Attitudes towards intelligence

Ann K

Senior Member.
One of my childhood toys was the tail fin section from a German Incendiary bomb. A vegetable growing field near my grandfather's home was next to an "S" bend in the river. 7 miles upstream, a similar shaped "S" bend, the same river, the site of the "Yorkshire copper Works" - the largest manufacturer of copper tubing in the country. For "copper tubing" read "steam-driven warships". One night the vegetable field was hit hard by a focused German incendiary bombing raid. All the vegies were roasted. My uncle souvenired the tailpiece of the bomb. Guess what the real target was. Wrong "S" bend in the river. Predates GPS.
My uncle, who later served in the army in Belgium, was at home in Greenock when it was bombed. They missed what they thought were important shipbuilding sites, and reportedly my uncle stepped outside after the all-clear signal, saw the river of fire flowing down the brae, and said "Oh, the bastards! They've hit the distillery!"

He had a dog that had belonged to a naval officer in Portsmouth, which had been heavily attacked. The dog knew the difference in sound between German and British aircraft, and when Goofy began to whine, everyone headed for the basements.
 

captancourgette

Active Member
Are you middle-aged?
I'm 51. Yes its natural for metal faculties to drop off with age. IIRC I was reading something recently saying though not really until the 80s. (*)
Early alzheimers perhaps o_O haha, Oh well.
Never been to either Iran (would like to) or Somalia (probably not) nor the Southern Hemisphere (assuming it exists).
Iran is my #1 country to visit. Should go to the otherside, if only to see the moon up the right way ;) and the milky way and different stars. I've always been into space, I can remember first time in northern hemisphere ~30 years ago, looking up and I recognized the great bear and polaris, magic.

(*)I think this was the article, https://www.theguardian.com/science...t-slow-down-until-after-age-of-60-study-finds Actually it was the 60s, and I must of read it 7 months ago (I would of guessed 2 months)
 

econ41

Senior Member
Early alzheimers perhaps o_O haha, Oh well.
81 and I'm definitely slowing down mentally. (Physically goes without question.... I've had several "parts worn out" episodes in recent years.)
Should go to the otherside, if only to see the moon up the right way ;) and the milky way and different stars.
I'm English by birth but 70/81 Aussie by residence and culture. Visiting UK - north of Scotland, last visit 2014, I could not easily get my bearings. In AU if the sun is visible I don't even need to think where N E S W are. But, "up there" in the Northern hemisphere, it took me a good 30 seconds thinking to orient myself. OOPS "down there" - let's get the map oriented correctly:

upover3.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
In regards to the general welfare and prosperity of less educated and less intelligent people, are people of higher education and intelligence likely to make more effective decisions than the less educated, less intelligent people for which they are advocates?
Yes.

There's no reason to assume that the "less educated, less intelligent people" would be any less elitist once they come to power, but being not as smart makes their decisions worse.

I'm sorry you perceived Metabunk as elitist.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
81 and I'm definitely slowing down mentally.

You never cease to amaze me. :oops: You're one of the most tech-savvy, intellectually alert and superbly sharp 81-year-olds I've ever had the privilege to chat with online.

Honoured to make your acquaintaince, Sir!
 

captancourgette

Active Member
I'm English by birth but 70/81 Aussie by residence and culture. Visiting UK - north of Scotland, last visit 2014, I could not easily get my bearings. In AU if the sun is visible I don't even need to think where N E S W are. But, "up there" in the Northern hemisphere, it took me a good 30 seconds thinking to orient myself. OOPS "down there" - let's get the map oriented correctly:
Yes I'm sort of the reverse (I'm born & bred kiwi, but lived in oz as well for a few years). Lived in the northern hemisphere maybe a decade, mainly in 90s, holland, now in catalonia for nearly 4 years. I think it is the sun that throws me off with my sense of direction here (what else could it be magnetic? though I don't think that is really a thing for humans).
I usually walk in totally the opposite direction than I want to go, not 90 degrees or so but fully 180 degrees. This happens so often I usually now stop after a block and go OK I better check on the phone if this is the way I really intended to go. :D
 

econ41

Senior Member
Yes I'm sort of the reverse (I'm born & bred kiwi, but lived in oz as well for a few years). Lived in the northern hemisphere maybe a decade, mainly in 90s, holland, now in catalonia for nearly 4 years. I think it is the sun that throws me off with my sense of direction here (what else could it be magnetic? though I don't think that is really a thing for humans).
I usually walk in totally the opposite direction than I want to go, not 90 degrees or so but fully 180 degrees. This happens so often I usually now stop after a block and go OK I better check on the phone if this is the way I really intended to go. :D
I'll assume you are aware of - was it R Muldoon's comment on Kiwis >> moving to AU? "That should improve the IQ of both countries!" (or words to that effect) https://mercatornet.com/raising_the_iq_of_both_countries/13840/

As an Aussie water engineer I find Kiwiland fascinating. In meteorological, hydrological and geological terms it is diametrically opposite to AU. A "river" in outback Aussie is a dry groove in the dirt that possible once every few years runs with water. In the Fiordland west coast of NZ south Island, the rainfall at the two glaciers is 365 inches per year, And the smallest grains of sand you can see in the river beds are about 2" size, All the smaller stuff long washed to sea....

rcon43 and I are going on an organised you - 16 days - next year. We are too old for "self-drive". Bay of Islands in the agenda - never been there.
 
