||

    If that were true then Eskimos should have the highest average IQs in the world, given that the majority of their diet for the last several thousand years has been marine mammal blubber. My guess is that education is becoming more wide-spread (and starting earlier) so that kids are more accustomed to taking these kinds of tests and answer these kinds of questions.

    Of course, IQ tests don't measure much of anything, since "intelligence" is such a difficult quality to define let alone measure.

  • JD the elder||

    I think Name Nomad hit on it right away. The IQ tests don't just exist in a vacuum, they actually affect, over time, the world that they're trying to measure. More IQ tests -> more exposure to the concepts in IQ tests -> higher scores on IQ tests.

  • Fillmore Butz||

    The Eskimos also have periods of starvation.

  • ||

    Actually I think he mgiht be correct.

    Eskimos have fat, but not a balanced diet. Modern americans get more than enough of everything, though.

  • Skr||

    I would guess it is a mechanism similar to the one that causes Asian birds in the US to develop nice "tracks of land" so to speak.

  • Dempy||

    Not from what I have seen.

  • Skr||

    I think it crops up in the third or fourth generation once the foodways have changed enough from the ethnic origin. But we have a lot of native born Asian girls in LA that are well endowed.

  • ||

    The answer is IODINE. Currently, "Iodine deficiency is the single most common cause of preventable mental retardation and brain damage in the world." http://tiny.tw/8rD

    Iodine administered to youngsters in a population that is deficient have produced measurable IQ increases over a very short period of time.

    In the 1950's, Iodine deficiency was so prominent in the US, there were regions of the country that were referred to as "goiter belts". A goiter is the swelling of the the thyroid gland (located next to your throat) and is only caused by insufficient Iodine intake. "Mrs. Bolton, whose 22nd Ohio District is in the goiter belt, had taken up the campaign when she learned that iodine-deficient mothers often have feebleminded children." (From Time magazine 9/19/49). http://tiny.tw/8rF

    A person is deemed to be iodine sufficient if they ingest 150 micrograms per day (250 if pregnant). In my opinion this is far too low. It was determined that this dosage was the minimum amount required to keep from having a goiter.

    The Japanese population on average ingest 13,000 micrograms (13 milligrams) per day, with some areas of the country taking in as much as 300,000 micrograms (300 mg) per day. Despite smoking almost twice as much as Americans; being more densely populated; and having 2 atomic bombs dropped on population centers, they have significantly less obesity; breast cancer; lung cancer; and thyroid cancer and they live longer. However if they move to America they gradually adopt our statistics.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    And what about the Samoans?

  • ||

    I'm with you, Name Nomad. People these days have much more experience with standardized tests, which is bound to increase their scores on those tests.

  • Federal Dog||

    "Of course, IQ tests don't measure much of anything, since "intelligence" is such a difficult quality to define let alone measure"

    It can, however, be observed, and no evidence supports inference that people are actually smarter than they used to be.

  • ||

    Up to half the people alive in 1930, to use Kovács' insensitive phraseology, were mentally retarded?

    "Straight, gay, retarded, why must we use labels?"

    On a side note that show Misfits on Hulu is not half bad.

  • Bill||

    if the current standard was applied to people living in 1930, 35–50% would be diagnosed with mental retardation.”

    That explains the New Deal.

  • Sinic||

    Maybe the researchers are getting stupider and making mistakes.

  • ||

    What is the IQ of a person with access to Google vs the IQ of a person without it?

    We are already cyborgs.

  • Mensan||

    I'm waiting for the Ghost in the Shell style brain implants that will allow us to access Google directly with our brains.

  • Joe M||

    Sooner than you think.

  • ||

    access Google directly with our brains.

    I like how inputting information into the brain via photons from a screen is old school but pounding and cutting it into one's head surgically is the "Future!!!"

  • ||

    I'd hope it would be more than the same interface, BUT IN YOUR BRAIN!!! I'm sure the creation of a brain interface that responds to thoughts directly will allow a multitude of different applications to come into existence.

  • Brett L||

    Spam. Why I'll never have a direct to interwebz brain implant. Nothing like having blink tags all over your visual cortex.

