Comprehension Problem

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?

There seems to be a comprehension problem on this site, perhaps it has always been this way, but it seems to be getting worse. Like an inability to understand basic sentences, or basic reasoning, or basic concepts, or something. I am tempted to attribute this to the United States’ decline into Idiocracy (after all, most posters are from 'Merica). This decline in reasoning has been predicted, and so it shouldn’t really be shocking, and yet it IS shocking to behold.

What’s wrong with people do you think?

this belongs in the feedback forum

^ Behold an example! Let’s analyze this shall we?

When I go to the Feedback Forum, I find this decription – “Have an idea for making AnalystForum a better place? Share it here.”

Did I propose an idea for making AF better? No, I did not. Therefore I did not share it there.

What did I do? I posed a question at the watercooler about a predicted, and observed, decline in compreshenion across the United States. And specifically here on “analyst” forum (I have to put analyst in quotes at this point, given the low analytical ability). The question posed – what the heck happened to everyone’s brain?

The bigger issue is that people don’t comprehend the importance of that man who eats live snakes.

^It rarely gets bumped anymore.

You do realize that you’re complaining about lack of writing abilities, yet label this ‘comprehension’. Do you comprehend that reading and writing are two separate entities?

Are you saying communication skills have declined but comprehension is fine? Your communication seems unclear, so I need to ask for clarification.

The writings seem to communicate individuals do not comprehend basic concepts, hence my thinking it is comprehension.

I think you may simply be making what to you feel like logical conclusions but in fact have logic chains that include assumptions and/or data that aren’t shared by the people you are talking to.

For example, it seems that a common theme in your arguments are “if I think an American is making a point, it must be with data that is worthless.” So you conclude that any american that does not agree with you has a low IQ because you feel that your data (and analyisis) is better and everyone should know and agree with that. If anyone else doesn’t agree with you, it must be because they are American, or perhaps have accidentally read american data and not wherever yours comes from.

The problem with your observation is that your looking at small windows of time. This is not the right approach to fully comprehend what is actually going on. You have to first look at the outstanding development of the ease of sharing information that took place during the last few decades. Throw in the millions of money hungry C**** S****** and what kind of information they’re spreading to the world just to feed their endless greed.

This will accumulate a level of stupidity and misinformed individuals beyond the scope of anyone’s imagination, even yours wont reach this far. People are probably permanently changed/damaged by this, maybe a very low minority would survive with your little homo-sapien micro-informative pseudo-knowledge enlightening mentality, but it won’t work with the vast majority. It’s complicated.

Not to mention what is happening on the subconscious level to these poor people, people may produce infants who will suffer from depression and anxiety due to the high stress levels their parents had during their lives.

Now don’t you think poor reasoning and low comprehension abilities are quite normal/justified given what everyone is going through and how they absolutely have no control over it?

Well yeah, that’s definetly the case. See I can read that sentence, it communicates an idea, and I can understand the meaning. Comprehension!

But I’m zooming out further, and talking about the ability to follow individual logic chains in general, just basic simple chains of thought. Like even if I don’t post myself, just reading, it’s still there. You don’t think comprehension skills have deteriorated at all over the years??

Things were bad when I left, but now being back in North America it is shocking, my impression is that things are MUCH worse. Or it could be reverse culture shock…and things were always this bad LOL…

Well now you are getting into a specific example. In this example (see thread “S&P500, what’s a fair level”) it seems trained “analysts” aren’t capable doing the most basic things anymore, like downloading the Excel from Howard @ S&P, and calculating index trailing P/E correctly? They are shocked when someone does so, because they have never heard that number! They are not able to notice earnings forecasts have been WAY high for years?? They just keep using those made up numbers? They take management’s operating earnings and actually believe that is an objective data source? And they are not even able to remember that we had this conversation a dozen times? How can these people even have jobs? This is really how Idiocracy goes I guess.

But I was even talking more general than this, just the ability to follow basic lines of reasoning.

Well, I suspect part of the problem is hardly anyone has the patience to think logically anymore. No one wants to read more than 140 characters, and so any logical argum…

…crap, just ran out of space again.

TL;DR - if you can’t be bothered to think, people just go with their gut and say everyone who disagrees is biased or part of a conspiracy. Although I’ve been teasing you about it PA, it seems rampant these days in many areas (antivax, climate change, etc.). Since logical arguments don’t seem to work with many people, fewer people see any value in pursuing them. Pretty soon, no one argues logically anymore. They just see if someone with money or good looks agrees with them and they get into ideological tribes where the cost of changing one’s opinion in the light of data or arguments is so high that it is hard even to consider evaluating data that might seem contradictory.

The other problem is that many issues these days require substantial sums of knowledge and familiarity in order to have a useful opinion. Yet it’s hard to be an expert on everything you’re required to have an opinion on. Many people seem think not having an opinion on something they are not informed about is means they are stupid, so they grab an opinion and stick with it, rather than develop one over time.

This is a funny concept. Recently I have come across a bunch of scientists and PhDs that clearly know what they are talking about in their field. Yet many experts sedolm speak about certainty and often label opinions as speculation. I’ve talked about issues they they have framed with “all sources point to this conclusion” or reference sample sizes, percentages, and likelihood of their ‘opinion’ being the case.

So on one hand we have a bunch of random people spouting like they know everything and the people who know quite a bit are hestitant to say much that deviates from their well formed ideas.

Haha, nice post. And oh maybe the slightest bit depressing! Well, that has been my theory too. I suspect there is actual genetic destruction going on, permanent damange to the species. Not just a loss of patience for example, but a genetic loss of patience, perma-ADHD passed forward. There could be a lot of reasons for that, complicated as you say. There are gene studies that support this theory too; the idea that a loss of reasoning and emotional stability is taking place across large chunks of time (the last 5000 years). The frightening thing is that we shouldn’t actually be able to perceive changes happening across our short life spans. If we are able to see some sort of “de-evolution”, or dysgenics happening realtime, that is a seriously frightening pace of change.

this is one of the most ridiculous things you have ever said

Freakin’ Twitter!! Jeez I wish someone with a lot of cash would short these guys into zero. :slight_smile:

This trend is also seen in the US presidential election, and Brexit. Not that the masses ever really examined issues carefully. But it seems like it’s getting worse.

I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have a style of saying seemingly ridiculous things, that actually aren’t that dumb once you start really digging into them. :wink:

There’s a lot of science behind this, that you might not be up to speed on. I’ve posted some of it over the years (decreasing cranial capacity over the last 15K years, gene studies, global IQ changes over the last century, nutrition and biochemistry). It’s not like dysgenics can’t happen, it’s that it’s never going to get a lot of research funding or press, for obvious reasons. “Next up on the news, you are all getting dumber!!”. [Click!]

so with decreasing cranial capacity over the last 15k years, how has the human race able to accomplish so much?

or is it the outliers that keep us from going extinct?

man created fire and then the glorious hacksaw we dont really need anything else anyway

I’m glad you noticed that. One of my favorite quotes from Bertrand Russell is: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.”

In this day and age, expressing doubts about the extent of your knowledge seems to be read as tantamount to saying “What I say is not worth listening to.” So people just assert their knowledge and opinions and stick to it. That’s why I respect people who argue logically, but are explicit about where the uncertainties lie.

I was being sarcastic, my post is actually quoted from your post on the weight loss thread, with changes for the sake of the context of this one.