Last edited:

captancourgette

Active Member
OT I could PM but maybe someone finds it interesting so posting
Yes Im aware of the raises the infamous IQ quip. He had a way with words same with the guy that followed him, Lange. I saw muldoon and russell crowe in drag in the rocky horror show late 80s, great night. Though personally I like the ozzies better than kiwis, the landscape is worse but the ppl are better, some real characters esp when I was living in the outback, good times.
I think NZ and about the same rainfall as oz but ~1/50th of the land area :D Yeah we have lot of the dry rivers here in spain, in fact unlike english theres a word in catalan for such a river 'riera' like eskimos having 100 (or whatever) words for snow, when a language has a word for an event/subject, it prolly means its commonplace.
I used to live in hokitika (west coast) either torrential rain or sun (not much middle ground, I was chiefly working outside, constantly soaked even with a good coat the rain is so hard it finds a way to drench, I remember 2004 I just arrive in this small town south of orange for a couple of weeks and it spat rain, I wish I had a camera the front page of the newspaper was in huge print like typically seen when eg War Won/Decalred but here it was (towns name 1.3mm townsname 2.1mm, there were about 5 towns but the highest was 3.something mm rain, first rain they had seen for many many months, I think hokitika 3mm an hour aint even classified as rain, just drizzle )
also lived in keri keri (by bay of islands) the bay of islands is OK but I would not go wow, its a bit like airlie beach area, though thats prolly better.
If you want recs to see I can supply what I think.
Excuse for the ramblin, Im filling in time (not working) before I see godspeed you black emperor and deafheaven, had some wine
 

Ashley Pomeroy

New Member
Interesting discussion, although there's a certain UK/US divide that makes me wonder if some of the participants are talking at cross purposes. I have the impression that society here in jolly old Blighty is a lot more static than society in the US, in the sense that if you own property and keep your investment portfolio up-to-date - enough to outpace inflation - you don't have to try very hard academically. The end result of this tendency is Prince Edward, who by all accounts is not a moron, but will probably never have to spend twenty years sharing a single toilet/shower room with six complete strangers.

In the US however there is an assumption that if you try hard and learn to haul lumber you can make something of yourself. Which is true in the UK, but the rewards are lower and the peril is not as great. In the US if you do well you end up with a detached house with lovely weather. In the UK you end up paying a quarter of a million pounds for a terraced house where the neighbours have left a washing machine in their front garden.

Furthermore the UK has always had a "gentlemen vs players" element. A tension between well-bred people who know the right wines but are not necessarily competent versus highly-skilled commoners. A long time ago the gentleman held all the cards, and in their mind the commoners were not even human beings. Over time the gap has narrowed but there is a still a huge U/non-U aspect to British society. I remember reading a while back that when the Royal Navy adopted steam power the engineering officers were not allowed to share a mess with the rest of the senior crew, because they were too common. And yet the RN was at least smart enough to hire engineers for their technical acumen rather than their social connections.

In fact I think the book was Andrew Gordon's The Rules of the Game, which is about the Battle of Jutland:
https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/354137

A theme running through it is the tension in British society between gentlemen and players, and our tendency to tolerate abject failure from well-bred people who know the right wines etc. Such as Captain Robert Falcon Scott, who was competent enough to reach the South Pole, but not competent enough to come back alive. Gordon also cited Admiral Beatty's flag officer, who was not up to the job but had been picked because Beatty apparently knew him socially. And yet the typical RN officer of the period was apparently extremely competent, because real life is not a cartoon.

I've complete drifted from the topic at this point but my fingers have warmed up. A couple of things struck me while reading that book. The first was the tendency that mountaineering adventure tales tend to treat the Sherpas as background characters, despite the fact that they're obviously much more competent than the average Western mountaineer. I am acutely aware that I probably have fewer useful skills than the average goat farmer in sub-Saharan Africa, but I probably own a much nicer home computer on account of the fact that I was born in a land of plenty.