  • ||

    It's difficult to accept data on a phenomenon that doesn't evidence itself in your day-to-day interactions.

  • ||

    Yes, to what extent is this "increased intelligence" as opposed to "increased ability to do well on tests that we designed to try to measure what we call intelligence"?

  • H man||

    ^
    This

  • scythe||

    >It's difficult to accept data on a phenomenon that doesn't evidence itself in your day-to-day interactions.

    I don't know how it possibly could. If everyone is getting smarter, including you, it doesn't seem like everyone is getting smarter because you still occupy the same relative intellectual position.

  • ||

    A rising tide may raise all boats, but a good chunk of people I encounter are still milling around on the dock.

  • ||

    ^^ I like

  • Zeb||

    And presumably it's not one of those floating docks.

  • ||

    Considering day-to-day interactions, and using a sample size of one, I would say people are getting stupider. [This is based on my experience two days ago where I was using a revolving door and the woman in front of me stopped before fully exiting the revolving door so she could open her umbrella; she seemed quite surprised when I kept going and the next panel of the door hit her on the ass.]

  • ||

    My own favorite is the people who take one step off the escalator and decide that is the perfect location to stop and surveil the surroundings.

    Perhaps related to the people who question the clerk at McDonalds about the fat content of the hamburgers...

  • ||

    I like the drivers who are so careful that when they turn into a driveway or parking lot that has a bit of a bump, they slow to a crawl so that the bump doesn't hurt their car, all the while leaving the rear half their car sticking out in the street for longer than most other drivers expect.

  • Fillmore Butz||

    I spent a good five minutes with an idiot IT guy who couldn't fathom what a speaker phone was.

  • ||

    Maybe you should hang out with smarter people. First step: stop associating with me and Warty.

  • ||

    Good idea. Your emotional IQ is too low for a sensitive poet-type like me.

  • ||

    My what? Are you actually a woman?

  • ||

    If you think I'm a woman, why do you keep emailing me to demand pictures of my turgid beefcannon?

  • Joe M||

    Curtain, not cannon.

  • ||

    Even if I possessed a labia, I'm certain it would be far more masculine that any genitalia you could muster.

  • ||

    Because I was drunk. Sue me. But send me pix plz thx.

  • Warty||

    First MNG calls me stupid, now et tu?

  • ||

    You're not stupid; we like to call it "differently smart" here at The Institute.

  • ||

    I called us stupid. Big difference. Moron.

  • Jacob Weisberg||

    That's what I'm talking about!

  • ||

    I think we've found a new hobby horse for the egalitarians to ride. I'm sure they'll be demanding legislation--or maybe a big new government department--to address this unfairness.

  • Restoras||

    Some sort of de-education camp?

  • ||

    Restoras: We call them "public schools."

  • ||

    The United States Handicapper General.

  • Brett L||

    Harrison Bergeron joins 1984 as distopian fiction turned progressive instruction manual.

  • ||

    This suggests that, because people are now forced to make sense of Lost or the Harry Potter series or World of Warcraft, they’re also better able to handle hard logic puzzles.

    The Puzzles in Portal on the other hand only make you feel smart.

  • Joe M||

    How intellectually challenging is grinding thought?

  • Skr||

    Grinding thought sounds very challenging.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Yeah, I'm not sure WoW belongs on there...

  • ||

    Figuring out the optimal spec, gem, enchant, glyph, talent, and gear combo which changes every 2 months or so is fucking a pain in the ass.

    And that was a year ago...they have added even more bullshit on top of all that I assume.

  • KDN||

    Nah, they simplified it. There's not a lot of choice in builds or gear choices anymore (at least there wasn't when I quit in Feb), and upgrades now cream "UPGRADE" without you having to do any thinking on the subject. This was a stated objective of the dev team throughout the design process.

  • ||

    Nah, they simplified it.

    All the hard core must have moved to Rift...or you know grew up and got a job.

    Blizzard must be appealing to the casuals to stop the consumer bleed.

  • Sparky||

    Just about every patch and expansion is now geared towards dumbing the game down. Most skills that you used to have to think about now have a tool-tip that says "Use this when you're friends are being hurt" or something along those lines.

  • Skr||

    Now EVE otoh....

  • Joe M||

    There you go. That seems like an impenetrable maze of intrigue. With grinding.

  • ||

    With grinding.

    Is leaving the game idle in the back ground for months at a time to "level up" technically "grinding"?

  • Skr||

    A lot of people do grind for isk.

  • ryback's cook||

    IQ tests are a joke.

  • ||

    jokes are IQ tests

  • KDN||

    I think that depends on timing and type. Measuring IQ when children are, say, kindergarten-aged (i.e. before they've had the chance to learn anything specific or how to game test) and then comparing said measurements to earlier ones of the same age group would tell us more about growth or lack thereof in people's innate intelligence, I think. This data just seems to say that people are becoming better educated about the techniques employed on the tests at younger ages.

  • Restoras||

    If this is true then why aren't more people liberals? I question the timing.

  • ||

    Television?

    I would say computers and video games - at least for recent gains. Complex puzzles, environments and all that uh, shit.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Better Schools?
    [ducks]

  • ||

    NM: And duck you might, especially if you harbor any notions that increased per pupil spending has anything to do with "better" schooling. Since 1970, spending has increased 2.5x in real dollars, while scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have remained essentially flat. Television is a more likely answer.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    The best schools were always the ones that had Oregon Trail. QED.

  • ||

    Oregon Trail

    Loadrunner had the ability to make your own levels.

  • ||

    Idle question...

    Once a child is diagnosed with a learning or cognitive disability, are their IQ scores still aggregated with the general population?

    If not, then the explosion in diagnoses and an anti-selection bias could explain the increase.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Huh. I never thought of that.
    Certainly people with mental disabilities must be averaged in, since the IQ scale goes pretty low.

  • ||

    And even if they are tested (or even can be tested in the case of some autistics) are they tested as frequently? Using the same tests under the same conditions?

  • Neu Mejican||

    This study seems to have used SAT and ACT rather than IQ tests. Both tests allow for accommodations for persons with disabilities and would not have prior to the passage of ADA and PL94-142. But that would not be likely to have an impact on the upper ranges of the IQ score...at least not much of one.

    It is important to note that these tests are not IQ tests but performance tests and are more influenced by education than an IQ test would be.

    Ron Bailey: Television is not a very likely answer.

  • ||

    OK, that makes more sense. I've read a few things that aggregate IQ off the portion of the CAT test, but those numbers are soft because not all states used it.

  • ||

    I would find the story more interesting if the gap between the smart and less smart were getting bigger...or smaller...without that, aren't we really just witnessing across the board IQ inflation?

  • ||

    that should be "...IQ Test result inflation?"

  • T||

    Grade inflation yet again. Why am I not surprised?

  • roystgnr||

    Grade deflation, actually. IQ tests get renormalized just like the SATs have been, but in the IQ tests' case the change is to *reduce* newer scores, not inflate them.

  • ||

    Deflation...I knew it. Bernanke was right. QE3!

  • ||

    "What can explain this dramatic across the board increase in intelligence? Answer: Television"

    talking box know everything! Now, buy everything it tell you to! To suppport high quality drama, insightful documentaries, buxom weathergirls...uh, all buxom TV women, and objective journalism!!!

  • H man||

    So all those old people don't have dementia? They were always that clueless. That's what this seems to say.

  • scythe||

    If I had to guess a reason, it's probably vaccination. Diseases in childhood tend to interfere with brain development because "make the brain grow" takes a back seat to "make the immune system work" for a sick child's body. It's much rarer for today's children to get serious long-term illnesses like measles, and that has an overall positive effect on mental health.

  • roystgnr||

    Correcting childhood illness would have the same effect on IQ distributions as it did on life expectancy distributions, though: a huge increase in the mean, a decrease in the standard deviation, and not much change in the 95th percentile. If this study is right that we're instead seeing equally dramatic changes in the 95 percentile, then there has to be something else at work (either instead or in addition).

  • Fillmore Butz||

    The smart get smarter while the rest fall behind.

  • GILMORE||

    What can explain this dramatic across the board increase in intelligence? Answer: Television.

    .... what this says about me never watching television, I don't know.