And secondly the Chernobyl disaster, and all of the other ill-fated catastrophes that best ideologically-driven regimes, were the result of a political system that prioritised being on-message over not contaminating huge tracts of potentially valuable farmland. That also happens here in the UK but, as alluded to above in the case of the Royal Navy, not to such extremes, because the UK is not generally ideologically-driven. I'm not a fan of ideologues.

For the record I was made to do an IQ test at school. I scored 68% - that's what they said - which means that I'm smarter than eighteen people. Smarter than eighteen percent of people. That's over ten million people in the UK. I occasionally think about Randolph Churchill. He had everything going for him and led a more interesting life than me, but history remembers him as an unlikeable failure, because having a good start in life can only go so far.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
What a fun post. I just wonder how much we can say about present day Britain based on Scott and Beatty and the era of steam. Things have surely changed a little since then? ;)

PS I always thought Grayson Perry's 'All in the Best Possible Taste' was an excellent examination of how class works in modern times. Anything similar in video or book form floating around?
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
@Ashley Pomeroy
Thanks for the insight. I think of the class divide as a thing of the past, something one reads about in old novels, but it sounds from your post as if it's still strong. My family came from Scotland to the USA right after the end of WWII, but I'm sure they were considered far more "respectable" people in this country than they ever would be in the UK. They were in that group of people who had college degrees, but came from dirt-poor backgrounds, and in later years I wondered if that class divide had been a deciding factor in their decision to emigrate.
 

econ41

Senior Member
@Ann K and @Ashley Pomeroy - I came to Australia with the rest of my family in 1952. I was then 11 - siblings 8 and 7. My parents both from working class backgrounds - dads's side factory workers, mam's side coal miners. Dad came to set up an Aussie branch of the UK company he worked for but his second reason for coming to AU was to get "across the tracks". But let's not kid ourselves that our new countries are class distinction free. It is still there. But the attitude of most Aussies is they don't give a cr*p. And anyone trying to "put on side" won't get very far with it. It will be ignored.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Strictly speaking I'm from the underclass - single parent unemployed Northern family; council housing; no hot water or heating in a ruined former coal mining village - but in my adult life I've associated with all kinds, right up to Lords and the landed. I don't ever remember our "differing statuses" being a thing.

To be fair, I no longer have the accent I had growing up. But I haven't noticed any practical differences in class in either the US or the UK.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
@Ann K and @Ashley Pomeroy - I came to Australia with the rest of my family in 1952. I was then 11 - siblings 8 and 7. My parents both from working class backgrounds - dads's side factory workers, mam's side coal miners. Dad came to set up an Aussie branch of the UK company he worked for but his second reason for coming to AU was to get "across the tracks". But let's not kid ourselves that our new countries are class distinction free. It is still there. But the attitude of most Aussies is they don't give a cr*p. And anyone trying to "put on side" won't get very far with it. It will be ignored.

Miriam Margolyes (some prof in Harry Potter, I'm told, but to me she'll always be Lady Whiteadder, and herself) did a 3-part series "Australia Unmasked" recently, which addressed issues like whether Australia is as classless as it pretends to be. She's the same generation as you, and has Australian citizenship now, so it wasn't a dig; if anything, if there were any digs most were at the Brits behind the history more than at Australia's current foibles. On the whole it was very posistive, and the thesis that everyone gets a "fair go" was pretty well supported. There's more info on the series here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-62202571 , and I know it was freely downloadable in the UK for a while, so probably was freely available via ABC too. Recommended, but then again I've always got on well with bogans (who take her out to do burn-outs, as one does with a national treasure like Miriam).
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
But I haven't noticed any practical differences in class in either the US
There's a bit, that's why Biden (and other politicians) always stresses his blue collar Pennsylvania upbringing. it's like Newsom (california) dining at the French Laundry with a bunch of "elites" while "us" lower class slugs were still in lock down and getting arrested for walking our dogs on the beach. :)

but our "class" is less hereditary and more what job you land and how good a social climber you are.
 

captancourgette

Active Member
Debatable.
I was gonna disagree and say sure I agree the USA is overrated as the 'land of opportunity', 'pulling yourself up by the bootstraps' etc (*)
but surely the UK class system has more inherent privileges for those born into it, i.e. you have wealth & title vs only wealth.

But before posting I thought to check the data
and no I was wrong USA actually is worse
https://reports.weforum.org/social-mobility-report-2020/social-mobility-rankings/

Higher = more chance hard work will pay off, i.e. less important if you were born into wealth

Denmark 85.2
United Kingdom 74.4
United States 70.4
Côte d'Ivoire 34.5

btw NZ does badly, I'm assuming all the rich farmers it has and the land getting passed on down the generations.

(*)there was a widely published article from a couple of years ago along the lines of if you are american and want to go to the land of opportunity then move to canada :D
 
Top