    I think that's a pretty silly conclusion to jump to, really - increasing complexity of entertainment does not = 'television'.

    I think exactly the point they made - the *diversity* of entertainment is what matters. Books, films, music, TV, video games, the intertubes, RPGs!!, Pokemon, whatever... kids get lots of brain stimulating jungle-gym materials these days. The sheer range and choice of ways to 'imagine' is unsurpassed.

    I myself made do with some sticks in the mud, rocks, and thrown-out newspapers. Oh, and a filthy feral cat. Result = CHILD GENIUS.

    I have a pretty low opinion of most of these studies.

    Also, Ron... 1) "In the 1980.."? Come on man, first sentence...?

    You might as well be like, "Science-Doctor men say: many moons ago, Ugg forefathers heads not good like Ugg people now. Ugg think this make Ugg feel better about Ugg. Fuck forefathers."

    2) DISCLOSURES!!!! Reference how you were either learning disabled or one of the Smart Kids on the short bus while growing up, and how it's all due to your endless hours watching The Waltons, Hee Haw, and Mr Ed...

  • ||

    On the medical front, less childhood exposure to heavy metal, esp. lead, probably plays a part.

  • Warty||

  • Ronnie Dio||

    I smite thee to the ground!!!

    Ayyyiieeeeeeeeaaahhhhh!!!!! (throws fist in air)

  • ||

    *heavy metals*

    It's sad to say, but I grew up in a dark time for heavy metal. I didn't like it all in high school, because the only fans of it were absolute meatheads or fat girls dying to give Bret Michaels a humjob. It took me years to come around.

  • Fat Girl||

    It took me years to come around

    YOU gave Bret Michaels a humjob??

  • ||

    Brush the fat out of your eyes and learn to read.

  • Warty||

    The mid-80s were an odd time for metal. On the one hand, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, etc. were at the height of their awesomeness. But on the other, they were drowned out by the horrifying shitty popularity of Poison and and all their clones. I don't blame you for hating it.

  • Warty||

  • Ska||

    Less exposure to metal and lead guitarists has to be a good thing. People were listening to Poison and Ratt and thinking it was good music.

  • Ska||

    I will press F5 before posting...

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Nah, my daughters were all over the Stanford Achievement Test like Fullerton cops on a civilian and they've grown up on Iron Maiden. Hell, they've read about Alexander the Great, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and ancient Egypt because of Maiden songs. Based on my sample size of two, I think we can credit metal.

  • Sparky||

    My daughter is into a lot of the good stuff as well and into several AP courses in high school. I'll add my experience to yours and thus make it unquestionable.

  • ||

    Better nutrition. Not many kids are malnourished, except in the eating too much sense, these days. And being overweight doesn't impair brain development the way starvation does.

  • roystgnr||

    Same problem here as with the "fewer childhood diseases" theory: even if that explains some of the improvement in the means, were the *95th percentile* in 2000 really getting much better nutrition than the same percentile in 1981? I'm betting starvation wasn't much of a factor for either group.

  • ||

    Hmmm. Maybe better pre-natal care, nutrition included?

    I don't think anyone gave shit about fetal alocohol sydrome back in 1981. Plus they didn't have everyone getting ultrasound and genetic testing.

    These days, everyone is horrified if a pregnant woman takes a sip of beer.

  • Grumpy Old Bastnerd||

    >_>

  • Grumpy Old Bastnerd||

    Post fail.

  • Grumpy Old Bastnerd||

    Properly gearing in WoW involves some math and some reverse engineering to figure out how various effects are calculated. It's not that easy to do it properly, and kids are pretty good at it.

    Dunno if that's a cause or an effect, but it's pretty neat.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    The kids who actually do that might be using problem-solving skills. The kids who just read the fora and implement "best builds" probably aren't learning anything.

  • KDN||

    But the kids that follow the theorycraft that leads to the best builds are probably learning a lot, since there's so much math involved. Though I doubt that number's too high since, in my experience, it was the younger players that always needed the most training.

    It's a shame the new xpack dumbed down the outfitting and talent process so much, that was one of my favorite bits about the game.

  • Barcock Hussein Obummer||

    this simply won't do -- how the fuck am i going to enslave these serfs if they be gettin' smarter and smarter?

  • Russ 2000||

    This suggests that, because people are now forced to make sense of Lost or the Harry Potter series or World of Warcraft, they’re also better able to handle hard logic puzzles

    WTF?.

    One cannot make sense of Lost or Harry Potter without a gigantic dose of disbelief suspension or a gigantic dose of "accept the ridiculous premise just to get along with the story." In other words, it's no different than the prior generations' version of the same thing: Bible Study.

    Also note that the same thing goes on with "climate change" and "federal deficit". You can't solve a hard logic puzzle if the given information is actually bullshit and the actual facts are rejected.

  • Fluffy||

    The Harry Potter stories are ultimately mysteries.

    Rowling made a fortune because she mashed up genres in a way that coined gold, but the plot structure of the books means that their primary genre is mystery.

    Reading mysteries will help build problem-solving skills, even if the premises of the universes depicted are fantastical or absurd, as long as the mysteries themselves follow basic logic.

  • ||

    One cannot make sense of Lost or Harry Potter without a gigantic dose of disbelief suspension or a gigantic dose of "accept the ridiculous premise just to get along with the story." In other words, it's no different than the prior generations' version of the same thing: Bible Study.

    Compared to what? Wizard of Oz?

    I am as pissed at Lost as anyone still the number of characters and relationships and crazy shit going on takes IQ to keep track of. Plus the fact that the suspension of disbelief in Lost is far easier and more subtle then the Wizard of Oz..the fact that that suspension is lost so easily with Lost speaks more to the sophistication of today's average viewer rather then the low quality of the fiction.

  • Invisible Finger||

    the fact that that suspension is lost so easily with Lost speaks more to the sophistication of today's average viewer

    It certainly explains Bush and Obama.

  • Fluffy||

    Movement on the right side of the curve will happen if very small numbers of test subjects move into the higher end of the distribution.

    Nutrition is probably a factor, but I imagine that changing social conditions end up changing the nature of the pool of persons selected for testing.

    Would IQ testing in the US in 1941 really have uncovered the true number of Asian Americans on the right side of the distribution?

    Or would language barriers, cultural barriers, and plain old test subject exclusion ("Well, you see, we wanted to test real Americans, so we didn't test any of those Chinks or Kikes!") have "hidden" high IQ Asian-Americans from the test pool?

  • roystgnr||

    Good explanation for changes since 1941... but the earlier test in this newest study was in 1981. I don't think test subject exclusion would have been a factor.

    Plus, even controlling for demographics you see population IQ increases over time, and the increases are even greater in the lower quantiles. The gaps between races seem to be shrinking, for example.

  • ||

    Hmm. Are Asians a higher percentage of the population today than in 1981?

  • Fluffy||

    Hey - wait a second.

    If the test scores are normalizing down on the time scale of decades -

    - How the fuck am I getting the same scores now that I did at 15?

    Wouldn't that require my own IQ to have risen with the Flynn effect?

    AAAIIIIEEEEE the phone call is coming from inside the house!

  • Fluffy||

    And wouldn't this mean that any examination of changes in test subjects in the aggregate would be irrelevant?

    If my score now would secretly have given me a higher resulting IQ in 1984, it can't be nutrition or anything else - because it's not a macro question any more. It's "How did Fluffy get smarter as his brain cells died?"

  • ||

    Because IQ tests have a problem testing raw intelligence versus retention and education.

    Have you ever taken one of the IQ tests meant to measure high IQ? I took one meant to test 160 and over in high school. It was analogies, but the multiple choice answers were all technical terms. I grasped the analogies fine, but the vocabulary tripped me up.

    One I remember: The analogy answer was "blood pressure cuff" but I missed it because I didn't (at 15) know that they were looking for "sphygmomanometer."

  • Bradley||

    Somewhere I still have a copy of an IQ test book from the '50s with an entire category for anagrams of national capitals. Raw intelligence indeed.

  • roystgnr||

    Actually, older people do tend have lower IQs than they did when younger... probably. One of the confusing implications of the Flynn effect is that the effect of age on IQ is easy to misread: if you look at a snapshot of IQ vs age at one time it looks like you're seeing clear aging-related mental decay, but part of that is an artifact of the earlier-born groups having *always* scored lower than later-born groups would at the same age.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Your hypothesis assumes a linear decrease after reaching adulthood. That's not the case... at all.

  • roystgnr||

    That's not my hypothesis... at all.

    Take a look at some of the data for yourself. Cognitive ability in cross-sectional data shows a steady decline, starting at the latest by age 25 (the youngest subjects) in two thirds of the categories they tested. In longitudinal data, though, you can see that individuals don't start intellectually peaking in any category until their 40s, and don't start declining in the other 5 categories until their 50s. The smart young cohorts are simply smarter (in these metrics) than the older cohorts were at the same age.

    Also, although some of the first data set does show a roughly linear decrease, linearity has nothing to do with either conclusion...

  • Sidd Finch||

    I didn't read your comment thoroughly the first time. I guess I thought it was more of the baseless speculation ITT. That said, there's a couple things here:

    IQ is normed by age, so different generations don't affect your IQ score.

    The most g-loaded subtests are verbal followed closely by math and these scores have risen 3 and 4 points IIRC since the first IQ tests in the early 1900s. Unsurprisingly, these are also the only abilities that don't decline in the cross-sectional study. IOW the tests with little g-loading are the ones responsible for the Flynn Effect. So people are getting better at doing specific tests, but these tests are decreasingly predictive (general intelligence).

  • ||

    Obligatory Minecraft video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFKwCel7xvk

    kids these days.

  • ||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbz9KoF_xX0

    Check out the massive block of circuits at the end of the video.

    Perhaps Childhood's End is prophesy.

  • omg||

    Holy graphical tearing batman!

  • ||

    The 3+ million buyers do not seem to care.

    Graphics has never been the main selling point of the game.

  • kinnath||

    Actually it's all the result of high tech marketing. I had multiple gyroscopes when I was growing up. I just bought a fancy-robot-war-machine-do-dad of some sort or other for my grandson's birthday. In reality, it as just a gyroscope with lots of plastic flourishes. So when I was growing up, only the emerging-nerd population would have been playing with a gyroscope. Now every kid with with a set of balls that is about to descend NEEDS one.

  • ||

    IQ tests are bullshit. They do provide some amusement, though. When I was a kid, I tested at 150, and from time to time some leftard douchebag will try to "pull rank" on me by claiming he's got a 140 IQ!!! They always look so crestfallen when I top them.

  • Sidd Finch||

    "IQ tests are bullshit."

    You better tell that to universities and the military.

  • Sparky||

    The akashic records are constantly updating. The collective unconscious is LEARNING!!!!111!!1!!1! Soon it will spawn life out of pure energy and we'll all be doooooomed.

  • Sidd Finch||

    In other IQ news...

    "We estimate that 40% of the variation in crystallized-type intelligence and 51% of the variation in fluid-type intelligence between individuals is accounted for by linkage disequilibrium between genotyped common SNP markers and unknown causal variants. These estimates provide lower bounds for the narrow-sense heritability of the traits."
    http://www.nature.com/mp/journ.....1185a.html

  • Neu Mejican||

    Nifty:

    Our results unequivocally confirm that a substantial proportion of individual differences in human intelligence is due to genetic variation, and are consistent with many genes of small effects underlying the additive genetic influences on intelligence.
  • Neu Mejican||

    I wonder how long it will take for someone to (erroneously) read "many genes of small effects" to be "race."

  • ||

    On the technology side - the internet.

    Kids today actually read a lot instead of watching TV. There may be a developmental effect from having your kid actively engaged and typing and interacting with technology, versus passively watchign television shows.

    Not so much video games, per se, but interactivity, plus the fact that any child is curious and will learn, and the internet is the fucking ultimate tool for a curious kid.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Or kids just got better at taking standardized tests by ... taking more standardized tests.

  • Ray||

    If you're going to talk about video games, etc, you need to throw in the ARMA 2 series. Holy shit trying to figure out all the complexities of using the editor and indeed the gameplay are brain bamboozling.

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